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Musical Tripe

I believe that between my brother David, Ashley, and me, the focus on mp3-format music is becoming obsessive.

We no longer have a stereo here, nor does David. We've replaced them with mp3 servers, and ripped all our CDs. When I listen to music now it's always on that, or my Rio player, or on my own computador, in the form of some kind of perfect playlist, painstakingly constructed out of all my favorites of some genre: ten hours of sweetly blended triphop or drum&bass or big beat, or whatever. Why, even right now (gasp, "right NOW?!") I'm looking at the smooth round face of today's skin on Audion, which is playing a mix of, you know... Portishead, Massive Attack, Everything but the Girl (yes they used to suck, but if you haven't heard 'em lately, you haven't heard 'em), Tricky, Lamb, and the little baby jeezus *knows* what else. Go ahead, there's my favorite song from each of those. Just don't tell anyone where you got it; and if you like it, for chrissake buy the CD like good boys and girls. Wouldn't want any of the entertainment industry heads to have to start putting their solid gold Porsches up for auction. [There used to be links to mp3 files for each of those artists, but I had to remove them for server space, sorry...]

But none of that is what I came here to write about. Like you, perhaps, I've been maddened and inspired by music for a long time now. I was thinking about tomorrow, see; I have tickets to see Juno Reactor, which I'm really looking forward to. I couldn't help thinking of the last time I saw them, there were a bunch of African drummers and dancers on stage along with the main musician, and that was really incredible. They were screaming and doing backflips.

The most amazing live show I ever saw was Portishead, believe it or not. Before I saw them I was doubtful of how good they could be live... it's not exactly the most energetic music. Ah, but what they lack in metabolism they more than make up for in mood. The atmostphere was thick and dark, with giant slow dramatic sweeps of blue light, and sparkling star-like lights, and amazing film clips. My favorite was just this huge ferris wheel at night with colored lights all on it, shot from below, spinning around slowly. It had such an impact with the music. The rapport between audience and performers, especially the singer, was absolute adoration and rapture; and she was clearly moved by it. They don't perform live much. At the end of the show, she told us that this had been their best show. She was thanking us for making it a wondrous experience instead of the dehumanizing nightmare which so many artists seem to find touring.

For energy, though, I've got to give it to The Chemical Brothers. Man, *nobody* there is into it as much as those boys themselves are, and *everybody's* really pretty damn into it! Loudest? Gotta go with Orbital at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. We sat upstairs in the balcony for part of it, but we had to leave because the bass was shaking bits of ceiling all into our hair and stuff. We went downstairs into the mix, and the bass down there shook my pantlegs against my shins so that they itched.

Just went to see LTJ Bukem with Amber a few weeks ago, and we got right up to the front, so that I could have just reached right over the desk and helped him out with those plates; though that's clearly best left to the expert. I did, however, indulge in a handshake with MC Conrad. With the same hand, in fact, which I used to shake a big "thankyou!" with the guy from Astral Projection after he took Gina and me on a three-hour danceathon, and then she and I rode home on her bike as the sun rose.

Ash always took me to see the best shows, though... It's no fun without him. Confession: part of wanting to shake hands with MC Conrad was to make Ash wish he'd been around to come to the show with me. I'm not being mean, I just want him to come home so we could go out and have fun together again.

Ashley come home!


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