Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Best. Email. Ever.

I got this email this morning from my friend and former Albany Times Union co-worker Claire, who was one of the contributors to the Perfect Song Project.

Tess: “We want music.”

I pop in the Tom Chapin CD of kids’ songs.

Luke: “No, not THAT music. One of the cool CDs your friend Mike made you.”

(This is a very, very good sign. Turns out Lukien REALLY likes the Stones, The Who, and Bob Marley. I can live with that.)


Other music notes. I feel sorry for one of our newer L.A. Youth writers who is writing about how she discovered the life-changing properties of rock-n-roll. This is in some ways, the story of my life particularly since moving to L.A., where I've become a concertmonster. I hope that I'll always remember to respect the vision she has for her story.

Finally, saw Thom Yorke at The Orpheum Sunday night. Wow. He played with Flea (amazing fucking bassist), Joey Waronker (REM drummer since Bill Berry retired), Mauro Refosco (supplementary percussionist) and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead producer extraordinaire).

I am not typically a dancer/mover at shows, preferring to lightly shake my body, bob my head and maybe tap my foot or my hand against my thigh. And even though Thom Yorke encouraged us to stand and dance and not to act like we were at the cinema, I was stiller at this show than almost any ever. But it wasn't because I wasn't moved, rather because I was mesmerized.

I've often not responded to electronica, which coincidentally enough can be called trance when composed in certain threads, because I find it boring and not in any way enrapturing. But when Yorke's The Eraser solo album was brought to live with such a talented band, I was simply stunned.

Flea's nearly virtuosic basswork added a vigorous pulse to every song, almost like a rumbling tremor cleavinng a beautiful glacier to reveal something hidden and dangerously interesting. And I can only pray that Waronker's freedom to bang the skins is carried onto the next REM album. Those combined with Refosco's percussive textures had virtually the entire rest of the nearly sold-out Orpheum dancing as much as is possible in the incredibly tight confines of the rows of an early 20th century (when people were much shorter) theater.

Add Godrich's synth/laptop/guitar and Yorke's delicately powerful vocals and it was the most visually musical experience I've probably ever had. In this case, I'm not referring to Yorke's rubberbandish dancing or Flea's non-stop gyrating, but like I felt like I could see the sounds and the best metaphor I can come up with is that it was a 3D fullspectrum rainbow.

My favourite song was Super Collider, which is a Radiohead that debuted during last year's tour. He played that haunting piano ballad immediately after Open the Floodgates, which also blew me away.


1 comment:

Erika said...

Can I get a copy of that CD? My kids would like it, too, as long it has Van Halen's JUMP on it...