Friday, June 22, 2012

Review of the album "Here" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

1st Song - Man on Fire

A slow chant thing that builds to a less chanty, more happy thing with chirpy instruments. I like when they do this kind of song because they make you so aware of how many people are involved in this dumb band. They're really invested in letting you know how much fun they're having, even though packing that many hippies into a studio can't be enjoyable for anyone. It seems sweaty and forced, like they’re afraid of Edward.

A fucking didgeridoo just sounded. Didjgiry Dave and Outback Zeros. I'm in a coffee shop right now and "I'm Every Woman" is playing behind my headphones and it's not a terrible mix. Same sort of loud happiness even though there's at least one lady in either instance being mentally abused by a producer with a messiah complex. That's conjecture on my part, but big Ed seems like he thinks he’s Jesus. The song wraps up with the refrain about following his dirty bare feet and how important it is to dance and play guitars. It's a bad song.

2nd Song - That's What's Up

Twang twang twang! Someone is probably playing a Jug. It might be an Emit Otter cover. Starts low and then comes in louder and it’s a million sounds at once and that lady is clearly screaming. I'm not sure the Edward Sharp lady singer is talented, I think she just might be frightened. Did you know they're not married at all. I think she’s just his prisoner. Uh oh. Clapping break down in the song! Love it is our Honor and love it is our all! You guys don't fool me anymore! Hippie liars. It is an awful song.

3rd song - I Don't Wanna Pray

"I love my god, god made gloves. I love my god, god made tape." I'm not sure which culture they're co-opting, but it's offensive in any direction. It sounds like an old spiritual about god’s textile production facilities. Three guys in the back are making bellowing DO DO DO noises at one point, again, just to let you know they're there, and that it's a gigantic, unwieldy band who will only break even on hotel costs once they are bigger than U2. Lots of talk about how they don't want to pray anymore, and I assume they are either dissatisfied with the gloves, the tape, or have realized that the lead singer is the one true god. Edward's got forty band members, is trying to assimilate more and there's no reason to wear that much white clothing and still be visibly dirty. It is a the worst song.

4th song - Mayla

Starts with low humming and the kind of guitar that would normally accompany a steel drum or a 80s cop drama set in Miami. Lots of people singing about a person named Mayla Longtime Sunshine. The guitar is really distracting. It’s hard to hear the lyrics, which is fine. It's just droning on behind that goddamn guitar. The guitar made my head hurt and the droning sucked my will to live. I feel sad. Like I need protein or some vitamins. Just feel exhausted. It’s an ok song.

5th song - Dear Believer

"Anger anger you're finally my bitch" is a lyric. But that’s more of a lesson for everyone. I think I might have judged too harshly up front. He’s at least trying to make music about positive feelings. The droning from the last song is still kind of in my head but I don’t think the point of the album is to be hypnotized by messages that reinforce how beautiful, forgiving and complete Edward's love is. It is a pretty good song.

6th Song - Child

This is a song about how we are all Edwards children, we are but voices in his head and only shadows in the white light of his gaze. Only one guitar and one drum is playing and someone is singing something over the sound of my childhood playing in the ocean of my bad vibes. It’s washing my feet. Edward is washing my feet. Edward is washing my feet of my bad vibes. It is a beautiful song about love.

7th Song - One Love to Another

How in Edward’s name could I sleep when there’s so much love to do. A good time base line plays in front of His illuminations about how much I am loved and how much I love everyone. It’s a bouncy riff that shows you true meaning. Edward loves you even though your family hates and abandoned you. Join us in the Joy Van. Edward is going to take us home. Home to Edward’s farm away from the government. I can have some food when I get to the farm. I just need to love enough. It is an enlightening song about how hungry I am for His protection.

8th Song - Fiya Wata

Edward I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it. See how I’ve learned. Please let me out of the box. I will better learn to make gloves and tape! Fiya Wata is a perfect song about how thirsty I am because it is so joyfully hot in the box. Only Edward has the key to the box. It is around his holy neck on a hemp necklace the Bassist made for You. Please. Man on Fire is a good song about the time you were right to set the bassist on fire for making something beautiful out of your sight. The bassist learned so we could all learn. I know that now! Please forgive me out of the box! It is the only song!

9th Song - All Wash Out

I am washed out, cleansed and safe from Edward’s storm clouds. Join us. You must. You can play the spoons. The spoons are the only way. There are only 47 more openings in the band, and they all must be filled by the chosen, before Edwards great cleansing so that we might repopulate this earth. He will remove the government’s microchip from your brain before you are lost forever. Play the spoons for us. Edward should be able to have as many wives as he wants. This country is not freedom. Edward is freedom. The Government is evil. You are the spoons. I am the kazoo. Edward’s wives are the horn section and Jerry fixes the weapons. You sleep when we say. You practice those spoons and if you try to run, you get locked in the box. This is the word of Edward.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reading at the Numi Tea House with the folks at Pirate Pig Press. Here's what I read. It went strangely. Readings are weird.


“COINTREAU! That’s it! I bet it’s - hey, do you know what they put in these things. NO! You’re wrong! That’s what I thought but they can’t sell tequila anymore because they gave a glass of whiskey to a child. It was in the newspapers so they had to give everybody coupons and that’s why the food got terrible. But I drank when I was a kid and I’m fine! My mom used to give us little bits of whiskey whenever we wanted and we turned out fine. You know? I did. We all turned out fine. The last I heard, anyway. Nobody’s heard from Stephen in years, and I could sleep with the ringer on, but it’s just so hard to keep in touch! You’d think with these gadgets, it’d be a lot easier for people to get a hold of me. But you know, it’s fine. It’s ok. I don’t mind.”

She is a stranger, seated two tables over from us, and she’s not really talking as much as she’s shouting. She’s got a margarita in a martini glass and she’s nervously spinning it by the stem while she’s shouting. There’s a spot of lipstick smudged where she drinks from the glass but all the salt is gone from the rim. We’re letting her shout at us because we weren’t saying much anyway.

“But anyway, these damn drinks I can’t get --- MARTA -- Uno mas! Anyway, how are you guys, good? No drinks? You couldn't both be driving? Unless you’re on a date ooooooh are you on a date! Aren’t dates just the worst? I’m just too shy and you have to say what your favorite color is and all that sillyness like you’re still a kid but you’re both fifty years old already and he said brown. Brown can’t be your favorite color. Brown? God. You guys didn’t meet online did you? I keep meeting weirdos on there. So many weirdos. He doesn’t look like a weirdo! But, in fairness to the weirdos, a lot of these weirdos are sneaky. That’s a big weirdo part of it. Anyway, just in case, I took safety classes at the Y and you listen to me - you keep your eyes on this weirdo. Run backwards to your car if you have to, and never go on the internet ever again. I don’t think they said that in the classes, but they should have. That’s good advice. I give good advice.”

She refuses to look across her own table at the empty chair across from her, and instead has been rolling her head in a high ark to keep from looking at it, while capturing everything that moves in conversation. We’re allowing it, it’s not a good night. We’re tense. Things have been tense.

“If you want, when you ditch this weirdo, we could double date and then it’d be the two of us girls, but then I guess it’d be two weirdos too, then we’re right back where we started unless you have mace or a taser or something?- . ooh really, you two have been together a while then oh ok – that explains why you seem so agitated.”

When I’m tense tuck my thumbs into my palms and squeeze to try to crack the knuckle and even though it never cracks, I keep squeezing. It’s a bad habit and lately I’ve been doing it so much that my hands ache but I can’t seem to stop doing it. It feels like it hurts because it wont crack, that it’s almost about to give, but wont, so I squeeze harder and nothing happens.

“You guys mind if I scooch closer? Oh no don’t worry about it, it’s no bother for me, I don’t bite. So how long have you guys been together, a while? Is it serious? Are you going to get married? Everyone I know ran off and got married when they were young and now everyone is divorced or gay or in prison, but as a rule, miserable, everyone is miserable, regardless. I never got married and I turned out just fine. Look at how much fun we’re having.”

It’s getting more difficult to ignore my hands, I couldn’t pull open my front door the other day. It’s a big, heavy, wooden, door with an off-center knob and pulling it open brought tears to my eyes. I should go to the doctor but I can’t, not yet. He’d only tell me that I’m dying. It’ll work itself out in time. I can’t tell her about this, about my hands, but something will crack. Even if it’s my own thumbs, even if I break my own thumbs.

“So this margarita, I think, has five ingredients in it, I think. I’ve asked everyone in here for months but nobody will talk to me. I’ve come up with three, but I can’t even think of a fourth thing to say. I keep wanting to say carbon because everything has carbon in it, but it’s not like you put a pinch of carbon into cupcakes. I mean I suppose you could, right! San Francisco!”

Tuck your thumb in your palm like a little kid makes a fist, before someone explained that you’d break your thumbs if you punched someone like that. Ignore them. There is something wrong there, deep in your bones, and you can squeeze it to death if you keep quiet and keep squeezing, keep everything below the table and keep squeezing. Don’t cry. If you can’t ignore the lump in your throat, push against it with your red hands until you black out. When you wake up, roll your head in a high ark so you don’t see your life walk out the door, so you can stay here, trapped in this horrible place alone.

“After this, you guys should come hang out at my place. I just got a new cat. I found her outside and we instantly had a very deep spiritual connection. I think that can happen. I think it’s possible something like that could happen. She seems to think so too. Her name is Susan. She’s very important to me. You guys should meet her, but either way we really should spend more time together. I left my wallet in my other pants, but I’ll get my things so we can go.”