I've been listening to Xiu Xiu - pronounced 'shoo shoo' - on and off since high school but i've never really taken the time to delve into their entire back catalogue of work.
Because i get easily distracted by the daunting amount of music out there and can't stay put with a band for more than a few days.
Sometimes only a few hours.
This habit aggrieves me because i tend to forget bands i've listened to.
I suppose if i've forgotten, then their music didn't have a significant impact on me but i'm greedy.
I want to retain it all.
It gives me a lame amount of pleasure to be able to inform others of bands they may like and know what's playing in a movie or over an advert.
It makes me feel as if i actually know something.
But i can't keep it all inside my ill-equipped brain.
I'm too messy and scattered.
Somewhat like a puppy.
I need constant stimuli and without an eidetic memory, i lose things.
(i do however retain the most useless knowledge...why, brain? why?)
I'm constantly in awe of my Dad who almost always knows who's playing.
We share an obsession for music but he's got the brains for it.
I do not.
Xiu Xiu, however, are a band that have stuck with me - Fast Car was the first song i heard, it kind of bewitched me - and slowly but surely i'm going to devour everything they've got to offer.
'"I think I'll be a clown when I get grown," said Dill. "Yes, sir, a clown.... There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." "You got it backwards, Dill," said Jem. "Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks."'
To Kill A Mockingbird
'Paul D tied his shoes together, hung them over his shoulder and followed her through the door straight into a pool of red and undulating light that locked him where he stood [...] She was right. It was sad. Walking through it, a wave of grief soaked him so thoroughly he wanted to cry. It seemed a long way to the normal light surrounding the table, but he made it―dry-eyed and lucky.'
Today was a day for waking up to the feeling of having been fed through a Play-Doh machine.
For no apparent reason.
Going a little - a lot - crazy.
And subsequently getting a migraine, which of course leads to a Garfield-style bed flump.
Feel free to bow down to my dazzling uselessness.
Monday the 25th.
You're an asshat.
'At 12:10, still seven minutes before the gas-main explosion, the telephone exchange experienced a softer explosion: a complete jam of every town phone line still in operation. The three harried girls on duty stayed at their posts but were utterly unable to cope. They worked with expressions of wooden horror on their faces, trying to place unplaceable calls.
And so Chamberlain drifted into the streets.
They came like an invasion from the graveyard that lay in the elbow creek formed by the intersection of The Bellsqueeze Road and Route 6; they came in white nightgowns and in robes, as if in winding shrouds. They came in pyjamas and curlers (Mrs Dawson, she of the now-deceased son who had been a very funny fellow, came in a mudpack as if dressed for a minstrel show); they came to see what happened to their town, to see if it was indeed lying burnt and bleeding. Many of them also came to die.'
I must be desensitised or something because as much as i enjoyed one of King's most acclaimed novels, i wasn't creeped out or frightened at any point.
And i really wanted to be.
It's a little disappointing.
But i think to aspire fear in a reader is actually a significantly difficult act to master.
How often do words truly terrify the way a moving picture does?
Often but nowhere near as much.
Simply due to the fact that the image has been brought to life and becomes more tangible.
Fear is more easily accessed when the cause is placed in front of you.
Tell me a story about Oompa Loompas, i'll cover my ears and howl cacophonous nonsense until you stop but put an actual Oompa Loompa in front me?
I'll punch him in the face and run away screaming.
Idea vs Execution
The difference, my friends, is my fist in your face.
An example of this is in literature can be found in The Lord of the Rings.
There's a chapter dedicated to a place called The Dead Marshes - fairly self-explanatory.
My sister and mum were deeply unsettled by this chapter in the book.
The faces they make when we speak of it are both hilarious and inexplicable because i felt basically nothing whilst reading it.
Not even a flinch of fear.
Again with the appearance of Shelob, a giant bloodthirsty spider with a taste for short folk - hello!
And i felt nothing other than perhaps the sadistic desire for her to eat Frodo and stop his complaining.
But not frightened.
I don't recoil with the same shiver of disgust at the mere mention of Shelob like my sister does.
(i torture her often, i have little sister rights)
The same feeling occurred when i read Kafka's Metamorphosis for the first time.
My family as a whole are disgusted by Gregor Samsa and his transformation, whereas i only feel pity and empathy for the poor man.
Not his fault he's a bug.
How would you like it?
Maybe i'm defective.
Maybe i watch too many horror movies.
Or maybe i just haven't found my kind of horror-lit yet.
I've felt very drawn today and i'm not sure i was in the right frame of mind to be watching something as emotionally wrenching as Bright Star.
But i did.
Because i'm an idiot and a masochist.
As a consequence i keep finding myself intermittently sobbing.
Even though the movie finished over an hour ago.
On the upside, it did remind me of this drawing of a scene from the film by Marie Harnett:
I can't say i'm hugely fond of Harnett's work.
I feel the need for more accuracy in her draughtsmanship but this piece from her Star series has all the sad, quiet beauty contained within the film itself.
And this is by no means an easy feat.
Pencil work can be extremely flat and lack dimension.
So often i see drawings that seem to cower from the very idea of pure shadow.
There are so many degrees of light and shade and they are ever present in life, therefore they should be just as present in a representation of life.
Something i feel Marie Harnett captured perfectly here.
'"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—
I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me. '
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
As enjoyable as shipping Rae and Finn is, i don't feel fully recovered from the loss of creepy, nymphomaniacal, Papal spaniards.
It may be time to cannonball the whole of Orphan Black.
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- drop the game
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- all i want
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