[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Lead in the Light
The Hundred in the Hands
Red Night

: Berlin was almost exactly a year ago so, as usual, my senses are heightened, searching for triggers to remind me of when I left Montreal's confines, when I ventured out. The weather (crisp, cool, sunny: perfect Berlin), the smells (wandering the Plateau today, smoke and fresh, green air; hints of the perfume I wore last August), voraciously reading a book set in (and quite possibly a conflicted love letter to) the city, and of course: slipping back into that 'state of being' I, we all?, unknowingly create when living especially vibrant circumstances -- this one particular to August in an indescribable city.

On one of the few afternoons I spent solo, I went on a David Bowie pilgrimage to what used to be West Berlin -- stood under his old apartment in Kreuzberg, took it in -- then wandered the area for awhile, eventually happening upon one of Berlin's gay areas. I paused at a cafe and had possibly the best pancake I'd ever eaten while listening to this album and reading -- reflecting. And when this song came on ---- my heart exploded. It's the one song that immediately transports me back to Berlin in a way exclusively tied up with the city itself: no missing you, or dancing with Meg -- this is BERLIN. Song form.

With a year of distance, some things get clearer. The first is that the longer I am removed from Berlin, the stronger I feel for it. Cities vibrate on their own special wavelengths, and Berlin's synced up pretty seamlessly with mine (not forgetting, of course, that I have never missed anyone the way I missed you while I was there). I love that city: I connect to it, and the two weeks I spent there keep charging me, NOW me, 2013-in-Montreal-me, full of a potent energy, a spark, a collision of emotions. THAT FEELING: that's why I leave. That's why I travel: not just to be there, but to come back and remember.

I think a lot of people would hasten, if hearing their ~traveling~ called a "vacation", to correct you. "No, see, a vacation is about relaxing, getting away from life -- I'm a traveler, so I spend time getting into life, you know? I go everywhere, I experience everything, I'm transplanted, nomadic, set down momentarily, but I really feel it, so it's different. Get it?"

Pretentia aside: what's a vacation, really? Being transplanted from your daily routine. Nomadic in thought, set down momentarily in a new state of mind. Experiencing something you wouldn't have the chance to normally, be it drinking coffee or maragaritas in the sun at 11AM on a Tuesday. A vacation is a separation from reality. It is not that different from traveling, really: it's not the word or the location or the circumstances or even the length of time that makes it something profound ---- it's the person experiencing it.

Vacation is recharging -- perhaps lazy, at first, like the opening shoegaze-y chords of this beautiful album-ender; definitely relieved, grateful for the shift. But the song revs up, explodes; it changes, you change, because on vacation you are allowed the space you need to become whole again -- to become yourself, completely; yourself removed from social expectations/constraints. You get to know yourself best when you're left to your own devices. And when you "let in the light" those weeks you have for yourself...I think the greatest hope, goal, is that you will keep that light with you, for another year, even if you are never in that same space -- be it a city or an emotional state -- again.

I will stay out / and dance with you / to the beat of daylight.


Feb. 9th, 2011 05:00 pm
[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Gold Blood
Artist: The Hundred in the Hands
Album: S/T
Year: 2010
: As you know, I heard this song on the train. I'd loaded up the ole iPod with a bunch of albums I keep meaning to listen to, with the express purpose of actually listening to them. This was partially successful: there are a few other songs that may make their way to this comm eventually, but for now -- Gold Blood.

So I'm listening, liking the album's mellowed-out Ladytron vibe (especially from Pigeons, another winner), and then this song pops up with its dissonant electric guitar and strangely aharmonic opening verses. I didn't quite know what to make of it at first: a throwaway song they'd play before 11:30 at Saph? Some weird amalgamation of Lykke Li and the YYYs? Like Like You, it doesn't really belong with the rest of the album. Unlike Like You, it's not exactly beautiful -- UNTIL!

the freaking chorus.
I am huge on melodies and hooks. I definitely love experimental and atonal stuff -- but to really fall head over heels for a song, I need something I can't help but hum to myself. So when the key changed and the guitar made way for keyboards in that first chorus, I actually sat up straight in my seat.
The second chorus is my favourite, because I also love layers (in art, generally -- the more I hear/see in any given instance, the more I love it). The first time she sings it, with just synth-keyboards and a touch of drum: lovely, and then BANG BANG BANG. I keep blasting that part and I'm sure Julie&Meg are sick of it but tough bananas because it makes me dance like a crazy. The whole song does, actually: after multiple listens (and do listen multiple times, it had to grow on me!), I have realized that it is in no way a Saph throwaway -- it's something they should play at 1:30, primetime. "Time to lose your shit, ladies and gentlemen!"

The lyrics aren't overly exceptional, but I love the lines I put in the graphic, and the second verse: Young blood, no chance -- youth in a rude stance, dancing on the edge of dawn. Nice. 



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