2017-03-03

sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
1. Tonight was the monthly vigil in support of Black Lives Matter at First Baptist Church JP. I attended with [livejournal.com profile] gaudior and Fox, who is becoming a regular protest baby; Gaudior's phone routed us to the UU church on the corner of Centre and Eliot instead, but they kindly let us change Fox in their nursery and only looked a little blank when we mentioned the vigil and we walked down Centre Street and arrived just in time for the reading of names, which this month was a call-and-response and included the names of the first seven black trans women murdered in 2017. Having twice held signs from the church's communal stack for the twenty-minute silence of the vigil (this one in memory of Philando Castile), I think I will have to make a sign of my own if I plan to keep coming back, which I do. I am also hoping that as the weather warms and the winds calm down it will be easier to bring candles. My hands got painfully cold; I forgot the glove liners after all. We met up briefly with [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo. I ordered an ice cream flavor from FōMū which had a sadly higher ratio of crunchy toffee chunk to salted caramel ice cream than I was really looking for. (Butter-pie fail.). There were not five hundred people at the vigil tonight, but there were not fifteen or fifty either. I hope the numbers stay high until they are not needed. I would like that to be in my lifetime.

2. Fourteen years late to the party, I have gotten sucked into British Sea Power's The Decline of British Sea Power (2003) thanks to the improving influence of [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme. For some reason the band had never really gotten on my radar before. I was given one of their songs on a mix CD in 2005, but it made less impression on me at the time than the tracks by Electrelane, Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, Of Montreal, Joanna Newsom, Le Tigre, and John Cale. "Carrion" flipped the switch and I have been listening to the debut album it came from almost nonstop since Sunday. I think it's the combination of neck-jolting noise and pastoral deep time. I say that and it becomes very difficult not to describe British Sea Power as the punk Powell and Pressburger, even if I think that is technically Derek Jarman's The Last of England (1988). "Apologies to Insect Life" is one of the most angular, shreddiest pieces of post-punk I have heard since Mission of Burma. "Lately" is a gently questioning fourteen-minute historical panorama that ends when the singer breaks down screaming "Do you like my megalithic rock?" I thought that only happened in Alan Garner. Their choruses are killer; they have the ability to make very simple sentences ("Oh, remember me / Will you remember me?", "As you black out / Look out again, my love," "Oh, bring it in and let us see it / Oh, let us see it") sound incredibly charged and significant. They have the absurdist quality I associate with a lot of good punk, too—yelping a key line from a skiffle classic over and over until it is both semantically meaningless and you can't hear it over the guitar noise anyway. I've acquired their soundtracks for Man of Aran (1934/2009) and From the Sea to the Land Beyond (2013) and I think they'll be good writing music, but the other stuff is weird. It's amazing how much of an artistic criterion that turned out to be.

3. Film noir every Sunday morning? Sign me up, TCM. I approve of three out of their four starting choices. I know nothing about the fourth. I'll report back.

Having gotten up this morning for a work-related meeting on two or three hours of sleep, I think I am going to look into falling over.
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