And the rain falls down

February 7th, 2008

…on Sydney Town.

As a rule I’m a fan of rain. It washes all the dust and dirt of the day away and everything feels like it becomes new again. The air and the earth and just everything smells better. Today, though, when it started pouring through a hole in the ceiling at work right onto our network hub and phone system, I quickly became less of a fan.

It was certainly an interesting day. Very productive, though, so that’s something.

I’m pondering a lot of things tonight. This is directly the result of 2 emails and a conversation with someone who really shouldn’t matter all that much. I sometimes find that’s the way of things – the people who should have the least influence often irk us or make us contemplate the most. I’m a pretty independent thinker. Relatively that is. I make up my own mind about things and can be kinda persistent with my opinion if I’m really passionate about something. Still, just occasionally I catch myself looking away from myself and out to other people. Weighing and measuring up the me verses them. Their place in the world verses my place. Their choices verses mine.

I’m a little torn about this way of thinking. On one hand I think it’s ultimately pointless – you, yourself, should be the only measure of your success (whatever success is). But on the other hand, how can you measure something without some sort of comparison? How can you ask questions if you don’t see the differences, or if you don’t ultimately think there might be a better way? I guess the thing is to not constantly look to other people for the inspiration to better yourself, but from time to time to check and balance. Or something.

So today came a point where someone said something completely innocently, answering I question I had asked them, and I felt suddenly annoyed and irritated. Which took me completely by surprise, because really it was a totally inappropriate reaction given the circumstances. But then, tonight driving home from work in the pouring rain, I started (as much as it made me mentally squirm) to really ask myself why. And you know what it boiled down to?

Jealousy.

Holy cow. I think I was actually jealous. And this is crazy for me, because not only is it an emotion I’m almost totally unfamiliar with, it crept up on me and bit me on the ass taking me completely by surprise. So naturally, once I realised this I came to terms with a few other things.

Anyway, to make a really long and self-absorbed story short, I feel a little less annoyed and irritated and a little more content with things. So I guess everything works out in the end.

And on the weekend, in the Magical land of Wagga, I experienced this in the opposite direction. Because I feel like there’s one part of my life that is impervious to any amount of weighing up or measuring up or anything of that kind. Because I know for a fact it’s plain as day to the rest of the world that it’s wonderful and that really, they should be so lucky.

Anyway, I’m going to bed. Not because I’m tired, really, but because I have an episode of The Office to watch that I haven’t seen before.

Wash it away

February 6th, 2008

Holy diabolical weather Batman.

I never liked Morrissey and I don’t like you

February 5th, 2008

Dear Maroon 5,

This week, due to a promise to sister # 2, I am actually laying real money down on a ticket to your Sydney show. This ticket is not for me, it’s for her. Presumably she’ll want one for her boy, too. And because I’m a good sister, and it’s her birthday, and I want to get her something she actually wants, I’m going to do this in good humour. Well, perhaps in okay humour. Actually, probably with no humour at all. But I’m doing it.

There’s another reason I’m writing though. Your tickets are nearly 100 dollars. That’s more than I paid to see Tool at the same venue and they had LASERS. That’s more than I paid, and that I will pay, to see Wilco, ONE OF THE GREATEST BANDS OF ALL TIME. And more than that. That is more than twice as much as I am going to pay to see the Mountain Goats in April. Actually, I am going to see them twice. And for both those shows I will pay less than your one show. And they are the GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME. What gives?

I’m sure it’s to do with demand or whatever. I’m sure someone could give me a perfectly sensible answer to this regarding what the consumer wants and commercial radio and movie soundtracks and selling sunglasses and hair gel and what not. Whatever. I just don’t get it.

No disrespect to you or your music, regardless of what I think about it. I am just having trouble getting my head around it is all. Sometimes shit in this world is so topsy turvy my mind just plain boggles.

Anyway, when you’re here and playing in that most emotionally vapid of venues, play hard because my sister will be in the crowd, okay? And as much as her music taste may make me want to stab sharp things into my ears at times, I want her to have a good time.

Still boggling,

Karen.

Sleeping is giving in: or, the best music week of my life (if somewhat slightly delayed)

February 4th, 2008

This is like the little post that could. I’ve had it half written for over a week, and the universe threw obstacle after obstacle at it to stop it happening. First, there was the week itself, which involved not only night after night of live music, but frantically trying to get away from work on time, frantically pushing through the Sydney traffic, frantically trying to park the car, and then tiredly making my way home to West Sticksville, usually in the wee hours of the morning. And then there were weekends away from home and aforementioned trips to Wagga etc. And my website getting hax0red. That kinda sucked.

ANYWAY. You crazy internet – just try and stop me now. This post WILL happen by hook or by crook.

What the hell does that even mean.

So, in an epic test of human endurance, this Girl of the Interwebs embarked on a week of music craziness from Monday to Friday week before last. Well, me and the rest of the Sydney blogging community seemingly. And they’ve all beat me to the punch with amazingly written reviews and some great photos, but I’m posting this anyway. It’ll be short and sweet, because it’s really for my own record more than anything else.

I’ll start Monday and work through the following Monday, given that that night also saw me out and about. Makes sense I think.

Monday – The National, City Recital Hall, Angel Place

The boy asked me not so long ago (even though it seems like a moon ago) what gig I was most looking forward to in that week. I answered (after some hesitation, granted) that this was the one that had me most giddy with anticipation. I’d never seen them live, and Boxer hit me with so much force last year that I listened to little else for weeks.

It was darkness and warmth all at once. Deep golden treacle and rough hewn edges and enough rock and roll to strip leaves off trees. When they played Baby, We’ll Be Fine, it was so good I felt it everywhere.

And I am more than a bit in love with Matt Berninger.

Tuesday – The Arcade Fire, Enmore Theatre

Every single thing every single person in Sydney and all over the country wrote about this band and their live show is true. It was an experience of pure joy – my face honestly hurt from smiling by the time I left the venue. The floor shook and the roof shook and the stage shook and they completely, utterly owned me from the moment they stepped out on stage. One of the musical highlights of my life.

Wednesday – The National, City Recital Hall, Angel Place

Karen + Matt = <3

Also, who knew the bassoon was such a cool instrument? Not me.

If it were even possible, About Today and Baby, We’ll Be Fine were even better on Wednesday.

Thursday – Spoon, The Annandale Hotel

Britt Daniel is the best dressed man in rock and roll. With the best ironed trousers. And the guy has not only rock attitude, but the cred to pull it off. Spoon is the sort of band that don’t have to convince you of either their credibility or their general coolness – they just are. And they make me want to dance.

The Annandale, even given the only good sound (at least, in this girl’s opinion), was the perfect venue for them too.

Friday – Joanna Newsom, Sydney Opera House

How is it possible that one earth bound being can have so much magic and beauty about them? And how, on earth, does she find the words that she does? There is something so organic and natural and earthy about the words she weaves and the music she makes. And I’d never been in the Opera House before, so that was super special.

The whole world was in love with Joanna that night.

Monday – Andrew Bird, The Vanguard

I saw him in the Speigeltent in the first week of the festival and I wrote about it here. Night one was everything I hoped, and night two was just MAGIC and near perfect. Night 3, at the Vanguard in Newtown, was kinda perfect for the fifth time in total I’ve seen him live – the set list was eclectic to say the least. Some obscure stuff, some really old stuff, and special guests too. And we had a table, so our view was perfect.

So that’s that. Far and away the greatest music week of my whole entire life thus far. Also –

• Why can’t Windsor be closer to the rest of the world? (other than, that is, McGraths Hill and Richmond).
• Why hasn’t someone invented a teleporter yet?
• Why is it that when I am at my tiredest, my insomnia racks up a notch?

Okkervil River, Beirut, Stars and Broken Social Scene have quite a bit to live up to. Maybe, as some people have been saying, we’ve all peaked waaaaaay to early over here and it’s all downhill from this point till December. I feel in my bones, though, the best might be yet to come – Okkervil River and Broken Social Scene have the potential to mow over this whole thing.

And then there’s the Mountain Goats. And, well, we all know how I feel about that.

The greatest show on earth

February 4th, 2008

So, tonight I was going to finally finish the post about The Greatest Music Week That Ever Was (that hasn’t been finished due to various factors including but not limited to hackers, trips to Wagga and fucked up work related stuffs). And I still might. But then, I got a text message while I was still at work at 6:06PM and it turned the whole of my little world upside down.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS ARE TOURING.

This, here are CFGHQ, is news of the epic-est proportions. I haven’t stopped mentally OMGing since then, and I’m not likely to for the rest of the week. At least.

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