The one where she sees the holy vessel

To be filed under things I never thought I’d hear myself say –

‘So I was driving through Windsor this afternoon, along Macquarie Street, when the Pope drove past.’

I was very vocal on Friday afternoon about being SO GLAD I was in the city all weekend so as to avoid the whole PopearrivinginRichmond thing. I was a little smug about it even. And then this afternoon I drove headlong into a procession of he and his homies making their way from the RAAF base to his secluded relaxation ranch or what not. The first tip-off was the police helicopters circling overhead – at least 4 of them. The second was the people and video cameras lined up a normally boring stretch of Windsor road – something told me they weren’t that excited about seeing ME drive past. And then suddenly police were everywhere, and one was behind me on a motorbike waving his hands around frantically, motioning me to pull off the road. How rude.

Actually, for a few seconds it was kind of exciting. A ‘wow look at all those police cars!’ kind of exciting. And I know, to the people lined up on the road waiting to glimpse the guy in the funny hat, it was at a super-dooper level of exciting.

I just can’t wait until they get their praying over and done with and I get my city back.

So, the last few weeks I’ve learned some stuff –

1. I like tribute shows. I went to the Bruce Springsteen tribute show at the Vanguard not so long ago and it was fun fun fun. It was the first one I’d been to (minus the INXS cover band we once stumbled in on at R G McGees in Richmond – that doesn’t count) and I’ll tell you what I loved about it – unironic appreciation. Everyone was LOVING IT, and no one was embarrassed about it. Also, where else would you experience Born In The USA performed by a bluegrass band in 3/4 time?

Wait – it unironic a word?

2. It’s true what they say on all those real estate shows – it’s all about location, location, location. If anyone is reading this and lives in Erskineville in a 2 bedroom house, now is a REALLY good time to sell. Okay?

3. Bunnings is less intimidating when you have someone with you.

4. Project Runway Australia was a really bad idea. I think Australian spin-offs of American shows are generally a bad idea, but this one is particularly bad.

5. There’s nothing my cat won’t do for chicken.

Have a good week everyone.

I’m confused

I’ll never understand the dynamics of the music industry. More particularly why one artist or band or album will get a massive push, and another won’t. I’m sure it’s to do with labels and promoters and what not, but I have trouble getting my head around it.

Case in point – Fleet Foxes. I like the band. I’ve heard enough to know that. I’m not quite as mad-keen on them as the boy is, but I like the harmonies and the music almost seems from another time. But who out there in the great, wide indie universe decided that this band should be plug plug plugged? Or, decided somewhere along the line that this music stood out more then, say, Visiter by The Dodos? I’ve heard a Dodos track played on Triple J, but it’s getting no where near the plug that Fleet Foxes is. Also, you’ll find that Fleet Foxes album in any store anywhere (Windsor Sounds even has it).

The kicker for me came while I was driving home tonight from work and heard the Fleet Foxes album reviewed on ABC 702 – wait, what? The ABC listening audience is now getting the plug? Wowow.

Who decides? I don’t think it starts with Pitchfork anymore. Or music bloggers in general. Or does it? Maybe it’s just that this is one of the only massively blogged-about albums (which it is) that has been commercial sounding enough to get this sort of push. But I don’t get why something like The Dodos wouldn’t get that push – their music is JUST as pretty, and lyrically it’s very good, and I think the percussion sounds unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.

But then maybe that’s it.

I don’t really know. All I know is that some of the bands I love will never, ever get the push that Fleet Foxes are currently enjoying over here. And while on one hand I’m a little relieved about that, on the other hand it’s kind of annoying. Momentum seems to be everything, and I wonder, if you’re a member of a fledgling band such as Dead Letter Chorus (who are SO GOOD), and you’re preparing to release your first full length album, do you lay in bed at night wondering how to find that momentum. How to find that first push, from that mysterious place, that will push you into the limelight and will make you that thing that every person must listen to and every radio station must play.

I was going to write much more tonight. About house hunting, about immune systems vs stress, and about plays about child murders that infiltrate your brain until you can think of nothing else. But then I spoke on the phone to my dad and emailed the boy and did some washing, and now it’s nearly 11.

God damn it.

Swing low sweet chariot

Two things.

First, the gravity of what something or someone means to you will never, ever be fully appreciated until you get even the smallest whiff of it being taken away. Or messed with. Or just not the way it should be. Once you get that feeling – the feeling that the ground could fall out from under your feet at any moment – you metaphorically grab hold of everything you have in your life and swear to every god there ever was that you will never, ever take it for granted so long as everything is made right in the end.

And I know it will be. It’s just that there is nothing more important in the world then your health and the health of the people you love.

Second, it’s really nice to know that your level of fandom (to the end of dorky ridiculousness) for a band and/or any of its members is shared by someone else out there in the intersphere. This blog post by Emma-Lee Moss of band Emmy The Great pretty much articulates why I have an aversion to meeting any of those musicians that I hold at pedestal height. John Darnielle included. I have no doubt I’d be a dribbling, mute mess.

I like this article for other reasons though. It manages to explain beautifully what it means for someone to have REAL charisma. It’s not about demanding attention when you walk into a room or how many 13 year old girls you can make scream and pass out. Also, it cements the absolute certainty I have about JD being one of the most fascinating people on earth. Not that I needed help there, but it’s nice to have the validation.