Let us eat cake!

Sara and Tura woke me up this morning with a cake and a song, possibly related to my birthday. You know how it feels being woken up by a five-year old stomping on balloons? Fucking adorable, that’s how. The chocolate cake was excellent and so sweet it’ll cause diabetes in fish downstream of the sewage treatment plant.

For once I wasn’t too stressed out about my birthday, and proceeded to have a nice day with Sara at the demonstration against building high-rises on our allotment gardens (annoying GP TV autostart link) after which we drove Anna and Jan to the airport. They were running a tad bit late, and Jan informed me on the peculiarities of Gula Faran en route, seeing as I’d be driving it back. It’s funny that; In driving school I was never taught that if the outside temperature is higher than 30°C the brakes might not take and not to “rev more than 3500 rpm on fifth or it’ll downshift to fourth. Or maybe third.”

I’m not good with travel-induced stress, having missed important flights and trains and hating myself for it, and I was glad of not being at the other end of Jans phone when people already at the airport were calling and wondering where the hell we were. “We’re there!” is such a patent lie in that situation: If we were, you wouldn’t be having that phone call, now would you? My reaction might hark back to being a kid, waiting for my parents to come home from shopping, looking at the clock and dreading it would pass the time when they said they were going to be back. Not that the fears are the same, but time is a recurring theme, is what I’m getting at.

Back home, with only slightly ominous rattling as accompaniment, we had dinner and I manhandled Saras Nintendo. Super Mario Bros is still fun, although the platformer feels so much more limited than I remember it. The breadth and story I imbued it with as a kid isn’t there, replaced by an eagerness to complete the levels and find speed runs and easter eggs. Compared with how boring it feels on an emulator with keyboard, having the joypads indent my palms is all that is required to want to jump over more blocks. I am now looking for a NES.

Sound art, performance, perserverence and endurance

My new years resolution (Technically, I came up with this a couple of days later, when Anna asked if she should sign me up for a reality tv show) was to say yes to things rather than my hitherto standard replies no, hell no and the occasional how much would you pay me to perform that?.

So I joined some of my newly made friends from the sound course to Musikens hus here in Gothenburg to watch three bands have an improv night.

I’ve always had the nagging suspicion that “improv night” meant “you have to be a musician to enjoy this, ’cause ours is a music for the brains, and you have an oh so tiny brain”. I wasn’t totally proven wrong.

I came in late for the first group, a three man jazz combo that played with a lot of umpfh. The band after that was called ‘Boogie’ (what’s the matter with the bad taste in naming things here in Gothenburg? Two days ago I listened to a classical music quartett called Kvart i ett which is a pün or play on words, meaning ‘a quarter to one’ and sounding like ‘kvartett’! Don’t your sides just split in despair over this?) and consisted of a drummer and a singer (and assorted bells and whatnots). When they didn’t improvise it sounded kinda like Coco rosie, which is double-plus good, and when they improvised it sounded like improvisation and bells and whatnots, which is un-good.

Anywho. It was nice and my simple mind could appreciate the beats and the singing. Short break, I go smoke, finish my beer and sit back down, and listen to 25 minutes of this:


And this sort of combined three elements of stuff I really can’t deal with:
* Performance
* Live show
* Experimental sound art

I don’t like performances on principle. It has something to do with my gut reaction of “what the hell made you think this was a good idea and how come no-one stopped you?“. Then again, I can’t watch embarrassing moments on TV either, so it’s probably just me being squeamish and such.

I don’t like concerts ’cause it’s so seldom that the music coincides with my fancy at the moment (When I’m sulking, I’d like to have Nick Cave standing by, but at other times I probably wouldn’t appreciate him as much), so most often I’m just not in the mood.

Finally, I’ve listened enough to experimental sound art to know that what they were doing had been done in the 70s and was abandoned because after the dust settled all you were left with was a bunch of noise that could only be appreciated while on drugs or heavy theoretical academia. Yes some people can probably relate to it. Yes it sorta pushing the boundries of how we interpret sounds and musical narration.

It’s just not very interesting. And it really doesn’t matter that those who are playing are very talented within their fields – There are a whole bunch of people who are really good at what they are doing, but what they are doing is shit.

Anywho. The three bands are going on tour. They hit Oslo next, and then Stockholm.