baals to the wall (artlog #6)

my friends and fellow world citizens–

there is much to discuss regarding the mysteries of art, silence, and speech. allow me to work backwards in time.

1. putting the rigor back in sigor rós

tuesday evening i attended un certo concerto given by icelandic band sigur rós. for many years it was a dream of mine to hear them play. (i recall a cousin’s description of seeing them strum their sounds…she had a near religious experience!) in fact, i have often considered marking down sigur rós as my religion on various forms and faxes. (the impudence to even ask a person’s religion!)

i recall first hearing the group’s mystical music at a collective sleep over in dear cape cod. ooh those salad days of late nights and early risings! it felt transcendent hearing this music–and very cool. i was amazed years later when i had the good fortune to travel to island not once but twice. the music made so much more sense seeing the other worldly moonscape of that country.

not the most moonlike of scapes but hopefully you get the drift

and the joys of introducing lovers and friends to the find sounds of sigur rós is a gift that keeps on giving…

anyhow, it was a delight to hear them play. to me, their music is about possibility. possibility of another world to live in. i imagine the elves of dear old island living in a kind of world that is unimpeded by such foolishness as gender dichotomies, class struggles, ethnic turmoils and dreary old capitalism. not to mention war and killing! hmmph! rather, i imagine a space–a universe, even–where the soul–and a searing one at that–is put to the forefront! where everyone can just exist in bliss. perhaps i wax on too much but it is the truth. that is what this kippy hears when i hear those specifically amorphous tunes.

che possibilita!

leave it to a bystander to burst the bubble of my reverie. the young woman (specimen, really) had a kind of “california voice.” you know the kind. it pieces the ear (and the air) with vapid comments and an up talk tick, not to mention an overly confident vocal fry. “i don’t know why i’m even here?” she droned. “i don’t know any songs of their except the famous one. ohmyg-d, is it starting? this is it, right? omg this is it”

ugh. i have never wanted to shhh someone so much! and yet i felt it would not have been in the kindly elfin spirit of sigur rós. so i bit my tongue.

2. baals to the wall

there was no tongue biting at hoi polloi‘s baal–only teeth gnashing! what a marvelous experience it was. everyone should go. and everyone can afford to: it is pay-what-you-can. (and you even put the $ in a can!) one can even do the can-can pre-show in the smartly decored newly minted jack space.

che spazio!

i don’t think i’ve even seen such a crazy play that “breaks all the rules” actually staged (and staged in such a manner that was similarly of an enfant terrible nature!) what a refreshing wind of misogyny that ruffled my feathers. it was almost sweet and quaint to see his treatment of les femmes  (and consider modern dramatists like mr. rapp who aren’t so far from the brechtian apple tree). let us remind these auteurs that misogyny rhymes with gynecology. hmph! go to baal to see a crazy play with similarly terrified participants. the actors careen through the space and there are many of arresting images and sounds. (not to mention a taiko drummer who thrums throughout).

one of the most deliscious moments came during a quieter scene (sadly, these ears managed to hear probably only 60% of the play’s text–but the acting and design were so good it didn’t matter) in it, the characters are in a bar having a quotidian chat and one could detect from a tiny radio operated  by an actor the sounds of a pop song.

the tune was this:

the first time i heard this ditty i was in the back seat of a cab en toot (i mean, route) to omaha, nebraska. one of my many international homelands. it was early in the morning and as the cab driver and i whizzed past hideous brooklyn billboards in the early grey morning light these words caressed my ears: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! … could it be nietzsche’s anthem applied to pop?! how horrifying and meraviglioso all at once! i wanted to burst from a brain jam. then i wanted to tap my foot.

whoever chose this song during baal is a genie.

i will write more on silence and the last 13P play in a following post. for now i am off to see the girl of the golden west.

a bien-toot!

ps. look how i have been noted on jack’s website… grazie tutti!


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