Sunday, November 19, 2006

The worst part of a hangover is not the headache, the tiredness or the sore neck (too much violent dancing, always - yes for me hangovers are literally pains in the neck) - but rather this sort of existential dis-ease that settles over my life in the afternoon of the day after the night. Too sluggish and empained to do anything productive or even to cobble together some vaguely fruitful time-wasting, I sit about with this awkward pall of stillness over me. There is really nothing that can be done in the period, but to wait.

Fortunately I was babysitting tonight. The children pulled me out of my gloom. They're at home on a school night: such a happy, relaxed time, the evening. Talking and making silly jokes over dinner, watching Keeping Up Appearances as if it were a new TV show. This cheered me (though I did nod off on the couch while watching Kath and Kim with them). Often the manner of these kids - their domestic set-up reminds me so much of my own when I was younger - is a good prompt for me, not to worry so goddamn much.

(And so now their babysitter is downstairs blogging about the higher meaning she extrapolated from the evening - instead of actually, you know, doing her job - instead of making sure they're turned off their lights, aren't running amuck, et cetera.)

Apologies for the lack of posts of late. I've been postponing everything in my life again. Silly habits. But not unmasterable ones.

Friday, November 03, 2006


my life is presently a vaguely-defined causeway through which various essays are attempting to limp their way through, out onto the white light at the end of the tunnel (which has a cursor blinking on it, of course). All the same, there are a few things that I'd like to share with you. All over the shop, of course. But they're things that made me say yes.

1. Ciara - "Promise"

Yes. A steamy ascent of wah-wah guitar and then it emerges all at once from the mist. It's majestic, slow, rolling, as though Ciara were declaring her love from a canopy atop a procession of royal elephants. She reaches right to the edge of her vocal range, sticking on the declaration that it's you, you, you...

The ILM post on the topic has some interesting observations. The Lex writes:
"part of my obsession with ciara is i think her so very limited range - i keep holding my breath in case she runs out of things to do with it but she keeps utilising it in ever more seductive ways. [....]

i think the fact that ciara trained as a dancer rather than a singer is so key to her music - her sense of rhythm is impeccable, even on a lush, sprawling ballad like 'promise'. basically she sings as if she's dancing, her phrasing seems choreographed"
But above all, it's lush and luxurious. It puts me in mind of long, billowing trains of silk. Endless generosity, the very moment that a glorious future opens out, when the path ahead seems certain.

The clip, while not as amaaaaaazing as I deemed it to be at first, is still very much worth watching. If only for the bit with the microphone alone. It defies belief! (While you're there though, make sure to check out the clip for "Oh" - what a riff, what a groove, what a spasm-y, rant-y delivery from Ludacris!)

2. Different Maps: "City Has Sex"

[If that link doesn't work, try the main page - entry from October 24th.]

A blog post which crossed a number of thoughts and concerns of mine of late. On sex, the attempt to claim a marginal position - on what is missing. I'm yet to articulate my thoughts on the matter. But to this piece, I said yes.

3. Seneca, Letters From A Stoic

Have I become sensible and moderate in my old age? Perhaps. But all the same, here is a book that reminded me that there is no need to embrace a venomous mode of living.

4. Rogue Traders, "In Love Again"

Yes, I will dirty my good name! So simple, both the embrace of new love and the affirmation that it's happened before, will happen again - all contained in the mantra: again, again, again, again, again. [Nietzsche's eternal return?

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.'

It surges, it is insistent, it is resigned and yet uplifted. For what more could I ever ask?

5. Madonna - Jump (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)

Yes! It is that time of year again - our favourite man is remixing the goods once again. I think this is almost a return to the fine form of 2004-5. Particularly great is the slight shift of the timing of the vocals in relation to the beat. Less groovey, more brutally insistent: just take my hand. How he manages to recreate in sound the feeling of running past buildings very, very fast - of wind rushing by, of build-ups to launch - is just beyond me. But mark my words: Yes. I am ready.