The Week in Music, According to Amber (E.R., Rosemount, Mojos, Balingup, Front Porch, Moon)
Hello dear friend,
I’d like to tell you about my week, and you can tell me about your week. One thing for each day, and we can each pretend we were there, together, like we’re kind of meant to be, and kind of are.
I wasn’t in West Africa, so I didn’t get Ebola and same, perhaps, for you. Let’s give a little bit of money after this to one of those groups that go out in the fields, out to the cities, give injections for free, bind up the wounds for free, risk their own whole body and family life and everything of their Ownness for others as an expression of the Oneness. I promise I will, right after this. Money is nothing, but it’s still something.
Well, on Thursday, I took my friend to the Emergency Department. It wasn’t Ebola. It was that he had fallen over drunk in the street and because he doesn’t wash too much and because he makes the best broken music and lives the intense broken life to match it – he’s the kind of fallen man that people like to pass by.
He lives in a shed, and soon he’ll live back under the stairs at a different house where I knew him before. He called me and told me he’d fallen, so I drove over listening to the Growl and wondering whether he really needed to go to hospital, but planning to say to him “Come on, friend, it’s gonna be such fun!” And I thought how if you are with your friend its just as nice to sit around in the lobby of a hospital as sitting on the bricks in the courtyard of a bar, or on your loungeroom floor. Maybe even much more nice.
We walked hand in hand and he gave me his new album, ‘Under the Stairs’. Like Emlyn, he’s one of our best songwriters that hardly anyone knows.
And it was such fun. We sat in Emergency, and no-one seemed particularly sick, and we talked about the things we’d been doing, and I put on funny accents to say things like “Doctor, I’ve got a sore penis!” to make my friend laugh, and he made the shy triage guy laugh when he told him his regular doctor is called “Dr Duck”, which is in fact his regular doctor’s name.
(I guess in that story, you can pretend you were my friend, or someone in the lobby, or the shy triage nurse.)
On Friday night it was a show at the Rosemount. A few nights before I had had a long dream in which Caitlyn and Nathalie from Dianas were playing in a big cricket tournament, against England, wearing long sleeved lace bodysuits. Obviously this was a great dream. We used to play together in a band, and then we got kicked out, but we became more friends through it, so it was worth it.
When I came into the Rosemount big barn band room I saw Dianas on stage. They were wearing all white, and their new drummer John Lekias was wearing a white lace dress. It was a great dream, come true, just without the bats and balls which are hardly necessary ever anyway. There was less power when they played than other times, but still it was a thing of true musical beauty. Especially this time, again, as always, their songs and voices, a different type of power than amplitude.
(In that story you can be anyone, but I’d choose John Lekias, so you can wear the lace and listen to Caitlyn and Nathalie’s voices.)
Saturday, the big show. Jake and I practiced in Tom’s loungeroom, with both our eyes closed. Well, my eyes were closed, so I can’t be sure whether or not I was the only one. Often in the practice I think or say “I don’t care how the show goes, that was enjoyable enough.” So we played that night at Mojos, and maybe people liked it and maybe not, and Dave’s drumming made me more confident and happy again.
I met some young people by the hotdog stand outside who told me nice things, and one boy said he likes these pieces of writing, so, hello, again, and Shiny Joe played, filling up the room more than one man would normally be able to, and he was his usual mix of lovable, loose, earnest, skilled, mistake-makingness that means he and his music are beloved. Kevin djed, and played Mr Bombastic of course, making my waking dream come true. And everybody danced, because when Kevin is djing, people always dance more than if it were an unknown one choosing the songs. And that’s just fine.
And Cam had a new amplifier that looks like a cat carrier and sounds like whatever you want it to sound like. It’s like the most exquisite tofu, where the flavour is mainly made from the pedals you add, but its quality cannot be denied. It was different, listening to new songs that I hadn’t heard first in my room, or Cam’s parents’ loungeroom with their tasteful antiques and the good smell of Murray’s coffee brewing in the background and the lovely possibility of seeing Cam’s mum appear in the room, all effervescent openness, and the songs being newly about a place I know only through movies, Cam’s heart flowing out in California rather than here. So it was a different kind of treat than usual.
(For that story, you could choose to be Kevin Parker for the night, or Cam’s amp, or best of all, the guy making hotdogs at the hotdog stand.)
Sunday I got picked up by friends in a big car to drive down south to the forest, and listened to lucky dip tapes from my canvas bag, and mainly found duds, and talked about learning to fall in love with dust and other non-human things. Around the campfire, my friend Lix explained a genre called “Vapour Wave” to me and we listened to Eleventeen Eston and Andreas Fox and many other great choices because even though we were camping there was a shed. And we saw baby emus.
(Be the baby emus)
Monday I made a bra out of bark and vines when I was ‘alone’ in the forest. I lined it with gum leaves so it would be soft. Everyone else played on the guitar but I was too shy. At night the Milky Way was so strong, in the way where you know it’s stars and it’s a clear night but your mind keeps telling you “It’s clouds.”
Tuesday I heard my housemate teaching a girl to play Beatles songs on our back porch in a guitar lesson. The girl has dark eyebrows and soft blonde hair and a kind way, and her voice was lovely winding through our house.
Wednesday I played at the Moon with my amp on the metal setting. Then Timothy Nelson played and the men around us clapped very enthusiastically and took videos of him on their iphones, and I sat flanked by Dave and George, two great drummers, and we all play very different music to Timothy and we all loved him, and all knew some of his songs, and all let his big rangey voice belt out to us and sent back big smiles and big applause.
Ok, so there’s the week, and now it’s time to give some money away…………..