Hearing Big Moths By Coal Lamps
photo by anna cunningham
there was a very big moth in my dream. i watched it hatch from out of its chrysallis, and then watched it take its first faltering wing beats. i wondered whether it'd fly straight up, or whether it would have to learn, even if the learning only took a few minutes. but the flying was in its nature. ben witt was there. i showed him the moth was as big as my hand span, which reaches an octave and one note easy, and sometimes an octave and two on the piano. my mum popped her head up. she knew what the moth was - of course she did. rtr were looking for only women to host new music shows. i dreamed of a show just about plants and insects and thought a lot about a particular elephant i'd fallen in love with, but i knew the shows should really be just about music. and what do i even know about music?
ben witt was there, and in his nature was the ability to play guitar, but then he practiced, for more than a few minutes. that's how it seems with the people from melbourne. but they are more like dolphins that have learned to unlock a lock on a cave down in the river, where there's an endless supply of fishes just waiting for them, they don't even have to chase.
melbourne people came here for camp doogs - this is not in a dream. Hearing were one of my favourites at the festival, and then they played again at the bird. liv's voice was incredible. i had made the rookie error months ago of thinking she might not know what she was doing with music, because someone was helping her plug in the keyboard at a show, but that's some patriarchal jizz clouding my abilities to think. well, she and her band made a magical thing at doogs. they made the air, the water and the ground and all the people glow and vibrate faster while they played. and even though the euphoria like that didn't hit at the bird, all their songs after the first few seemed like hits.
all the connections in my brain are turning into plastic ciggie filters so i can't remember which bands reuben from melbourne was playing bass in, but i remember his lines as he played. very very interesting lines that i feel people from here do not do, same as when liv played bass for Real Love, some more intricate melodious way that we're all too busy brushing sand off our feet getting back in the cars at the beach to have made. there's so little competition here, so only the very very committed and single-minded ones get good at their instruments.
the song with the words "two boys, two boys" in it by Hearing keeps coming into my head. like all hits of a particular kind i feel it and most of their other songs belong in movies, good, dark, driving movies lit by american lights or australian lights all pumping out light from coal dug up from not that deep into the earth. we can't even go that deep.
the other best thing was yes, Real Love. the boy sang like ween when dean or gene ween is singing "push the little daisies" and even though that song was ridiculous it seemed sincere, and i have a strong memory of being at the bad girl's place in albany, our family was at her family's for dinner and she rocked up drunk from a party and fell in the shower, and then out the back in the dark explained to me everything about parties and what they would be like and what happens with guys etc and somehow "push the little daisies" is playing in my head at the same time.
well, Real Love's singer had that same voice, and it cut through everything, being sincere. i asked matt aitken about that whole show and he said the same: that was his favourite. it's fine for us to pick favourites, they change all the time, i've already written about the others. the drummer was kind of sloppy, the bass sound was completely wack, but all these things just added to make it perfect somehow. not in the same way that sometimes you don't want bands to practice because part of why it's good is that they're just taking a risk with every note, but in some other way, where the not-on-purpose loosey gooseyness made it easier to attend to the feeling of the music.
is there a band called Feeling? if so, i hope they're good.
um, that's all i'm going to say. a small thing about a show at the bird, a small thing about my moth dream, inspired by the birds who've just given egg birth in the wall at our place, and a small thing about the all-melbourne show at the oddfellow. much more happened. but much more always happens.