a very special man died yesterday, g.yunupingu. we don't write his whole name for cultural and spiritual reasons. look up his albums, his singing made people cry and feel different things than usual. he played for royal people and presidents and lived in darwin.
on tuesday night there was a great show at mojos. it was another episode of 'on the side' where a lovely redhead called kate choses music and musicians she is interested in, puts them all together. sometimes people heed that call to try something different than what they usually do.
i tried to start a few fights in the backroom just for fun. a guy called jordan with glasses made fun of nick and i for being in the same outfit, so me and nick worked out a way to seem tough - it was like this: i pretend to go after someone, and nick holds me back telling them not to mess with me cos i'm c~r~a~z~y. i'm already over it, pretending to be into fighting. that's boring and not part of real life.
real life's about beautiful music and cooking fish over a fire. real life's about the great set that fabian rojas did, where it was based on a chilean musician and artist called violeta parra. i didn't know that at the time he was playing, but now i know, and you and i can go look her up.
fabian was playing after some guys called 'bolt gun' for the night. bolt gun started in a way that was v appealing - ambient, dark loops and samples, a particular gong sound that kept going on and on into the darkness. then two guys apart from the sampler were playing guitar and bass, the guitar had a beautiful tone, the bass too, and then it started getting heavier. as it got heavier though, as in darker, i wanted it to go further, because there was something missing. some depth of flavour and too much straight-up sincerity. it was exciting as a breath of new air, dark black air across us, but by the end it was too sincere and not masterful enough for me to go away fully satisfied. this is harsh - they were very good. i just hardly ever go to shows where the singing and sound is from the dark gut place, like black puke coming up, and the vibe is h~e~a~v~y, so when i do i want to get blown all the way away.
when fabian began it was like a guy trying to learn bass guitar. i was looking at the bolt gun guys, i wanted to ask them about their music but was feeling shy, and i was also wondering whether they thought 'what is this guy doing who can't even play bass'. or maybe like me, they could tell that something good was happening, that something special was coming. well, fabian kept going, kept trying to learn bass in front of us, but with a secret that said 'i do know, i'm just doing something, ok'. he started wangling his bass sounds, and then he brought in the lady, violeta parra, by tape recordings - so now it was like a guy learning to play with violeta, and some of the time just letting her play, and letting us all tap into the radio that goes all the time, the radio called 'the big', as in the sound energy that travels across time and space to us.
that's the reason i loved the gong sounds of bolt gun too. where and what was this sound? they were drawing it out of recordings, making it big and dark, playing over and through it. this appeals to me, and appealed to the other people in the mojos room, who were watching the whole time.
while fabian played the best way to listen was with your eyes closed - no surprise. i looked at nick's angel face with soft skin - his eyes were closed. i turned to george next to me with his choppy blonde hair and black eye and soft angel skin, and motioned to him to put his eyelids down too. with your eyelids down all the people and past and present mix together, what was fabian playing? what was violeta playing? who are you/who am i? etc.
well, i can recommend g.yunupingu. i can recommend rewatching episodes of the mighty boosh. i can recommend going whenever fabian plays to see whatever he'll do from his chilean perspective on things, and i can recommend closing your eyes to help people get their music across to you, whether they're puking up the dark earth, or drawing down light with mastery of everything.
i did watch the last band but i have to go do tattooing and play football. ttyl.