Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Tack, Thock, Tack, Thock... I'm not sure why my dress shoes make different sounds left from right, but I like it. It's musical. Black and a little pointy in toes, their wooden heels tap out a duple rhythm as fundamental to humanity as death and taxes. It makes me smile as I hurry back after donning my stage duds.

Saturday was the band's first gig since last summer. Well, to call it a gig is stretching things a mite. The P eople's P edal, the bike share co-op I work for, had it's AGM and to entice members to attend we held an after party. The total audience was maybe 10 people, of whom at least half were either sleeping with, or related genetically to, one of the band members. That didn't matter at all.

The band cracked wise and tasteless, the audience laughed and heckled and the women...the women danced. It was fine night.

We didn't play exceptionally well, but there were moments of ferociousness. Moments of drive and energy greater than the sum of our parts. There were even moments of rockdom, where tongues got stuck out and secret devil signs were made.

I'll be 40 in a couple of months. I don't feel it and I don't really look it, but there it is. I'll never be a rock star despite how I acted on stage this weekend.

I had a single moment of clarity during the set, a moment where I could picture how we might look to a disinterested observer. A bunch of never-were's kidding themselves that they're 20 years younger and a whole lot hipper.

Oh, I had a moment of clarity all right and I didn't care one whit. Instead I fell on the first chord of the chorus like an angel robbed of grace, got my head banging and grinned at K as he and I smacked the ever-lovin' shit out of the rhythm. It was glorious.

For that 45 minutes time had stopped being a matter of birth days and hair thinning on top but thickening in orifices. Time was kick and snare, verse, chorus, bridge, the count in and the pregnant pause before the big final chord. Time was ours to play with, to subjugate and subdivide, to throw out into space where it was caught by the feet of women.

I've long since lost count of the number of gigs I've done, but this one was special.

Tack, thock, Tack, thock...time is inexorable, but every now and then, it's beautiful too.


Fred said...

I feel old when out and the 20-somethings are dancing around. I'm only 32, but I feel in my 40's around them nowadays. It happened so fast, too!

Coelecanth said...

One of the good things about getting older is I really don't care what anyone thinks about my entertainment choices. As often as not Friday night finds me and the SO snuggled in front of the TV watching tapes of that week's Daily Show. We do it cause we choose to and to hell with anyone who thinks we outta be doing something more party-like.

Ah yes, crumudgeon-hood has its benefits.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Crumudgeon! How wise you are! I completely agree. I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I just focus on the task at hand. I accept that I'm not perfect, and for once, I enjoy because I've learned that to wait for perfection (mind, thought, body, moment, idea, technique) before letting myself enjoy anything is to wait forever. Time is no longer taken for granted, and I enjoy. Period.

(At the moment, I have no choice because I'm quite seriously involved with a Post-Doc from Norway who is here only until July. Then he goes back. He's my first love in six years. We don't have time. Rather than worry about the future, I let myself enjoy the moments. I have no control over the future. On the other hand, to think that we'll just end things without discussion of a future or lack of future is naive. There will be pain. I just allowed myself to do this wholly because I believe the joy will be worth the inevitable pain. I'm just putting off certain discussions as much as I can for now. Besides, life happens while you're busy making plans...)

This attitude of enjoying life and having nothing to prove is what I carry with me when I perform as a musician. I have my strengths and my weaknesses. Some weak points may improve over time, some may not. When I'm about to get on stage, I put emphasis on my strengths because they're all I have at the time, and I focus on my job at hand: to ensure EVERYONE falls in love with me, if only for a moment. It has nothing to do with looks. It has everrything to do with attitude (in my case, charm). Knowing that comes with age...

Of course, the pink hair helps!

Miss you lots!

Love, MJ xx

PS: What's happening with the space? P has yet to send me a copy of your recordings. Please send one my way (or remind him to do so)so I can play it on my radio show before the project, sadly, comes to an end...

Coelecanth said...

Good to hear you're living the Rock 'n' Roll life, what with the boy toy and all. :)

Good points MJ, I wish I could achieve that living in the moment state more often, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

The B oyle S treet P erforming A rts Society is folding. No one wants to do the work involved in keeping it going and there's massive conflict of interest issues with the current board. I believe the idea is that Lori is going to take the space over and run it on a business model where we'll subsidize the rent from short term daytime rentals and recording projects.

I'll see about getting the S eamy Y ellow U nderbelly EP your way. I have just as much trouble getting copies from P as you do. We're recording again, this time with someone else pushing the buttons. It's going quite well I think. We should have a few more songs down in the next month or so.

Email me your snail address.