Audiophilia, Thoughts

Toronto Fragments

Matthew Good at REBEL Toronto on 3-16-18
Matthew Good at REBEL Toronto on 3-16-18

The drums that open the set like warning shots.  Matt strolling out to his guitar in camo & playing the opening chords with the economy & force of a salute.

Stood still and my memory quit . . . so don’t stop moving. Scream, clap, stamp, dance as much as the crowd allows. Lights strobing across my closed eyelids like a signal to pray & I do: thank you, thank you for the chance to be here. Both in the crowd & under those lights, every word ascends & unfurls like smoke against a mirror, both places at once & permeating the press of people, intoxicating & shocking us with the new setting for familiar words.

Breathe; scream There’s holes up in the sky; breath; scream And no one’s seen your son in days; breathe; scream Goddaaamn!; clap.  Dizziness comes & with it the thought: don’t let me fall, yes, please let me fall.  The split-second faith that nothing will go wrong surrounded by half-drunk strangers in a small space all fixated at one point in front of them.  The quiet break of unseen violins where all the lights go out except of a line of spots that trace a route over our heads & we all wait in expectation of being found.

My husband sheds a few tears quietly but I miss it, waiting for the next note, the next line to find a permanent line to my heart.  I turn toward him & sing Ivory green into his red eyes as if it means everything in the world.

Matt curves his arm against himself & sings Dream of something effortless.  I think of all the small factors that led to this moment: not just finding the club in a strange city or driving to a post office in the middle of nowhere to turn in the passport application, but his failed suicide attempt, my hospitalization, the station in Goldvein that played a bad redirected satellite feed of MuchMusic, his drug cocktail, the nights I couldn’t (& still can’t) sleep wondering why my heart is beating, the fog that lifts before the day breaks, the hospital that became a park, the parent that cared, the parent that didn’t, & the insidious tide of will that keeps us moving forward into life even when we want to quit.

Over it all, snow falls down onto the city with a secret message: Yes, this is the best dream & its yours.

All of us on the floor in the crowd are coming out of our lives & our heads to grasp these words that promised us so much.  We hold each other & sing gleefully despite the irony We’re stuck inside out own machines.  No boats, no lonely sailors, just the ocean crashing forward onto the stage, begging the earth to fall back with us.  During the violins of the last song, as the drummer & the other guitarists throw their picks & sticks into the crowd, Matt stays onstage & sings into our waves Here by my side, it’s heaven over & over again until the playback stops & he braves the pull of our screams before walking away in the dark.

Later, in the hotel room, I will itch for alcohol, my husband will cry again as I play him another song, & we will stare at Matt’s Instagram newly updated with a picture of his cut open finger.  We all know we are not the same & we walk forward with that knowledge.

Be well, Matt. Rest, heal, create another day.

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Audiophilia, Thoughts

Monday Music: “Flametop Green”

Hey there everyone, it’s late on a Monday & I want to put something up on the blog, but I’m tired & facing a basket of laundry.  So, I thought I’d share a nice calming song as the day winds down.  I’ve mentioned this one before, but here’s the song itself.  Consider it my long-distance dedication to you, dear Reader, in hopes that it will give you some time to recollect yourself at the beginning of the week.

Audiophilia, Thoughts

Finding the Same Wavelength

I’ve listened to Matthew Good since high school & this spring, I’m hoping I can live out a dream I’ve had since that time then to see him perform.  He’s been posting more frequently on his Instagram lately, especially in the last few weeks where he admitted he had had a near-brush with death again in September of this year.  Since I’m dealing with my own mental health issues at the moment, I’ve been inspired by his self-awareness & determination.  The following post that I’m reblogging below stood out to me.  I’ve reread it a few times, reminding myself again & again that my creativity is my redemption, not my shame.

Knowing who you are is difficult. There are many that spend their whole lives looking. In such cases they tend to be more running from what they’ve never wanted to confront, meaning they’ll spend their lives using whatever is at their disposal to deflect from that reality. There is a marked difference in life between honestly growing and learning and employing the act of it as subterfuge to ensure you don’t have to go into certain rooms in your own proverbial house. In truth, one can run from it for only as long as they can maintain the perception that they’re not running. In my life I’ve grown and faced numerous truths. The growing has been difficult, facing truths has been difficult. It is for everyone. I possess both bad and good traits, like everyone else, but seeing them, acknowledging them, is the key. In that, I have been enormously fortunate because since the age of 11 or 12 I have always turned to the arts to express, and therefore deal, with things. I wrote my grandmother’s eulogy at 14, something I had to do given we were so close and her passing devastated me. I channeled everything into literature, painting, and finally music. Over the last 30 years I have lived with one absolute gift that I’ve been fortunate enough to become my profession. That through art I must succumb to growth – be it ugly, beautiful, or otherwise. Through it my entire life is mirrored, through it my thoughts, my anxieties, my joys, and my many faults have been captured for all time. It’s a unique, nerve racking, yet fulfilling thing, because you simply cannot run from that which is eternally captured and digested by others – out there forever unalterable. In my life I have lived with those who have been one thing at one time and, six months later, something else. It’s not something I can imagine the horror of enduring because I have never had to. But like anything, one must be empathetic to those who cannot go into certain proverbial rooms. I cannot imagine running, because I’ve never had to. Through mistakes and triumphs I have always had the same ground beneath my feet. In that, I know I am overwhelmingly fortunate. I can be alone only because it is always with me. A gift.

A post shared by Matthew Good (@matthewgoodgram) on

Audiophilia

Have You Heard. . .

the new album Make Noise by Anousheh?  Because I have–not just because I just bought the album, but also because she did an amazing job performing it last night at The Broadberry in Richmond.

If you need a new rainy day CD with powerful female vocals & atmospheric sounds, why don’t you check it out on iTunes?  Or discover her on her various social medias here.  Because yes, she is that awesome.

Audiophilia, Thoughts

I Can’t Quit You: Eliza Carthy

In my last post, I mentioned a compilation of Pete Seeger songs that introduced me to new musicians.  The song “My Father’s Mansions” was not only my first exposure to Billy Bragg, but Eliza Carthy as well.  Carthy plays a dark little fiddle tune underneath Billy Bragg’s somber singing–a memorable cover.  So when I found her CD Angels & Cigarettes at one of my favorite used CD shops, I didn’t hesitate picking it up.  With the opening track “Whispers of Summer,” I was excited by the upbeat, folksy vibe that encouraged me to dance.

Continue reading “I Can’t Quit You: Eliza Carthy”