Saturday, June 30, 2012

rain, steam, and speed

Vogue June 2012 Photo by Bruce Webber
J.M.W. Turner's Rain, Steam, and Speed
I once wrote a paper about J.M.W. Turner's painting "Rain, Steam, and Speed," which debuted at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1844, and this photograph of a 2012 Olympic sprinter by Bruce Weber reminded me of it.

Turner describes a scene found in the painting as he travelled by train:

The weather was very wild, and by-and-by a violent storm swept over the country, blotting out the sunshine and the blue sky, and hanging like a pall over the lansscape. The old gentleman seemed strangely excited by this, jumping up to open the window, craning his neck out, and finally calling to her to come and observe a curious effect of light. A train was coming in their direction, through the blackness, over one of Brunel's bridges, and the effect of the locomotive, lit by crimson flame, and seen through driving rain and whirling tempest, gave a peculiar impression of power, speed, and stress.

In a time when novelists like Charles Dickens wrote stories as commentary on the Industrial Revolution and its effects on society, few painters worked with it as a subject. Turner, although he produced very few industrially themed works, was captivated by the machines invented during this period and argued that they were "worthy subjects for his art."

The 'speed' element of Turner's painting captivated critics and the public alike in its showing. The dramatic colors of the train and tracks, in contrast to the more subtle colors of the storm it is traveling out of, demotes the train's power to overcome even nature as a result of its speed. If you look really closely at the painting, you can just make out the small figure of a hare, or rabbit. The artist George Leslie commented that it was the hare who was "running for its life in front of the locomotive" and was the true representation of speed as "no hare was likely to be outpaced by any locomotive of this period." Of course the rabbit could be representative of nature's power ... it still remained the aesthetic ideal, the power, of art at the time.

But what of Webber's photograph? Is it a copy? The more that I consider the painting, the more likely that I think it is. Of course the power is in the athlete ... it is not the train. Industrialization is represented in this photograph. You can see the silos in the background. Looks to be more of a train yard, than a move through the countryside. It's grittier. And if one was to consider color, the train is dirty, dull, old. And the athlete is chiseled, shiny, and bold ... the black and white choice magnifies the beauty of her muscles, her skin, her movement. It's almost too coincidental that a horse appears ... in that it could be the hare's replacement. Though the hare does not resemble the locomotive in the painting; in the photograph, the animal is the double of the athlete. It also is beautifully muscled, glimmering, and dark. But she on two legs is faster. Naturally, she is the Olympic athlete. I don't think that train is moving at all ... speed/time stops to watch her race by, and I suppose that is what happens during an Olympic year.

I had never heard of J.M.W. Turner before I wrote the paper, and I grew an appreciation for him. Recently I read an article in National Geographic on the Hebrides, islands off of the coast of northern Scotland. Apparently Mr. Turner would take his train up there and spend the summer in the northern light painting. I have planned a trip for this summer to visit that place. I want to see what inspired him to paint.

As for Webber's picture, well, I won't miss much of the Olympics before I travel. And I will be looking for this one, who raced a train and thoroughbred and won.

helena bonham carter

UK Vogue July 2012
Rarely does a film capture the essence of a novel. But the film A Room With a View, in my estimation, was superior to the novel. The novel was charming, but the film really captured the beauty of Italy, the English countryside, and the dilemma of each character. Nest of hair, starched linen, and a heart ready to bust out of her pinafore is the essence of Lucy Honeychurch. Helena played it perfectly. Her hair was a mountain, her lip the perfect pout, and her gaze ... always trying to find a glimpse of what could light her up. And she found it with the perfect match ... another soul looking for the answers to the questions. Remember the question mark that he drew on the back of the pensione's wall art? Come to think of it, I don't even remember his name ... the actor, yes. Julian Sands. I remember him as his father called him, 'My dear boy.' Perhaps it is that he was just the vehicle ... his name isn't important. The distraction of him at the window looking over the Arno ... no name necessary.

And of course I remember Freddy! The brother. I love Rubert Graves, the actor who portrayed him, and this was my first look at him in film. And what a look I got! I think that this is the only film that I've seen male nudity that was not deliberate or ... icky. When the screen was filled with 'my dear boy,' and Freddy, and Mr. Biebs tromping around a swimming hole naked! Goodness.

UK Harper's Bazaar June 

But back to Lucy ... the UK Vogue picture above is rather silly. I wouldn't have placed a lolly pop in her hand. She doesn't need it. The placement of her feet connote the child in her that is juxtaposed to the corset and wild fur off her shoulder with her strap. I like the picture in UK Harper's Bazaar better. Look how similiar she poses ... I don't think that she has a freckle, she's such the English rose. Of course, she's the dark rose. And so the snake on her head ... that's perfectly styled. She is after all, in her best work, Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series! What I love about her in that part was for the fact that she was always looking down her nose at others. She never looked dead on at Harry or Hermione or Ron; instead, she gazes at them from a distance that her nose separates her from them ... she sort of smells them to see what they were up to at that particular moment. She smells their blood, and she wants to ... kill them for it as she's a ruthless, coldhearted, bitch (hey, that's what Mrs. Weasley called her when she zapped her to protect her daughter!)

But it goes back to ... Room With a View. As she so precisely when asked about which book that changed her life, "A Room With a View because if it hadn't been written I would have had a crap career."

Of course, Helena has been in the mags since her movie, Dark Shadows, is out now. I'm on the back end of the rush to see it, and it was showing in only one theater in the whole city last night. It's the typical Tim Burton-Johnny Depp production ... sort of creepy make-up, sort of off-beat characters, and a lot of ... camp. I don't really remember the series Dark Shadows well, but I have an impression of it. I understand why it didn't do well in the theaters ... it's too niched. Johnny is being Johnny, and Burton's world is as off-beat and spoofy as always. I liked the camp ... the story was a bit thin and the narrative wasn't consistent (is the girl the ghost, is the ghost the girl, what happened to her in the end because I saw a second fiend being made), but the 70's surreal world was a giggle and Michelle Pfeifer was a dream. Oh! I didn't mention Helena ... she plays the drunk psychiatrist brought in the Collins manse to deal with the little one who's mom is an apparition. Not really her best role, but there's an interesting scene with she and Johnny .... she is 'bowing' to him ... and in the end she's the last on the screen ... at the bottom of the ocean, eyes open and round as ever. Oh, Tim likes to see his wife on film.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

God Bless the Queen

Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say,
Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, but changes from day to day,
I want to tell her that I love her a lot,
but I've got to get a belly full of wine,
Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl,
One day I'm going to make her mine, oh yeah,
One day I'm going to make her mine.

                                                 The Beatles,  from the White Album

I've wondered if Sir Paul sang this for her at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert this month?

The line that he wrote long ago, "but she changes from day to day," is an interesting one. For as much as Queen Elizabeth as been a constant figure in the world for the past 60 years, she has been one that has .... changed to save what it is that she represents.

The Queen was featured in Vogue, June 2012, it read, "In an era of cheap celebrity... the queen has become an unlikely champion of authenticity." She has learned to move with the times, all the while remaining true to herself and setting an example of discipline and dedication."

Of course her truest test of relevancy wasn't World War II or the Cold War or the Falklands, it was Diana. One of the best reads in recent years, in my opinion, is The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown. Oh, the life that poor girl led. Some to her own making for sure. When I got to the end and read the passages about that fatal crash, I wept. Wept that a system could take hold of someone who very pointedly wanted to be a part of it, but wasn't equipped to deal with the fact that the tale would have no fairy to support it. She wanted that Prince, but she didn't look beyond the wedding to consider what the reality of the commitment would involve. How many girls do you know that put all of their energy into the wedding ... spend tens of thousands of dollars ... and then ... aren't happy? Diana's story isn't any different than that on a very basic level.

Google Images
The Queen, oh, everyone thought that she was the bad guy in it. I think that the Queen was being just that ... herself. I imagine that she thought that Diana was a very silly girl. And when you consider what the Queen had been asked to do at Diana's age, one can understand that she didn't have patience for her, or Fergie for that matter. The Queen has given her whole life to England. And she's done it with grace. Obviously, it was time for her to 'change.' But I don't think that she changed at all; instead, she added a skill ... take the pulse of the nation and the world and consider it. Take care of it.

I think that road ahead will be much less bumpy for the Queen .... especially as far as her family is concerned, which is how most of the world considers her. Will has married smart. Harry will probably do likewise. Even though Diana was a child of 80's excess and hysteria (hello! Dynasty and Dallas!), she managed to do right by her boys. Maybe it was the blend of super stuffy (Charles) and pretty but silly (Diana) that made for all right.

Interestingly, we really don't know much about Elizabeth. She has not splashed across any paper. Possibly this is how she's kept herself in tact. As public as she is, she is ... reserved in a way that allows her to maintain her true self. She, more than Diana, is the one to emulate. She's the cool cucumber. She's the one, who goes home, has her gin, and sinks into a very private, though satisfying life ... hey, her marriage seems to be rock solid.

And have you seen her lately? She's beautiful ... and her skin! That's a woman who knows who she is.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

flower power

It all began with a squirrel.

What I love best about my apartment in the city is that I can lie on the couch and looked out at my little brick balcony at the trees on the street, the lights that I string across it, and in summer, the boxes of flowers that I plant. Often I have the TV on, but I'm as interested in just .... staring out at the green, or brown, or white of the season.

Now the flower pots and boxes are full. A movement caught my eye, and what did I see? That damn squirrel. That same one that was a regular when my beloved cat, Mister, was still living. Oh how he would taunt Mister! It was as if he were saying, 'Na na na na na! I'm out and you're in.' Without his playmate, he's taken to eating my flowers! I shoo'd him off, but while I was gone on my mini-break, he dug out a perfectly patterned square of impatients... well, my patience has worn thin with his squirreliness.

the hole that the squirrel dug
Squirrel in the Window Box                                    

on the couch,
look out window,
the tree rat
buries a nut.

flowers bent,
roots dug up,
no bloom

chili sprinkle,
spicy charm,
get out rat,
no room here.

That's right ... tree rat, no room here. I went on a walk this morning and stopped at a garden shop and bought replacement flowers. While there, I also bought a pretty hanging basket of flowers. I was pretty overloaded and still had about 6 or 7 blocks to walk home, but it was worth it.

said flowers
Carrying my bag and basket of flowers felt like a very summery thing to do. I have lived in my neighborhood for nearly two decades. It is one of Ukrainian immigrants, many still who are newly here and with limited English. They are a ... steely bunch. Not particularly friendly. But I like the European movement and mood of the blocks. The church bells tell time for me, the ladies are always heeled and skirted, and the shop is daily and purposed. I've settled nicely into the rhythm of it even though the man that sits on his balcony across the street and watches my every move never says hello, waves, or arches a brow in acknowledgement of my presence. I don't mind him ... and all of those eyes make for a very low crime rate.

But on this day ... carrying flowers, the silence was broken. As I walked home, first one, then another Ukrainian woman stopped me to look at my flowers. The first woman was shy and spoke in a very quiet voice, "Your flowers are so pretty." Then the next woman stopped, and carried on a conversation with me. She wanted to know where I bought them, how much they cost, and explained how they could stay in bloom until December. What a happy day.

I have a new appreciation for the phrase, 'Flower Power.'

For the squirrel? Oh, he gets the chili powder. You can look at and admire my flowers, but you can't squirrel them away!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

no line on the horizon

In one of Yeats' most beloved, though not one of his favorite, poems, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree,' he moves to the natural world to liberate himself from the constraints of the 'real' world; and in doing so, transcends time altogether and enters an imaginary world. The real world in this poem is London. And the imaginary realm is rooted in Ireland, his home, and grown through transcendence. In his first line he sets off:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

That he uses the word 'arise,' the reader can think not only that he gets up, but that he ascends. He goes to a higher place, one that rises above all others.

Later in the poem, he writes:

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow.

Here he tells us that time on Innisfree is altered, interrupted; it is set on its' ear. Glimmer means not only shiny, but a faint suggestion ... so midnight is suggested- it may not be what it appears to be. Interesting that noon holds a 'purple glow.' Purple is a dark hue, not a sunny yellow or orange or one that's more associated with day time. Purple is significant as it's a Lenten color ... aha! Resurrection. Rising from the dead. In Innisfree, a weary soul, once dead, is no alive again. There one transcends. Is home.

While driving along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a crazy, violent storm, I looked out over the horizon and felt that I was in this poem. There was no purple, or glimmer. It was more of a melt. No line on the horizon. Water and sky were one. I was alone on the road and fell into the magic of suspension.
Lake Michigan from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
There's another Irishman, Irishmen, who have written about this ... when U2 released No Line on the Horizon, I must have played the cover track a hundred times before I listened to any other song on that album.  Here's some of the lyric from No Line on the Horizon, the song:

I know a girl who's like the sea
I watch her changing every day for me
Oh yeah
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

One day she's still, the next she swells
You can hear the universe in her sea shells
Oh yeah
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

No, no line on the horizon, no line

I know a girl with a hole in her heart
She said infinity is a great place to start
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

She said "Time is irrelevant, it's not linear"

Then she put her tongue in my ear
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Yeah, on the horizon, time is irrelevant. The line has been wiped out by the blend, the crash, of sky and sea. The band practice of this song is nearly as driving as what you'll hear live or on the album. The sea is a recurrent theme in U2 lyrics ... and I would like to think that in his own way, Bono keeps up the Yeatsean tradition of transcendence. It is definitely an interest of mine ... oh, this world is just fine, but the dip into the imaginary makes it all the more ... sweet. And at this point, this sky and lake become a porthole, I was ... away with the fairies.

[ Lyrics from:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

tunnel of trees

tunnel of trees in Michigan

the stuck car
I, naturally, came across the tunnel of trees on my route 'round the lake. I was meant to go straight, turned left and came into a horrific rain storm. The tunnel is on a bluff with Lake Michigan at its feet. Thick forest commands both sides of the road as it twists and turns. As it was storming, it seemed as if I was the only one on the road, which I was thankful for so that I could take my time to absorb it all. Of course I had to really pay attention to the driving because it was a gale, though I felt protected by my tree umbrella. All along the route, cottages were tucked up into the trees, though huge, modern dwellings seemed to be taking over. The lights in their windows were very welcoming on what was a very dark hour during the middle of the day. I opened my window a crack so that I could hear the crash of Lake Michigan against the beach below. Suddenly, after one hair pin turn, a bolt of lightning hit one of the huge trees and sent it crashing down. I pulled to a stop as did a car on the other side of it. It was a beauty of a tree and covered the road. The man said that there was a tree down from where he had come from and so was trapped.Trapped between trees in the tunnel. He called 911. A few cars piled up after me and I went one to the next and explained the predicament. Of course, they were all doing what I was, and so didn't know an alternate route. I hung out for a while ... it was so surreal. So calming. It was the tree bath I wrote about a few posts back.

the Mackinaw City bridge
Eventually, I unstuck myself, turned around and headed off. My natural sense of direction set me in the right direction, and I was back on my way. And next stop was the Mackinaw City bridge, which would take me from the lower to the upper Michigan pennisula. As you can see in the photo, it is still raining, and yes, my dumb self was taking the picture as I drove on the grooved lane! They are repaving the bridge and so one side of it is that funky grooving, which makes it seem as if you are going to wobble off of the street or bridge as it were. But who wants to drive on the outside lane ... in the rain ... next to a truck (zut alors!) ... it's like a roller coaster feeling the whole way. 26, 371 feet of my stomach in my yoohoo!

But everything calmed down on the other side. Rain stopped. Sun came out. Ate a pasties (meat pie). And what does one do .... step on the gas. Yeah, got clocked doing 82 in a 55. I swore that I was slowing down after a pass ... he put me down for 60. What a day.

'round the lake in three days

Lake Michigan just before Sleeping Bear Dunes
Finished with school for the year, had some meetings to attend, but ... given the year, decided that it was better that I just 'disappear' for a few days to decompress ... find my feet again. Not ever having thought of it before, I decided that I must do the circle tour around Lake Michigan! I loaded up the car and took off this morning for the 1,000+ mile drive ... rolling across ground that I've covered many times before ... Gary, Michigan City, and on into the state of Michigan. My grandfather lived in SouthWestern Michigan, so I was familiar with that stretch of highway, and a few year's back, I came up North with my mom to check out the fall colors and so travelled up to Manistee and Glen Harbor ... but today, once I left the 8 lane expressway and the 4 lane divided highway, I came to M22. What a glorious drive through forests and along lakes (Michigan on one side, and then interior ones on the right). I was quite alone in the meander. At one point, out of a pine forest lept a little doe. It looked at me and then dived back into the thicker forest. I was startled. Once when walking through a pine forest in northern Spain, a whole herd of deer flew out of the forest and across my path. It was truly breathtaking. And now I wonder ...

In the past, on a trip to Ireland, I had conjured a tale of a cow selke. I may have mentioned it before. I was high on a hill with a spectacular view of the Atlantic alone with my mom and a herd of cows. My sister had punked out and gone back down the hill as it was a chilly windswept Irish day. One of the cows in particular was very interested in our movements. I turned to my mom and said, 'she didn't leave after all. She's right here with us.' And so for the rest of the trip, whenever we came across a bunch of cows, I would yell out my sister's name, and wouldn't you know that there was always one brown cow, a sweet cow of course, who would turn and look me straight in the eye. Well from that point on, whenever I encounter cows, I call her name and know that she is close by. Of course the legend is that she is a cow selke ... taken from the tradition of Irish selkes ... though rather than being trapped between land and sky, she is as comfortable grazing on a field as she is being a woman in the world.

But now the doe. I've seen this phenomenon twice and I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't all living things that watch over me. Of course the deer remind me of a Potter petronus. Snape was a deer. And when Harry needed him, he appeared. I apparently didn't need a herd yesterday, just a little doe to watch over me.

the calm before the storm
The hour was getting late in the drive, and for some reason, I was taking it as a race. Put me on a track with a finish line and I go for it. But I have some time and so decided to take it a little slower. I had whizzed by a place that looked like it would be a good place to stop, so I turned around and pulled up. It's such a pretty place with a view of the lake. I'm sitting here now with the breeze off of the lake, a chipmunk at my feet and a quiet that I've not had in a spell. Last night, I wandered into the town. It has some historic significance ... Fish Town. And it was as cute as a button. I walked down to the big lake and watched as a big storm came up. Fearing wet, I ducked into a store to find a postcard. The boy at the counter recommended the fish restaurant across the street, even though he had never been there before. Oh well, why not. I sat at a very friendly bar eating delicious lake fish and drinking wonderful beer from a local town.

I would stay here for ever ... but I hear the road. And I have to hit it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


from Tatler May 2012
Tosser. What an arrogant assumption that one who enjoys a cocktail at the appropriate hour is less productive, less intelligent. The man pictured, his name is of no consequence, is an academic and he aspires to found a college of greater stuff than Oxford, than Cambridge (Oxbridge). Funny, I didn't really know if Oxford and Cambridge were two different universities or two colleges that are a part of one greater university ... that's not really important. And I don't know whether building another high-end denizen of intellect is what the world really needs, particularly now. Who could afford it?

Of course, we must consider the source of this information ... Tatler magazine. Yes, the oldest magazine published, but not likely the most toney or more accurately, academic. And I believe that if you polled the staff at Tatler, quite a few of them would, I think, imbibe in one or two libations at the end of the work day. And let's face, something is working for them as they are the longest running in the history of periodicals.

What I take away from this, besides the fact that the stuffy, pompous, arrogant British man is still alive and being just that (God bless him), is the term 'sundowner.' Cocktail is getting over-used. A 'drink' is too pedestrian. Libation? eh, many don't know what that is meant to mean. Ah, but a sundowner. The picture of that is soothing, cathartic, which makes it possible for me to get up some mornings and march on building ... almost greatness, which is good enough.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

snake charmer

Vogue June 2012 
she flashes khol.
dark magic-
blackened pearl spells.
her hair-
jewel caged-
snakes 'round,
trapping bits
that fly by.
#5, #5, #5.
scent wafts ...
charming strands of
gold and sparkles
light the path
to the East
and a place
different than
the one the reader
lives in.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

jack white

The White Stripes perform on the 2004 Grammys

Jack and Meg performed on the 2004 Grammy's and I remember it very clearly. The sound that the two of them created has stuck to me, and I remember the performance often. That ... dnh . dnh dnh dnh dnh dnh. dnh (yes, that's me trying to write out the sounds that are in my mind ... scary!) of Seven Nation Army sticks in my head sometimes and I can't get it out! But it's a good thing. But ... even still ... yeah, never could get into the White Stripes. I described the band's sound to a friend as 'loud noise and screaming.' Maybe that's why my nephew likes the band so much.

But, I like Jack. There has always been something about him ... and then came along Loretta Lynn. Here she is in her beautiful blue confection of a gown with a very young man in strangely strange fitting gray pants singing, 'Portland, Oregon and slow gin fizz, now if that ain't love, then tell me what is.' ooh, I love it. I have had a great time with Van Lear Rose, the album these two collaborated on. She was 70 at the time ... and he, a young whippersnapper at 28. I like country music, some. But this blew my mind. I love the blend of she and him. And it showed to me ... man, this guy has got something. I'm still not crazy about the White Stripes ... but I am definitely building an adoration for the man. 28, hard rocking dude with legions of nephews across the nation that love loud, fast, and a screech. When Loretta won the Grammy for Best Country Record, she said, 'now come up here Jack and thank the nice people.' Jack shy'd up to the podium and gave a bow, if I remember correctly. yeah.

Loretta Lynn and Jack White perform on the David Letterman Show 2004

The next time I noticed Jack was in the documentary This Might Get Loud. I was really excited to see this to check out the Edge (ah! me and U2 baby!) and Jimmy Page. I grew up on some Led Zeppelin, and some of their songs would definitely make my top 'this is the only thing that you get to listen to for the rest of your life' list. Jack, though, really showed to me that he is a student of music. I don't play. I don't sing well. I don't know how to read music. I have a very difficult time articulating what it is that I understand, but what I do know is that I know something very definitely about what I like, and have a clue about those that have talent. Or are doing what it is that I want to listen to, wonder about, and discover.  

And in This Might Get Loud, the boys actually work through Seven Nation Army, and the RIFF (I figured that out) that swims in my head every so often! Check it out ...

Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack in This Might Get Loud

Next on the Jack-odyssey, I ran across a record by Karen Elson, Jack's second wife. I sort of knew that they were married, she being a fashion model and me reading a lot of fashion magazines every month. I believe that they married on a boat on the Amazon river. She's British. He's Motor City ... ok. But once I realized it, I thought, man, I need a man who is a big famous rock star who can produce my record in the family barn! And she kept her songs a secret. She wrote them in a closet of couture. I think that their story is a little fishy, but I don't always take to female singers, and she I like. I over-listened to the record when I first bought it. I liked the musicality of it ... the whirl of different instruments that lent to an ethereal sort of calm. And her voice, like her, is pretty enough. She's a ... quieter, possibly sweeter, Florence Welch. 

Hmmm.... why can't Jack be a little more like this on an album, I thought while listening, more dimensional. Move some of the drive into a cruise ... check out the colors as you pass them by ...

And then there was Blunderbus. Oh, I am in love! It has some hard, but it also has plenty of soul. I think that Jack is growing into the man he's meant to be. Oh, that sounds corny or sappy or possibly, just ridiculous. But I feel that I've been on that Jack-Odyssey weaving around and through different sounds, and I've come to a rest stop and there's a party.

And here's the party ... here's Jack on SNL singing 16 saltine crackers ... then I lick my fingers. Jack, I think that we've established here that I will be glad to help you with that task! My nephew, apparently, is not happy with the CD ... I think that it may just be too grown up for him. That's ok, 'cause I'll take his place in the line. (note: the SNL link was closed. This is the official video).

Here's what I'm really talking about ... beautiful. I'm just going to stop writing. You've gotta listen to this album. It's just got it going on. U2 sings, 'let me in the sound ...' I want in this sound.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Glenn Hansard and me in 2007

Like any Irish girl should, I loved the movie Once. Loosely based on a relationship between Hansard and a girl who slept with someone in his circle, or something like that, he and his bandmate wrote music and made a movie. It is a sweet movie. A bittersweet love story. With brilliant songs to go along with it.

And now it's on Broadway!

And I have a connection to it ... out of the blue, a friend called and invited me along while another acquaintance went to work interviewing Hansard and his band, the Frames, at a local music festival. I was so excited to follow along, though a bit nervous. I do admire so many musicians, but the thought of actually getting a chance to talk to one, makes me nervous. Very nervous. My friend interviewed the band before they performed, and you can see by the photo above, that I got the chance to meet the man! Take a look at the picture and one could say that we look like brother and sister. He definitely brought the Irish out in me.

That could be the end of the story. But it isn't. The scene backstage was pretty intense and everyone seemed to know one another. I wasn't a part of the scene, instead I was the voyeur. And boy did I watch something that in and of itself could become a movie. Apparently, a local rock chick (groupie) had lived in Dublin for a while, and she claimed that she huskered with Hansard, and that the movie was in fact about their relationship. Wow! Of course the woman that I was with had a feeling that maybe she was making it up. Not shy, she continue her interview of Hansard without the camera rolling and asked, 'so, so and so says that the movie is about her, any truth in that?' He blushed. And slowly and very assuredly said, no. Ouch. But it didn't end there either. I was standing around, really, who was I going to talk to? I didn't know anyone there except the two I was with and they were busy making the rounds. And what did I witness, Hansard walked right up to the woman in question and asked, 'why are you telling people that this movie is about us when it isn't?!' He wasn't angry. He was frustrated. And honestly, I felt sort of sorry for the woman. She had herself a good story with some truth to it, and who would've thought that the movie would become so popular that the spotlight would shine on Hansard and follow him around?

I did get a chance to talk to him after the picture was taken. My friend pushed me toward him while he was standing alone. I think that being in the music business, or any business like it, must be kind of lonely. Who do you talk to that is interested in just a chat, and not a ... oh, I don't know. An audience. Well, I made an arse of myself, and that must have been entertaining for him. Really, what does one talk to the celebrity of the moment about? I talked about Ireland, of course. And then, I don't know why (oh yes, I know why), I started talking in leprechaun. That's my, I've had a few beers and I'm kind silly accent. Oh, I was perfectly harmless. And he didn't mind the chat with the crazy lady.

So I was surprised that the play Once won a boat load of Tony's last night. I didn't even know that it was being made into a Broadway production. The performance on the show was very sweet. And I think that I liked the show's lead better. He sang less harshly ... Hansard sort of has a roar when he sings. At one point after an award for the show had been given, the camera panned over and showed Hansard. I was very satisfied. I had met him. I have a picture of the two of us on my wall. And he is my two degrees of separation from Bono. Hah! and that is the sweetest point of this whole musing. Imagine, I am three degrees away from every important person in the world ... because I met Hansard, and he knows Bono. Those two were huskering in Dublin on Christmas Eve just two years ago.

Now that should be a Broadway musical! Oh, not the Christmas carols. No. The fact that I'm three, not six, degrees away from everyone in the world because I met someone who knows Bono. What a lark that could be! oh, imagine the leprechaun that I would turn on for him.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

LMFAO re-mix

fittingly LMFAO was featured in Rolling Stone's Big Issue June 2012
Whenever I hear my boys, I've got to smile. And dance.

Redfoo said in Rolling Stone, "partying is very serious to us. Partying is spiritual, because you're with your friends and family. So we make the music for that: the weddings, the celebrations, the bar mitzvahs." Ha! that's what Bono says all of the time about his band. But Bono, though I love you like a nearest and dearest, and would listen to your band if only I had one to ever listen to again (well, that might be a hard one ... the Beatles might get that job ... they were with me in my formative years, and we all know how important the music can be if listened to through angst and growing), I think that these two have it for the type of party that covers generations and variation of party room. Yes, I have taken my brother-in-law to a U2 concert and he had a good time, but when 'I'm Sexy and I Know It' comes on, that man wiggle, wiggle, wiggles it like he just don't care!

When asked what being famous feels like, Redfoo said, 'it's like being a hot, sexy girl.' Party On Redfoo! You're my hot, sexy girl ... wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.