Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Perfect writing & perfect despair

I've had two unique book reading experiences in the last week or so. Firstly, I've always heard or read about people's experience of reading a book that felt like it was 'written about them' or 'just for them' or whatever, and I've always thought: wow, that sounds cool. I've never had the experience myself until I read Haruki Murakami's first novel, Hear the Wind Sing. Actually, it's more along the lines of a novella, but I did. I felt like it was written just for me, as if he had me in his head when he wrote it. Obviously, I know that isn't the case, but still, it just gives you this mild electric shiver the whole time yr reading. It was a marvelously eerie feeling all in all, which has been a continuing theme of 'The summer of Murakami'.
Concurrently, I was reading his most recent novel, After Dark, and I was thinking the whole time, hey, it only seems mediocre in comparison to his other novels. It still had trademark Murakami wierdness, insight, and when the characters get to talking its way offkey and interesting, but it just wasn't all the way there. Like he was coasting through this one. This was how I felt right up until the 2nd to last paragragh in the book, when the themes from all of his books suddenly clicked in my head, and the book transformed into this exciting distillation of wierdness into a coherent metaphysics of the odd. If I hadn't've read so many of his other novels I don't think it would have happened like that, but I have, so it did. I've never had a book completely transform itself in the waning moments like that. It was highly awesome.
I also finished Norwegian Wood just two days ago, and it hit me hard. Suddenly I felt like I had been disattached from the universe and was just floating in some interliminal state whereby I couldn't actually interact or engage with the world around me for the entire day. I was just watching without being a part of anything. It was not the response I would've expected. It's a sad story for sure, but this was something different. I just felt like I was no longer in the game or even a part of the game. I'm failing miserably in my attempt to explain this feeling because it was a strange one, undoubtedly, but oh, well. I'm now into Kafka on the Shore and Pinball, 1973. Absolutely, utterly obsessed with Marukami.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh how I love to dance!

Firstly, the word of the day over at is harridan, which means a worn out strumpet, a vixenish woman, or a hag. Apparently harridan is a pretty harsh term, and it really doesn't sound like one at all. It sounds more like someone who shops at Nordstorms, although there might be some overlap there. I bet you could totally get away with calling someone that and have it come off like a complement. 'I can't believe you do all yr shopping at Nordstorms. You are such a harridan!'
Okay, enough of that. I went to see Rilo Kiley last night, and it was fan-frickin'-tastic (it's funny that in my real life self I swear like a sailor, but I'm always reticent to do it on the internet), and apparently at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, which I have to say is a name that's growing on me, they don't know the meaning of the words measured pour. I ordered a Seven and ginger-ale, and I got this plastic cup full of whiskey with a small splash of ginger-ale on the top. I'm thinking to myself after Thao with The Get Down, Stay Down who had this really excellent kind of indie-rock, hawaiian slack key mix going on that I should get a drink from a different bartender because I really didn't want to get that drunk. So, I go to the bar on the other side of the concert hall, which has been really tastefully redesigned since ten years ago when it was The Strand and was a total pit, to order a drink and it's the same deal. I have no idea how they can stay in business selling drinks like that, but they've won my heart, also the show was phenomenal. Jenny Lewis is just totally bewitching and bitchin' all in the same breath, and the rest of the band's pretty durn good too.
Anyway, at some stage I'll get back into form with The Dancing Fool and talk about the show as a show, but I was just trying to tell the story about how I had this total eureka moment about ten minutes before Rilo Kiley came on about how identity is such a distributed property of the brain that it conflicts within itself and maybe that has a lot to do with the emotional response to things that seem to be outside of the dominant aspects of our identity. I'm pacing around in a corner furiously trying to work this all out to some satisfactory degree, and all I got to was a quickly scribbled note about the overlapping functions of reentrant mapping in the creation of consciousness before Rilo came out, which was actually okay cause I was super-amped up from the adrenaline rush of exciting ideas and got instantly into the music, but I still can't quite get a grasp on what the whole thing means. I don't think I'm smart enough.