Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend Part II: Sunday in the Park with C

If you've been reading this blog long enough to have read my account of the New Order concert, you know I'm not much of one for new music. It's all about familiarity, and most of us suffer from it: You listen mainly to what you like, and you like it because it sounds like what you've heard before.

This is why when I listen to rock music I usually wind up saying the same things I hear from people I introduce to opera:
  1. Why are they screaming?
  2. I can't understand what they're saying.
  3. Is there supposed to be a melody in there somewhere?
  4. Doesn't this get on your nerves after a while?
  5. Hey! Would you like to maybe watch TV instead?
Well, C's musical taste is about as far from mine as you can imagine. On the other hand, he has a gift for making gentle introductions. Franklin, meet David Bowie. Franklin, meet Prince. Franklin, meet Peaches.

That last one didn't go well, I admit, but in general I've had my horzions broadened to the extent that I now have been known willingly to listen to albums released during my lifetime by musicians who are still performing.

On Sunday, I experienced massive mind-expansion at Chicago's Intonation Festival, an Indie/Alternative gathering in Union Park on the West Side.

Some notes:
  • I realized halfway through the afternoon that this was the first time since my college commencement that I've engaged in a mass activity intended for people my own age.
  • In a crowd of at least 2,000, I was the only person without visible tattoos.
  • I am not immune to the amusement that comes from watching an intoxicated thirtysomething suburban guy in a polo shirt get hot 'n' funky to a hip-hop dance mix of "Darling Nicky."
  • There is no part of the body so small or hard that it cannot be pierced repeatedly.
  • Skulls are out, robots are in.
  • You can buy stuffed toys in the shape of poo (not Pooh), roast beef, and pickles.
  • The afro is back.
After catching a performance by OUT HUD and playing Scrabble under the trees, C went off to volunteer at the Neighborhoodies booth:

Chris at the Neighborhoodies Booth, Intonation Festival, 2005

And I found a nice bench in the shade, equidistant from both stages, and knit a whole lot of Susan's Elizabeth Zimmerman Pillbox Hat. It's going well. Pictures forthcoming.

I like Neighborhoodies and wanted one of my own, so I picked one out (all the while flirting madly with the salesman, even kissing him at one point) and was delighted with the result. I was hoping the kiss might get me a discount, but no. I am now proud to be playing shortstop for the Middlemarch Marauders (sponsored by Vincy's Dry Goods).

Shortstop for Team Middlemarch, Intonation Festival, 2005

If you don't get the joke, Google "George Eliot," and shame on you.

C had his purple t-shirt printed up with the words "wrecka stow," which will strike a chord in Prince fans who remember (in spite of their best efforts) Kristin Scott Thomas's immortal performance in Under the Cherry Moon.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I loved everything I heard. (There was one band that came all the way from Oakland to sing falsetto Japanese baby talk, and I hope they will decide en masse to enter a religious order that requires a vow of silence.)

But for all the amplified sound I did have a marvelously peaceful and restorative day, with an appropriately splendid sunset:

Sunset at the Intonation Festival, Chicago, 2005

And a terrific closing performance by The Decembrists:

The Decembrists Close the Intonation Festival, 2005

Perfect training for next weekend's adventure: Lollapalooza.

I wonder if I can get something pierced and/or tattooed by Friday?


birdfarm said...

You've seen Under the Cherry Moon? You're going to Lollapalooza??? This is totally unfair. Who said you could be the maven of absolutely everything? ;-)

Anonymous said...

1. Yes, you can get something pierced or tattooed in that amount of time. Usually, tattoo emporiums only require appointments on the weekends or if you want to meet with an artist for custom work. If you just want flash work, just waltz in shortly after noon and pick something off the walls.

2. I love the Decembrists.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That sunset was gorgeous!! That's a stunning picture Franklin.

And thanks for the heads up about the Decembrists. I'm always looking for new music to discover. For me I've been listening to Mandy Patinkin's Sondheim marathon sort of endlessly (as well as Rufus Wainwright's Mussorgsky musings).

Sorka said...

I am lucky that my husband and I have similar allbeit eclectic and sometimes strange music interests.. it's nice to have that in common..It's cool that you are willing to stretch a little but hey.. it's not to hard when the reward is good eh?
Lollapalooza? My you are brave!

You could always do a henna tattoo!

The Decembrists look very cool!

Rabbitch said...

Regarding a piercing, try to avoid the nipple. I utterly ADORE pierced nipples (and would get one myself if my boobs weren't so low now that the hoop might get caught in my belt buckle) but that's supposedly a very painful pierce. Try an ear. The lobe, not the cartilege. G'wan, you know you want to!

Jon said...

Let's do the opera together.

The clerk at the t-shirt booth was pretty hot. Was he part of the kissing booth too? {EG}

3 weeks to go!!! Have you done your homework?

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh yes, tattoo away! Find something that will have meaning to you now and forever and go for it. Tattoos are a great conversation starter. =)

Anonymous said...

Wow. You can actually understand what rock singers and opera singers are singing!? I'm hugely impressed.

Anonymous said...

Did you watch Outhud? Did you enjoy them? I found myself actually dancing in that terrible heat. I couldn't help it!


goblinbox said...

You're not really going to Lollapalooza, are you?

And yes, you can get tats that fast. I suggest that you do. Talk about an endorphin rush - I *love* getting inked!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. You said you were the only one without a "visible" tattoo.

You've got a not-visible one? You holding out on us, Franklin?

An ear piercing (and just one, please...the latest trend of men looking like Auntie Erma with the two big gold hoops is just plain silly) is simple and fast. But you have to put up with the pain and clean it. Don't forget this or you will be in a world o' hurt.

And I am so with you on the Japanese singers channeling their inner two-year-olds...normally, I'm not a violent person, but in this case, somebody just has to be put out of their misery, and I would prefer it not be me, because I have too many FOs to finish.

Good luck Lollapaloozaling. I'd do it :-) (Hey, is Ani Di Franco going to be there?)

Felicia said...

Your pictures are stunning- that's par for the course for you!

Now, on to Peaches. Did you like her? You know, she used to be a schoolteacher. . .

I like her. She sez whatever she wants to, like or love it. Now, her album, FatherF*****, a person had to ask for at the local independent music shop. It was kept behind the counter. She's obviously not into mass marketing- how does that album title translate into something Wal Mart could toss on their shelves.

New Order is still one of the best bands to ever lay down a track. I saw them back in the 80s- yet, techno music always sounds like crap to me in a concert setting.

I'm working hard on my Angela Davis afro. I say that, and most younger folks have no idea who Angela Davis is! Thus, for them, I say- I'm working on my Ben Williams afro! It's not going too well. Such is the price I pay for not having nappy enough hair to enjoy the bounty of a big, wide, disco-mamma fro'!

birdfarm said...

People don't know who Angela Davis is?

I guess they wouldn't.

Sigh. Not only am I getting old, but the world is scarily sliding starboard.

Anonymous said...

Franklin, that sunset photo is (my favorite word) FABULOUS!

I wanted a tatoo at one point. Being the crazy sistah that I am, I came very close to getting a Kandinsky, on my back. Then the tatooist passed away.

Now, with all the tats out there, I feel "outre" having bare skin.

moiraeknittoo said...

Hey now, the nipple piercings aren't really all that bad. Granted, wearing shirts can be an...interesting experience for a while, but I tell you, the nose hurts a hell of a lot more. In my experience, the tongue heals the fastest (though that may have been because I had a lightbulb moment when I walked out of the parlor and McD's was across the street, and the young person was delighted to give me a cup of ice to suck on) and hurt the least. But if you think chipped teeth are a worry with the nipples, it's quadrupled with a tongue stud.

Tattoos are fabulous. I read a line recently that resonated with me. "Tattoos are scars you create yourself." Sometimes, a little ink beneath the skin as a *choice* can help honor experiences that left their mark in other ways.

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