Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Everything I write is connected.

January is a month of dreams.

For the last two years, I've had the same recurring dream about John Foxx, and this month is no exception. The setting varies slightly, but the plot is the same. I'm usually in a room somewhere listening to people talk--someone's giving a lecture on something, or whatever (not necessarily in a school). I'm sitting in the front row. While the person is lecturing (always a woman), John Foxx will appear in the doorway and smile at me. He will look directly at me and no one else. Sometimes he even walks into the room and stands in front of me. Of course this is a disruption in the room, and even though the woman speaker goes on talking--and looks more amused than annoyed--I feel like I have to go find out what he wants. I get up and leave the room with him. Then, as we are walking, he quickly starts to walk faster, and doesn't talk to me, as if to distance himself.

The other dream that stood out this month was one that I can remember nothing about, except someone saying the words, "Libra should beware of Capricorn". The day after I had this dream, I was reading through my Facebook news feed. One of my Facebook friends, who I don't actually know (and don't have too much in common with), posted the following status update: "Just had this thought stream--Libras should beware of Capricorns".

I spent a snow day at home last week going through about 20 years worth of cassette mixtapes. It was a fascinating excursion into the past--I'd listen to the tapes, and remember exactly when I'd made them, and for what reason. I never made mixes without a reason. They marked some state of mind, some conflict, or some major change. My husband at the time also used to make mixes for me, and I still had some of them. Most of them had disintegrated--a living metaphor if I've ever seen one. But the ones from him that survived made me nauseated. I noted that all of the mixes I made at the very end of the 1990s were very angry ones. It was as though my feelings were like a hidden lump, an abscess, that eventually burst out--and culminated in a divorce. It's been almost 10 years since I split with my husband, and I'm surprised to recall how angry I was, and conflicted.

Then again, maybe I'm not surprised.

I discovered that ex-Sleater Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein has a new band, called Wild Flag. They are being dubbed an "indie supergroup", as the membership also includes ex-S-K drummer Janet Weiss, Mary Timony (formerly of Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders). They are going to be touring in the next couple of months, finally leaving the West Coast, but unfortunately they are only opening for someone else. They are doing a solo show in Philadelphia, but it's around Girard Ave.--not a place I particularly feel comfortable leaving my car and walking around at night. I still might brave it. And I'm sure I'll see them at Radio City, even though they're just opening.

I was thinking about the fact that Carrie Brownstein has always come into my mind for no good reason at various times over the years, and when she does, I find out she's doing something locally--playing with a band, doing something at MoMA, whatever. Then I was reading my Twitter feeds--Kumail Nanjiani posted a link to the premier episode of Portlandia, a new comedy series on IFC with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen (starts this Friday, 10:30 pm). Some of it was funny to me, other bits were strange. Maybe those bits would make more sense if I actually lived in Portland.

I have run into Carrie (almost literally) twice in my life--once in New York, and once in Philadelphia. I didn't talk to her either time--I was merely surprised to pass her on the street. I shouldn't have been, as she was usually in town to play with Sleater Kinney, and I was there to see them. She would look at me, and then smile, blush and put her head down--I think she knew she was recognized. I don't get the impression she's that comfortable talking to strangers. Can't say I blame her.

Getting back to those celebs who are fairly comfortable talking to strangers--John Foxx will finally have his new album with Benge coming out on March 21. Calling themselves John Foxx and the Maths, the album is called "Interplay". Here is a clip of the latest single from the album, "Evergreen":

I am very much looking forward to the release of "Interplay". (which you can pre-order now, and get "Evergreen" as a free download). I have heard bits of this album over the last 2 years--from the first single "Destination", to the songs Foxx and Benge performed at the Roundhouse in London last June, to this latest single. John is an exceptional lyric writer, and I'm rather intrigued by the lyrics on this album--they do seem to have a connected theme. Of course, I don't know all the lyrics to everything, so I will have to wait til the album comes out to see if there really is one. Still, if you like the sound of the old analog synths, you won't get a more masterful working than this album, so I recommend getting it.

And with that, I've come full circle. Time for another cup of tea while I listen to the ice rain falling...

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