Wednesday, June 06, 2007

There've been a lot of spiders around here lately. Especially cellar spiders. There's a big one crawling up my bathroom wall right now. I watched her make her way for a few moments, and she fell twice. Last night, I found one in bed with me while I was reading. I carried him outside.

I was reading Postcards from the Province of Hyphens, a book of poems by Sonya Taaffe. It's been a nice read so far--the poems have mostly been rather overtly erotic.

Of course, with this spider talk I ought to mentioned the book I just finished, Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, which was quite enjoyable. It's family relationship comedy in the context of a modern world influenced by the reality of ancient folktales. Where Gaiman's American Gods was about a sort of apocalypse in the same world, Anansi Boys is more just a story of gods being gods and making their mischief with mortals, something I really respect. In most fantasy fiction, particularly in the movies, it's normally expected that each successive story be about a larger calamity. I wish more writers realised that it's not the size of an explosion that makes a good story.

I still have a healthy stack of books to read. Sonya recommended to me an order in which to read them, and it looks like I'll be reading Catch-22 next.

Ah, I think I ought to mention that I went to a Morrissey concert on Sunday and that it was fucking great. The concert was held at the embarcadero, and to get to it I walked through seaport village next to water and a variety of boats, including a replica of a 19th century yacht called the America.

I met my sister and two of her friends at the concert and the four of us managed to be only about five people away from the stage, which was pretty damned close considering we were packed like sardines and I couldn't even lift my arms to clap. When Morrissey finally came out, the press of screaming human bodies around me reaching for the cool fellow onstage was amazing. I really don't think I could expect an experience closer to seeing a god in my lifetime. He's Morrissey, you know.

Unfortunately, Moz wasn't so happy with the sound system, and he continually complained about it throughout the show. "The sound like a bleating goat you hear," he said, "I'm afraid is my singing voice. I promise you I sound much better in the bath."

He opened with "The Queen is Dead", and the lyrics that normally go "She said, 'I know you and you cannot sing,' I said, 'That's nothing, you should hear me play piano,'" Sunday night went, "'I know you and you cannot sing,' I said, 'Of course I can't sing.'"

The very performance:

I think he may've been slightly upset that his own voice often wasn't audible through audience singing along. He closed with "How Soon is Now?" and the audience's singing was so overpowering, Morrissey left halfway through the song and never came back, forgoing an encore, much to the very loud displeasure of the audience--he'd only been onstage for about an hour. But it was still great, and even that final act was so deliciously Morrissey.

And I loved how he tried to incite mischief. "When you bought your ticket I bet you didn't expect an army of security men in front of the stage," he said at one point, referring to the row of red-shirted men, "No fun."

Of course, during his next song, "I Will See You in Far Off Places," someone immediately managed to climb onstage, earning a comment from Morrissey, "That's the most exciting thing to happen all night."

It was a good set, and his voice sounded perfect, when it was audible. I was surprised to hear "The National Front Disco," which must be completely unintelligible to most American and Mexican fans (I'd say about two thirds of the people in the audience were Mexican). He also performed "Irish Blood, English Heart," changing the lines, "I've been dreaming of a time when the English are sick to death of Labour and Tories, and spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell," with, "I've been dreaming of a time when Americans are sick to death of Democrats and Republicans and Republicans, and spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell." I'm not sure how much he thought ahead on that one, but it's interesting to think about the current American political landscape carrying on the tradition of Oliver Cromwell.

Sunday was overcast and there was sea on either side of the stage, so one song was all too appropriate;

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