musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Month: October 2008

The Airborne Toxic Event @ Newbury Comics in Boston – 10/25/08

The Airborne Toxic Event @ Newbury Comics in Boston

Ah man, so absolutely great to see these guys again. How can you so badly miss a band you’d only seen play twice before? But I did. It was a balmy day, as late October in Boston goes. The in-store was at this new Newbury Comics store at Faneuil Hall, Tourists from all over, and fine Boston tradition (“You guys have a lot of bricks here in Boston” – Mikel). About 30 minutes before things were set to begin, the Newbury Comics folks were still figuring out exactly where the band would play, and I knew it would be a low-key, intimate and casual affair. Approximately 50 people crowded into the narrow space, and were treated to a brilliant 10-song set and good-humored banter. Parents who happened to be shopping with their kids watched from the staircase leading up to the 2nd floor. Mikel gazed up at the young kids and declared before they started, “we can’t swear.” Sure enough, first up was an unusual “censored version” of “Wishing Well” – “You wanna run away, run away, Just get on the ::bleepin’:: train and leave today.”

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Bailing out a sinking boat (an excerpt)

The most serious disillusionment in my life (apart from the false promise of young love) occurred when I was a student at the University of South Florida. It was during that year or two that I somewhat miraculously stumbled upon the notion that I wanted to be a writer. Only a sophomore and with a brand new major (having selected, then rejected, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology), I had somehow slipped by the guidance counselors and had enrolled in a senior’s creative writing workshop. I suppose because it sounded far more enlightening than Composition 101. It was in that casual setting that I came face-to-face, in the most humbling, shocking way, with some truly brilliant young writers. I especially remember a young woman, rather unattractive with frizzy hair and a dumpy appearance, who was already being regularly published in the school’s literary magazines, and whose work elicited gasps of appreciation from the others whenever she stood to share her latest musings. I was as in awe of her poetic solitude as everyone else, yet I bravely followed these future poets and novelists with my shaky and disjointed broken prose. On occasion, I was ok; more often I was just young. A month or two into the class, that the teacher took me aside and said that although I showed promise, I had no business being in a senior workshop, having only just that year declared the major. He couldn’t understand how I was even allowed to enroll, yet I do recall he was trying very hard to be gentle. He explained the necessary prerequisites, and told me that he looked forward to seeing me again, after I had completed them. He didn’t want to discourage me, yet with my fragile opinion of myself, discouraged I was, and I didn’t write again (except for required class papers) for some six or seven years. When I did, it was for the silliest of endeavors, as editor and publisher of a David Bowie newsletter.

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Wire – Middle East Downstairs, October 8, 2008

I suppose in one sense I’m embarrassed to have won tickets for this amazing show from WZBC (last pair they were giving out the day of the performance), as I could sense there was a frantic surge of hardcore Wire fans trying to score them as well. And then I pop in, completely clueless and unfamiliar with their music (but very familiar by name and reputation). To add to the insult, I brought someone along with me who was equally clueless. However, to make up for all that, I’m proud to say that there are now two brand new Wire fans, and I will be chasing down their recordings.

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