I bought my first Modest Mouse cd on sale at HMV. That was the moon & antartica. I subsequently added Everywhere & his nasty Parlour Tricks, Good News For People Who Love Bad News, We Were Dead Even Before The Ship Sank, No One’s First & You’re Next. All of which I have as stand-alone cds. In a way they are reminiscent of the Byrds with jangly guitars & sweet harmonies.
Their sound is a mix of emo & indie-rock. Lyrics are wry romantic commentary with a dash of political. Great word play – as the cd titles reflect. Sort of nerdy, sometimes a bit funky & dare I say – often pretty. Songs that show in for sensitive moments in romcoms & crime movies to give them a ‘hip’ echo. I always enjoy these when I hear them but rarely do I get the mood to pull out for listen.
Mojo, which I think is still publishing, is a British pop music magazine that usually had a cd included. Sometime the cd was a collection of recent releases, sometimes it was one they had complied of covers of songs by James Brown, The Who. This one from 2007 is Sgt. Pepper lp covers by groups such as Simple Rid, Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power. These the magazine commissioned. I love Sgt. Pepper & the still obscure groups do a great job with these songs & some actually re-invent rather than re-create the originals.
I kept reading raves about Janelle Monae. I caught a video of one of her songs, then accidentally saw her live on some daytime talk show as I skipping through channels. I like her retro look & was intrigued by the sci-fi subtext of her videos. So I picked up ArchAndroid on sale at HMV & enjoyed it. Then eventually added Dirty Computer. Great production values, interesting songs & a great voice.
A short story discovered in my archives. It goes back to pre-1995 as the original printout is dot matrix 🙂 I’ve done minimal editing. It is based on a real incident.
The Allegory of Love
He laughed, stumbling into me.
“So, what’s the promotion mean?” I asked, steadying him with an arm around his shoulder.
“More money, more responsibility.”
“A good worker like you deserves it.”
He turned. “You always say nice things about me.”
I was nonplussed. “Why not? People deserve all the praise they can get. You’re pretty good people as far as I’m concerned.”
“You never let me down,” he want on, quite serious.
“Let you down? I don’t understand.” I resisted adding, ‘I don’t see you enough to let you down.’
“You’re always the same. You treat me kind. So many guys are just … mean for the sake of being mean.”
“I like you, Steve. That’s the way I treat people I like.” I put my other arm around him & kissed the top of his head. “And you I more than like.”
“I’m sure.” He blushed. “Well, I see 1708 still has a light on.” He was squinting up at his apartment window. “I hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means.”
“And if it does.”
“Come on,” He pulled out his keys & we went in.
“This is still a gays only building?” I joked.
“I suppose,” he answered flatly.
At his door, he fumbled with the keys, dropping them twice. “Shit shit shit” he cursed under his breath.
“Well, here goes,” I whispered as we went in. I headed for the living room. A glance over my shoulder down the short hall & I saw that Ron’s door was slightly ajar. Next to it was the bathroom & then Steve’s bedroom.
“So far, so good,” I thought as I sat on the sofa in the darkest corner of the room.
Steve went into the kitchen & got a beer. He unbuttoned his shirt & sat next to me. There was a rustling sound from one of the cages behind us.
“Ofeelme is preggers.” Steve explained, sitting up on his knees & gingerly putting on hand into the cage to brush the fur of a swollen hamster. “How you doing little mama?” He whispered gently.
“How’s Hamlet?” I asked.
“Proud as can be. I separated them because the last time Papa got a bit jealous & ate some of the babies.”
“Gross, Steve. You really know how to turn me on.”
He laughed, lifting Hamlet out of the other cage. “He’s happy to see you. Say Hi to Uncle Bri.” He sat holding the hamster gently in his hand, lightly stroking the fur between its ears. “You always love me, don’ you Hamlet? Food in the same place is all you ask. You know,” he turned to me, “he goes back time & time again to the place where he got food hoping to get fed again”
I kissed Steven the shoulder as he put Hamlet back.
“Let’s go to bed.” He gave me another of his wonderful, sloppy kisses.
I darted past Ron’s room to Steve’s just on the other side of the bathroom. As I pulled off my sweatshirt the dark hall echoed with the slap of barefoot on hardwood. It was suddenly flooded with bright light.
“Steven! How dare you! You know I have to work in the morning, you know.” Ron exploded with an exasperated whine. There was the sound of a smack.
I held my breath as the bare feet came directly to Steve’s room. The sound of that smack reverberated in my mind. The last thing I wanted was some domestic squabble. The door was shoved open hard & I was caught in the intrusive hall light.
“And how dare … YOU? I told Steve never to bring you into my house.”
He clenched his fist & hit me in the chest. “Get out of here, you trash.”
“Not much of a punch,” I thought. The glaring light kept me from being distracted by his hairless naked body.
“Get going, now.” He handed my jacket & shoved me toward the door.