26 May 2007

Adamah Part 1: Arrival

The sun is just beginning to set on the first full day I spent in my new community of Falls Village, and I already feel a substantial shift in my mind and heart. The program will commence tomorrow; however, for today- as well as yesterday evening- it was time to acclimate to a completely new and open environment in woods surrounded by fields, where nature is simultaneously deafening or silent depending on one's perspective. It took only a day for me, now reclining comfortably in the living room of the house I will share with five others this summer, to go from a stressful and hung over morning preparation in New York to a state of complete bliss. Perhaps it's the morning I spent cooking fresh eggs whose yolks held the deep, orange hue of setting suns, or spending the early part of my morning looking into the forest and playing guitar, focusing on arpeggios in different tunings and repeating improvised phrases along with the singing birds and humming insects. And then sitting on a white tree branch extending over the placid lake, trying to ignore the flies as I continued.

Eventually, I took a long bike ride alone and got a feel for the world outside of the center: neighboring farms and colorful homes, with bicycles left lazily in their yards, winding all along roads bordered by green and topped with clear blue (aside from the occasional cloud or jet stream unzipping the sky). My thighs were burning from a lack of practice, but my curiosity kept me pedaling until the pain turned to warmth, and I allowed the breeze to cool me down.

Returning to my home, Jeanette and Abby arrived with produce from a nearby market, and we drove the half-mile up the road for yoga held in a wooden gazebo facing the lake. During savasana I drifted into outer space, hardly able to focus on my breath any longer because the images in my mind were so sharp. It's fascinating how being in such an open space- away from the claustrophobia of the city- allows your mind to breathe so much more, leaving you safe from the inevitable transfer of psychic energy from everyone else... The schizophrenic feeling you have riding the subway and watching your thoughts accelerate to the point of a confused blur, all from tuning in to everyone else's noise. But now with some tea, I feel so absolutely slowed that I've reached nearly a dead stop, and I am present to observe my molecules frozen in space as I inhale almost in between them.

Last night, after unpacking and cleaning up my bedroom, I joined a group of about 15 seated in a circle around the oriental rug on our living room floor and, in the flickering glow of a pair of candles, we introduced ourselves for the first time (only four of the fourteen in our fellowship were present- the rest were staff and their visiting friends). Conversation quickly turned into song while claps, stomping feet, and a drum I found in the meditation room maintained a steady rhythm. We danced together- new friends made from complete strangers- and then enjoyed our meal with wine and coffee-flavored vodka until the timers switched off the lights....
Now, It's pitch-dark outside, and the silhouettes of trees barely stood out against the horizon on our walk home following dinner. Four of us- Naomi, Abby, Jeanette and me- are back in the soft light of our house, eagerly anticipating a tomorrow we can't even imagine... Goodnight friends, goodnight angels.

16 May 2007

[DISCOGRAPHY] Mak - Mix 01

Mak - Mix 01 (King Underground Records)
[no catalog number]
Format: CD-R

GB - Nocturnal Tribe (Caural Remix)

07 May 2007

A Canadian Coup de Grace: CocoRosie Tour Cancelled

I am now back in Brooklyn after my third plane ride of the day; thankfully, the last one was very short- from Philadelphia to New York's Laguardia Airport- but sadly, it represents the premature ending of our tour with CocoRosie after completing only 6 dates on the west coast. Beginning in Los Angeles a week ago at the El Ray, we continued north on to Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle before crossing the border into British Columbia. It was there, in Vancouver, that we had our best show yet. Regan and I stayed nearby at a quirky hotel called Lamplight, and each room there had a theme developed by a different artist. The inside of my room (209), for instance, looked as if it were adjacent to a house, complete with a shuttered roof hanging halfway over my bed like an awning. Regan was excited about his room next door full of patterns on the walls, but evidently his lock was broken! He yelled for me through the window, and he slipped me the key underneath his door so I could let him out. A hotel with character is definitely not without its share of problems.

There was a fun after-party that night where I tried some bizarre wine and avoided Yohimbe muffins, and we finally retreated to our rooms after sharing some late night pizza with new friends. I awoke the next morning and enjoyed "The Goonies" on TV, had a sashimi lunch up the street, and drove for hours back to Seattle... We spent 2 hours in queue at the border as I tried to sleep over El-P's "I'll Sleep When You're Dead" blasting from Busdriver's iPod- not an easy endeavor, believe me. All the while, we knew nothing of what happened to our tour mates....

Once back in Seattle, we met up with Nick, Sebastian and Aaron from Islands (ex-Unicorns) and had some beer and dinner at Elysian Brewing Company. Only an hour prior, a woman on the street had randomly offered them two free tickets to that night's Morrissey concert in town, and they more-than-happily obliged. Aaron bought a third ticket from a scalper and- assuring us it would be easy to get some more- we decided to accompany them to the show. As they waited out front for us to find parking, a girl approached them and sold Nick a ticket for only five dollars (!!), and we were able to get the final ticket for twenty: mission accomplished.

The show was amazing. He opened with "The Queen is Dead," and the crowd went bananas. To be honest- and this may be blasphemous to say as a rabid Smiths fan- I don't have a single Morrissey solo album; thus, the show's highlights for me were the 3 and a half Smiths songs performed (he cut off "The Boy with a Thorn in His Side" midway through, complaining that something felt wrong). Towards the end of "Life is a Pigsty," he curled himself in a tiny ball center-stage, illuminated by a bright, colored spotlight as the sounds became quieter and quieter, resolving in silence and near darkness. And then, the dirty vibrato guitar from "How Soon Is Now?" began, and I lost my shit! Throughout the set, star-struck fans continually rushed the stage to be forcefully removed by bouncers waiting in the wings, and I was in awe of Morrissey's continuing command of his audience, many of whom have been loyal since the early eighties.

After an encore of "Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want" we made it to a Red Roof Inn for only a few cozy hours of sleep. As per usual before a flight, we were up at three, returned the rental car by four, at our airport terminal by five, and onboard Frontier Airlines for our 6 AM flight after snarfing down a breakfast sandwich at Wendy's. Somehow, I managed to stay awake enough to watch the new movie re-make of "The Bridge to Terabithia," and I wished I would've known how sad it was! Regardless of my teary eyes, the day was moving along as usual. We had an uneventful layover in Denver and boarded our flight to Philadelphia; but it was then, right before the stewardesses rattled off safety instructions, that Sierra (from CocoRosie) phoned Regan. I was wearing headphones but heard enough of the conversation: "Are you serious? Back to France? Where are you?"


Magically, Pitchfork had mention of it before we did, and we were already receiving phone calls from friends who heard the news. Frankly, I still don't know the gruesome details other than the proper paperwork for two out of three band members (all French) were not provided to them, making their entry back into the states impossible. On top of that, the two in question were deported, but don't quote me on that since I still haven't spoken with any of them. The end result is that the tour, very unfortunately, is over. Once in Philadelphia, Busdriver and I stood at the baggage claim sort of staring into space, and I briefly entertained the idea of hanging out in North Carolina for a couple weeks. Alas, exhausted and upset, and subjected to a special search at security, I was on a tiny plane back home. I am so sorry that such a horrendous thing happened. I'm sorry for CocoRosie and their amazing accompanists Ben, Gael & Tez, and especially sorry that Busdriver and I won't be able to see many of you in the cities we had yet to visit together.