"Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait" -Longfellow

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ourselves and Each Other / The Art of Science

Ourselves and Each Other
Riding the fog through a waking city, I endure the clammy clench and release of returning to that which truly matters, rudely courteous to the feigned reign of machine and warty madness. Maybe this means I'm finished paying respects to dead gods and washing my mystical hand in the spittle of paid dues, at the point of refusing to carve my heart out for the implacable behemoth of pragmatism. I won't continue erecting this defense against boyhood and blind joy, when all that's offered is mired expiring manhood and blind faith in safety in numbers. I'm exhausted and I haven't even begun to live, I've only carried a sad flag in a pointless and never-ending parade which must be the nightmare's way of proudly observing its own power through merciless intimations of unmastered malady. It's ok family. It's ok to sit close to me on this bus, to save up for a life you never get to live and plan a lasting love to begin after eternity. It's ok to be afraid with blood on your mouth and tears calming the ulcers in your stomach. It's ok too, to rage and consume, to work and sleep and dream of something more gigantic than work and sleep. It's ok if you forgot your favorite song, lost it in the hum of fluorescents or the din of need. It's ok because the utterances of desire checked at the imaginary gate of your misfortune are fresh and possessed of the glory of your pleasant wholeness. Watching you - my brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers - bent with a shallow purpose, I feel like screaming songs I knew before computer and waving a body I had before kingdoms and super sales, like standing on platforms crying and begging hugs, like going home to her clothed in a further nudity than nakedness and remembering how perfect everything already was before we got it in our restless heads to codify the tiny ecstatic logic of our love for ourselves and each other.

The Art of Science
The art of science is crush and pull. The art of science is distill and break down and purify into pragmatic nuggets. The art of science is not soul or glow but body and the hollow luminescence of a studied sun, figured to pointless supernova. The art of science is a pipette dream of a single perspective and a measured guard against the delight of significance. It's the myth of control and the pathetic arrogance of domination, the tired apparatus of progress slamming keyboards – examining probability in a beaker while life goes unchanced.

It's a never-ending argument for the excruciating necessity of war. It's a microscope when you wanted a moist eyeball. It's a cold vice grip while you're longing for the touch of warm hands. It's forward always, even when right here feels so right. It’s philosophy’s bastard child, come to take revenge against infinity’s elegant dance of endless possibility. It’s a master’s degree in place of self-mastery. It’s the pompous irrationality of rationality for your humble imagination and a blockade of prescriptions when you’re struggling for genuine wellness. It's a line for your squiggly visions and a defined spectrum for your wonder. It's the dry taste of "exactly" when you’re not permitted to feel "close enough."

The art of science is desolation named diversity and silence called the many voices. The art of science is the pressure of self-denial and the pleasure of disrobing Aphrodite to revel her plainness. The art of science is retreating into machines because being a human being just costs too damn much. It's refusal and a neutered song of intention, chasing chaos through the heavens, smoothing the perfectly imperfect eternal surface.

Images by Sara K. Byrne. Found at Escape Into Life.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fiesta Forever

Big barrel bright bird broke in the black bleak blear of a beery evening spent moving. Small capacities, large capacities - room for everyone in the center of the mind. Alma y Cuerpo, truth and circus in the cussing tread of now. A black hole? So much color. A name for the future? Too many nights for noticing and forgetting. In fog, falling for fake fighting faithless fate in fugitive hours and towers like penises here to launch and posture-pose. I exhaust the softer roads, to go hard and wake up and explode.

To dance is to be wise. And to chance is to have further eyes, sometimes, than today. Are you content watching the ascending bird decay? There's mostly erupting, interrupting, and friendly corrupting left to welcome. But you can still choose to open elegant forevers and shake certainty like a stray blade of grass from your skirt.

If you can't start a battle of flowers, start a revolution of showers of love. There's no fiesta like your loud and confetti-frosted self-talks. No parades like the ones you dream, full of brights and blanknesses.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Show Tease: Bomba Estéreo, Échale! (4.5)

Bomba Estéreo: Julian Salazar, Liliana Saumet, Simón Mejía, Kike Egurrola. Photo by Rafael Piñeros - Mulato Films

SHOW: Échale! - Bomba Estéreo w/ M.A.K.U. Sound System @ Pearl Brewery, FRI 4.5.13, 7 PM
In the music of Bomba Estéreo the sounds of the Amazon blend with the din of the sometimes happy human apocalypse, the hope of the futuristic meets the yellow softness of the Earth's aboriginal delight. These elements are embodied in the sonic flourish of the music as well as in the singular voice of singer Liliana Saumet — now gently searching like a stretch just reaching the sweet spot, now rapid and coy like the enraged spirit of a flower caught between the fright of consciousness and beautiful numb bliss. This is cumbia, this is dance, this is tropical, this is city, this is heart, this is sky... This is one if the best bands in the world right now, playing their wonderful new album Elegancia Tropical, and you can catch them for free right on the banks of the Riverwalk, among the flowers in the shadow of a dead brewery.

I asked Bomba Estéreo founder, producer and bassist Simon Mejia a few questions in anticipation of the upcoming Échale! performance. Here are those questions and Simon's thoughtful responses.

1. The music of Bomba Estéreo has been subtly expanding and morphing over the years. As a band, where do you all look for inspiration? How organic and how conscious are the changes and to what extent does your ever-growing audience play a part?
In my personal case the inspiration comes from different places, can be music I hear, a live performance I see, a movie, an old record, even a place...but usually it comes when I'm working some sound or some beat inspires me for the next one and then I develop the whole track. It's the very best moment of creation I think when the music just rides for itself and you are just there putting the color to it. Playing live and having the great opportunity to meet different places and people also gives you a perspective, in our case, of looking at the traditional Colombian music from a different angle. This is what basically happened with Elegancia.

2. How are the songwriting duties divided in Bomba Estéreo? Are both music and lyrics collaborative
processes or do each of the band members tend to have set roles?
It always starts with the music. A beat, a synth or guitar line, a bass line...then we develop it into a track, then the vocals make it a song finally. Usually I start the process, but in some other cases Julian [Salazar] comes in with a synth line or a guitar line also.

3. What is the significance of the title Elegancia Tropical? And to what extent do you consider decisions like titles important?
It's our new way of looking at the Caribbean! A different perspective, a new stage in our music and our life. In Colombia the term elegancia is used also to mention when something is "cool," so it's like the cool tropic. We like to use popular and kitsch aesthetics in our music and language.

4. As a band with growing worldwide influence, what message would you send to the aspiring music maker in a corner of the globe that maybe doesn't get the attention it deserves?
I think the most important thing is to be honest with the music you're making. Make the music you want to make, not what the market wants. And also work as twice as hard, art is a difficult one, maybe more difficult than any other.

5. What are your impressions of the San Antonio? Any favorite and/or least favorite aspects or places?
Sure we think San Antonio is a great city! We've had great shows over there and this one we hope is the best. Our favorite hotel in the world is in San Antonio, it's called Hotel Havana, if I'm not wrong.

6. Lastly, what can we expect from your upcoming performance? Any new live configurations or significant developments since you were last here?
Yes, sure, we're making the show just for Elegancia. It's a new set of songs, a new set of videos and new set of sounds! Hope people enjoy it! We're giving away all [our] energy!