Thursday, June 23, 2011

If Bon Iver, Bon Iver is a place then I'm not there yet

In some interview I heard with Justin vernon he wanted the title of the new Bon Iver album to be Bon Iver, Bon Iver -- written like a city and a state -- rather than calling it a self titled album. He carries that metaphor over into the song names creating fictional places like Hinnom, TX and Lisbon, OH. This metaphor work really well conceptually and is something I have never considered applying to music. Most artforms are actual physical places like sculptures, paintings, architecture. Other artforms create places like literature and poetry. Music would fall into that category. It creates a space you inhabit mentally.

As I make my way through multiple rounds of experiencing Bon Iver, Bon Iver, I am not sure I have arrived quite yet. Each listen, each song gets me a little closer.

At first, I'm not sure where I am. I'm in Perth. It feels familiar, like I've been there before but it has a newness to it. In Minnesota, WI can feel the large swaths of farmland giving way to smaller plots of land and small homesteads. see farmland giving way to the outskirts of town. Around Holocene, the city lights are glowing just over the horizon.

At this point I think I am getting closer, but the problem is I just don't know how to get there. There is no beaten path to Bon Iver, Bon Iver. There are trail markers. And I am alone on this path, forced to make my way on my own -- if I so chose. I climb the Towers to try and get my bearings. From up here it looks so close. I can feel its warmth.

I climb down and press on. Once inside Michicant, I start to get lost. Not in a bad way. More like the way Ulysses, Pete and Delmar lose their way when they come across the sirens singing in the river. I may have even slipped into a dream, because Hinnom, TX feels like I waking up and trying to shake the dreams out of my head.

Now I'm in Wash. It definitely feels like a state but I think its more of a temporary state, like I'm cleaning up in preparation for something bigger. The piano chords is the water dripping in the background and the violin is the soft towel around my shoulders. Wash. gives way to Calgary. I don't know when it happened but I find myself indoors now. The room is big but its mostly empty. I wander, exploring. Looking behind columns, peeking into doorways. I am slowly drawn down a corridor that is getting brighter and brighter, and more narrow. Finally I step through into a large green field. My shoes are gone from Wash. and I can feel the grass. Is this Bon Iver, Bon Iver? No, its Lisbon, OH. Wondering if I had arrived seems to have disoriented me.

By now I am in Beth/Rest. It doesn't feel like a destination. Its more of an explanation. I long to be somewhere else, but Perth feels so far away as does Lisbon, OH. I am in Beth/Rest. I am nowhere else. I can be nowhere else. I wait. I don't know when I am, if I'm in the past or the future. But I am getting a better sense of where I am. I am in Beth/Rest.

I come back around to the beginning, to Perth. The explanation seems clear now. I was in Bon Iver, Bon Iver the entire time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Both Teams Played Hard

It was a good game, both teams played hard. Both teams played hard, my man. Both teams played hard. Both teams played hard, God bless and good night.

-Rasheed Wallace

I like post game press conferences. I like trying to name the reporters asking questions while at the same time convincing myself that I don't have a sports problem. For anyone wondering, I'm about 50% this post season. I need to spend the off season working on my local newspapers.

But sometimes I wish all press conferences were like Rasheed's because then we could just move on to playing the next game. Instead, we get canned responses and overreactions. We had Dirk saying that this was a huge momentum swing for the Mavs. Of course he would say that. He has to. They have to believe that as a team to try and get a leg up. Of course LeBron blames the defense. He wouldn't dare say he bailed out the Mavs defense by taking 26 footers for the last 5 minutes of the game. Of course the Mavs said that Wade's pose after his three pointer in front fo their bench motivated them. Of course coach Spoelstra says his team will respond. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone.

Nor should this series being tied at 1 game a piece going back to Dallas. There was a moment when I was expecting Miami to sweep somewhere between 9 minutes left in the game and Wade's 3 pointer. I even had a Dwyane F. Wade tweet loaded up to send before deciding to take a more even tempered approach. But we all knew this would end up being a back and forth series.

After Game 1 we were planning parade routes in Miami. After Game 2 we were on the phone with the engravers spelling Nowitzki. I think they hand out the MVP after Game 3, so be sure to stick around for the post game.