Sunday, June 24, 2012

View from the Treetops 24 June '12

I Drank a Beer that Smelled of Piss – how fucked up is that?

The Not-So-Bonny...

How do you instil a positive spirit into a world full of people engrossed in their phones, their perceived misery, themselves?

Last-night my son invited me to join him at a gig featuring The Congos / Sun Araw / M. Geddes Gengras.
My son being in his late teens this meant that the night was on me – which is fine by me – I’m his dad: how proud am I?
The Congos turned out to be a Rastafarian choir of five who’s combined age must be 350. Backed by the incongruous Sun Araw and M.Geddes Gangres - all 20-something whiteys – they produced a rather special show: not quite in the groove but more about the groove.
Today, cycling down the not-so-bonny banks of the river Colne I’m struck by how tribal everything here in Britain is. I am also struck by how, in in our whitey Western world (www), the word “tribal” has come to mean that which is “practiced by savages”.
It is as if our concept of civilisation moves towards a monochromic world; one that finds no joy in activity we call ‘thought’.
Last night The Congos sang their homage to jah, and they sang it without fear, - no mean feat when you spend your life stoned - and the boy and I came home late but closer for the experience shared as equals.
I still worry about all the skills I cannot teach him but know that if he can be my equal then I need not worry about his learning skills.

Today I realised that I have no idea what Sun Araw actually sounds like sans Congos, I got my son to give me a copy of 'On Patrol'. Dutifully download onto my i-Phart I headed out for a cycle along the not-so-bonny banks...
I sailed out to a piece of music that invokes some Native American spirit in a totally non-ironic, non-‘liberal’ way – I do not for a minute question it’s ‘authenicity’ since it requires no such question.
Cycling through the park I approached some oik in his football top, accompanied by his admiring woman. He let me know in pigeon body-language that he wasn’t going to move over to give some old poof on a bicycle space on the path to pass - so I passed on the grass – who cares?
That's tribal Britain - like the music in my ears but more aggressive, more savage.
Sun Araw, with his seamless and psychedelic loops and ‘primitive’ understanding of beat, seems to tap into something deeper – he seems to create worlds that, in our sophistication, we have almost lost sight of.
Worlds that speak to more that just the eye.

My thoughts are often gloomy and possibly bitter – I am in turns angry at- and indifferent to the world and I often lose sight of the positive.
At the venue before the gig I asked my son who the guy he just had a brief conversation with was; he answered that that was SunAraw.
I couldn’t not decide whether he resembled Frank Zappa or Cletus from the Simpsons, but I can say after hearing his music that he has my respect no matter who he looks like.
Sun Araw is nothing if not positive – unlike the psychedelics he harkens back to, including but not restricted to The 13th Floor Elevators, he is totally positive.
As he mingled with the crowd last night I overheard him utter that phrase “That's fresh man” and that he gets bored easily so likes to turn the whole thing inside-out every time he does it – a creative for sure.

How do you instil positive into a distracted world – through music of course.

As I approach home the sky, which has been threatening all day, spits some rain – hello summer.

On Patrol ~ Sun Araw
1. Ma Holo
2. Beat Cop
3. The Stakeout Featuring – W. Giacchi
4. Conga Mind
5. Deep Cover Part 2
6. High Slide
7. The Stakeout: Reprise Featuring – W. Giacchi
8. Dimension Alley
9. Holodeck Blues



Pouting Bear said...

Sounds like you had a good time, and I'm glad.
I went to see Sun Araw with my brother a little while back. I think he was playing with a band called Pocahaunted.
Anyway, I enjoyed it that night. Enjoyed your thoughts on 'tribal' too; I am of Afro-Caribbean, Native American and Bangledeshi heritage, and living in what I think counts as eastern Europe means my thoughts turn to that subject rather often.
Thanks for sharing

ps. I'll swap your rainy summer for the sweltering-can't-breathe- can't-think one we're having ;)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Having a think...

Harlequin said...

what a great post. i loved your reflections on tribalism.... and you being the old poof on the bike. quite the image.
but, seriously, i loved this post-- it fit together so well and then you passed on all this great stuff to us readers

Garth said...

Bear: heh, I spent some tome in a small town called Bakar while working in the Viktor Lenacs shipyard in Rijeka - I did enjoy the impact we had on the town considering we included a black South African and a Singaporean.

Jayne: careful...

Harlequin: I'm used to being gender-mistaken - comes from being a new romantic in Apartheid South Africa ;]