Brain Download

I have ohmygodsomuch to do today to get ready for Lunacon, but I wanted to blog a bit about stuff I’ve neglected.

Firstly, it comes directly to mind that “we” have a new cat. It comes to mind because the cat is currently all up in my grille and purring and warbling cutely and telling my that she ownz my keyboard, my chin, and various other parts of me, and I will not bathe her again without her permission. The adorable kitten I mentioned awhile back has taken up permanent residence, more or less, and she is very, very sweet. Christened Inanna, due to an amazing “descent” we witnessed wherein this thing that weighs 5 pounds soaking weight raced headfirst down the trunk of a pine tree like it was nothin’ but a thing. She has since leapt from that tree directly into my arms. This cat has no fear. In place of fear, it has love and cuteness. And the propensity to stick both her paws straight out when she sleeps, like SuperCat. It’s grailquestion and godlyperspectiv‘s cat, technically, but it’s also totally grailquestion and my Miss Kitty Fantastico. Yes, we are that much Willow and Tara.

She is so brave she doesn’t even run from the dogs. She doesn’t like them, but she doesn’t run or freak out and attack them. So the dogs love her. They’re all: “Dude! You wanna hang out?!” and she’s all: “No!”

So I’m sitting here this morning listening to yesterday’s prize, a downloaded copy (I’m buying it anyway, I just couldn’t wait) of The Dresden Dolls’ new album, Yes, Virginia. It’s really wonderful to have crystal-clear studio versions of these songs, most of which I’ve heard live, and it seems like they’ve solved their sound problem from the last album, where the quality was very inconsistent from one song to another, to the pont where some songs were unintelligible unless cranked up all the way, while others were very loud even at a low volume. Thing is? Nothing replaces the live show, and I really wish they were going to be back in town soon. DD and The Decemberists have totally spoiled me for live shows. They are tight, varied, beautifully staged, communicative with the audience, full of crazy energy. And they are still “indie” enough to allow poor schmoes like me to get a decent seat.

Which brings me to Great Big Sea. We saw them last Saturday night at the House of Blues (and did you know ETTA freakin’ JAMES is playing at the Chicago HoB in April? Who wants to take me to Chicago?) and I have to say, while I’m not sorry I went, it just impresses on me how exceptionally good the other shows we’ve seen have been. I didn’t count the drive to Columbus for DD to be too much effort in the slightest. I probably would have been pissed if we had gone that far for GBS. Which is not to say it was a bad show, because it absolutely was not. It was just more in line with what I am used to from a concert: too many people, (it was sold out) the most obnoxious of which were right next to me trying to start waves in the audience, so many people that I watched most of the show on the hoisted TV screens, which kind of ruins the whole live music concept, a lot of music that just runs together (a real danger in Celtic music, though I think saying that means I have to turn in my Irish card) punctuated by a few favorites, but not the ones I really wanted to hear, a whole bunch of stuff from a new album of which I am not particularly fond (same thing with Tori Amos’s Strange Little Girls tour), and despite having the upper tier tickets price-wise, nowhere to stand where there was even something to lean on, or any view of the stage. Ironically, we paid more for this concert than either of the others–and we got them at a discount from a scalper. The band t-shirts? Almost twice as much as anything from the more indie bands, and Great Big Sea is still pretty indie! It was just a solid show, and I’m used to stellar, transcendant, gobsmacking.

And speaking of the new album, I wonder if The Hard and the Easy wasn’t a mistake for GBS. It’s folk music, and god knows I love folk music, but it’s not particularly distinctive, minus a couple of songs, notably “The Mermaid.” The band split the show into two parts, singing the folk stuff in the beginning and the older album stuff in the second half. And the audience was completely not into it until the second half. One woman next to me stopped dancing and wrinkled her nose when they launched into the new album. It’s not that I think traditional music is a mistake–GBS has always done plenty of it–but this album has two or three memorable songs, tops, and it just doesn’t connect much with the listener.

Anyway. I’m working on sound recording today, making the audio version of The Descent of Inanna (the goddess, not the cat) and uploading the Maryland reading, which I’ll post about when I get a chance. Maybe later today, but nobody reads on Fridays, do they?

Oh, and the Russian lessons proceed slowly. I know the alphabet pretty well and have a nice little vocabulary growing. But I’m also simultaneously teaching someone who has never had to do it how to teach a language, so it goeth slow as we both learn. And I’m finding that Greek is both a huge help (I already know all that case stuff, foolz) and a drawback, because my brain seizes on things which should be the same, but aren’t. Friendly fire. But I try hard. Me talk pretty one day.

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