Music


I am unabashedly a child of the 80s. Scour my high school yearbooks and you will find asymmetrical hair cuts, O-ring bracelets and other tell tale signs. It’s not just the clothes that might give me away or the year on my driver’s license. It might be my love for a handful of John Hughes movies that I clearly remember seeing at the theatres. I don’t mean 101 Dalmatians or Uncle Buck. While I did see those at the cinema, I mean the handful of movies that seemed to resonate with kids of my age when they were released.

Last night when I heard of his death, I realised something. It wasn’t only his films that resonated with me, it was the music… the glorious music that was tied perfectly to scenes in the films. Stop and think about a scene from your favourite Hughes film. Ferris commandeering a parade float twisting and shouting to the Beatles or Duckie tossing playing cards into a hat despondently as the Smiths play… maybe the strains of “Holiday Road” when you embark on a road trip or imagining badly dancing teens in prom gear when you hear a specific cheesy OMD song?

Whatever the scene, the music just fit perfectly. Musicians like Jesus And Mary Chain, Love And Rockets, Psychedelic Furs, Kirsty Maccoll, Kate Bush, Gene Loves Jezebel, XTC, the Smiths, EBTG, Belouis Some, Oingo Boingo, Altered Images, Flesh For Lulu, Stephen Duffy, David Bowie, the Vapors, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Rave-Ups… are just some of the artists that appeared on a Hughes soundtrack. And I loved them all. Jolts of happy recognition when I would know a particular song. That made me feel cool and in the know, like a mix tape made to introduce someone to music they have never heard. The difference was that I had heard it and I did know it, so the films have more of a special place for me.

When I think back on some of his movies, I can’t honestly say if they had staying power throughout the decades. I know I still giggle at them but would jaded teenagers today would get the humour as much as I did in those darkened movie theatres in Houston? Or would they find the characters hackneyed and the situations trite? I don’t care either way. What I do know and care about is that the music he chose to punctuate and sometimes underscore his movies are what did reach out and grab me.

So for his infinitely quotable movies (Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?) and music, I thank him. Thank you John for helping me formulate my musical tastes and giving me refuge from the wastelands that was 80s music.

RIP John Hughes.

And now, on with the obit written by Roger Ebert:

Few directors have left a more distinctive or influential body of work than John Hughes. The creator of the modern American teenager film, who died Thursday in New York, made a group of films that are still watched and quoted today.

Hughes, who was 59, died of a heart attack during an early-morning walk while visiting family in New York City, his publicist said. He lived all his life in the northern suburbs of Chicago, southern Wisconsin, and on a farm which he operated in Northern Illinois.

Refusing to move to Los Angeles, he once told me why he preferred to bring his young acting discoveries to Chicago to film: “I like to check them into a motel far away from their friends, keep them out of trouble, and have them focus on the work.”

The list of films Hughes directed, produced or wrote includes such enduring hits as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, Some Kind of Wonderful, Curly Sue, Mr. Mom, Home Alone, Pretty in Pink,
Weird Science, She’s Having a Baby, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Beethoven, 101 Dalmatians, and Baby’s Day Out.

His films helped establish an international notion of ordinary American teenagers, and he was as popular abroad as at home. Once when I was visiting the largest movie theater in Calcutta, I asked if “Star Wars” had been their most successful American film. No, I was told, it was “Baby’s Day Out,” a Hughes comedy about a baby wandering through a big city, which played for more than a year.

Hughes, who graduated in 1968 from Glenbrook High School in Northbrook, used the northern suburbs as the setting for many of his films, notably “Ferris Bueller” and “The Breakfast Club.” He converted the gymnasium of the former Maine North High School in Des Plaines for use as a sound stage, assigning his actors schoolrooms as dressing rooms, and corridor lockers with their own combinations.

Hughes was a star-maker for a generation. Among the actors he introduced or popularized were Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Macaulay Culkin and John Candy, who worked in eight Hughes films. Some of those actors, freed from their confinement under Hughes, later became famous as the Brat Pack.

He took teenagers seriously, and his films are distinctive for showing them as individuals with real hopes, ambitions, problems and behavior.

“Kids are smart enough to know that most teenage movies are just exploiting them,” he told me on the set of “The Breakfast Club.” “They’ll respond to a film about teenagers as people. [My] movies are about the beauty of just growing up. I think teenage girls are especially ready for this kind of movie, after being grossed out by all the sex and violence in most teenage movies. People forget that when you’re 16, you’re probably more serious than you’ll ever be again. You think seriously about the big questions.”

“I’m going to do all my movies here in Chicago,” he told me. “The Tribune referred to me as a ‘former Chicagoan.’ As if, to do anything, I had to leave Chicago. I never left. I worked until I was 29 at the Leo Burnett advertising agency, and then I quit to do this. This is a working city, where people go to their jobs and raise their kids and live their lives. In Hollywood, I’d be hanging around with a lot of people who don’t have to pay when they go to the movies.”

After Hughes died today, some reports referred to him as “a recluse who disappeared somewhere in Illinois.” A few years ago, a friend of mine ran into him and kidded him about having disappeared from the Hollywood radar. “I haven’t disappeared,” he said. “I’m standing right here. I’m just not in Los Angeles.”

Hughes was incredibly productive as a screenwriter. He personally directed eight films, produced 23 and wrote 37, most recently “Drillbit Taylor” (2008). Such filmmakers as Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith cite him as an influence, Smith once saying, “Basically everything I do is just a raunchy John Hughes movie.”

Hughes is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, two sons and four grandchildren.

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It’s been a lovely few days here in the Emerald City. Monday was the Harold Lloyd talkie Movie Crazy at the Paramount. It was really fun complete with popcorn and smuggled in Toblerone.

Tuesday was Loreena McKennitt and she was phenomenal. I heard every single song that I desired to hear including The Lady of Shalott. I was awestruck to hear her live. And to be reminded that no, I am not smart… to listen to Loreena speak about this historical event and that one, weaving them all back around to the context of her thoughts… yeah, it made me feel pure short bus.

Before we went to the Loreena show, we ran by to get some tickets for the upcoming SIFF. It’s rapidly filling up but our upcoming schedule is as follows.

(SIFF Cinema) Friday, May 25th: An Evening With Lisa Gerrard.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, May 25th: Paprika.

(Neptune Theatre) Monday, May 28th: A Battle of Wits (Mo Gong).

(Egyptian Theatre) Thursday, May 31st: Exiled.

(SIFF Cinema) Tuesday, June 05th: A Conversation With Julien Temple.

(Neptune Theatre) Friday, June 08th: Day Watch (Dnevnoi dozor)

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Mushishi.

(Egyptian Theatre) Sunday, June 10th: Tekkonkinkreet.

(Lincoln Square) Monday, June 11th: The Banquet.

Tonight (or rather, Wednesday night) was the first show of the American String Project. And we were treated to a piece that is rarely performed in the U.S. – Bottesini’s String Quartet Op. 4 in D Major. It was simply breathtaking to hear violins, violas, cellos, and a bass all play in harmony. The strings soaring and falling, making an indelible mark on my memory. When they began to play, my breath skipped and my eyes teared because yes, I’m a dork when it comes to music… and the piece was beautiful.

All I have to say is that front row for Lisa Gerrard is simply going to fry my brain. Oh yes, I will be bringing tissues with me.

Last night was the final DMB show at the Gorge. We never actually caught O.A.R. from the beginning of their song set but they ended with a cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” which was pretty good. If I had the means to do it …

I’d take our N1 seats with N3 set-list. Sad to say our final night at the Gorge was overrun with chain smoking asshats who couldn’t go more than one song without lighting up. Oh well, here’s the set-list courtesy of the same folks, thanks guys. Thanks for giving me a hacking cough as I drove home.

Granny* (Unreleased)
Typical Situation*
Grey Street*
Where Are You Going
The Idea Of You* (Unreleased)
Lie In Our Graves*
JTR* (Unreleased)
Crush*
Dreaming Tree*
Last Stop*
Digging a Ditch*
Cant Stop (Unreleased)
Jimi Thing*
Tripping Billies*

Encore:
Loving Wings* (Unreleased)
All Along The Watchtower*

Show Notes:
*Rashawn Ross on Trumpet

And I never bothered to sneak my camera in. GC convinced me it wasn’t worth the headache so I just shamelessly snagged this from online …

We decided to go home after the show to avoid any traffic and because I missed the comforts of my home. It was a quick three hours but I’m absolutely useless right now, tired from the drive + the entire 3 days of music. I’ll write more about the entire experience after I’ve awakened today.

Much, much later today.

Seeya on the flip side 😉
– GermanCityUselessGirl

Currently watching Precious by DM. I love dancing to this song … 🙂

Meal: Fillet of sole, pan-seared and oven-finished topped with slivered almonds served with a side of pasta + garlic. Pit-stop at 13 Coins before heading home, in case you were wondering. Had we gone straight home it would have been something like a bowl of Koala Crisp + milk.

Other than sleeping for a good portion of Saturday, it was a rather uneventful day. We ate our sandwiches and watched The Addams Family on HBO. I forgot that Harmony from the Sunnydaleverse was the girl scout pestering Wednesday about whether or not their lemonade was organic or not. Heh. Amusing.

We arrived at the Gorge and there was no room in preferred parking. We were sent to VIP parking instead. An even shorter walk and a hand stamp later, we hit the major logjam at the entrance check points. They were checking everything this time around, guys even had to shake out their hats and turn their pockets inside out … I’ll wager the ones carrying were having to find different places to hide their stashes.

On the steep descent down, we paused this time to take in the beauty of the Gorge at sunset before heading down to our seats. Nature on that large of a scale does make one feel oh-so-insignificant at times. Our seats were on a slant this night and waaaay off to the left. Our seats will be better tomorrow night since they are in the same place as Friday’s.

We caught the last few songs of O.A.R. again. DMB played for about 3 hours again and were visibly more energised than the Friday night show. Without further ado, here’s the set-list courtesy of some kind folks.

One Sweet World*
Crash Into Me
Seek Up*
Grace Is Gone
When The World Ends*
Shotgun* (Unreleased)
Don’t Drink the Water*
If I Had It All*
Dancing Nancies*
So Much To Say*
Too Much*
Break Free* (Unreleased)
Pig*
Ants Marching*

Encore:
Butterfly (Unreleased)
American Baby Intro*
Pantala Naga Pampa*
Rapunzel*

Show Notes:
*Rashawn Ross on Trumpet

I’m knackered from the night’s fun and walking. I need to develop a heartier constitution and upgrade my knees to something bionic. Add it to the list …

Currently listening to sound of my fingers striking the keys.

Meal: Chicken salad on flax bread with romaine + chips.

It was a good day and hopefully it will be the first of several while we are on our first holiday since relocating westward. We accomplished leaving Seattle in a timely fashion because we were up and on the road by 10:30. GC had about an hour of sleep so he’s a touch grouchy. We were able to take the express lanes to slingshot us past downtown thereby missing the traffic on our 3-hour drive heading to Moses Lake. We stopped for some lunch and continued on our way. It’s not bad for burgers though I still prefer our other burger vice.

It was weird to take such a long drive. I’m not used to it anymore since we moved here in April, this is the first time that we’ve taken a road trip of this length. It was fun though looking at the scenery driving by despite it getting warmer and less green …

For the record, ML reminds me of where I grew up and whew, not exactly where you’d want to vacation in the Lone Star state. What I mean to say is that you’d stop there to get gas and keep on keepin’ on. It’s a small town and while I don’t discriminate against those, let’s just say there were more pro-Shrubya bumper stickers and such on cars than I prefer. We arrived to the hotel early so our room was not ready. We small-talked with some out-of-town Warehousers about shows for about an hour until our room was ready.

I was a mite cranky checking into our less-than-stellar ADA room, but nothing could be done. Since the package was booked through the Warehouse and pretty much everything was sold out, we were stuck like Chuck. As I milled around the room, fuming in my way, Spike Lee’s new documentary was on to give me some perspective on how bad I might have thought the room was. I quickly shut the fuck up about it. I mean, how could I genuinely bitch about something as trivial as our room assignment when there are people still living like they do post-Katrina.

GC’s one and only experience with N.O. left him with no love for the city whatsoever. Our hotel was smack in the Quarter in a hotel that was rundown and unappealing. The drive there during a damn thunderstorm and random other assorted bad events just cemented that he never ever wanted to return. And despite seeing Depeche Mode live, the entire road trip made me question my fondness for the city.

I’m tangenting, I know. I had so many good memories of going there as a kid and as an adult. My father did his Naval Reserves there and sometimes my mother and I would accompany him. They are pleasant memories of those road trips down I-10. Me snuggled into the back seat of that old ’73 Impala with spare pillows, a stuffed animal or 3, and an Igloo for cold drinks. Sometimes we’d stop for seafood on the way or sometimes my father would just want to drive straight through, and all the while just wanting to get there! Going on spur-of-the-moment road trips with friends long since missing from my speed dial … all because we wanted to go some place, any place other than Houston … having chicory coffee + beignets with cigarette after cigarette trying to stave off that hangover. Just good times.

*shakes head from reverie* Okay, so yeah. After I tucked in the monkey for a nap, I nipped off to the local Safeway nearby. It thankfully supplied us with good food for our room so all is not lost. I surveyed the dining options and unless we take a chance on the Chinese cafe or Thai place by the Safeway, it’s dining in for the duration. There are the usual fast food places but we grimace at the thought of a McWhopper or a KFC fried chicken. Enough kvetching about the town or the room or the views! We didn’t visit for the scenery, now did we? So on with the show …

Our first Gorge show was pretty cool. The venue was about 30+ miles from our hotel so I made a pair of stellar sandwiches and off we went. We arrived around 7-ish and O.A.R. was already on stage. They are one of those groups that I’ve heard of but never heard them, so it was a pleasant surprise to enjoy them. I might check out some of their music online as well, just another group to research now 😉

The venue reminds me of Red Rocks with a steep descent to the seats and a fantastic natural background behind the stage. It’s really breathtaking. I left my camera in the hotel room because I read no cameras. When we got there, no camera signs were everywhere … as we got closer to the lawn seating, I saw cameras everywhere. Gah! My trusted companion will be snuck in for one of the remaining shows. Not so I can take photos of the band or anything, I want to take photos of the Gorge itself.

DMB took the stage around 8-ish or so and played for about 3 hours? I didn’t keep that close of a watch on the time, only glancing down now and again. Here’s the set-list courtesy of a site I stumbled across, before I get any further.

Everyday*
Proudest Monkey*
Satellite*
Say Goodbye*
What Would You Say*
The Idea Of You* (Unreleased)
Big Eyed Fish*
Bartender*
Hunger For The Great Light*
Dream Girl*
Loving Wings* (Unreleased)
Warehouse*
Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd*
Can’t Stop (Unreleased)
You Might Die Trying*
Louisiana Bayou*

Encore:
Sister [Dave Solo] (Unreleased)
So Right*
Stay [Wasting Time]

Show Notes:
*Rashawn Ross on Trumpet

My random thoughts on the show?

– It was low-key with bursts of energy. I am sure a lot of hardcore DMB’ers will be disappointed with those choices but first of three gigs, I am holding out hope and know that I won’t be dissatisfied.

– Their version of Louisiana Bayou redeemed the earlier versions I heard previously live. It’s just not one of my favourites but I liked it tonight for some reason. I think it was the post-song noodling.

– LeRoi looks like a sleepy mole without his usual sunglasses. Standing beside Rashawn makes him look small in comparison … because Rashawn is one thick man.

– Rashawn’s t-shirt was a hip-hop couture nightmare. On the front, there was an image of the late Biggie Smalls wearing a diamond encrusted necklace with jewel encrusted cross. The necklace was attached to the shirt that Biggie was wearing.

– Before Dave began the encore song, he thanked the crowd for coming out to spend Friday night when all of them. He was then mumbling in his way about how it was getting down into snuggling weather. Dave’s quote: “No means no.” (pause) “And yes means ‘come the fuck on!'” – the funny being when he said ‘come the fuck on’, he said it rapidly like one might if struggling with the removal of clothing … naughty Dave 😉

– Lastly, I’ll never understand the need for people to get phenomenally drunk at concerts. You can do that at home. From the comfort of your sofa, and just get tanked while watching a live concert DVD. But no, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? People would rather get their concert tickets and spend 1/4 of the time walking back and forth between beer vendor + bathroom + seats. And don’t even get me started on the irresponsibility of what happens what said fucktard leaves the venue with their buzz on.

If you aren’t familiar with it, the process is as follows:

1. They muddle their way through the already tightly packed seats, stepping on people on their quest for more overpriced domestic beers.

2. They walk back to their seats, if they can find them at all.

3. They drink their beers quickly because it enhances the concert-going experience and dude, they were thirsty for something cold.

4. Soon after, they then have to go to the bathroom because the overpriced diuretic has taken affect.

5. Repeat #1 and then return to seat.

6. A while later, find that more beer is needed and repeat steps 1-4 again, ad nauseam or until the beer sales are stopped for the evening.

Now I’m not advocating that social drinking is bad, just social drinking to excess because you feel that is the only way to have fun. Maybe I should save this rant for another blog?

*sigh*

I’m tired of typing in this position. I think I’ll get back to watching telly (ah, such the treat), and wait for the Benadryl to kick it.

Seeya on the flip side 😉
– GermanCityGirl

Currently watching a random episode of Family Guy

Meal: Smoked ham, roasted turkey breast, monterey jack cheese, and romaine lettuce on flax grain wheat bread + chips.

Yup. It’s going to be a few blog entries all smushed together so I can keep up with the updating. I don’t feel like backdating or anything so here goes …

A few days ago …

The weather was again making with the digustingly perfect – sunny, cloudless, yet at the same time cool enough to walk around without breaking a sweat. So naturally, we hopped in the car and decided to have lunch al fresco down at Ivar’s in Mukilteo. We snagged a prime table because of a lady changed her mind about wanting to sit outside. Yay!

GC chose their apple wood smoked wild King Salmon. It was served with a lovely chunky chipotle-peach chutney and wild rice pilaf. My choice for entree was Alaskan razor clams, lightly panko breaded with grilled zucchini and the wild rice pilaf. Since we were peckish enough for starters, we opted for one cup of Northwest Smoked Salmon chowder and their baby greens salad. I managed to remember to snap a photo of it …

it had chunks of Rogue River bleu cheese, a slightly sweet raspberry vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts, cherry tomatoes, piquant red onion, and in lieu of croutons – two breadsticks crisscrossing the top. I could have easily eaten twice the portion because the flavours melded together wonderfully. I need to keep the camera out because I end up getting a photo of the beginning of the meal but forget to snap when the entrees arrive! Maybe I should just do a food blog because I enjoy taking photos of artfully arranged meals …

anyway, we were nicely warmed in the sun and basked like lizards as we savoured our afternoon lunch. Afterwards, we strolled back towards the car, taking the long way around. We walked down two piers and I made the acquaintance of a six-month old dachshund who was so excited to meet new people that there was a bit of the excited bladder. I managed to dodge the tinkle but the wiener dog was too phenomenally cute.

The lighthouse was open, so we walked the grounds to the seawall behind it. Like last time, the ferry was departing for across the waters so we watched the cars load and the pedestrians walk across.

I’m getting quite used to going out for lunch and then following it up with a nice constitutional afterwards. In Houston and Phoenix, the weather rarely played nice enough to want to walk around … and before you native Arizonians get your feathers in a bunch, I mean to say around the places we frequented. Living here surrounded by so much phenomenal beauty makes me, the couch potato extraordinaire, want to get out and walk around to see it all up close … not just drive by it and acknowledge it cursorily.

But enough about seafood by the sea, my next entry entails the Fleck show down at the Moore and the singer I’m way smitten with 😉 …

A few more days ago before …

We had tickets to see Bela Fleck & the Flecktones downtown at a place we’ve never been before, The Moore. We hopped a trusty bus, walked a handful of blocks, and found ourselves there with no stress from parking. I rather like this whole not driving into town thing … but I’ve said that before. Third row seats to see the Acoustic Planet Tour, with Bela and guest artists: Chris Thile, an amazing mandolin player and The Duhks, a group from Winnepeg that was one of the best surprises of the night. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself …

Our seats were rather choice. We’ve had the fortune of seeing them front row centre a few times before, once actually at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, so we could handle a third row experience 😉

Thile took the stage and made with the impressive mandolin skills and witty banter. He joked about how entertainers loved the applause but ultimately wondered why we loved them, if we did love them. He was charmingly goofy and played (as well as sang) beautifully. He left the stage and there was a well-choreographed transition between his set and the next, which was the Duhks. I should add their pronunciation of “ducks” not “dukes” so you know if you were curious to pick up either artist’s new CDs … release date September 12th, as we were jokingly reminded throughout their sets.

The Duhks’ lead singer, a bleached blonde spiky-haired woman took the stage. Wearing a strapless red dress with gold flowers and tattooed like a biker chick … sporting white canvas tennis shoes. GC and I looked at each other and wondered what kind of music we’d be hearing, since we had heard the cherubic-faced fiddle player and bald Latin percussionist and banjoist in their band already.

And then she started to sway, she opened her mouth, and sang.

Sweet Jesus. We did not expect that voice to come out of that person.

A husky, soulful voice. One that hit you right where you live … that could make you sing a hymnal and raise your hand high. A voice that completely blew me away enough to buy both of their CDs at the swag table as we left. A voice that well … rocked the house! This band with its hybrid of twanging banjo, Afro-Cuban percussion, Irish fiddlin’, and down home gospel vocals literally defies classification and definitely does not fall into any one category except for fucking amazing. I’m a fan. Oh yeah, they rock.

Their set was amazing … and then Thile came out to join them.

So again, we were treated to some mandolin-infused groovin’ … a few songs later, Victor Wooten came out to add some bass rhythm to the music. Now anyone who considers themselves a bass player will know that man’s name. He does things with that instrument that I’ve never seen done and continues to innovate every time I’ve seen them live. And side note, GC and I counted it up, we’ve seen the Flecktones eight times. Wow. I think that’s about as many times as I’ve seen Depeche Mode …

Then like another well-choreographed dance sequence, members of the Duhks excused themselves in lieu of a Flecktone taking the stage. Smooth like glass, each member was replaced by another until there were nothing but the Flecktones and Bela on the stage. Now, if I told you that I went to see a banjoist play, you might think me mad. But Bela is no ordinary musician … he’s played everything from bluegrass to classical to jazz. And he’s been nominated for Grammies in more categories than any other artist … nine or ten, I’d have to google to check that one. The man has skill and is extremely kind in person.

A Bela Fleck & the Flecktones show in Ft. Worth was our first date. GC flew in, we drove to DFW, and the rest is history. But I digress, back to the music. The Flecktones played one of the shorter sets I’ve seen from them but when I counted up the total 3.5 hours of music with no breaks, I’m so not complaining! And then another transition! Members of the Duhks came back out to play with Thile and the Flecktones until finally they were all on stage together. You can see them all here, here, and here.

And after over 200 minutes of music, it ended. Out of all the shows I’ve attended in recent years, this show gave the best value for the single concert ticket. Anytime I’m treated to a band unknown to me that I like, I’m all for it! TV on the Radio was like that at the Franz Ferdinand show in Vancouver … so yeah, wow. Great show!

So there you have it. The singer that bewitched me … not in the way that I’m in love with GC or living in Seattle but definitely in the way that one can be smitten with something or someone new. It wasn’t tawdry or verging on the gay (to be heard in the Cho), just a crush that you get when you get swept away …

so check out their stuff and allow her voice to sweep you away. It’ll definitely make you want to see them live.

And now, I need to go and get tickets for the midnight show of Pirates tonight. So later if I’m awake, a blog about fireworks on the 4th and my two tarnished cents on Jack Sparrow …

mmmmm. Depp.

Seeya on the stern mateys 😉
– GermanCitySquirrel

Currently listening to the self-titled CD by The Duhks

Meal: Cold leftover roasted pork noodles + some freshly brewed iced tea.

I vacillate on my feelings about zoos. Whether or not they are a good thing or ultimately cruel, so this isn’t a blog about those. It’s a quickie paste of an article I found while visiting an online classical station’s home page.

I have been bereaved to the point where I took no solace in things that gave me joy before. I’ve lay in bed feeling like the weight of the world was on top of the covers and I wanted to do was to be left the fuck alone. I can also say that music (and other things) elevated me back to a head space of serenity or at the very least to be able to cope. And for some reason the image of an elephant transfixed by music made me cry and I don’t know why.

No, that’s a lie. I know why. I’m a sucker for the animal story, they just get to me. It’s also because I read about elephants and their grief a while back when I was randomly having one of my stream-of-consciousness Netsurfing days …

and yes, they happen often …

anyway, enjoy the article and remember how healing music can be. How pieces of music can bring me to complete silence by its artistry, drum up visions of creative daydream, give me shortness of breath joy, make the tears flow quickly, imbue me with energy and glee, make me want to dance until I can no longer dance, or instill in me an unfathomable longing when I close my eyes and let go …


Mozart can ease Suma‘s blues

Zagreb – Suma, a 45-year-old elephant and long-time resident of the Zagreb Zoo, was bereaved and inconsolable after her pachyderm partner of 10 years died of cancer – until she heard Mozart.

“Suma became very depressed after her room-mate Patna died in early May,” the head of the Zagreb Zoo, Mladen Anic, told reporters on Thursday.

“She was refusing to eat, became uncommunicative, showed all the signs of a serious depression.”

Then, by sheer accident, Suma’s keepers discovered that the healing power of Mozart extends to the animal kingdom too.

Earlier this month, the zoo the zoo organised a concert of classical music just opposite Suma’s dwelling, Anic explained.

At the sight of five musicians preparing themselves to start a concert, Suma became very nervous and aggressive, peppering the intruders with little stones that she blew out of her trunk.

“But as soon as the concert started what we saw was really fascinating. Suma leaned against the fence, closed her eyes and listened without moving the entire concert,” he said. Besides Mozart, she took in pieces by Vivaldi and Schubert too.

When zoo authorities realised that classical music seemed to help Suma cope with her grief, they bought a stereo and installed it so she could get a daily dose of music therapy.

The elephant especially adores Mozart, Anic said, but is also partial to the strains of Vivaldi and Bach.

“We are so glad that we can provide – at what is a rather advanced age for elephants – things that Suma really enjoys,” Anic said. – Sapa-AFP

Published on the Web by IOL on 2006-06-29 23:29:27
© Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved. IOL publishes this article in good faith but is not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information it contains.

Seeya on the flip side 😉
– GermanCityMusicLovingGirl

Currently listening to the soundtrack to Master and Commander.

Meal: Happily digesting Mongolian Beef + steamed rice.

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