The Church Of Me
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Kissing in the churchyard, I know a righteous woman

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
SPRING SYMPHONIES

The Constantines: "Shine A Light"


…because of course you know, it’s so obvious when it happens, even after you’ve been pleading for years, inwardly, to be saved, borne away and nurtured, that when it’s there, when she’s finally there, your absolute instinct to nurture her suddenly blooms, and that’s what it’s about, love that is, the desire and ability to nurture each other, to want to immerse ourselves in each other’s lives, to listen to music anew through her ears…

…because wasn’t that the point, this museum I’ve been inhabiting these last four-and-a-half years, shelves of books and music, sad and groaning and mourning because of the absence of the OTHER life which gave them animation and point, and this is why the Church was built, to make them live again, fit for habitation and coexistence with the one person who will UNDERSTAND…

…because now I want to hear her music, welcome what she has to offer, and so the Constantines make me think of all those nearly forgotten bands whom Laura loved so much and wanted me to love as passionately…Bailter Space, or the Underground Lovers, or Pond, or Bleach even…and thus did I hear them and absorb them, and thus were they indispensable to our life…

…because this being a new life, and it’s all of a sudden full of these Canadian groups, well is it any wonder, because the right person has turned out to be a Canadian, so naturally I want to hear what she’s hearing, and preferably how she’s hearing it, so the…

…Constantines and the record was waiting for me in the racks, patiently as though it had been waiting all these years for me to find it, or be worthy of it, but then suddenly it’s spring, and there’s this song there, track two…

…and it starts with a repeated guitar peal, and yes it sounds like bells, your bells, and those bells which seem to chime out spontaneously every time I pass them, but then it quietens down with a beautiful little 10/8 harmonic sequence, nearly humble, and it makes me think of…

…the Chills and specifically their song “Pink Frost” which was, as Sinker said so aptly, sounded like a rock group playing as quietly as possible, as though putting earmuffs over their speakers, trying not to disturb anyone else, but then that song was about the irreversible end of someone, and something, but this…this “Shine A Light”…it’s reversing all of those modes and it sounds like a beginning, an invitation…

“Don’t talk to me about simple things
There’s no such thing
All a man can build is his vision
And I love my man for trying.”

…the voice is not technically perfect, but then I’d walk away if it were, it betrays vulnerability, a clinging perhaps, but also a determination to make a future happen, thus the chanted title in the 12/8 chorus, and again those bells of riffs…

“I hope a little rest comes to you
You shine a light,
A light on me.”

…and then eventually it all goes quiet, except for the organ, which continues to play that harmony, in other contexts poignantly tragic (Leila’s “Little Ones”), but here acts as a hymn of consolation (“It gets me through”) and a marker for decision as everything defeating is shaken off, and then the guitars roar out proudly, and it shakes me to my pleasure core, because this song is now about me, about us, and how does that make me feel, and…

“My man’s sleeping naked with a fire under his feet.”

…and it’s the sunshine that’s causing that, you know that, telling me to get out of bed, throw the curtains open and wake up to you, my most precious Reader…

Ornette Coleman and Prime Time: Bach Prelude

…this is a good spring awakening, I can feel it, though there are those strange rituals I still have, for every year when the clocks go forward for British Summer Time, the first evening I come home from work and it’s light and sunny, I always play “Burning Down The House” by Talking Heads, and have done for the last 22 springs…I can’t explain why, but it always makes me feel that crucial bit warmer…but there’s also nothing like Ornette to help usher spring in and snow away, and while playing the album Tone Dialing from a decade ago, and now I think it’s one of his absolute best records, maybe even the “harmolodic” record he was always working towards, because no Ornette record is fuller of harmony than Tone Dialing, as the title should suggest…

…the “Bach Prelude” comes from one of Johann Sebastian’s solo ‘cello suites, and here two guitars play the melody delicately and perfectly although there are heavy drumbeats and drum machines at right angles to the guitars, are they fitting in, not quite, except they are if you don’t expect the linear…

…and this piece of music could actually serve as a potted history of music over the last 250 years because on one hand there’s the solemn German cathedral, on the other the African dawn, and like Slim Gaillard says on “How High The Moon,” what’s going to happen when those planets meet, boom explosion that’s really gonna have a whaling time…

….and then the melody ends, or pauses…

…and then this GLORIOUS DIN OF A RUSH spreads in like purple butterflies letting in the heat and sun, Ornette’s alto soaring and quivering over everything, the harmonics all rendered askew, the drums now in total tandem, and it’s like the banishment of solitary confinement, the throwing open of the cobwebbed doors after years of voluntary guilt-ridden isolation, do you see Reader, of course you do, you unlocked those doors, you found me, and there is such JOY and CONCORDANCE of yellow shiny elements in this music, so spontaneous yet so carefree in its caring carefulness, equivalent in its way to, what, Lester Bowie gloriously raspberring his way through “The Great Pretender” – “The Great Clown Prince of the Trumpet,” as Hugh Masekela referred to him, approvingly and appropriately – and it is sexy as well as free, because how can you have one without the other, it makes me want to go out and build skyscrapers of grass and blossom, and it all comes to a calm and happy end, and Ornette lets out one final little sopranino squeal as we all fly into the never-bluer sky, into our future…

…and you catch me tenderly in mid-flight, bring me to earth with unparalleled grace, and we look at each other and look after each other in hosannas of radiant peace.


posted by Marcello Carlin Permalink
. . .


. . .