(Had real trouble logging into Blogger earlier today; I can only assume it was thanks to millions of other folks attempting to post their thoughts on the election. Now that I'm on, here's my contribution to that multilogue. For now at least, the thing I can't get out of my head is not music but the fucked-up decision my home nation just made yesterday: to retain its appallingly inept leader for another four goddam years.)
I've spent most of the day either cursing my fellow citizens or weeping--though I refuse to abandon all hope. Picked up Caetano's Tropical Truth and found the following passage, which brought some degree of comfort. Substitute the U.S. for Brazil and Bush for "military dictatorship" and you've got a pretty good description of how I feel at the moment:
We the tropicalistas, unlike so many of our more naive leftist friends, who seemed to believe that the military had come from Mars, had always been determined to face the dictatorship as nothing less than an expression of Brazil. That view increased our suffering, but today it also sustains what seems to be my optimism. I think and act as I do, knowing in my bones the truth of Brazil's potentialities, having entered into a dialogue with Brazil's deepest desires--and I do not conclude that we are a pure, ineluctable failure. I learned then to recognize the forces of regeneration, and even being aware of the proposition's very high risks, I am always inclined to double my wager.
Tonight I saw the phenomenal Andrew Bird at Soundlab in lovely downtown Buffalo. I was wiped out after the end of the five-week run of the cabaret show I've been part of all month, which wrapped up with a marathon election-night production, and I really, truly wouldn't have left my house for anyone but Mr. Bird, whose lush, delightful music seemed the only thing I wanted to hear under the circumstances--the aural equivalent of comfort food. His recent solo records are beautiful, and live he's even more astonishing, playing up to four instruments (simultaneously!) and singing. Hate to compare artists to other artists, but anyone who likes recent Wilco or Radiohead albums or Rufus Wainwright would be well advised to check him out. Trust me: the perfect soundtrack for this frazzled moment in time.
Now that the Cabaret is on hiatus for a while, I hope to post more often here, starting with several entries I started and didn't quite finish over the past month.
On one hand, it seems hard to write about music when my nation appears to be heading straight to hell. But what else can I do? The only thing that gives me hope and help in such dire times is art/music/culture. This stuff keeps me alive.