November 30, 2010
There’s a thing I’d like to tease out into the light. It is the nature of a childhood spent in the Pacific Northwest. Not completely certain why, YET, but there is a piece of it here:
http://player.vimeo.com/video/6981507 (Click link to see this. These Vimeo videos are resisting embedding for some reason. It is excellent.)
http://player.vimeo.com/video/3108686 (again click to see the video)
I am not pointing to specifics, this is purely gut reaction; the viscera is where you understand what it is to be a child of the northwest. It is a childhood defined by an undercurrent of a brooding presence, at times menacing, but always creative. A slow-driving, get-your-project-done force. Much of this comes from the sheer power and presence of the natural. The constant quieting grey, massive mountains, dark dancing trees, violent storms, and the ever present, shifting waters.
There is also an element that is unabashedly mystical. This grey tilt here in the northwest allows for the other to be present, to come closer to the veil between worlds. It is exactly why both Twin Peaks and Twilight could only be set here.
Put whatever opinion of these two pieces of fiction you hold aside for the moment, they share a debt; both owe their success to the atmosphere of this region.
When it comes to it, I delight in finding hints of this northwest feeling in pop culture. I felt something of it in the art direction of the movie versions of both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and Where the Wild Things Are .
Likely, much of what I am chasing here is simply the common experience of being a child. My childhood being northwestern I surely can not with confidence claim to locate the line between childhood and the influence of this environment. The best of childhood for me were the stretches of time, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, absorbed in some invented game of private wonder and a logic that made such practical sense within the game; all explanation dissolved when taken out of it (I see this very much reflected in the styling of the Fever Ray video above).
In the northwest, childhood creativity is informed by natural surroundings and a sense of awe. It is a place to find who you are as an individual; delve into what you brought to the table from day one. There is the brooding, there is some winter blues to endure, and yet there is the drive to create; with it a deep, sustained personal fulfillment.
Others who I suspect know the influence of the northwest force:
The Wilson Sisters.
The artists of the Northwest School (including the ones who rebelled at the label.)
Nirvana [as well as the original author (unknown) of this song].
September 6, 2010
July 10, 2010
It doesn’t matter if these songs are not your cup of tea. I suppose I’d be somewhat surprised if these three songs could be in any one cup of tea. Although I love them all. That’s not the point. The point is they are gathered here today to make it feel like 2am, regardless of whatever time of day/night it may be.
2am is Act 2. We’ve moved past the point of introduction, now choices are made and action begins in earnest; private, intense, and full of possibility. Something unseemly, moody (as in decidedly uncheery), sexy, dangerous, a little tacky and enticing goes on in all these songs and it comes up 2am. At 2am it stops being about cool and starts being about what you want.
[What are your 2am songs? Leave them in the comments for Round II.]
And now, in no particular order . . . .
Three Songs That Deliver 2am Whenever:
Is This Love by Whitesnake
Father Figure by George Michael
Milk by Kings of Leon
June 5, 2010
April 13, 2010
Los Angeles, Frank Black
April 8, 2010
I’m sure I’ll have something of substance to say before too long, but for now I am just a tool for my obsessing. Anyway, there is so many great things about this one, the set NOT least among them.
Chelsea Morning, Joni Mitchell (1969)
April 7, 2010
Panic in Detroit, Bowie
April 6, 2010
Detroit Rock City, Kiss
April 4, 2010
These are going to just keep coming. To get things started I present you with Vienna by Ultravox.
November 28, 2009
the hot buttered rum of voices…