5/20/09

The Pain In Me

Small bright spot in otherwise Black Tuesday. My friend Richert has been hard at work on a show with mvworks, called ...within us and I saw it last night at PS122. It was fucking amazing. Get more info and tickets here. It opened last night and runs until the 24th. If you're in NYC this is absolutely worth seeing. I don't want to give too much of the show away, but it was sort of... political? In a sort of social commentary way. But not hokey. It felt really organic and (even though there are some elements of the piece approaching violence) really gentle, sort of. Gently political. It's less an indictment than a well-researched reply, I think, to a kinetic culture of disassociation. It felt somehow wrong to Tweet about it, it feels sort of wrong to blog about it. Go see it. It's really great.

Needless to say, everywhere else I feel totally crazy and depressed and don't know what to do with my life ("What's new, Pussycat?" / "Girl, you need Pussy Control")). I was talking about this last night with Sister Pico at the only bar I go to. He listened to me complain and plied me with vodka drinks and for this I love him endlessly. He said that when he feels crazy and out of control he just buries himself in work. This goes against my personal work ethic, but I am staying late at the office tonight to catch up on filing. This is my life.

Dear Max at 16: this will be your life, but you'll be skinny and cute boys will want to make out with you. Worth it? You decide. Also, Max at 16: stop dying your hair and never smoke. Ever.
I love you.

So throw myself into work. I guess. I've got to throw myself into something and the Apocalypse is still a ways away. Reading Snarky Sontag again. Planning my trip to Berlin for late August / early September. I don't really have the strength or inclination to Make Things Happen right now. I want Nothing To Happen. I wanna check all the way out of my life. I don't feel bad.

I went record shopping last weekend and I got Planningtorock's genius Have It All on limited edition white vinyl. I love that album. I don't know what prompted me to get it in 2006. Maybe the clothes. I think the hair in the face and the all-white outfits really struck me. I think I was aware that Janine Rostron was living in Berlin, I guess I knew there was some kind of immigrant thing going on.


(This is what Planningtorock looks like, these days)

The record and Planningtorock in general get compared to Sparks a lot, which I guess is fair. Her work is often kind of talked about as being sort of cheeky and funny, "quirky" or whatever. To me, it is not so funny. To me, Planningtorock's album is about grappling with feelings of profound isolation. Exploring the idea of loneliness, the possibilities of social interactions, the limits of finite desire. Searching to know where you're from. Hiding from yourself. The weird, multilayered orchestral arrangements speak to a certain kind of obsessive-ness, I think. One of the helmets that Rostron wears onstage looks sort of mottled from the audience, but in a video she explains that it's actually covered with pictures of her, she refers to it as "a kind of voodoo". I love it. That record has gotten me through some pretty rough times. I remember listening to it over and over again when I worked at Pratt and was utterly miserable and it was the coldest winter I could ever imagine. Walking around frostbitten on my lunch-break, sad about the world and feeling like a real failure. I had just graduated school and had broken up with a very sweet boy because of political differences (betcha didn't know that, did you?) and had no career or money or freinds or anything going for me. That record made me feel like I didn't need to always know what constitutes "me". It made me feel a lot better and I have a lot of really great memories from it. And on limited edition vinyl, white, for only $5. Bargain city.

Anyway. There's going to be a new Planningtorock record soon, titled BLACK THUMBER. I'm very excited. Here's a preview of it:

"Black Thumber" promo video from planningtorock on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Haikal Noyes said...

planningtorock is so amazing!