October 15, 2007 § 4 Comments
So, oops, it’s been a week. And a half. Good thing NaBloPoMo doesn’t start for a few weeks. Incidentally, is anyone thinking of doing NaNoWriMo, too? That strikes me as impossible, but I suppose you’re not meant to start from nothing.
Anyway, when last we spoke, I had just secured tickets to the Sexsmith-Barber concert in Chester. It was fantastic. Lots of mid-fifties to mid-sixties people in the audience, but a few younger faces, too. Ron Sexsmith, of course, is a Canadian legend, beloved by the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Elton John, blah blah blah. He’s never generated much of a fan base, it seems, because all the famous people have been hoarding him, so you should go download some stuff from iTunes right now, just so you can be in-the-know, too.
Jill Barber is actually based in Halifax, but she’s toured all over the country in the past two years, and Thursday night she kicked off a new tour. Her voice is both old-timey, smoky French cafe and really fresh and new, and the performance was fun and light— there was an electric mandolin in evidence, which pretty much spells heaven to me.
Ron Sexsmith’s set was a bit more subdued. Apparently there wasn’t money in “the budget” (whose?) to pay his whole band for the gig, so it was an acoustic affair, with just him playing guitar and keyboard. Which was perfect for both me and Richard who was enjoying the start of a two-day migraine, but Sexsmith seemed a bit disappointed. It bothers me that a man who’s been playing his heart out for twenty years— to great critical acclaim— still has to compromise. But then, muddling through is what we all do, disappointments and all.
Anyway, great set, and he took requests, which was another sad moment; clearly most of the crowd just knew his name, not his work, so they didn’t have any requests. I’m too shy to yell, and there was a guy behind us who kept shouting during applause “How about Secret Heart?” I like to imagine Bob Dylan’s reaction to that kind of thing: in the face of my decades of work and four-inch-thick songbook, you want to hear that one song someone else made famous?
Though I imagine Dylan would be much more of an asshole about it than Sexsmith was. He played it eventually, and very graciously.
On Saturday we saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which, despite its mixed reviews, was exactly what it should have been. A fantastical, sweeping costume drama with a little bit of acting and an eensy smidge of history thrown in. My only quibble is that the sea battle wasn’t long enough. And although I couldn’t watch it, I appreciated the inclusion of a (brief) scene wherein a Protestant’s tongue was cut out before he was shot. It behooves us in the West to be reminded forcefully and often that we have a recent history of fundamentalism and fanatacism.
Yesterday we went to the Annapolis Valley to collect pumpkins for slaughter this Halloween. The weather was tempestuous and moody, which made great cloud formations for photos. Late in the afternoon we were on the Acadia campus Geocaching and looked up to discover the brightest, fullest rainbow I’ve ever seen. There was a double arc for a few minutes, too, the whole thing circling the campus. It was raining so hard though, no one else even noticed.
Some Photoshop fiddling is required to correct the colors (to what they really were)> But you get the idea.
And finally, this optical illusion. Which way does it spin for you? After a bit of struggling, I can make her twirl clockwise at will, but counterclockwise is my natural state. If you’re having trouble, close your eyes and think either of a famous painting I use The Scream because it’s easy to keep in my head) or some rote memorization from history class, whilst simultaneously urging her to spin the way you want. Let me know how it turns out.