Music: Savages - Silence Yourself

I haven’t written a music post in a while, and this one should have been written ages ago, since their first album came out a few months ago (May 6th to be exact) and I have been listening to it ever since.
Some days I complain to myself that all I listen to is “old” music, and that the only albums I buy are new albums from “old” bands, and that there is not much “new” music that makes me feel the same way my “old” favourites make me feel. You get the drift… And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, a new band will release an album and I will be blown away by it. Completely blown away. And this makes me feel that things are somewhat right in the world again (well from a music standpoint, because outside of that I doubt anything will be ever completely right again). Maybe I need to rephrase: Savages made me feel like everything was right in my music world again.

Seriously. Here we have another band that I want to kick myself for not taking the night off work back in October of last year to see them play live at the Mercury Lounge, because there is no way that they will ever be playing a small venue like that again in this city. In fact, they are playing a sold out show at Webster Hall tomorrow night (Thursday July 11th), and if there is any way you can get in you definitely should. I wish I could, but I really can’t afford a night off work this week… Ah well. Next time. At least I can continue to listen to the album on repeat without getting tired of it!

Savages create music that makes you forget everything around you, let you lose yourself in a whirlwind of sound and emotion, and makes you dance like no one is watching, whether they are or not. Formed in 2011 in London, this all female band released their first album, Silence Yourself, this year. For me they seem to be timeless, and although they have been labeled as “post punk revival”, probably because they mainly fit right in with the sounds of The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division to name a few, for me they are a band I would have loved at 10, at 16, at 25 and now. Timeless. It’s not even about influences, as I honestly don’t listen to or even like every band influenced by The Cure or Nick Cave, it’s more about a perfect match of sound with lyrics that takes me to another place. And being in another place always makes me happy. My happy music, as my sister would call it. Dark, dreamy, raw, powerful and dark. Listening to Silence Yourself makes me feel the same way as I do whenever I listen to Faith.

With powerful vocals (think PJ Harveyesque) and raw lyrics that you can emphasize with, Savages are definitely my new favourites for this year, and I really can’t get enough of them.

Listen to Shut Up, and especially Waiting for a Sign – I have had this one on repeat for a while now. Beautiful song which evokes so many emotions as well as a feeling of power and loss of all power at the same time. Sometimes I feel like they have taken the words that run around my brain all the time and created songs out of them.

No Face -
"Repeat every word I say, Miming another boring day, I have better things to do, Now you’re here I must get rid of you”

Words on Walls

Freedom & EqualityLove LoveNot Responsible For Your LifeClairvoyant PsychicImaginePeace_And_Love
R1-07710-0014Wrong WayDanger No SwimmingR1-06168-011ADefaced WallAlways
Love is LoveHigh times in the LordBooks love the kidsAvoid ApathyGod's giftKeep it evil
L'art c'est un motLove 3SmileRevoltI dream of loveJesus light of the world

Words, a set on Flickr.

Over the past few weeks I have been trying to sort through hundred of photos, both digital and film, to see if I can sort them out by theme rather than date which is how they are currently sorted.

I finished this one last night, a collection of words on walls and signs in NYC, Long Island, London. I am sure I will add to it as I am always taking photos of random words that I see in random places.

On one of my walks I was taking pictures of a mural on Myrtle Ave, in Bushwick going towards Ridgewood. The mural took up the whole of a deli wall, and said "Jesus Saves Brooklyn". A couple of guys stopped to tell me that "Jesus Saves" was actually a grafitti artist and that was his name. So there... If you ever see "Jesus Saves" on walls around town, it's not someone telling you that Jesus saves, just an artist signing off on his work.

Anyway, to be continued...

Wanting to be somewhere else...

I always know when it's time to leave somewhere. Sometimes it happens gradually, sometimes I just open my eyes in the morning and realise I need to live somewhere else. The last time I felt this so strongly was during 2001 and 2002. Living in Grenoble, France, last year at university, my family had just moved to California, the Twin Towers had fallen to the ground in front of my eyes through my television, and my deep research on Sylvia Plath for my thesis was creating my own personal bell jar. I only left the house to go to my few classes, to teach and tutor my students and to get groceries. Tim Buckley (Anthology), Tom Waits (Used Songs) and Bob Dylan (Desire) were the only CDs in my 3 CD player, and I spent most of my days reading and watching inane crap on TV (mixed with documentaries on serial killers, old-fashioned god people and terrorism). My friends would stop by to see me, try to get me to go out with them, just like old times, and would leave me multiple messages on my answering machine every night telling me how much they missed me, singing to me (I wish I had saved the tape - some of those messages were pretty amazing).

All I wanted was to leave. Be somewhere else. Do something else. Be someone else.

I got through it, moved to the US for a while, and because I couldn't stay there longer than 3 months, went off to Israel for a little over a year and then to London for a little less than a year. And then arrived in NYC.

From the moment I moved here I never thought I would want to leave. I vividly remember getting off the plane at JFK, getting in a cab, and thinking to myself "this is what it feels like to come home". Six years later, and I am finally feeling that same sinking, gradual feeling of realisation that I am very much tired of living here. I'm tired of being unhappy at work, I'm tired of not doing something that really means something to me (and to the rest of the world), I'm tired of not having a quiet place to go to and relax, I'm tired of not being able to grow my own food, I'm tired of having to listen to my friends complain about everyone else, and about how they all want to change their lives but just end up doing the same thing over and over again (i.e. getting drunk in the same bar every night). I'm tired of giving people the same advice that I should be taking myself.

I can't just pick up and move this time around though.. I have debt to pay off, a need to sustain myself, rent and bills to pay, plans to make. I don't even know where I want to go! One day it's England, another France, another California and yet another day setting up my own commune on a tropical island where I can fully sustain my own life.

But the one certainty that I do have is that I don't want to be HERE anymore.

England... I forgot you somehow...

I left London 6 years ago, and landed in New York with a couple of suitcases, a new job and what appeared to be a sea of new experiences to have, people to meet and a new life to explore. I never really looked back... I wasn't really happy in London. I didn't enjoy my job that much (especially not the pittance it paid), I didn't really know anyone, and didn't know how to meet people, couldn't afford to do much more than work and eat. I did live in a great house, with wonderful people, but at the same time I missed my mum, sister and brother who were in California, my on/off boyfriend who was back in Colombia (is boyfriend really the word? I don't know anymore), and all my friends in France and Israel. I missed the sunshine and the desert, the "real" coffee, the long nights... I was lucky to have the rest of my family in England, and made regular trips up to Empingham to be with my Nana and Aunt, but I was too restless for London at the time, too full of anger at not being able to live in the US, too full of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life.

New York swallowed me up. A lot happened over the space of 6 years, some of it covered very openly, or more discreetly, in this blog. But now I feel like it has spit me out, the same person, a little older, a little wiser, but with a lot more hindsight, and also, foresight.

I finally went back to England last week for 6 days. 3 days for work, 3 days for myself. It was quite a revelation, in a sense. Everything is still in segmented phrases in my head for now, so that is how I am going to portray it here...

I love London. The buildings, the Tube, the smell of the soap, the parks... The politeness of living in England. Yes, people DO stand to the right on elevators, and wait for people to get off the train before they get on, however busy the platform is. Fruit pastilles. Chips and mushy peas late in the evening.
The countryside... Rutland. The green of the land, thatched roofs, The White Horse and Sunday Lunch. Jacket Potatoes and long conversations with Auntie Louise. Home.
The proximity of the rest of Europe and the idea that Paris IS only a short flight or train ride away.
Charlie and Cristi and Lynn not far - why were we not all such close friends before I moved? Would I have moved if we had been? (Probably, but I still wonder).
QUIET. The ability to actually sit in a pub and have a conversation with people who are not off their faces on something.
People who have known me since I was born. Family. REAL news on television. Really, really old things. Israel being only a 5 hour flight away.

There are more. Just let me get my thoughts together properly. Sometimes I see everything through the opposite of rose-tinted glasses, and I feel like I spent my time in London looking through grey-tinted glasses 6 years ago. Now I have more perspective...

Back later.