Thursday, August 10, 2006

Currents and Tides

Sunset on the Georgia Strait
Somewhere between Mayne Island and Vancouver
July 2006

Dearest Friends, I'm back. But you probably already noted that from the last post. It's just taken me awhile to get fully up and running again. You see, it's this bachelor thing - I'm still trying to re-learn how to fend for myself with Dearest Wife and children away in splendid isolation until the beginning of September.

Laundry. Plant care. Cooking.

And the like.

Pretty pathetic, really. But true.

The long weekend on Mayne Island was lovely. But rushed. Rushed, rushed, rushed. Constant motion, coming and going. Dressing children, taking children out, cleaning children up, feeding children. Getting to market by 10:00 AM to get fresh fruit & veg, minister coming over at 11:00 AM to discuss Beloved Mother-in-Law's graveside service. What to eat, when to eat, where to eat. Pack up, head for ferry, head home, feed, iron shirts, sleep.

Mind you, there were beautiful islets of calm and mindfulness, made all the more meaningful by the background hubbub.

A splendid half-hour spent with Darling Daughter on a rocky seaside outcrop, watching, awestruck and electrified, as a pod of two dozen orcas frolicked, jumped, snorted, and splashed their way past us, not a hundred feet away.

Another spent pootling along a beach with Little Man, collecting shells and sea glass, counting galaxies of outrageously purple starfish, flipping rocks to watch the crabby crabs scatter, and discovering the amazingness of kelp.

But hélas, these islets were only briefly visited, before being covered by a flow tide of mundanities and imperatives.

However, Dear Readers, 'tis powerful strange. The whorling currents, the hectic undertow, the stressful froth, I have a sense that they are all pushing me -- us -- somewhere. Where, I do not know. Nor when. But I have a peculiar, ethereal sense that things are unfolding as they should.

Love & Rockets - It Could Be Sunshine (buy here or, for the cyber-minded, here)

Shifting gears, I have a cornocupia of music, the contents of which I've meaning to share with you for some time. Today it's a couple of local gems that I picked up a few weeks back at the opium den that is Zulu Records. Blackavar is fronted by Vancouver singer-songwriter Laura Cartwright, whose quasi-offkey voice spins a thick, husky web of dark, resonant, folkishness. Think Nico meets Hope Sandoval for a shot of whisky and a smoke in a rambling, tumbledown house filled with poignant memories, heavy disappointments, and rich longings. I find the self-titled album as a whole somewhat uneven, but the knockout tracks alone are worth the price of admission. Music for those tired of summer and yearning for autumnal melancholia.

Blackavar - Murder of Crows (buy here)
Blackavar - Your Eyes (I said, buy here)

The other Vancouver offering I have for you is the shoegazey album 'The Picture Plane' by Hinterland. Yes, it's all there: dreamy vocals by one Michaela Galloway, richly layered soft-LOUD-soft guitars, and more lush texture than you can run your dainty little fingers through. Did I say "Lush?" The band recorded a version of Miki & co's "For Love" for an AC30 compilation - come on, there's nowt wrong with wearing your influences on your sleeve. They're also not adverse to deploying such intimidating instruments as the glockenspiel. This is a fine "newgaze" effort, worthy of your attention, if you're into that sort of thing. I know I am.

Hinterland - Halflife (buy here)
Hinterland - Sirens (or here)

I promise, next post will be on the Camera Obscura gig...


bryce said...

Oooo. What I wouldn't give to be on a Pacific Northwest beach right now.

Nothing will recharge your body like a splash in the frigid waters. And the AIR!!

coxon le woof said...

Sounds like you had a great time.


This pleases me. Life seems to be moving on. And offering good tides to good people. Let it continue: )

Rachel said...

No matter how short the moments are they are so special aren't they? I am glad you had a good weekend in spite of all the rushing. We tend to do that, rush.

Hinterland is AMAZING!!!! Thanks for the introduction, I am going to have to add their album to my collection, indeed.

merz said...

thanks for the Hinterland, I read but never heard, like it!

FiL said...

Dearest Bryce: Oh yes, you DO understand!!

Dearest Coxon: It seems like your boat is floating as well - nice to hear!

Dearest Rachel & Merz: So glad you appreciated your foray into the Hinterland.


unknown said...

Catching up...

Music amazing. As ever. Especially Hinterland - as LovelyOne and BrotherMerz note.

But, but... photo is wonderful.

It steals the show.

I do so wish I could take photos like your good self and Ash...


A. B. Chairiet said...

Hi FiL,

Good morning!

I'm catching up also (like this man above me here in the actual comment box), and Hi! How are you? Really well, I hope.

I actually read this post last Friday, I think it was, along with a few others, and Baby Girl woke up right as I was finishing, so no time to comment, but wanted to very much.

Got horribly sick after that, and am just now making my way back around.

Just in case you cared. :)

As for this post: I love the photo, the sunset. I love the writing. I love the details of the moments spent with your children...the quiet ones. I love the glockenspiel. ;)

A friend of mine jokes that I'll only listen to "sad bastard music with a touch of glockenspiel".

Whatever that means. ;)


I hope you realize how beautiful your writing is.

Thanks for the sunset.

~ Ash

FiL said...

Dearest Colin, I'm truly a trial-and-error photographer. Sometimes I get lucky, like this time. It was a lovely evening trip back to Vancouver on the ferry, and the sun just obliged. You can do it too, as evidenced in some of the great photos on your blog. Glad you like the Hinterland - I thought you might. :)

Dearest Ash, of course I care. A whole lot. Thanks for all your love, and I'll try hard to accept your most kind comment on my writing without blushing and coming over all schoolboy-shy... :)