Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Mono Bobo

I was flipping back through my notebook, hoping to find something to inspire me to write again. I found I had transcribed the following contrasting quotes:

Douglas Coupland

“By the age of 20, you know you’re not going to be a rock star. By 25, you know you’re not going to be a dentist or any kind of professional. And by 30, darkness starts moving in – you wonder if you’re ever going to be fulfilled, let alone wealthy or successful. By 35, you know, basically, what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life, and you become resigned to your fate.”

Alex McCandless

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

Compare and contrast. That old English GCSE opener.

Then I threw into the mix this nugget from Tom Hodgkinson’s How To Be Free:

“To realise that everything is meaningless is tremendously liberating, since it then leaves us completely free to create our own lives and ignore the plans that others have for us”.

Mmm, literary threeway.

Everything is meaningless.

I’ve been in a type of limbo at the moment, hence the lack of braindribbles on here and subsequent pimping. However, at the Concorde 2 which recently scooped an award for Best Live Music Venue, I discovered Mono provide the perfect soundtrack for limbo. First heard them mentioned by a friend while bumbling around Kemptown Carnival. Soaked them up on Spotify the next day, found out through Last FM a friend was seeing them on the Monday. Always good to have somebody to conduct the typical arms-folded, foot-tapping, head-nodding stance with.

I almost drowned in the richness of the epic compositions, sprawling gloomy melodies from undeniably cool musicians (an inevitable accompaniment to their Japanese heritage) and in my own sweat. (Second warmest gig I’ve been to – first prize goes to (appropriately named) Yuck, at The Hope in 2010). What made up for that (apart from the music with no vocalist to detract from the soundscapes) was the fact I could actually SEE for a change. I’m 5’ 3”. I struggle at gigs. And in cinemas. And when trying to turn off smoke detectors. And when trying to make a point and be taken seriously. Most of the crowd seemed to be even shorter than me! Some even sat cross-legged on the floor!! Everything contributed to make me feel momentarily uplifted, borne away from the truths Coupland speaks of.

Everything is meaningless.

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.