Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bring it!

Tonight was the first Storm game of the season!!! (Well, actually, it was a preseason game but let's not be too picky.) It was a great game against the New York Liberty, and I don't think it would be unfair to say that we stomped them--the Storm won 71-43! As an added bonus, when the players threw free t-shirts to the crowd after the game, Larry helped me catch one. It literally came straight to us, then Larry directed it to me (more specifically, at my face since it hit me in the nose). I never try to catch t-shirts anymore, because last year I reached for one and a lady behind me snatched it away, jamming my finger. I'm not kidding--I couldn't bend it for 3 days! So it was a pleasant surprise, and a great way to start the season. The first game will be May 21 against the LA Sparks, our archrivals. I can't wait!

The great grease fire clean-up continues, although we're almost done. We had tickets to Sigur Ros Wednesday, so we took the night off from cleaning to listen to experimental Icelandic music. The opener was a group of 4 girls called Amina, and they were AMAZING. They all played strings, and also took turns playing a variety of other instruments like the xylophone, harmonium, handbells, glasses, and the saw. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I saw someone play a saw, and I'm pretty sure it was at some weird country music festival my parents took me to. Amina's saw playing was much different than I remembered, and very cool. Their EP is called Animamina, and if you can get your hands on it you won't be disappointed.

Sigur Ros left me a little cold, to be honest. I think their concept is cool: the male lead singer bows his electric guitar like a violin, and sings with this really high, ethereal voice. A lot of their music is based on sustained pitches and phrases, and some songs are in a made-up language that lets you imagine your own words. The lead singer used a distortion box on his guitar quite a lot, and the Amina gals played background strings for much of the show, kind of like a drone.

Intellectually, I appreciated that they were pushing the boundaries of what is typically considered music (vs. noise) and how we are used to hearing it. Aesthetically, it just wasn't my thing. Part of it could be that they were overamplified for the space, but the distortion and extended high pitches made my head hurt. And I don't know how else to explain it, but almost all of their songs sound like the bridge of a song to me. There's no build-up or resolution--it's just THAT INTENSE ALL THE TIME. I think I just had different expectations for what they would sound like.

What I liked about the performance is that it got me thinking about music in a way that I haven't for a while (and maybe that's part of their goal--who knows?). At any rate, it was at Benaroya Hall, which is beautiful--the lobby has two amazing glass sculptures by Dave Chihuly that I never get tired of looking at. Plus, it's always nice to see a show in a venue with assigned seating and clean bathrooms!

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