Sunday, November 01, 2009

but we didn't mind, we didn't know better

So I had wanted to write this whole thing about a Regina Spektor song. It had all started because I saw her perform very recently. Unfortunately, every time I sit down to write about it, the only thing that seems to come out is an unintelligible mess. Oh well, try, try again.

I’ve already beaten to death a (now) rather old Spektor song, Fidelity, but when I heard it live, it pretty much evoked the exact same reaction I had when I first heard it. The strangest things can happen at a good concert. Standing in a crowded theater with the lights down low, I was transported to a sunny block in Potrero Hill, big dumb grin on my face. A good, good friend, an evaporated one, one of the ghosts, introduced me to the song so many years ago. And as I listened to Spektor play it, I thought of how perfect it was and how sometimes people just get you. Sometimes, entirely unintentionally, but then again, it turns out that doesn’t really matter.

Here’s another Spektor song. Initially, I had wanted to write about Eet- it seemed a very appropriate song for a few friends who are going through rough patches at the moment. Only problem is that I just don’t feel that way at the moment. I don’t feel that time is fading or dulling things.

Once you get infected with love, it’s like a virus, that’s how I feel. It’s a virus that lays dormant, and you think you’re cured, and oh, next time it will all be so different. Then someone comes along, infection gets reactivated, and next thing you know you’re sprawled out on the ground, sick once more. And I suppose you could be sad about that, but Spektor does not appear to be, not in The Calculation, which seems to laugh at the sleepwalking that goes on in life and delights in the fire that ignites when there is an awakening.

It’s all rather absurd from a certain angle. Right after falling for someone, the arithmetic begins. Does it all add up? What is the ratio of good to bad? What can be subtracted? Can the feeling multiply exponentially? Or is the whole thing headed for long division? But you could pull out every polynomial and apply all the integrals, and none of it would give you an answer. Maybe the only thing mathematic that applies is infinity- it feels just that large and intangible, that real and unreal.

I suppose all of this applies to writing something down about this song. I could try to describe why it is a great song. I could try to explain what about hearing Spektor open with this song sold me on it. But it likely wouldn’t make any sense, not from outside my head. Still, people keep on singing love songs and trying to write about things they can’t fully articulate, don’t they?

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