Wednesday, November 5, 2003

An Apology

I am sorry my last couple entries have been bitchy complaints. Right now, I am in the best of moods. I saw Le Tigre perform tonight, and they were totally awesome. Sometimes you just need to yell and shout until you are drenched with your sweat and the sweat of your fellow concert-goers, and then everything is all right, you can walk out of the venue, drenched and hot, and step into the cool moist air and breath out. This part of the evening, the post-concert exhale is the equivalent of the cinematic post-coital smoke. You catch your breath out there on the street, and think: Man, that was good.

So good. I was right against the stage because at Irving Plaza there is always an open spot on the far left side of the stage because there is a huge speaker stack there that will make your limbs vibrate with each beat, that will make you want to cover your ears, and worry about the long term effects to your hearing for getting to stand so close. But I didn't care, or not that much, it made the experience that much more intense, the fact that I could feel the music vibrating through me. It made me want to dance and scream more.

And because I love opportunities to scream along, Johanna Fateman is my new favorite member of Le Tigre. Lately, I am in love with female singers who just shriek and wail, and man, oh man, can Johanna fucking yell those lyrics like she's pissed. In between one of the songs, in a normal speaking voice that makes you wonder if all these polite talking people also have an inner punk rock scream just waiting to come out, she read an announcement about some feminist lending library, Jane Doe, starting up in Bushwick, how they are queer and trans friendly, and how we should support them, when some audience member started shouting "Gentrification! Gentrification!" And Johanna was trying to listen to this audience member and it took a couple more repeated shouts before Johanna heard her. This person then shouted: "They are not trans friendly."

This is at Irving Plaze, a fairly large venue, large enough so that it is weird when an audience member is shouting at a performer. Johanna, unfazed, and tough as nails said something along the lines of: "Dialogue is great, but I am just reading their information from this card. I think what they are trying to do though is really great, something that needs to be done, and if you have a problem with them, you should talk to them, get involved and try to change things."

So diplomatic, but yet still so firm in what she believes, and in her belief that we can affect positive change if we participate instead of griping. It really is such an empowering message that they are trying to promote in their music, it's so admirable, and so dancey, and inspiring. Because of the danciness, of the sing-a-longability of their songs, we particpate with the songs, we sing and dance with them, and they move us to action, making us see that mobilization is not impossible, that it totally fucking is, that it is happening right now with everyone singing this anthem.

Their encore song was my favorite, "Keep on Living," the slightly schmaltzy song that always gets me so excited about life and about living it. So I shouted along extra hard because I knew it was the last song, that soon it would be over and I would be in that post-concert state of catharsis, and I wanted to make that cathrasis as intense as possible, and so did everyone else there, so we all shouted like fucking maniacs and danced harder than we had all night because we knew this was our last chance to get off, to achieve orgasm.

And man that cool air felt so good outside. I rode the subway home with positive thoughts and high hopes in my head, and saw this insanely hip boy that I met at the Bruce La Bruce show over a month ago. I didn't say hi to him because I did not remember his name and I was worried that he did not remember me at all and he was reading the New Yorker and my voice was hoarse and I have no self-confidence. But when he was getting off the subway, he noticed me and said, "Hi Charlie." And I know it shouldn't be, but whenever someone remembers my name I think it is such a big deal, such an honor, and this is probably because I have such trouble with names and it takes about two weeks of knowing someone before I remember their name. But yeah, he remembered my name and I saw Le Tigre rock and roll, and so I went home totally stoked, totally happy and excited about life, reinvigorated, and so again, I am sorry for my sour mood these past couple days, sorry for being the the fat kid from the Goonies who didn't think anything was a good idea, sorry for being the heckler from the audience who just wants to point out faults. It was stupid. It was petty. Let's affect positive change.

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