Thieves, music and ruminations on happiness

So what? Y’all don’t want me to be happy? That’s fine, I guess… *humph*

Jim had his first honest-to-goodness, get-real-paid project since moving to Portland yesterday. He took photos of a blues band whose name I cannot remember right now, but I’ll certainly post it here when he gets back (he’s at his second honest-to-goodness, get-real-paid project!) down near the old Westinghouse plant: a gorgeous abandoned industrial building with windows broken out in the most beautiful starry patterns.

And while he was there, someone stole one of his camera bags.

He can’t figure out how it happened. He was no more than ten feet away from the back of the car, where he’d set the bag down for a minute when someone drove up to him and asked for directions. The band’s drummer was sitting in his truck nearby the whole time and didn’t see anyone. Jim didn’t see anyone. But the bag’s gone–including a bunch of filters and his beloved 50mm lens, but not, thankfully, his M8–and there’s nothing to be done but report it to the police and our insurance agent. And maybe rant about it on Craigslist, which is a project for later today.

Hooray for small strokes of luck–I’ve been very paranoid about leaving my iPod in the car lately, especially since someone (Jim) appears to be terminally allergic to locking it. So I reflexively took it out of the car when I got home from Trader Joe’s yesterday, and Jim didn’t take it with him to the shoot, and it didn’t get stolen. Good, because that would’ve been a harder-to-recover-from blow… we have an insurance rider for Jim’s camera goodies, but not for things like iPods that are too cheap to cover but too expensive to replace.

I haven’t written about music in a while, and today I have four reasons to do so:

  • Jim is off doing another music-related shoot (a classical piano/vocal duo, which he’s shooting at the Old Church… we’re thinking it sounds like a great place for the Church of Listening to Radiohead to meet).
  • I’m wearing my homemade (well, CafePress-made) Of Montreal t-shirt. It says "physics makes us all its bitches." It’s funny ’cause it’s true: You can’t fight physics, baby!
  • The sad, sad story of Carter Albrecht (Sorta, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians). There’s a pill for everything now, and in many cases we have no idea what they’re going to end up doing to us.
  • The death of Luciano Pavarotti. My mom had a few opera records when we were growing up, and I still remember the haunting Pavarotti-as-clown photo on the cover of one of them. She used to watch opera on PBS late at night when my dad was out of town. Sometimes, I’d come out and curl up on the couch with her and cry even though I had no idea what was going on, because she was crying too. I downloaded several Pavarotti arias this morning and wondered how cheesy it is that I had never done so while he was alive.

So here’s some stuff I’ve been listening to lately, in no particular order.

  • Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga I resisted the pull of Spoon for a long time, ’cause it’s just so freakin’ hipster to like them… but the power of truly good music triumphs over all boundaries, or something. "Don’t Make Me a Target" is the single, but I highly dig "Japanese Cigarette Case." (Maybe because I have and adore a Japanese cigarette case of my own.) Merge Records’ site lets you listen to, as far as I can tell, the whole album via streaming… try before you buy!
  • Stars: In Our Bedroom After the War "Personal" is a gimmicky song that works… and it’s so so sad. Gotta love it. Stars has both male and female lead vocalists, and this song (as well as several of their others) makes full use of their interplay with an engaging lyrical back-and-forth.
  • Teddybears: Soft Machine I picked this one up at first for the track "Punkrocker" featuring Iggy Pop and didn’t really give the rest of it a listen. But it’s recently become my absolute favorite housecleaning/running (yes! I went for a run! I hurt myself!)/general grooving and getting things done album. Another outfit that does a great job of not-so-happy lyrics layered over deceptively light and hooky tracks.
  • Of Montreal: Icons, Abstract Thee The double-length LP that came out early this year, "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" was utterly terrific. But apparently they had plenty of leftover terrificness that justified putting out a whole ‘nother EP at the same time. "Du Og Meg" is the best song I know about a girl falling in love with a boy who lives in another country and joining a rock band so she can go meet him. "No Conclusion" is pure self-loathing genius, with one of the coolest song (un)structures ever. And, y’know, I never get tired of pimping Of Montreal. Or Snowden.

Ruminations on happiness.
This was really what the whole post was going to be about, but it’s getting awful long already and I should probably cut it short. Happiness is boring anyway, right, guys?


About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Things That Happened. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Thieves, music and ruminations on happiness

  1. Doc says:

    Rant on craigslist? A better plan is to look for the stolen lens on craigslist.

  2. RedMolly says:

    Yeah, we’re doing that too. So far, no dice.

  3. Mimi says:

    Congratulations to Jim, but I’m so sorry about the theft. Grrrr

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