Thursday, March 27, 2008
Music, Concerts and Moses
"For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul's own speech." Those words are displayed on a painting that hung in my parents bedroom for I don't know how long. As a kid I grew up seeing it, and never really was able, (or tried for that matter,) to grasp the concept behind its statement. Every now and then I am reminded, that is, the truth of that statement is revisited in my mind, and I feel like I understand its poignancy. I think that there is a moment in every kid's life when they realize that there are some things that cannot be accurately expressed by words, and that there must be another medium through which to express these things. When this realization hit me it was in the mid-nineties, for me the golden age of music. Third-eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, Pearl Jam, Cake, Dave Matthews, it was all so good, so rich in meaning and expression.
What got me thinking about all of this was a concert I went to last night at a local art gallery downtown. It was a small-time band called Limbeck that I have loved for the past five years, ever since they opened for The Format in Flagstaff, AZ, in 2003. One of their songs in particular has significant meaning for me, albeit mostly due to nostalgia. It was one of the first guitar songs I learned to play well, and I played it all the time, let me tell you. The song wasn't on their set list for the night, so, at a particularly opportune moment I yelled the name of the song and they played it. To say I was elated would be an understatement. As they played I saw my last few years strung out across the lines of the verses and chorus, deep meaning dancing like notes spread across a page, changing static to dynamic, trading prose for poetry. Subtlety, nuance, it was all there. I was reminded of Moses and his writing of Genesis. As he wrote he shifted from prose one minute to poetry the next, then back again. It is as if there were certain things he felt he could not communicate through prose, things too beautiful to be communicated through its limited means. I love that idea, as if there are some things that my mind simply cannot grasp, was not meant to grasp, that are inherently impossible for me to understand outside of the artistic realm in which reside song, poetry, and the like.
Anyway, if anything, check out the band Limbeck, their first record, "Hi, Everything's Great" is wonderful.