Sunday, March 25, 2007

Elm Grove Window

Page France – Windy
The Microphones – I Want Wind to Blow

I went to a party on Saturday night, it was windy and I could barely contain myself. The party was in lieu of Rose Quartz head honcho Max’s birthday. I’d spent the preceding afternoon reading Notes from Underground in botanic gardens where there was no wind and it was humid heat all around. Then it started raining and then wind kicked in and later that night at Max’s I arrived and it was extremely cold, a good 20 degrees cooler than that afternoon.

‘That’s some wind a-blowin', ain't it.’ Richard Gere says that to his beautiful French beau in Breathless when the sky is low and the wind is blowing through trees backgrounded by an overcast dusk. I tried to express my penchant for a windy eve in a simiarly eloquent manner, I'm not sure what came out but I'm fairly sure it was gibberish. But yes, that’s the Richard Gere Breathless, not anything nouvelle vague, and neither are these songs up above; they’re traditional and happy to be blown around by a wind. Not overly fragile but they are both sensitive. More triumphant, I think, particularly The Microphones' track.

Anyway, the fact is I've been obsessed with wind ever since I saw Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. It’s got the most wonderful scenes in this huge park in London: wind swinging huge trees, making quite a sound and being very moody as the protagonist discovers somebody's murder. But it’s just the aesthetic of wind that pleases me; it’s meditative and also there’s a feeling of change, of transience. Enormous trees .

I’m not sure how big the trees are in these two songs, maybe quite a lot smaller than those in that park in London; both tracks are gentle, washing blowing on a clothesline, impressionistic. Page France’s music is frail in some respects but also triumphant. They have an album called Hello, Dear Wind and I feel like they might like wind just as much as me. They believe in windy days where everything gets blown away. Their songs are autumnal and like how autumn songs sound autumnal these windy songs are always driven by an acoustic guitar. Phil Elverum’s guitar is like a gust on this Microphones track, the opener of his magnificent The Glow Pt. 2. Those two songs at the top; listen to them in a park, on a bench, near a river, make sure there are trees whose leaves can shake and rustle and fall.

1 comment:

ella said...

everybody sees the wind blow richard, paul simon knows it. I'm astounded by how much we all want to write about the weather here. I do too, the conditions of the music are as important as the music itself. Which is a nice idea, maybe they write each other. I think a bad record can become a good record when it's wrapped in a nice memory or a beautiful place.