The wow of the now
It is the nature of perception to assail our consciousness with images of that which just happened. And it is the nature of consciousness to constantly assail itself with predictions of what will happen next. Residing as we do at the intersection between past and future, it is our never ending challenge to focus on that intangible moment called now.
My father-in-law, the Western Wrangler, a man of deep perception and sagacious wit, coined the phrase “pre-post-nostalgic regret” to define that poignant state of mind that can be precipitated by anticipation of past events. An example would be that momentary pang one can feel in the midst of a great party when the realization that the party will inevitably end comes to mind. If we’re lucky, such vacillations of enjoyment are transitory and can even provide motivation for deeper appreciation of the present.
For musicians, the challenge is to capture the now by creating junctures of time and space that weave past, present and future into a seamless series of vibrations that encapsulate all the possibilities inherent in a situation or an emotion. The paradox involved is that to create such moments of ecstatic spontaneity one must spend countless hours in composition and rehearsal and discussion, but the payoff of all those disciplined hours is the freedom from the necessity to think about it once you’re actually performing the finished piece.
Take, for instance, Friday night’s performance by the Fiberglass Jackets at the Off Limits. Those of us who have been involved in the Chico music scene for a couple of decades or more had no doubt that we were in for a musical treat. Barbara Manning has a well-deserved reputation for writing great songs and fronting great bands, and this latest project is no exception. Tom Little brings years of six-string playing to bear on the four strings of the bass guitar in this trio, and the result is a richness of tone and intricacy of rhythm that surges through the songs with compelling and satisfying results.
Hats off to the Off Limits for hosting diverse and excellent live music. Culture Vulture recommends checking the place out and supporting a good scene.
When you only get your hair cut once or twice per decade it becomes an event equivalent to the opening of an art exhibition. It’s an effect that takes years to achieve, but it’s worth the necessary wait between cuts just to accomplish the surprise that you deliver simply by walking into a room with a neatly trimmed coiffure after years of walking into the same room with a shaggy untrimmed mane for the better part of a decade.
Aleister Crowley recommended changing one’s belief system every 30 days or so in order to gain perspective on one’s relationship to the truth. Culture Vulture recommends changing your hairstyle once or twice per decade to gain perspective on your relationship to the superficial.