michael's communiqué #6
11/14/2003

Dearest Raindrops,
So...I didn't quite manage to do three communique's in three weeks...but two is still a record. I mean it's not like I'm not busy...I've been building a miniature model of the San Chappelle church using toothpicks and colored plastic wrap. I do..however...feel a bit sacrilegious using a toy tin robot as the pastor, but it's all I have..and certainly not a statement of any kind. The Good Shepard and his many interns have been my steadiest friends in recent times, and I will soon be replacing the robot with a figurine of Gandolf..or Obi Wan Kenobe at the very least...

So Halloween...All Hallows Eve...as the Todbot would say....'I luuuuuuuuuv it!" The fact it fell on a Friday night really rejuvenated it some...all of Brooklyn was crawling with creepy hipsters...and some that were even made up for Halloween...(just kiddin')...I saw some neat costumes including a giant jar of mustard, an androgynous sailor, a blackbird shot with arrows...and many girls dressed up as what would appear to be best described as the "slutty" undead.

Our show at The Polish National Hall...or Warsaw...was fun. We played at the fantastic World Inferno Friendship Society's annual Halloween Ball, which means many teenage punks who think New Order is a neo-nazi youth group (I mean come now that was years ago). So we haven't been given so many quizzical looks since we played our second ever show at a Riot Grrrl festival at the old 'Gas Station' performance squat in the East Village (reveal your age by acknowledging it oh elder misfits) called ummm....Vulvapalooza. Imagine yours truly, in the midst of full-out bookish, horn-rimmed cardiganism addressing the future members of Le Tigre with a meek half-hearted "Welcome to Vulvapalooza everybody..." But this show on Halloween was quite fun...and it's a challenge to try to win over new fans from a musical demographic you are only tangentially connected to. New song "Count Backwards" seemed to go over well. But the highlight was the ability to get perogies and beer from sweet polish ladies in the adjacent room, and sit at checkered tablecloths between bands. It beats playing goalie in a cockroach scrimmage in the basement of the old Brownies...

So...let's see...what else did we do this week...ummm laundry....remedial sculpture class...watched Angel.....ummm...oh yeah...played with Belle & Sebastian at Town Hall in NYC!

Let me first say that along with The Magnetic Fields, Pulp, Saint Etienne and Tatu, B & S are one of my favorite pop groups of recent memory..and Stuart in particular is an individual I admire, not just for his beautiful songs, but for his endearing struggle to keep alive a kind of indie/anorak otherness...a desire not to have the essence of where we came from absorbed into the murky morass that The Strokes float on top of. For fighting this losing battle...he has my respect and gratitude.

The show was really a good experience, we rehearsed really hard and actually managed to transition from one song into another for the first time in our brief musical career. B & S was quite friendly and supportive and I "danced like I'm a soul boy" with Stuart & Alicia from Aisler Set/Poundsign (whom we once shared a beaten up stage on Long Island with) at the after party at the CBGB's gallery. I also had a really good conversation with a gentleman at the after party who had really good posture, and happened to be a Jehovah's Witness. He had an endearing grasp on reality that eludes many the existential glamour-pusses of The Lower East Side...and if he reads this, he should drop me a line...

Belle & Sebastian were really good...highlights for me...guitar solo from "Stay Loose", "Sleep Round The Clock", Stuart not knowing what to do with his body during "Get me away from here I'm dying", which is physical semiotics of the finest order. It was a pleasure and privilege...

The experience re-invigorated me to work harder, care less about The New York Scene, send out some e-mails to some of the kids in bands we struggled beside during the lost decade, and to sternly defend the poetics of pop and The Kids Who Are All Wrong...that's why I started doing this in the first place...it's a thankless, but glorious calling. It rushes over you in warm waves...I shall never covet thy neighbor's Interpol again...

I'm grabbing my anorak and leaping into the first pile of leaves I can find......god bless...

Arrividerchi,
Michael Fin du Cycle

p.s. see you New York Favoristas at the release party on Thursday the 20th at The Knitting Factory