I’m still alive, just about, if anyone still cares. I would understand if you didn’t.
I saw Jakob Dylan play two Fridays ago at Wilton’s Music Hall. Was right up front so close that I nearly got beaned by the neck of a bass guitar. He was friendly, personable and joking and therefore rather a contrast to his curmudgeonly, miserable bastard of a Dad. I say this with the suspicion that He Who Shall Not Be Named has a champion sense of humour but chooses not to generally share it.
Even Jakob, when faced with a guy in the audience mentioning He Who Shall Not Be Named, said "I’m more engaging than him, right?" He is. Music is a bit too… Tom Petty… Americana… weak for me but I like it well enough, especially as I got given a free promo copy of his album at the show.
He’s far better looking than the old man, which isn’t hard I’m sure, and he has a far more conventionally pleasing voice… which isn’t hard either. Still, I never liked Dylan The First for his face and I actually really adore his voice lately.
Basically, Jakob isn’t the second coming of the Almighty, but it was a decent night to end a fairly shite week.
I went to the Hadrian exhibition at the British Museum last night, only two days before it closes. It was too fucking busy, just like the Michelangelo drawings exhibition I saw there.
People are inconsiderate fuckers, aren’t they?
There’s a cameo of Trajan and his wife Plotina as part of the exhibition. It’s tiny of course, and I waited patiently while a couple checked it out. They then moved… about two inches away. There was plenty of open space in front of them to move to for the next exhibit, but they chose to stand pretty much in front of the cameo thing. I was feeling really shit (food poisoning from the day before) and so was pretty well eager to get the fuck home as soon as I could. It was twenty past seven on a Friday night, I just wanted to be home, so with less patience than I might normally exhibit, I said ‘excuse me please’. Was this acceptable? Apparently not, for the man then proceeded to mock me, including shoving his face right next to mine while I was trying to look at this fucking ancient cameo.
I really don’t get why people think they have some God-given right to act like wankers. I just glared and he got the idea. I moved on as quickly as I could. I’m sure that I appeared annoying to some of the other people there, but I wasn’t trying to be. It was just so busy that there were queues and/or crowds at every single little thing.
Anyway, there were some pretty cool Hadrian-related artefacts, some quite marvellous statues and bits of information. I couldn’t find too much to be interested in at the sections about the Pantheon and Castel Sant’Angelo because I’ve been to those actual places… although it was interesting to realise that the dome of the Reading Room at the British Museum (where the exhibition was being held on a platform above all the desks and stuff) is only 70cms smaller than that of the Pantheon. It doesn’t feel like it – I guess because it’s a part of a larger complex it doesn’t feel quite so colossal… Anyway, I’m really getting off the point.
I was having a pretty miserable time. I was feeling sick, there were too many people around, my headphones seem to be broken… It was fascinating but I was not truly pulled in. I had a few of my familiar daydreaming what-if moments when I was at the rather brilliant model of Hadrian’s Villa made in the thirties (I think)… but all in all I was not totally fussed.
Then I turned a corner to see this:
I’ve seen statues of Antinous before. I can only assume I’ve seen this one before, because it’s usually at the Louvre. And yet for some reason I was almost overcome by it. How beautiful, how fascinating… I can see why Hadrian would be so infatuated (apparently) and so distraught.
It was only a statue… a really big statue, but a statue nonetheless. But for some reason it caught me enough that I went to have a last look before leaving the exhibition. For someone who pays her own questionable face so little thought, I do get captured if a face is beautiful enough. It reminded me of Flynn, of Valentino, of all those unquestionably beautiful people that have traipsed through my life… and he reminded me of that fellow in Paris too. That would’ve been all the Dionysian cues, I guess.
I have often said that beauty is for people who have nothing else. I think that’s true, but there have been very rare examples where it’s so great that it feeds into other things like charm, charisma, wit, whatever.
I’ve been listening to Rory Gallagher a lot lately. I’m trying not to become obsessed because I already have enough dead Irish musicians pulling on my hem to beckon me to wherever it is, the Underworld, Heaven, Hell, Unconsciousness, Nothingness, Whatever. But I was listening to a particular song that really caught me because of the great blues groove. And there’s one line that keeps coming back to me:
"That song she’s humming can make my guitar start strumming automatically."
Isn’t that a brilliant line? It’s at once hugely complimentary and massively potent. In the hands of a lesser musician, it would sound like the kind of crass shit builders yell at women but from Rory it sounds… sincere, even endearing. It’s mostly my ego demanding adoration, but if it were truly, deeply meant, wouldn’t it be great to inspire such a thought?
This from the same man who on Moonchild sang: "I’ve got the feelin I’m gonna make you smile forever. If I can."
Ah well. Back to my dead Irish musicians. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a couple of years, I look back at this post in the same way I do those early LJ posts which mention a fellow called Philip in respectful-but-not-quite-adoring tones.
What else? Other than my intellectual laziness truly coming into its own, other than my consistent lack of care about my own wellbeing whether physical, mental or educational, other than my persistent inability to socialise with other humans normally… it’s all the same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
This post was brought to you by the letters C + P .