Choices

What happens to artists who quit? I imagine it’s like taking a carbonated beverage and shaking it up real hard, then having to decide whether or not you’re going to open it up or put it away and wait for things inside to calm down. Pressure. You do stuff, then you quit doing stuff, things build up, then you have to start doing stuff again. Jenn Champion made some very cool stuff with her band Carissa’s Wierd. Then she quit. Then she came back and started S. Her music exudes control and precision and confessional, passionate lyrics. Thing is, she has a lot of stuff to say. I hope she doesn’t quit, again, any time soon. But then, what does quitting mean anyway?

[Photos from The Business Presents in July.]

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Never Walk, Dance

What should we talk about when we talk about Katy Goodman? (Seen here, at The Shakedown, opening for King Tuff.) La Sera? The Vivian Girls? Energy? Her ability to throw together cool bands with equally gifted musicians who can all do what they do on stage and in studio, every day, like it’s no thing? Like it’s what everyone does when they’re bored, on tour, or broken hearted? Releasing everything on vinyl? Like it’s 1972, and it’s the only way we can release music, duh. Motion; her dancer’s moves? Her smart, subtle, spooky prolific songwriting… like it’s no thing to be funny and sad on the same record, just because a girl wants to be. Her singing, modern torch yet playful, innocent, and sweet? The girl next door, cuddling with her Musicmaster Fender bass. No, we must talk about her ability to dance and play the bass, on stage, on a small stage, with cables running everywhere! Come on, can you do it? Dance, sure. Bass, sure. Both, most of us would pitch head first right off the stage into someone’s Rainier, ruining the entire room’s retro cool. If she was a scientist, she’d be a dancing physicist. Higgs boson, sure. Dance, of course. Both? Pretty rare. Not one of the six physicists working on the boson-particle mystery is ever described as a cool dancer. Not one reference to snake hips, just tons of glowing prose about decades of tireless attention to particle-decay theory, blah blah blah, which you can’t even see, nothing about dance presence. If they did, we’d be talking about it. A lot. Check it out, you’ll see I’m right. I’m just saying. So buy “Hour of the Dawn,” (Hardly Art, 2014), vinyl of course, and let Katy’s art, her soundscapes, sweep over you. Marvel. Dance, even, if you must. But,… leave the bass, and experimental physics, to the gifted professionals. It’s not as easy as it looks. Safety first. Be cool. Avoid the sorrow.