Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Pant. Pant. Pant. So many adventures, so little time!
The trouble with me is that everything interests me. This can be a problem when I sit down to write something pithy for thith column. I get so caught up in some little thing I read in the newspaper that my navel gazing gets shoved off for another day. So today I'm catching up on the n.g., but I'm doing it in a way that might entertain you.
Cat lovers, scroll down. There's a kitten post.
Monkey Man devotees, scroll down. There's an interesting anecdote about how poetry and chemistry, combined in proper proportions, create magic. Oh, ye of little faith in alchemy!
And today's featured sermon is on the topic of ecstasy-inducing music and its role in religion.
Oh, that sounds dreadfully dull, doesn't it. SO DAMN! LET'S GO ON A SPREE!
Last summer my daughter The Heir dragged me (kicking and screaming) to a concert by a band called The Polyphonic Spree. All she told me beforehand was that the group had more than 20 members, including a choir and strings, and that the music would be ... emm ... musical. The show was to be held at one of those smallish venues where everyone under 21 has to stay downstairs, standing up. At least the ticket prices were reasonable: $25 apiece.
I prepared for an ordeal. Instead I got a SPREE.
Wow! Let's dance! Let's sing about finding yourself! Let's cavort as cannons shoot confetti into the air! Let's watch this high-energy crowd of musical whirlwinds spray the air with sound! Let's sing along ....
Ooops! I'd never heard of this band. And they ain't geezer rockers. So I couldn't sing along.
On the other hand, when the band came out for a second set dressed in white choir robes and led the crowd in chants that sounded suspiciously like Awens, I caught up pretty quickly.
EXHIBIT A: THIS SUMS IT UP NICELY
The Polyphonic Spree created a spree that lasted into the morning hours, and as I left the concert hall I wondered what had happened to the beaten-down, worn-out, sad old buzzard of an Anne who had entered five hours ago. Not that I minded being free of that saggy old lady. Because suddenly I was young again, ready to follow the day and reach for the sun! The world looked bright and beautiful, which -- given the fact that I was standing on a street corner in Philly at 1:00 a.m. -- was pretty remarkable.
I told The Heir I had never had that much fun for $25 in my entire life.
It will come as no surprise that when I learned that the Polyphonic Spree would be returning to Philly for a second concert, I snapped up two tickets without a moment's hesitation.
The second concert fell on a Wednesday night, two weeks ago. You can see beautiful pictures of it if you go to this link and scroll down to the Polyphonic Spree review:
This concert was pretty much the same as the first one, only shorter (it was Wednesday). This time I knew all the words and could sing along. I also brought all three of my fairies -- Puck, Princess, and Aine.
Again the spirited, solid wall of sound. Again the snowstorm of confetti, which now looked to me like a massive invasion of the fae. Again the feeling that the years had melted away, and Anne was suddenly just a tot of 17, going nuts at a kick-ass concert.
The music ended at 11:00 without an encore. The performers were tired. However, they must have told the theatre staff that they would be coming out to sign autographs and mingle. Because that was what they did.
Even after the music ended, the spree continued -- this time driven by enthusiastic youngsters and nutty geezers who weren't ready to call it a day.
You see, the theatre floor was covered with about a foot of confetti. Or faeries, if you prefer. And some of the pumped-up wackadoos decided that the confetti/faeries looked like a winter wonderland all set up for a super duper snowball fight.
Here's where I'd like to tell you that The Heir waded in and started pelting strangers with fistfuls of confetti, whilst I, her sensible mom, tried to rein her in.
Alas and alack, the opposite was the case. Anne waded in and began hurling confetti into the air, and then at some dudes who flung it back, and then just in general, and then back at the same dudes, and then the dudes got Anne, and then they turned their backs, and Anne stuffed faeries down their shirt collars, and then they pelted the heck out of Anne...
And then the Heir stepped in, dragged Mom off the dance floor, and shoved her into the cold, unforgiving air of East Philly. Heir wouldn't even let Anne mingle with the members of the Polyphonic Spree. It doesn't do, she thinks, to get to close to performers. They might not live up to your expectations.
Heir doesn't realize that by the time one gets to be my age, expectations have altered so much that if someone sneezes on you, you say, "Why, thank you."
Where was this sermon headed when I began it? Scroll up .... Oh yeah! Here's what I think. If you are Pagan and you can't sing or dance, you should check out the Polyphonic Spree and let them do it for you. Their operators are standing by to take your call.
Tomorrow: Dream interpretation. Or I'll pelt you with confetti. You choose.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS