Wednesday, April 28, 2010

trees don't grow out of anthills

Buckingham Nicks, "Frozen Love" from Buckingham Nicks (1975, via ROOT BLOG)
The Books, "Beautiful People" from The Way Out (forthcoming 7/2010, via MBV)
Matmos, Supreme Balloon (2008, lala)

Above is my favorite beautiful person making her first foray into miso soup at Koi. We sat up at the sushi bar - she and I share a predilection for sitting at the bar when one is available - and my favorite part of the meal was that she, the beardo college guy to my right, and both sushi chefs were all in the undeniable thrall of America's Funniest Home Videos on the TV there. "Oh, man! look at that gerbil eatin' Sweet Tarts!" could have come from any of them. My second favorite part was the Ants Climbing Trees I got off the expanded menu.

Ants Climbing Trees is a Szechuan concoction of glass noodles in a savory, spicy gravy standing in for the ridges in the bark of a fallen tree, sprinkled with minced pork that are supposed to be the ants, I guess. I would've stood a single broccoli crown in the middle for the tree and let the noodles be the anthil, but then, trees don't grow out of anthills. I think there is a wise fortune cookie proverb in all this.

It was delicious. I love glass noodles despite their near-jellyness making then impossible to eat with chopsticks or fork but mostly, I'm in love with the name. I wish everything had a name like Ants Climbing Trees instead of the foodie trend of practically laying out the recipe in the name of the dish. Don't buy into the service economy nightmare of life being a precisely accounted transaction. Beauty lies in mystery and wonder, y'all.

Another thing with which I am completely smitten is "Frozen Love" from the pre-Mac Buckingham Nicks. I have it bound up with that album cover - look at them! Innocent and ferocious. Naked and fully armed. Their vacant stares at the mirror of their love are saying, "I will give you everything because I will take Everything when I'm gone." "Frozen Love" is beyond egregious; it has a million parts, a delirious orchestral breakdown, and contains this breathlessly exhorted chorus:

And if you go forward, I'll meet you there
And if you climb up through the cold freezin' air
Look down below you; search out above
And cry out to life for a frozen love

That air up there isn't cold. It isn't freezin'. It is cold freezin'. Love it. I played it for my friend Rob last night and he said it was my song crush.

"Beautiful People" by the Books is not my song crush; I have in the past been either immune or bemused by their French, dry, Cartesian charms but this song snapped me out it this morning, at least stopping me from listening to "Frozen Love" one more time in a row. Listen at MBV.

It led me back to the synthetic arms of Matmos' Supreme Balloon (reviewed here). Like the Books, Matmos is another band I couldn't quite get into until they similarly streamlined their deal and it is in their rainbow plastic universe where I will microfocus and become an ant climbing the tree of the day. Allons, beautiful people! Allons!

No comments:

Post a Comment