Tuesday, June 27, 2006

music, poetry, plants

another concert yesterday - billy joel. i saw him once before, in 1994 (yes, a while ago), and i had not thought that he would actually tour again. but - i am glad he reconsidered. i was not entirely sure what to expect though, because it is common knowledge that he had alcohol problems over the last few years, and there have been others before him who did not really reach their previous form anymore after such troublesome periods, and quite a while away from the business. no need to worry though, as it turned out: his performance was no less terrific than in 1994, he is still a good entertainer, he still knows how to get the people going, he seems to love what he is doing, and his voice, if anything, was even better than 12 years ago. and he is, quite simply, one of the best storytellers and songwriters ever. i don't think his songs will ever grow old or stale.

he started out with Angry Young Man, followed by My Life, and that was enough to get everyone up on their feet, clapping, stamping, screaming. he could have gone home after that. *L* fortunately, he didn't.

i don't think it's a coincidence that this european tour starts here in vienna. there is a special relationship with this city - joel's father lives here, and so does his half-brother alexander, a classical musician and conductor (he's in the austrian phone directory if you don't believe me *L*). and that shows, not only when joel sings what he sang next, the song inspired by vienna, and named after it, a song i really love:

Slow down, you crazy child
you're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?
[...]
You've got your passion, you've got your pride
but don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

the rest of the set list:

Everybody Loves You Now
Honesty
The Entertainer
Leningrad
Zanzibar
New York State of Mind
The Downeaster Alexa
Movin' Out
Big Man On Mulberry Street
Innocent Man
I Go To Extremes
Keeping The Faith
She's Always A Woman
River of Dreams
Highway To Hell (now that was funny, his roadie by the endearing name of Chainsaw - apparently i had NOT misheard! - did that; very cool!)
We Didn't Start The Fire
It's Still Rock & Roll To Me
Big Shot
You May Be Right
Only The Good Die Young
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

The Entertainer is still such a brilliant song, i was pleased that he played that, as well as Scenes and Piano Man, they are quite simply songs that i cannot imagine missing from a billy joel concert. Innocent Man took my best friend gudrun (sitting next to me) and me way back to 1984 when we, at the tender age, of 13, listened to that album again and again and again at her place. lovely memories. to this day, i know every single note, every word, every little pause of this song by heart.

it was incredibly hot at the concert venue - at 34C outside that was not exactly surprising, but it was great. sepp and our other friends who came along all loved it. i bet babs was very pleased with this birthday present!

editing in to add two links - reviews in german, but there are pics too:
wiener zeitung
oe3.orf.at (click on SLIDESHOW link for pics)


now, enough of music:

five of my poems are currently up at a little poetry. the summer edition was guest edited by lisa zaran. i am thrilled to be part of it!

i received an acceptance note from lily today, another classy zine, so there's no end to being thrilled. quite a fast response too, and the poem will be in the july issue.

i am writing a little these days - not too much, not nothing either. here is the current version of my poem-title-generator-inspired piece (which needs work, i know):
what if i fancy the woman on the train

whose blonde curls take me by surprise as they
cast delicate shadows, curlicue some foreign
script along the nape of her neck - no full stops,
only intrepid question marks, languid dashes?

what if her earrings whisper slander, undue
warnings? what if she hears, stops reading,
tilts her head a bit? what if she understands,
takes notes like some conscientious pupil?

even if her anklet takes my side, its charms
hysterically rattling off their morse code in
my aid, i will not stand a chance. she'll drop
those eyelids and pretend i am not there,

like i pretend to read a book whose pages
long to be wiped clean to make room for
my story. outside the window, summer burns
the grass, a washed-out sky becomes a slate:

i draw her closer to me than she is - freckled
chest, breasts plump and firmer than my own,
and those two delightful toes, neatly wrapped
in band-aids, very nearly touching mine.
the poem title generator, btw, is still operating (see below). in fact, it's hungry to be fed some words! sharon, alex, and lia have alredy written their poems! well done you!

here are a few more plant pics - they are doing well, enjoying the heat much more than i do, in fact.


colourful mix


the first tomato - still a little green, but ... we'll get there. this was taken on sunday, by now there are three more!


basil

song of the day: a matter of trust by billy joel, which bo planted firmly in my head by mentioning it yesterday.

9 comments:

Shelley said...

Love me some Billy Joel!

Still planning to do the poem title generator as a treat for myself sometime soon.

Meanwhile, did you or SarahJ or someone over here in your nook of the blogosphere recently talk up a "nuts and bolts" book about writing? I remember reading the posting, but not who wrote it, and now of course it's driving me to distraction.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Like the shot of basil.

Enjoyed your work at A Little Poetry. Especially Mars Rules and 09 February 1991. Nice work.

michi said...

hi shelley - oh the PTG will be around a while, i'm sure. can't help out re the book comment - it certainly wasn't me. :(

sam - if i said i'd been on the balcony shooting basil, that might lead to, um, misunderstandings ... *G*

Collin said...

Billy Joel is fab. Saw him ages ago and enjoyed it.

Congrats on the new poems! Lily is a fab zine!

Cheers,
CK

Carl Bryant said...

Congrats on the acceptances!

I loved the voracious voices - particularly "I am not like my friends." Lovely work!

lorguru said...

congrats on another acceptance!
Glad billy didn't disappoint. He was the FIRST concert I attented...sometime in the late 70s!

SarahJane said...

congrats on your Lily acceptance. Looking forward to July.

we had a great storm here two days ago too. me, the kids and stella the storybook dog opened the window and put our chins on the sill to watch the lightning and fat rain blow over. such refreshment!

shelley - it wasn't me either.... sorry!

Arlene said...

woohooooo! congrats on the little poetry publication and lily acceptance!!

and WOW. i'd sure have loved to see billy joel in concert. glad you had a great time!

the plants are looking gorgeous.

a.

michi said...

thanks everyone for stopping by, for the kind words, for the joel-related notes, and the german storm note too. we had another thunderstorm this MORNING, at SEVEN, and i had to go out into the thunder, lightning and downpour. i liked it better to watch the other day ... ;)

m