Night has fallen. We sit in the grass, surrounded on three sides by mausoleum walls. Our backs exposed, open to the others, open to Pulaski, the buses and cars. No visible stars, just the lights of airplanes and the lights of the city diffused and reflected in the sky.
We are done with the goth of the evening. The amazing metal drone dirge feedback wall is over. Now we sit and watch weirdo cosmic gnosis. Wobegon finger picking with light percussion. Americana breaches atomic motes.
The two sit on stools and Daniel Higgs spiels of the universe and cosmos. With Gestures and lurches. Baffling and funny. Charming. This mellow night in July. Cool. Too cold for the five dollar beers. The grass against my calves. I sit on my canvas bag. My hands touch the blades of grass.
My friend is hunched over. Wrapped in sweatshirt, hood up. He draws with pen in his small notebook. A four legged animal that erupts in shapes of energy, swirls of form that overtake the remaining white space. This will be his offering. His gift to Daniel Higgs.
He pauses, sets pen and paper down. Leaves his bag and walks through the seated bodies. Weaving through blankets and lawn chairs. He stops to the left of the stage and kneels down. Motionless for minutes passing. His face briefly illuminated by the light of his phone. A quick picture. A moment. Another pause. Then he returns.
I am happy. And I am aware of being happy. Earlier in the evening, just after dinner, I began to feel the first pangs of panic creeping in. Guilt. Thoughts of not being at home with my family. Initial thoughts of what if. What if. What if I have a panic attack while out with my friend. But the fear isn’t there. I feel it in my stomach. The nervous energy floating above my wrists. But the fear isn’t there. I acknowledge my feelings. My body. Breathing. Listening to the music my friend is playing for me in the car. By the time we arrive, my panic body has diminished.
And I am in enjoyment. This damp grass. This cool night air. These airplane landing patterns. This twee cosmology music. Sung alone by Fumie Ishii, this beautiful penultimate song before saying goodnight.
i’ve been sucked in by one of my all time favorite bands of all time!
here’s a video of an audio documentary that was done for public radio – it mercifully removes the npr sounding npr announcer introducing the doc. it is essentially a twenty minute long daniel higgs spiel – i think the interviewer edited himself out.
I listen to the music and see if I can try to recognize which music is calling for which lyrics, both in the rhythm and the phrase and the feeling of the music, you know, if it suits it. You know, Asa generally initiates the melody, and then it’s um… everybody for themselves, you know? No one… we help guide each other, you know, but everybody has to sort of respond to… generally the songs sort of start in very rudimentary form, you know. It’s not until the whole band starts approaching it that it turns into a Lungfish song, you know, that we’d play in front of strangers and record.
It’s weird to think that anything you do has any kind of influence or sway over people. I mean, me personally, the things that have affected me, but I know that things that affect you are just bits and pieces, you know, certain people respond to cult-like dogmas you know, where they take everything literally and start to do that or emulate what’s said, but I think most people, things affect them, they absorb it, they may not totally agree with things that they find compelling or moving, or that’s just one tiny aspect of their life might be affected by it. If our music affects people, I can imagine the kind of effect it might have on people, and it’s like… it’s not flattering, it’s not frightening, it’s like just natural that things can affect you. It might be a part of someone’s life, and it might not be a part of someone else’s life. It’s something that is personal to you, you know. A book moves you, or speaks to you, a record, even though other people have heard it, but it’s yours in that way that you can’t talk about, and that’s one of the problems of this whole process of doing an interview or something, it’s just that… we make music, we’re not good at trying to find the meanings behind.
Generally saying it’s the three of us, Nathan’s the fourth, but we’ve been together for 10 years, you know, we all understand our role, whether it’s tacit or implied, or overt, we know what we need to do to stay together, and I think you know it’s a matter of not talking about what we need to do all the time. I don’t believe in all those therapeutic moments and shit, you know. It’s not like you have to know people, it sorta happens.