Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's mostly Neil Finn's fault...

that I haven't posted to this blog in so very long! Well, that's my story anyway! (How often do you get to blame a major Australian/NZ icon for keeping you from doing something???)

Okay, that may be stretching the truth a little, but in a round about way, it is true....

I have been a fan of Neil Finn and the bands he has been in (Split Enz, the Muldanes, Crowded House, the Finn Brothers) since the release of "I See Red" when I was in year 12. When I heard that Crowded House were reforming, I was both thrilled and could it be Crowded House without Paul Hester (d. 2005)? Still, I really hoped it would be good.

So on June 21st when I heard about a "special" gig for only 500 punters at Melbourne's Corner Hotel, I knew I had to try to get tickets. And to my amazement, 10 minutes later, I had two (the maximum purchase) in my "virtual" hands! The only problem was I live in Brisbane, nearly 1500 kms away, and I was planning trips to Melbourne in August, September and November but not in July...

Fortunately, my lovely supervisor Kevin agreed to see me on Wednesday July 11th instead of in August. The gig was Monday night, so that gave me Tuesday to rest up in between - wonderful!

It did mean that I had to really put my head down and try to get as much done as possible on two works in order to have something substantial to show and get feedback on. As well as finishing the catalogue essay that I had committed to writing. blogging...sorry! But I do promise to share my progress very soon....

Naturally I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I did get enough, and the supervision was very useful. It has done quite a lot to calm my nerves actually, and I am now quite hopeful that I might be able to finish on time.

To be honest, the whole trip to Melbourne probably came along at just the right time, psychologically speaking. I don't get to go to many gigs any more - the cost, the late night, the hours of standing - usually it seems like too big a price to pay unless it is someone really special. For me, Neil Finn/Crowded House are that special and I was able to capture some of the "high" I only ever experience at a great gig! There is something about music that touches me in a completely visceral way. I feel it bodily, and am carried to an emotional place that I do not experience any other way. It is nourishing to the soul while also consuming physical energy. The long-term benefit lasts...I'm not sure how long, definitely weeks, maybe months, but there is a short-term price to pay. It is definitely worth it for me, but it does have to be planned...I couldn't just do it every week-end.

I was thinking about the effect music has on me, and I realized that I can get the same benefit from certain songs played up loud on a good sound system (which we have). But I have actually stopped doing it, because of the physical energy it takes. It is something that does raise my spirits and keep me on-track emotionally, but I have to be prepared to spare some physical energy. It's a balancing act, and I don't think I've quite got it right.


  1. I was wondering where you were: just begining to get a bit concerned.

    Oh I love Crowded House too. I play the Greatest Hits Compilation CD a lot when I'm working in my studio.

    You lucky thing being able to get tickets. There have been several gigs I would have liked to go to recently --- some really big stars have been doing open air concerts in Thetford Forest (about 25 miles away) -- Pet Shop Boys, Blondie, Travis --- but I just haven't got the stamina anymore.

    Glad you had a really good time at the gig and I'm sure the pleasure that washes over you when you hear music you love will last for a long time. I've just found a Gladys Knight CD with a track I've looked for for ages and the effect of that does as much for me as a relaxation tape.

    College stuff sounds very positive too.

    Go and have a recuperative rest listening to Neil. ;-)

  2. Oh, you lucky soul! To have an opportunity to see, hear and (most importantly) be inspired by Finn & Co. is my idea of a dream come true. I often listen to CH/Finn Bros./and Neil solo when in the creating zone. (As a woman of a certain age I happily admit to having a school girl crush on Neil) More importantly though, I find his poetry and artistry a wonderful compliment to the imagery in my mind's eye.
    I'm glad that your review went well and wish you all the best on the progress of your work.

  3. Thanks for the comment on my blog.

    I’m so glad you could get to the concert and that it was good! I’m so happy for you 

    It’s great how some things that can drain us physically can still have such a huge effect emotionally, that it can keep us fuelled to cope with the physical fallout for months to come.
    I was talking to my bestfriend the other day, we both suddenly realised that we couldn’t actually remember what it was like not to have to weigh up every little thing we did, in order to make the smallest of plans. It is really hard to get it right, especially as you never really know if the emotional high will be there by the end. But in a way maybe this balancing act can help us appreciate things more…or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part to make it a positive.

    Really glad you had a good time.

  4. Oh it took me a little while to think up the blog title. It's a little long maybe, but the shorter versions were taken- though not actually in use as far as I could see. It seemed fitting for an me/cfs world though.