Skip to main content

Quick Impressions from Florence

Florence and the Machine create music that sounds like Dusty Springfield backed by Peter Gabriel's band. The look they carry is that woman in every Art Deco print from the 1920's: green diaphanous dress swirling around a sylvan free spirit framed by pyramids, mirrors and fountains. None of these images really gel together, exactly, as much as flow in and out of each other like the dreamy superimposing of stage shots they projected on the big screen to either side of the Comcast Center's stage.

Florence Welch is another largely undigested blob. She sings with a piercing, soulful soprano, reaching for the emotional urgency of say Aretha Franklin or Donna Summer but always skating away at the last moment of each note into a playful release. Florence struck me as a forest spirit of some type. A pixie, or a sprite, or an elf. She skips around the stage, twirling in her green dress, flipping her auburn hair, accepting tokens from the front row of the audience like a delighted Tinkerbell before once more flitting away in a whirl of silk and pale out-stretched arms. Her band, particularly the back-up singers, at times had to adjust timing or pitch to follow along their capricious singer.

The audience itself was curious to me. It occurred to me, walking into the Comcast Center, that it's been 20 years since I first began listening to what I thought of as "my music." Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and REM seemed to me to be important, necessary, authentic, and part of some great generational shift just then lapping against the collective unconscious of America. To listen to Nirvana was to take part in something in itself, to be joined to something. That's how it seemed to me in high school at least.

But that was a generation ago. Dodging the hordes of pre-teens, post-teens, young adults, and families I was struck by how inclusive music has become in the terms age groups. While everyone pretty much looked the same, Florence produces music that produces a remarkably similar reaction in a variety of ages: to twirl, hop and skip. When did this happen? I think there is still music that is primarily 'teen' music or 'protest' music, but I don't remember entire families going to a concert and enjoying each other's company in a manner so free of irony or embarrassment.

Everyone owns iphones and everyone raises them up during the quiet moments in the songs to capture the forest spirit before she flits to some other corner of the stage.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY" is now available!

My new story, "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," is now available in the current issue of the Electric Spec magazine. I'm very proud that this story is getting published at Electic Spec for the simple reason I've been reading the magazine for years, dreaming of the day I might get a story published there. Well, it's finally happened.

The story of "Yuru-chara" is pretty simple: a young girl wakes up to discover that her old virtual friend, a seven-foot-tall yellow monster named Tama Bell, has come to life. While navigating through waves of other virtual creatures released through a world-wide hack, the young heroine tries to come to grips with her responsibility to her forgotten friend and the losses inherent to growing up.

I hope that you enjoy my story and that you give the other stories a try. They're awesome!

Thank you for your continued support.

New Story Acceptance!

As mentioned last week, I do have a bit of happy news to share. I am excited to announce that my story, "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," will appear in the next issue of the Electric Spec Magazine at the end of the month. I am tremendously excited about this for a few reasons:
Electric Spec is simply awesome. I've been reading this magazine for awhile and never been disappointed by a single story. To have one of my stories selected is beyond humbling. I can only give an earnest thank you to Lesley L. Smith for choosing the story.I love this story dearly. It has one of my favorite protagonists and shows in the clearest way I've managed where I'd like to go with my fiction. Electric Spec also gave me the chance to reflect on this story and its meaning in a guest blog which I am sharing below. Without being spoilery, this blog expresses some of what resonates about "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," with me. Guest Blog at Electric SpecAt the moment, I think the…

Solemn Treasures

In Gilead, the transcendent novel by Marilynn Robinson, a 76 year old man confronts his impending mortality and the sense he cannot provide for his young son after he is gone. He had not expected to meet his son's mother in the twilight of his life, not expected to have a son. If he had, he tells his son in a lengthy letter forming the substance of Robinson's novel, he might have set something by for him. Some sort of savings or investment. It pains him to think that when he is gone, all that he can leave are a few words.

What words.

As mentioned in a previous post, I set myself on the task (is that really the right word here? maybe endeavor would be better) to read as many of the 'great novels' of this young century as I could. After reading Hillary Mantel's "Wolf Hall-" which was also fantastic by the way - I made my way to Gilead. One of the many quietly strange things about this novel is that it's actually the second novel from Robinson. Her first…