"Two steps forward/Six steps back, six steps back, six steps back, six steps back..."
-- "At Home He's A Tourist" Jon King, Gang Of Four
I'm referencing the lyric because of two reasons: 1.) Gang Of Four is playing in two days at what used to be called The Palace in Hollywood but is now called The Avalon, and 2.) This is how I'm feeling in school today.
Regarding Gang Of Four: ever since they re-formed earlier this year I've been wanting to see them but have been thwarted at just about every turn. First, they played Coachella, which is a huge festival that costs a huge sum of money to go to. It was also held during a Spring heat wave, and even if I could have swung the money to go see it I would have literally been dying in the heat. Almost 42 years of life largely lived in the San Fernando Valley has not changed my tolerance for heat. I can hang with cold OK, but heat just saps the life out of me. Brokeness and probable sellout is preventing me from going to the gig at The Avalon. They were going to do a short set at the grand opening of the Virgin Megastore in Hollywood yesterday but they no doubt got rained out.
This is the absolute right time for them to reappear. I remember how their bleak, angular, spiky music seemed to sum up the bleak, angular, spiky Reagan era. Now we are 5 years into the reign of Dubya the Terrible, a guy who would make even a lefty like me nostalgic for Reagan. To answer that, The Four Boys from Leeds University return, like four musical-instrument wielding Jedi, ready to take on the entire freakin' Evil Empire all by themselves. Now more than ever, they speak for me.
The only thing missing is Saccharine Trust opening up for them on some local dates. Seriously. Listen to a Saccharine Trust album from back in the '80s, maybe We Became Snakes, then listen to Entertainment! Saccharine Trust influence-checks Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra more than they do, say, Funkadelic, but they share a great deal in common. Of course, if this had actually happened, I would have actually gotten to see them. Oh well. You would have to raise D. Boon from the dead and reunite The Minutemen to find a more appropriate band to be an opening act for them here in LA.
I hope they can see their way clear to doing an all-original album next. Return The Gift is basically re-recordings of classic tunes from 20-some-odd years ago. They are now scattered between continents and have lives that have long-ago diverged from each other. But some new stuff would be great, guys.
In regards to how the lyric relates to my current progress at Woodbury: I have a math test in about a week, and that is overshadowing the good news that's been going on with regard to my classes. So far I've been getting good grades on work I've done for other classes. You already know about Family Systems, I found out today that I now have an A-average in my work for Abnormal Psych. However, the fucking math is still my bete noir. I had hoped that maybe I could be on track for a B in math. Nope. Another installment of "hang on by my fingernails and hopefully eke out a C." Swell.
Oh yeah, one other observation before I go: Gang Of Four was one of my favorite bands when I was going to college the first time. Now they're back and I'm back in college finishing what I started back then. And to make the circle even more than complete, one of Richie's favorite bands back when he was at Rutgers Newark was Cream. Cream got back together and played a handful of shows in London's Albert Hall this year. With that, I end this blog post.