Thank you, God.
I must be ill. I don't feel like myself...

You see, my music deity, Portishead, will release the follow-up album I've been waiting 10 years for...and had basically deemed a pipe dream, April 29. When I read the news, I nearly had a panic attack I was so friggin’ happy. THEN I find out Portishead will be appearing at this year's Coachella festival...and it's currently their only US tour date. Holy crap. This could be my first and last chance to see one of my ultimate favorite music groups EVAR. So what the problem is, self? Why isn't Ticketmaster loading on the computer right now? *sigh* Sure, I love Coachella – maybe the concept more than the real thing: the sun shining, live music bombarding your face from all angles, discovering new acts, dancing wildly on the grass, sharing that primal energy in a sea of bodies... I used to live for that sorta thing. But now, I dunno...it's the strangest thing. I must be getting old and intolerant. Thinking about Coachella just makes me yawn. Thinking about it a little longer, I'm already pissed off: constantly being 1 breath away from heatstroke, spending $100 on beer alone (and $1000 on water), dodging zombies who can’t handle their liquors & powders, fighting the a**holes trying to push closer to the stage....blech. Maybe I'm jaded, but it all seems tainted now. And seeing the coverage of last year's Hollywood influx didn't help either (I prefer my Jesus and Mary Chain minus Scarlett Johansson, thanks). But STILL - it's PORTISHEAD. Which I guess is why I can't bring myself to go -- I’ve been waiting for SO long, and I don't want the experience to be ruined by any peripheral nonsense. I'll wait for a better venue, I think. I had a similar notion for Bjork’s recent tour (which included a Coachella appearance) – I’m glad I waited and dropped the mountain of money I did for 5th row center seats in Mountain View. It was worth every cent. Alas, the pipe dream remains…

She sounds like she looks and I love her for it.
Allow me to back up here - I’m pretty amped over the new Portishead songs. I have lots of crying to do, and I’m tired of playing “Undenied” on repeat. It still sounds like the same good ole’ Portishead, but they manage to keep it fresh. There’s nothing really earth-shattering about it, but it’s solid and consistent…and that’s fine with me. Now, I could give my opinion of the songs…but instead, I’ll do something worse. I’ll share a random scene for each that pops into my head when listening. Prepare yourself:

“Silence” – 1940s crime noir. A woman’s silhouette frantically rolls up her stockings, a jagged thread of smoke rising from the cigarette anchored in the corner of her mouth. In a single motion, she slips the velvet pouch beneath her garter with a neatly lacquered fingertip. She sits on the edge of the motel bed, mussed with stiff pillows and stale sheets. Her eyes dart to the open window, a veil of rain contorting the neon signs lining the street beyond. Someone is on the fire escape, she’s certain of it now. A breeze swirls maniacally into the room, cloaking her with an unshakable chill…like a warning. She’s running out of time…

“Hunter” – The scene lay on its side. The bodies bounce from left to right, blurred at the edges. Has the world finally unhinged itself from gravity’s grip, or have I finally passed out? My head is dead weight, the brain fueling itself for vision only. My eyelids hang lazily around my stinging retinas. These lights are too bright and my stomach churns. My friends are still dancing about; faces changing in the blinking lights of the club, mouths gaping wide with smiles and cheers. Has anyone noticed I’m here? It’s quiet and peaceful, though my bones are rattled by the booming of a ghostly drum. I’m all alone.

Piggie holds the puppet strings.
“Nylon Smile” - The barnyard animals are disgruntled. The injustice is impossible to trace, but the stench of foul play is thick in the snout. In a shadowed corner, the pig waits. She lowers her tongue in that saucy way and dips into the tepid water, drawing a luxuriously long guzzle. Hooves tread lightly near her, careful not to ignite the mounting suspicions locked in her buttery flank. Her head raises, drops of water slipping and desperately clinging her chin hairs, to keep from being tossed onto the desecrated soil where the other animals snort and bleat nervously. So this is how the chips shall fall, she thinks. Briefly, she meets the gaze of the proud llama, his spirit broken now, the bloodshot eyes avert somewhere around the chicken box. The eggs are hollow this night. The pig knows, and the truth is worth her leather.

“Threads” – That low buzzing is relentless, inches and miles away all at once. It’s making the air nearly too prickly to swallow. But no matter, I must keep moving. It’s the strangest sensation – this panic borne from the absence of Time, its structure, its balance. And yet, I feel as though something is running out, to be forever lost. The sand is sifting. If not Time…then perhaps it’s Me? Crumbling. Elapsing. Without seconds, motion becomes formless, unable to translate the force building in my muscles. The sourness of fear pulls the hairs taut at the root of my tongue. Am I still or moving? Toward or away? Pursuer or pursued…

Yeah, so…you get the idea. It’s totally like that. Consider your appetite whetted.

Contact Pixel at pixel@pixelgamemusic.com

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