"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

smalltalk


now, i always wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to musical crushes. (sufjan (1, 2, 3) and andrew bird anyone??) it's just too easy to fall in love with a distant talent, especially when you're delirious with heat exhaustion and dehydration, and when they're as unresistably talented and magnificent and wonderful as this. or this...

but mr. stevens and mr. bird, kindly step aside: lately, my favorite artist to pine on has been none other than the incredibly talented, charming, and swedish(!), jens lekman.

when a brief five minute performance is all it takes to exude the charm, personality, and musicality to win me over, you know... it's gotta be love.

i am, of course, speaking facetiously... ;-)

but, i must admit, that of all the artists i have had crushes on lately (including a recent one on peaches... :-?) jens is the absolutely only one i want to get to know in a real way.

before you get the wrong idea about me, please allow me to explain:
i think most die-hard music fans only entertain ideas of meeting their crushes in brief bump-in's, maybe an encounter just long enough to say hi, get an autograph, maybe even a picture... enough to say they'd met a celebrity.

that was enough for me to get over my crush on andrew bird, who i met post-show in newport, ky. it was just enough to get a t-shirt signed ("there will be snacks!"), shake his hand, and come crashing down from clouds of flight. it was enough for my lifetime with mr. bird in my life to let go and move on. mr. stevens i've never met, though his somewhat disgruntled demeanor during the encore makes me think i'd be intimidated and would have difficulty conversing with him.

jens, though, i would like to meet. would truly really like to meet. and not in the crazed fan, "i've been listening to your record endlessly all year will you please sweat onto my hand so i can go the rest of my life without ever washing it so i can say you did so" kinda way. jens i would like to meet in a simple average way, like maybe bump into him at a bookstore or on the street while out grocery shopping in sweden. and i would not be starstruck or wordless because of his stunning good looks, or his famous face, or his graceful demeanor, but would need to struggle to get my apologies in edge-wise (because i imagine he is a gracious person who would apologize profusely, as i do, if he bumped into some stranger on the street).

then, we would talk a little further about trifley things and continue on our way. if we ever bumped into each other again, we might talk again, and i would hope we could sit down to talk about greater things, solve great mysteries, go on dangerous adventures in search of treasures, rescue small dogs from fires and small kittens from too-tall trees.

because i bet you jens is as delightful and charming in person as he is on paper and on stage. he seems genuine. and i bet he's a fantastic conversationalist and friend.

you see, i've fallen totally in love with his writing on his website's journal, smalltalk. i think jens's music is fantastic, but i think he missed a secondary calling as a writer. he's just brilliant at it. the writing is crisp and soft in its honesty, and tinged in the corners with just the slightest detectable trace of swedish, in a way that makes me think of sunny outdoor weekends from my childhood... and makes me insanely jealous. i wish my blog were as compelling and sweet as jens's is... like this, for example:

I am back in San Francisco. This morning I woke up to the sound of a coffee machine going b-b-b-b-blup-b-b-b-b-blup and i was thinking ... poor guy, the girls must be giving him a hard time for stuttering like that. Sometimes I have such an unconscious empathy for dead objects.

his word choice tickles me.
and i bet he doesn't even try! like his music, i bet it's all just so naturally quirky and endearing. it's dangerous to put that stuff on the internet for any one to come along and find. it makes people loopy.

it really is a compelling read. i'm reading everything is illuminated, and it reminds me of that. but it is most certainly not affected and is not conceited. the only reason i draw this comparison is that it uses language in a similar way, with the effect of making me smile and laugh to myself. it makes me happy to see language in this form, because it reminds me that communication doesn't have to be so complicated and shrouded in embellishments. it reinvents words and their uses to make them new and twinkly again.

and it's so nice to see an artist with his humility still intact. there are only three performers/performances that i saw this year that left me with a tangible sense of the artists' humanity and their love for their art: the frames, my morning jacket, and jens.

great! another reason to move back to sweden!
-stephanie


jens inspires giving and sharing and general kind-heartedness: a gift of song: someone to share my life with (mp3)

visit jens lekman and acquaint yourself with good. read his journal. it's probably the best artist blog i've ever seen, and i do read a lot of artist blogs. he keeps it like any normal writer would, and not to promote his music or sales (a tactic i find displeasing.)

1 comment:

remaerdyaD said...

Business software upgrading and archiving here. Ugh. Like pulling teeth it is so feking boring. (pardon my language) Thought I would pop over here and got around to watching his stuff on youtube was a happy sounding break...

That clean guitar sound is just so sweet (I love using it myself, in case he returns and reads this!) even if the lyrics are a little difficult to make out ((:

cheers if ANYONE reads this