19 January 2015
Father John Misty sings the song of running dogwalks.
Father John Misty started off his latest tour playing a show in a humble redwood hall at our little local steam train station the other night. Whether you think he's an artist deconstructing hipsterism from the performative position of a 30-something shamanic, white guy indie rocker, or just a douchebag, depends on how you look at things.
I like Father John Misty. I always like to look at things by tearing them up at the seams a little bit, and always trying to peek backstage. This is what artists are supposed to do. Even from a little redwood hall up in the mountains.
Backstage at that show was a cold patio, where you could hear a lot of frogs. That was it. There was nothing there. The band stood outside in the cold, having a smoke, because there's always a backstage. Even if there isn't. I spent the show leaning against the wall, just next to the door to the frog patio.
I laid down in an MRI tube recently. Have you ever done this? It's pretty awesome. A big plastic donut with a giant GE logo floating over your head. Something about protons and magnetic radio waves, courtesy of GENERAL ELECTRIC. That giant, happy, scripty logo beaming down at your skull. You're strapped in and for 30 minutes you hear these amazing sounds from the protons and the magnets and they bounce around and take a 3-D picture of somewhere in your body. It's mindblowing and soothing at the same time, like LCD Soundsystem stripped down to just James Murphy and a little tin bucket, trapped inside a white plastic spaceship that shrinks you down to the size of a Monsanto and flies you away into an atom.
These are the sounds I hear when I slow-mo our running dogwalk homeworks. Banksy runs like the wind with her legs driving for her ball, and the sound detritus on the movies I make for Silvia are like nothing else. Demonic and rhythmical all at once. I could listen to these movies, and watch them all day long. Turning the little switch and slowing down the time. If you slowed down the loungey voice of Father John Misty, at one of his most diva moments, I think it would make the best soundtrack to running dogwalk videos, and you could slow down his dancing and play it over the dogwalk planks.
I had a dream that Banksy, the person, not Banksy the puppy, was a short, older lady with red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses hanging off her neck on a beaded chain. I wasn't supposed to discover this, but one of my friends was one of her people and I stumbled onto the secret of who was Banksy. Me and Banksy, the puppy, not the person, are just now learning who each other are, and how to mold ourselves into agility partners. I think she likes doing agility with me exactly as much as I like doing it with her. It's going to take a long time to have perfect togetherness, the kind of connection that Father John Misty croons how you both hate all the same things. There's a lot of ups and downs, and there's never enough time to do everything, and there's no time for anything other than her, and we have a long, magnificent trip ahead of us.
We could train together all day, me and her, if only time was more on our side.
If we're not practicing at Kathleen's field, Banksy wishes we could run together in the forest for hours, not just 45 minutes. That when we take the tennis ball out to the bluffs to work on Waits while we're walking, I wouldn't have to send her off into the bush so much to sniff things and collect mud for her fur, because we would have all day out there in the dew. She likes it after practice, we go with our friends for a little loop in the forest, which happens to be on the same land as the steam train, just above the little redwood hall with the crappy sound system and beer in plastic cups, the last place you'd ever expect L.A. rockdivas to show up on a Friday night. Loads of border collies and not border collies run up and down the banks. Although I think she wants to head back up the field straight after and have some more goes on the dogwalk planks.
Banksy will turn one year old next month. Ready for more training! Weave poles will start and moving up the jump heights will start and we'll get going on that teeter totter again and the dogwalk will start turns and we'll add an a-frame in and the sequences will get even harder.
The only glitch is, the MRI says I have a knee surgery right after her birthday. It's a bit of a stop gap, to suck out a bunch of bone chips that are floating around in the joint. All my bones turned really old this year, far older than me, and it's gotten very hard to run and walk. It hurts. Hopefully this helps me get a little more life out of that knee. Before they fill me with bionics. My future is to become a cyborg, a rattling robot with metallic joints.
So there will be crutches and no walking. No running once there is walking. No running fast once there is running. Then the hope is, one day some fast running again. I haven' t yet explained this to Banksy. I'm trying to look at it a little bit more upside down and sideways, there are far worse things in life than surgeries on one's knees. Months aren't all that long. Didn't I have a tiny little puppy just a month or two ago? Silvia says I can keep training her dogwalk from a couch. Banksy the artist probably has loads of help climbing up walls, especially if he is a short, blonde lady with ugly glasses.
And Father John Misty would probably laugh at the irony, of such a fine, first world "problem". And he would use big ass airquotes, taller than a full size dogwalk. I'm making some of them now, high above my head. Maybe you can see my arms waving from google maps on your phone. Then he'd snort a line of horse antihistimine off of a raggedy old frisbee, and move on to better venues.
by team small dog at 8:38 PM