Tuesday, February 9, 2010

James Holden - Balance 005

On another December, we were driving on the highway towards Montreal. The weak electronics of my Swedish car let my speakers down and left us with nothing for the 5 hour night-time ride. Luckily, Vas had the last minute idea to take advantage of a suburban big box store's return policy by renting the largest iPod dock they had on the shelves with the intention of dropping it off at the end of our trip with the explanation that it wasn't to our taste - full refund.

The freezing rain fell over the dark road to be churned up in the wheels of transport truck and were split into fractions arranged shoulder to shoulder creating a blanket of mist. Vas told me that he's at his most comfortable when his driver is confident, so I put the pedal down and the iHome with it's eventual busted Balance 005 speaker played us through the tense moments without knowing where we were pointed and if our exit would make us cry or scream but it always made us laugh with excitement.

Davy, Vas and I crossed to Parc Jean-Drapeau on the islands for Piknic Electronik that Labour Day Saturday evening. The sun began setting over the last moments of the summer and James Holden opened with that unmistakable MFA track. The four-corner speakers pointed towards the centre of the metallic assembly that was the Place De L'Homme bound together by giant rivets and lap joints. We stood watching and felt the swells rise and fall.

Vas and I were under the scattered spotlights that shone towards the dance floor spires just outside the sandy area where smokers and hoola-hoopers mingled. We related those landmarks to Davy by text message so that he could try to locate us and our glances caught a hoola-hoop that spun off her hands, flew upwards and fell perfectly around the shape of a lady standing by who was refreshingly excited that this plastic ring accidently fell from the sky. Davy texted back that he was down the wooden staircase near the water's edge.

Below the path at the rocks that touched the water, two bridges acted as bookends to the view of the city with the waves wiping left to right with a swift current. We joked that we lived at the centre of the Earth and decided to come out for the Labour Day festivities. We climbed up on rocks, roots, soil and grass to the surface. Davy looked up at the giant structure and told me that his mother came here during Expo '67 and it triggered her excitement to visit the world. I wondered if the passport that had to be presented and stamped each time she would enter a country's Expo display was tucked away to be found later.

Loving Labour Day is hard and sometimes it can feel like we're waiting it out. The strong feeling of being able to see through your eyes of younger years, to catch the crisp smell of the fall and to soak in the light of August is where Labour Day resides, spot in the middle, to single handedly set the clock for your next story.

That Labour Day Sunday we cracked open the bottles of champagne with a side of vodka and smokes and Balance 005 blasted in my living room. Davy flicked the lights and picked up the microphone and sang the lines to "Do What You Want" and Vas, Mar and I cheered on and danced like he was on stage.

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