Bubala, Mumi & Max

Monday, August 07, 2006

It’s Cloudy Now

BlackfieldWell, if you have been watching the news for the past month, you would know that Israel is in a huge war with Lebanon which is and has been occupied by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. The war is really ugly, as all war is, and there are starting to be more and more innocent human casualties as a result of the war. I normally wouldn’t care. I mean I live in the U.S. and it’s all going on 1000’s of miles from here. There are a few things that are bothering me about it all, however. The first is the whole Evangelical Christian response to the war. They are so convinced that the world is coming to an end because Israel is involved in another war. They’re so psyched about it too. They’re getting all ready for the Rapture. Even though I’m aware of how big this war could get, they only wish it were so because they have given up or never believed that the human race could ever do anything good which is kind of a slap in the face to their Almighty Creator that they confess to worship so. I still can’t figure out why that if humans are so evil, it’s such a good thing to breed and make more of them. That’s just me though. I, on the other hand do believe that some of us (but probably not a huge fraction of the whole human race) are capable of doing good and spinning good Karma for the rest of us to have something nice to hold on to in an otherwise bleak world. I look to the artists of the world for spiritual guidance because they are human. Those supreme beings just aren’t in touch with the whole "being human" vibe. It’s a human thing, and they just don’t understand.

The second thing that is bothering me about this war, and it’s certainly more crucial than the end of the world, in my opinion, is that because of Hezbollah being such a group of evil assholes (as most terrorists are) and causing Israel to have to defend itself (which it should be allowed to do), the second Blackfield album might be delayed.

Who is Blackfield you ask? Blackfield is the musical collaboration between English musician/producer Steven Wilson and Israeli political pop star Aviv Geffen. Their first album came out in 2004 and was #1 in Israel and Greece as well as being fairly popular across most of Europe and even into the USA. The music is a dark and melancholy rock/pop much like the mood of the 21st century, but with a very classy 70’s-ish sound. Some of the songs are re-recorded versions of previously released Aviv Geffen songs translated from their original Hebrew text into English so we all can understand what this incredible artist from Israel has to say about the world that he lives in.

Aviv is a real advocate for peace kind of like a John Lennon for our times in Israel. We aren’t allowed to have one of those in this country after the shit that John Lennon stirred up in the 60’s and 70’s, just in case you were wondering why when we are in a time of war, the mainstream pop music seems clueless to that fact. Aviv has been really radical at times during his career and the young people in Israel respond to him. He’s also really sexy. We found out about Blackfield through the other half of the band, Steven Wilson who is in another band called Porcupine Tree. When word came out that this international supergroup was going to play a few U.S. dates to coincide with the U.S. release of their first record (I had been listening to an import copy for over a year by then), we quickly bought tickets for Boston, New York City, Philly and D.C. Yes, they are that GREAT and that is how I wanted to spend the week of my Birthday in 2005.

About a month before the Blackfield shows were supposed to happen, word came that not all of the Blackfield band would be able to come to the U.S. for the tour. The drummer, keyboard player, and bassist were not able to travel to the states because they didn’t get the proper paperwork that, in post 911 America they were now required to have. Being from Israel certainly did not help their cause. So, just Aviv and Steve came and they played with and American keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, from the band Dream Theater. As a result, the shows were more of an unplugged situation. Only, not so many acoustic instruments were used. It did create a more laid back atmosphere than a rock concert and I was in the front row for all four shows, so it was awesome.

Blackfield returned to the U.S. with the whole band in September when Steven was on tour with Porcupine Tree. They were a headline act at New York City’s Jewzapalooza and we went up and met up with some of our friends from New Jersey, had a koser lunch and saw Blackfield play their first U.S. show with the full band. Then, a few days later, Blackfield opened up for PT in Providence, RI. Those are the only two shows that they have played in this country so far.

Blackfield actually has the potential to become a HUGE international group which is something different than a huge American group that goes international. I’ve been listening to bootlegged live versions of some of their new songs for over a year now. The new single, "Once" was released as a download on Blackfield’s MySpace page late last spring. They are gathering a very eclectic group of musician friends also. The new album is completed and was set to be released in Israel on August 16th and the rest of the world shortly thereafter. I’m just frothing at the mouth for it, but now with the war going on, I’m not sure when it will come out.

There is a huge smoke-screen-like fog hanging over the Blackfield right now and like the lyrics to one of the band’s songs say, "It’s Cloudy Now."


Blogger The_Gay_Dude said...

Great post, bud! I think many are very concerned over the Israel thing for their own reason....as I think we should be. I didn't know that it effected Blackfield, though! I love their music and it's nice to know that someone else....out there....does too!

1:21 AM  

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