Fanciful stories

July 17, 2008

Not fully grasping an intriguing story appeals to me. Take Lisa Barcy’s arresting animation and Andrew Bird‘s somber yet whimsical song “Lull” that accompanies it (click the image). The story instantly captured me. With each viewing, I see more in the drawings, hear more in the sounds, comprehend more meaning in this odd, fanciful tale.

I’ll be mulling it over for a long time, filling in gaps and creating a back story in my head. (Update: Turns out that the video is adapted from Barcy’s much longer Mermaid, which no doubt would fill in some of my gaps.)

Part of the appeal is water, which I grew up on and in. I had my share of solitary, wondrous moments gliding through a nether world so close to home but a universe away, though none with squids.

The appeal also stems from a trip with family to see Bird and Josh Ritter in concert Monday night in Boise, Idaho. An extravagance, yes, but they weren’t making it to Portland this year. So what the hell. I’d rather see musicians I like perform live than do most anything — as long as I’m within ten feet of the stage.

How can I not fall in love with Andrew’s music, which I discovered about a year ago. His off-kilter take on the world makes me think differently. Who can ever think about flying the same again after listening to “Fiery Crash.” His articulate writing about music for the New York Times also fascinates me. And besides singing and playing the violin and other instruments, he whistles melodically.

As for Josh Ritter? Well, I’ve spoken of and spoken to him before. Give me his charisma on stage and I’ll conquer the world. He too has his somber side. Maybe “Girl in the War” would make George Bush weep for what he’s done.

Then again, some things are so unlikely, so outlandish that they make a story of love between a man and a squid seem humdrum.