Anything for a Weird Life

In Praise of Novelty

On Wednesday, December 13th, the show’s flyers started to appear, altered, on my timeline.

The venue had been crossed out and a dreaded phrase had appeared. DM for address.”

I DMed and hoped for a response.

Once you choose to live a life of repetition, it somehow steels you for the quick-change of life in 2023. Sure, once the venue was changed, I thought about not going. I try to read the signs and portents of each evening, and this was one of many. For many, the vibes would have been off, and that would have been that.

Regardless, the DM came through and so did I.

I was treated to small house show with a few friends and the residents of the place, all courtesy of the hospitality of the artist Lyoko. After a four-day run of varied evening events, this was a great nightcap, a unique and memorable show.

The thing you start to see when you do the same things all the time is the nuances that each day, event, or moment brings. You are engaged in close study, sometimes without realizing it. I envy the folks who wander into a show just to be floored by a group I have seen perform many times. The group floors me, too, but probably not in the same way. You can feel the irritation of a local towards a tourist if you are not careful.

Some fear repetition. It is not necessarily boring. Within the repetition, novel things emerge.

The word novelty” is better use, to me, to describe this phenomenon than randomness” or chaos”. For some reason, ice cream is housed at the local supermarket under the word. It can imply a trick of gimmick.

But I like to think of it as the payoff of dedicated effort and attention. If the shows and events I regularly haunt were exactly the same each time, they would not be worth attending more than once. The only things seemingly capable of endless perfect repetition are the new digital machines. But, even then, digital clocks don’t always keep perfect time. In the early days of Baltimore Club music, the imperfections in the loops, caused by the tech used to create the beats, added an important element to the sound.

So please don’t mistake my repetition for rigor, my sameness for inflexibility. When I look closer, pay careful attention, new opportunities for change and growth emerge. A unique night in the underground can be and has been a call to rip it up and start again.

To quote the poet, Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

Something new is happening right now. All you have to do is come through. See you there?

Tim Kabara

IG: @kim_tabara

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