Acoustic Pop Songs

Can you help but be silent in the morning after you’ve shot your voice singing in your sleep? Can you not dream about that song Flavor of the Week and then sing it while you’re unconscious in bed, please?

Speaking of dream music, Utopia has music in it. A long corridor leads to several talks about the nature of disassembling power structures. There are children and long skirts. It’s a time machine into the 60’s again, only now it’s not only the war, it’s all the wars and the environment, and the fact that we’re also in the process of becoming cyborgs. I’m just the messenger. And from the back room they’re holding a hip hop meditation session with a soft jello-like music lifting, like gyrating clouds through the room.

Now trending: revolution. It’s 1968 France. It’s a song in your sleep: your desires without ego, or art, sprung from your mouth. I believe we are all singing in our sleep. There was a silence before I spoke, and I didn’t realize that the quality of this speech came from something I knew in another context. The interlapping of skills. Verbal communication is now trending, call it boring if you want, call me a hypocrite, I don’t care. But written language is not reliable, the use of tone, language, sound, and silence is the key.  

Flux Factory, an artist’ space in Long Island City, hosted a pop-up Utopia School, with workshops on reimagining society. Utopia has a rainbow website that describes workshops they facilitated in Christiana, near Copenhagen, and various locations in New York City. The very night before this hypnotic morning was the Brooklyn Public Library, working with The French Cultural Assembly to create a night of Philosophy and Ideas. People swarmed the library like a children’s book come to life. The reading obsessed girl in me giggled in delight while people literally got lost in the stacks with coffee in hand, while listening to ideas. Just spoken ideas. The two, early on Sunday morning, overlapped. In the morning at Flux Factory, some heavy hitters hadn’t even gone home for the sake of philosophical discussion. I found myself in rooms of people looking for inspiration to lead us forward from political madness and social madness, if you will, just like the night before, only slightly lighter in the head.  

So during the Grammies, and after the long Sunday, there’s a teashop that sells all different teas in pretty floral pots and cups, we sit across the table observing the people around us, mostly women, mostly taking pictures of the quaint tea sets. The young waitress can’t stop spilling the tea from the spout on the table. Maybe there’s too much liquid in there, maybe there’s a flaw in the teapot design. I hope she doesn’t blame herself. But through the glittery vines from the light fixtures, the distracting color of a Rococo evening, overhead is the sound of pop songs being played acoustically.

A pop song sung without much production, or from the lips of a dreaming woman, as her childhood lives within her describes this lazy revolution. The use of an oration spoken in a circle of silent listeners. That’s our story. That’s folk.