[DISCLAIMER: This post was published on September 6th see that post for details].
I love watching bands do things that I can’t exactly picture when listening to the song. Sometimes it’s a scorching guitar solo. Sometimes it’s an inexplicable keyboard sound. And sometimes, like with the Fleet Foxes, it’s gorgeous harmonies.
I’m not saying I don’t believe that the Fleet Foxes can create such beautiful harmonies, it’s just that sometimes it has to be seen to be believed. And in that respect, this video for the gorgeous “English House” is perfect. It’s really neat to see all four of them hitting these sometimes complex harmonies while playing live.
It’s also great to hear this wonderful song played in the great setting that From the Basement offers. The only gripe is that it really looks like The Fleet Foxes could use a bath (which is somewhat less welcomed in HD).
[READ: August 30, 2011] “Gilgul”
I had no idea what “gilgul” meant; thankfully, it is explained in the story. For some reason, I had a really hard time getting this story started. I read the opening about three times before I could really settle down with it. Once I did, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
It opens with a man, Ravitch, who was “encouraged” by a friend to sit with a Jewish “witch” who reads his fortune. She tells him things about himself (which he believes his friend had told her in advance) and offers to tell him when he will die. He says no, blows it off and goes back to his life. Things the witch foretold start to come true, and while most of it is success for him, he is nonplussed and can’t really enjoy his new “happiness.” He can’t stop thinking about the witch.
Ravitch begins to feel unhitched from the world. He decides to go find the witch and learn just what she knows about him. When he finally finds her, she tells him the story of another man, a man who he will never meet and who, she says, doesn’t impact him directly.
The story that she tells him is fairly straightforward. The man, Ben, suffered from a wandering soul–this is where gilgul comes in. Ben’s story is quite lengthy, but when it comes to an abrupt end (the witch has to meet someone), he is angry and unhappy with what she told him and how she blew him off.
And for me the story also becomes a bit unhitched there. For we, like Ravitch, never learn what the point of his whole visit was. It certainly explains in great detail the trouble that Ravitch faced, and the problems that the witch’s aborted story provides. But we never get any real revelation. I mean, I’m not expecting to have the answer spelled out, but it ends end further away from the intended answer than I would have guessed.
Unless that’s the point?