Very Excessively Detailed Chicago Noel Notes (Finally!)

Okay, so: I’ve put off assembling my “impressions of Chicago” post long enough, and I can’t coast any more on the good feelings before I start to actually lose some details, so here I go!

Cully has already put together a brilliant and quite comprehensive post of detailed observations about both nights in Chicago, and everything she said is accurate! So you should totally read that. So I am just going to add in a few of my own impressions of both the show and the whole experience, in no particular order. (I say “a few,” but that is a lie. This is crammed with more useless detail than anybody could ever want or need. But if that’s your thing, this is the post for you!)

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I was just really in a heavy place when we recorded the album… like I heard ghosts on the whole record, you know… It was just a fun place to be… Like I heard ghosts on the whole record and I’d always say to people when we were playing it for them, when we were recording it, I’d say: “Don’t you hear those ghosts?! Listen!” and Flea would go: (whispers) ‘John, not everybody hears them… just we hear them’.
—  John Frusciante about BSSM (VPRO interview, 1994)

circa 1819-20 Tempera heightened with gold on mahogany John Varley – an artist, astrologer and close friend of Blake – reported in his Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy (1882) that Blake once had a spiritual vision of a ghost of a flea and that ‘This spirit visited his imagination in such a figure as he never anticipated in an insect.’ While drawing the spirit it told the artist that all fleas were inhabited by the souls of men who were ‘by nature bloodthirsty to excess’. In the painting it holds a cup for blood-drinking and stares eagerly towards it. Blake’s amalgamation of man and beast suggests a human character marred by animalistic traits.