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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Looking for a Girl With a Washing Machine

What do we value when life is a frozen wasteland?

Get up in the dark, go home in the dark.
Frozen doors, mind, heart -
all systems are on icy-edge, gluttonous and world-weary.

Eureka! Discovering music that I missed is like opening a gift.

"Looking for a Girl With a Washing Machine" - Big Sleep's big hit.

Big Sleep was a hot German band back in the days and lead singer Stefan Schwerdtfeger (translation "swordsweeper") now carries on the sound from exotic Thessaloniki, Greece.

In his youth- perhaps during one of his many, mad excursions to the west coast of France- he was in need of a washing machine, somewhat in the same context as Neil Young's "A Man Needs a Maid."

I am from the generation that remembers wringer washers and the terror associated with possibly getting your arm mangled in the wringer - as our mother's warned - but I never knew anyone missing an arm from a laundry disaster.


Stefan's apartment overlooks the ocean, doors and windows wide open, clothes drying on the line - flapping in the salty breeze. The aroma of mussels steaming......

Like an old-world minstrel, he is both a gifted musician and a wordsmith, traveling by train along the Grecian coast or in big, lumbering busses - headed for the Albanian Mountains. He carries his dreams with him to cozy cafes and corner bars that open into the streets. I picture them dark and smoky - loud with raucous singing -  much laughter and drinking into the wee hours.

                                    I feel a nostalgic-melancholic-longing for a European setting and thick accents and genetic generations past...calling.....

Stefan's lyrics paint pictures and his music... like waves washing over your psyche.


You and your blue shirt...
You are your blue shirt...
You and your auto-pilot
circling through the room
high above the bed
looking like a mobile unit.

You and your tennis-shoes,
birds in a cage and
clouds outside
drifting by the window
like big ships.
You and your blue shirt...
You and your blue shirt...

You and your sea-shell eyes
and your pop-song lies
watching time go by
like a parade on the fourth of July.
You and your drunk friends.

You and your bird in a cage,
your little house near the mountains
and all the sentences you made up.
You and your big mug of coffee
every morning since 1972.
You and your blue shirt...
You and your blue shirt...

You and your mouthful of dreams
and your filthy hands
on someone else's skin,
you and all your tenderness
and your kisses soft with gin
You and your motherless mind.

You and the mountains -
you the director of unconscious scenery
calling big black jets
to soar through her soul
while she's not awake.

You and your blue shirt...
You and your blue shirt...
you and your subway evenings
 your list of airplanes
how many crossed the sky above your house
last night? the night before?
You and your digital door.

You and all the wives you had
and all that talk about your dad
you and your telephones
your twilight zones
you and all your songs about the ocean.

You and your blue shirt...
You and your blue shirt...

Sometimes I listen to Stefan's music in an endless loop as if it is the background to my daily life.

The Big Sleep webpage is somewhat archaic but their remains the essence and history of a band that captured sounds of traffic, ocean waves, whales and a girl chanting on the beach and incorporated this into the music.

"From here to the Horizon" and Stefan 5,260 miles away...

1 comment:

Diane said...

I loved our old wringer washing machine. Each piece of clothing pressing through the rollers is a memory from childhood. Mom doing laundry, a small wooden chest full of Bruce’s treasured marbles, a secret hidden room behind the furnace, finding Christmas presents in the storage and mom telling me she was wrapping them for Santa, roller skating around the cement pole, and an antique charcoal picture of my Grandparents that was ruined by a foolish child. At least most of the memories were good!