I'm continually missing Nettle.* As in, I feel the absence of this group, sometimes, when my mind wanders. recordings don't provide enough for me to really feel them, somehow. Even though I've never seen them live. I'm glad to know they do what they do and track their ripples in the music world with interest, but sad that I haven't been in the right state to see them yet. Recently, Wayne made it happen at Brandeis.. and the review in Bostonist sparked some thoughts in me.
"Near the end of the performance, one song touched Bostonist in particular and proved to be a definitive moment for the band. Although the song isn't originally by Nettle, Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane's "Mamhamouni" proved to be quite haunting in its beautiful execution."
I wish there was more attention to this point, rather rather than disclaiming it ("although..") --it's entirely meaningful that the song that touched the reviewer was not an "original" to the band. Especially considering the emphasis on collaboration across space and time, and embodiment of distance as well as communication and simultaneity in performance. But more broadly in terms of why or how things affect us emotionally, in the spaces beyond analysis, as well as in the pleasures of analysis of an experience. I would like to hear a lot more on how or why the song that was "not original" was at the same time the most memorable and affecting.
*I love nettles, by the way (spot the odd invocation of the South Bronx in that otherwise informative article!). They were very important to the street medics I worked with in NY who were also involved with herbal medicine and decentralizing medical knowledge. It's really true, if you grasp nettles firmly and with intent, they don't sting you. Then again, the stings, while painful, increase circulation, bring heat to your joints, increase flexibility. While discussions of the band's name focus on the irritant nature of nettles, this is one aspect of their character. Nettles are incredible good for you, high in tons of minerals, good for kidneys and bladder..lots of good stuff. Apparently it is like hemp (without the countercultural tee-heeing) in that it can be made into fiber, fabric, paper.. Once we medics drove miles out of the city to a river, picked nettles and watercress and made the most amazing pesto - I lived on it for a week.