July 28, 2021

‘My head is my house (except when it rains)’ by Rafa Cervera

VALENCIA. I select one of my virtual compilations while I go to Alfafar to buy groceries. Sounds Borderline from Tame Impala. I fantasize about the possibility of adapting everything I say from now on to the metric of your verses, and speaking while singing but with the falsetto of Kevin Parker. At Carrefour I buy a notebook because I have decided that the next novel I am going to write directly by hand, as if it were a very long college essay. When I was 15 I heard a song titled My Head Is My Only House (Unless When It Rains). It was a version recorded by The Tubes that helped me to discover its author, Captain Beefheart. But above all it gave me an image of myself with which to define myself. I have to take advantage of this moment, which I don’t know how to define either, to start writing a story. Write. As if you were a surfer and had to take advantage of a huge wave that is approaching. I just read myself Boulder, from Eva Baltasar and I would read it over and over again until I was completely immersed in its language. I plan to approach literature following examples from pop music. The Rolling Stones they wanted to be Chuck Berry Y Bo Diddley, but in the end they created a music that was not exactly that. Starting from a pattern to do something that, if all goes well, will not resemble any of the patterns.

I listen to the songs of Revinientes, a sound project created and executed by Agustín Fernández Mallo Y Pilar Rubí, whose first phase they have just released on their Soundcloud platform. Music is built with very disparate elements, very different from each other. There are pop melodies, noise, jazz. They remind me of many things that were fundamental to me, such as no wave, the British and European postpunk of the early eighties, the electronic bonfires of formations that, in the midst of the emergence of digital, celebrated analogical experiments. The expressionist poetry of the texts returns me to the subversive moment that it was to read for the first time the lyrics of Mars Y DNA. To do this, you had to break the inner sleeve of the LP No New York because they were printed on the back, with all the bad slime. The songs of Revinientes transmit all that to me, they transport all that, but they are nothing of that. They are themselves, like Les Quatre Columnes de Montjuic, destroyed and later rebuilt, which now also stand on the cover of their album and towards which I instinctively turn my gaze every time I am in Barcelona. I am disturbed by all those constructions that strive to reach the sky. I am disturbed by everything that invades my head, altering its order to offer me a different look than what I already thought I knew. This is what happens to me with the songs of Revinientes.

So much meditating on the past on which my future sustains leads me to the shelves where I accumulate the vinyls. I look for some of them in the perpetual disorder that reigns in my house – so much like my head – a chaos concealed by a deceptive formal order. I take out old vinyls and when I touch them I feel safe. I surround myself with old records while listening to a new group called Sorry. Feeling a real attraction to completely new bands makes me still able to carry on my role as a music journalist. None of these reflections has to do with being at home. If I went for a walk on the beach or went to the Sedaví gym as I used to do until recently, my head would also brim with these kinds of ideas.

I finish the last book of Paco Inclan, Given the circumstances. I adore what Paco writes. He seems so unique to me, so master of his own vision that I can’t help but admire him. In fact, as I correct this text, I realize that I could well be the character in one of their stories, which tells of extravagant living happily sheltered in their skulls, perhaps upset by a world that will always be more extravagant than they. I listen to the new album of Real Estate and also to a group that I just discovered called Mush. The singer reminds me a lot of Richard Hell from the beginning, and the music is like New Wave from 1978 that sounds like this more by accident than premeditation. The postman leaves me at the door of the house Bunker, the memories of Toteking. The plan was to interview him, but due to this special period, work plans go through a turbulent zone. I am not going to worry about what I have no control over. That is why I refuse to watch the news in any way. I listen to the new album of The Orielles, so different from his debut. That’s something – evolving, changing, flowing – that always seems phenomenal to me. Living cloistered in a situation of alarm and uncertainty leads me to ask myself ridiculous questions, such as this one: Why have I never paid much attention to CDs? Cerrone? I also thought these things on the elliptical trotting to nowhere.

A messenger rings the bell. I open with the mask covering my mouth and plastic gloved hands. He looks at me like I’m in the scientific tent they set up in E.T. If I carry this paraphernalia with such ease, I deduce, it is because there is a part of me that fantasized about being on the cover of the first album of I must. The mask has a drawback: my glasses fog up when I breathe. When I was in line at the supermarket, I had the impression that the only one who had this problem was me. It was also quite dramatic the fact of having to pay with the mobile while wearing gloves that prevent the contact of the fingerprint with the surface of the phone. The cashier was looking at me with a resigned expression. I would have liked to explain what was happening to me singing Borderline. I am not doing well living in this world, and to top it all, crisis situations do not facilitate my strenuous effort to be civic and empathetic. All these ideas evaporate when I open the box that the messenger I was talking about brought me. The Rise Of David Bowie, a book of photographs of Mick Rock that Taschen released a couple of years ago and is now being reissued at a cheaper price. The book is tremendous, with prints of Bowie throughout 1972 and 1973, when he finally became a star. Accumulating precious objects gives me great pleasure. When I was 15 years old – everything happened to me when I was 15 years old, it was a year of vertigo, seriously – I read an article by Diego Manrique on Richard Hell that captivated me. In the text, he explained that Hell was fascinated by the character of Duke Des Esseintes, the protagonist of Against nature, so I went to look for the book and did not stop until I read it in full. I do not like to keep objects that do not provide me with some kind of stimulus. What gets in the way I go down to the storage room. One day I’ll lock myself in the storage room too.

I take advantage of the fact that I have a little more time to order the shelves with records, books, etc. I listen to the latest album by Bill Fay, which is like the mass that an agnostic like me needs to hear. I put emoticons that piss with laughter every time I get a wasap with some funny meme. I speak on the phone as I have not done since 9/11. I walk up and down seven flights of stairs to get some exercise. I remember my friend Paco Sellés; if you could at least go to the beach close to home, it would be easier to have it a little closer. I remember the song over and over again Life During Wartime from Talking Heads; now I understand why I liked it so much: they were warning me. I want to put on my gloves and mask, go down to the portal and, from a more than prudent distance, sing to him Borderline to the concierge. My head is my only home, except when there is a storm.