Future Islands can be found on iTunes.
by Kt Emmerson
Y’all, do you know your personality type? I’ve been a little obsessed with my Myers Briggs Personality Type (apparently that’s a typical trait of my personality type, too). I’ll admit, it’s part narcissism that drives my quest. See, I’m an INTJ female, which is super rare, and according to the interwebs on the subject, INTJ females are like the unicorn of attraction being only .8% of the population. Anything that strokes my ego, I’m all into that, especially when I’ve got the mental and intellectual outlet of say a mouse in a cheese maze. Stay at home mom with three children isn’t the ideal situation for your typical INTJ. According to INTJ’s 16 Personalities, “will likely never be able to deliver the sort of warmth and coddling that stereotypes say they should”. Sorry kiddies.
On my quest to learn all things personality type and how it pertains to me in my life, I also find that my husband of 24 years is an ENFP. As the Jungians believe, INTJ and ENFP are naturally attracted to each other and are an ideal match. Making great team players, compatibility in shared intuition and forward thinking abilities is why they are a total partnership.
I wholeheartedly agree given my own experiences, at least for the first 15-20 years and then…you know, the differences aren’t so many compliments as they are glaring imperfections and total character flaws respectively. INTJ’s wall of arrogance and smug independence does not always leave the best impression on an ENTP’s talk-it-all-out-until-you-fall-down approach to life’s ups and downs. Don’t get me wrong, ENFPs are super charming, witty, funny, and enthusiastic, but GAWD! will they ever shut up? And your INTJ’s are completely mysterious, enigmatic and hauntingly seductive. But, really, do you have to be such an aloof snob?
I promise this little soliloquy is about music, stay with me.
So, this crazy thing happened in my head (of course cuz that’s where INTJs live) at an amazing Future Islands concert (the hubs and I scheduled an overnight babysitter. In Parentland, that is major big band love). Here’s what happened and made this live performance more profound than it already was for me. I witnessed our marriage playing out like some personalized Shakespearian play.
Now, I’m hoping you know Future Islands’ legendary frontman Samuel Herrings reputation for epic performance art on stage, if not, please catch up with this David Letterman performance which blew everybody’s mind.
Here’s this total feeler emoting all over the stage fully pounding his chest, biting his hand, tearing at his scowling, tortured face all the while growling and crooning agonizing poetry inspired by the likes of Theodore Roethke and Jack Gilbert. The parallels between my husband’s ENFP, always gesticulating, hyperbolic, sensory-rich conversation style, the temperamental highs, and lows of intuitive and emotional subjects just couldn’t be ignored. My husband may not actually bite his hand when discussing matters of importance with me, but he might as well.
The vitality and electricity of the words and meanings emanate in the same way as a Samuel Herring performance. Pretty exciting stuff, for a totally understated, cerebral type like me. Hugely attractive, but maybe a bit exhausting. It was fascinating to see. Oh, and I can’t forget the eyes. O, Captain, My Captain, says the crowd to those sweaty snaggletooth inspired eyes. They just pick you right up and levitate you to very melancholy land.
But here’s me, left of the stage, head down for the entire concert plinking and pounding on the profound synth keyboard. Ever-present and participating, in fact dominating the sound, however, completely above and removed from the emotion and drama playing in Samuel’s universe. Gerrit Welmers (that’s me in this little parallel drama), seems a god of Zeus-like abilities to evoke danceable and anthem-able driving sounds. Obvious New Order and Kraftwerk influences, but so much more syrupy and molasses-y, in person.
Just as in my life I’m held behind, reticent and aloof, yet exacting and critical (sorry hubs). It’s a masterful coupling, but I’m sure not without enormous clashes and eruptions. Likewise, William Cashion with his complicated effects-rich, driving basslines, is held in ghostly stasis just behind the continuing Cossack dancing, and Macbeth gesturing Herring. Honestly and surreally, this seems like a typical kitchen table discussion and philosophizing while cooking dinner kind of evening for us.
It goes without saying that if you missed a live performance of Future Islands in your town, then you’ve missed a real opportunity for a transcendental musical experience. You should never miss such beautiful occasions. And, I’m certainly grateful for having been a part of the band’s energy loop with the crowd, I’m also hugely impacted by witnessing a breakthrough couples therapy session on stage at White Oak Music Hall, Houston Texas.
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