Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time in a bottle.


I know I talk about music a lot, but I shant apologize for it. And, sure, perhaps my doing so causes deaf ears on some, for me to talk a lot about a musician that they don't know or too much about a band they don't like or too lightly about a band they love. I'd hope that's not the case. I never mean to ostracize anybody. I'm not one of those music snobs, as I love the whole of it much too much. I'll sing along to Barry Manilow at the top of my lungs and be pretty unabashed about it. That gets me a clear out, right? I figure the expression of music period begets a strong emotional response in me. Experiencing it makes me see clearer and feel more and believe and hope and love and, well, that's just the tip of it all. I suppose it goes beyond that, too. I've had entire relationships with women that have started simply because we were passionate about the medium. More than once, yes. I mean, I'm not a huge fan of sports, but gimme sad songs in the nighttime in place of a Jazz game. I can pass on dessert, but I'll take some ragged Yo La Tengo bootleg covers, sure. Songs are my bread and butter. They place ease my mind.

That said, last night was one of those perfect nights for music, and not just because it was one of those rare times when I was able to double up on concerts and not have to pay a dime. Talk about your early birthday presents, eh? Ladysmith Black Mambazo was my opening act, where I understood fewer words than I did how important their music was to their culture and tradition living on. I saw them move in ways I've never seen people move ... legs were kicked as high as heads and nine singers/dancers moved with some of the greatest synchronized moves these eyes have ever seen. There were wide smiles and good humor and a real purity to what they had to put across to an appreciative crowd. Two hours were gone in a blink.

I scurried over to Urban after that and took in Josh Ritter, who may be the smilingest frontman I've ever happened to come across. I know his music fairly well and I appreciate to no end his turns of phrase (every "young Dylan" comparison is deserved), but my seeing him do what it is he loves for a sold out crowd was that missing piece of the puzzle for me. He'd talked earlier on the radio about how fun the song creating process was for him and that it'd never failed to get old for him, but seeing him smile for an energetic, blistering hot couple of hours sealed that deal. It made his words real. He called it a rare night, one that won't happen again for a long time for him, one that he would definitely remember and, you know? He was absolutely right. I'll go ahead and label him a truth-teller. He even passed out hugs and posed for photos afterward and helped it get even better.

I may have burst right around then, I'm not entirely sure.

So, you know? Mixing good, good friends (some of the absolute best) with some of my favorite music (the kind that demands some very necessary singing along, even if it is to the mixed in pieces of Modest Mouse and Beatles offhands) on a hot, sticky summer's night, well ... I'd cram last night up in a bottle if I could. I'd name it and squeeze it and kiss it good night. If I'd have ended up on a trampoline and looking out at the stars until my eyes closed, crickets offering my lullaby, it might have been a better storybook ending. It would have even taken me back in time some. As it stands, though, it was ageless. I was ageless. And I attribute pretty much all of that to the gift that is music.

This serves as my thank you ... for all of it.

2 comments:

Samborakid said...

what a fantastic ode to music and a great shot at describing how it really makes you feel. not an easy feat by any means, but i feel what you're saying!

Sherpa said...

Very nice piece, Dainon.