Sometimes I forget why you go to a concert. Sometimes it feels like something you just do, something done to fill up an evening which couldn’t be filled by a movie because there’s nothing out, or a conversation, because sometimes there’s nothing new to say. But that’s not why you go to a concert. You go because so much of the time, you don’t focus on the music. You can be a fan of the songs, you can be a devoted listener. You can be the dude who is playing bass on the songs, and still you’re not focused on what’s going on. You’re walking, looking around, reading, coughing, eating, breathing.
People, mostly, don’t listen to records, the one format where you are REQUIRED to sit down and listen, and the people I know who do listen to records are the same people who smoke a lot of weed, so they’re not listening to the music, really. You go to see live music because when you see a concert it is put in front of you, the sound and the people producing it. They demand everything. You think your ticket is just a bill of sale? It is a contract. It says you are there to rip your laundry thoughts, your to-do thoughts, your chap lips or text message thoughts out of your skull and stick them down in your shoes. If you don’t sign that contract, if you talk in the back or sip your beer waiting for a friend to show up, you’re fine, you ok by me, you’ve just got to realize that you’re not actually at the concert.
Bill Callahan went ape-crazy a few times on Friday night when he played a circus tent in a park next to I-94 in Chicago (My thoughts on the whole thing? I wonder whether hipsters have fun ruining things like carnivals for everyone else.). Those moments were wonderful, but the one for me was that I had NEVER really listened to “Our Anniversary” before then. The ambivalence, the idea that the song is barely a celebration at all, that the two have to trap eachother at home. “It’s our anniversary/I leave it ajar” But that ending, man, is hard-earned and perfect.
At least for those few minutes, I was at a concert.
Here are two sad ones. It rained all day and I had a tough time making it back from the grocery store. That was a few minutes after I woke up. That was before breakfast.
Here’s a happy-ish one, because Jenny and Josh came all the way from Michigan this weekend. We made breakfast today. It’s twelve hours later and I’m still awake and in one piece.
“Hearing Things” is a Disappears song from the Needs 7“. Disappears is the new band from Brian Case who was great in the Ponys and Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth and a few other people who, for better than this, I cannot name drop.
Also, whatever you think about Pearl Jam, this clip of David Lynch interviewing Eddie Vedder is great. Who is more uncomfortable? Who looks more like a deer on the freeway?
Speaking of live music,