Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Live, Baby, Live!

To be fair, I liberally borrowed the title of this post from an INXS live concert DVD but felt it was apropos since I'm here to talk about live music. This will be a rant, it may not be well constructed or well executed, but I felt like throwing this stuff down so...yeah.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned how much I love live music and seeing bands in concert here before but it's kind of a big deal to me. Music is such a huge part of my life and that loud, sweaty, crowded experience is integral to my overall enjoyment of it. I've had my mind changed at concerts regarding how I feel about a song I previously disliked and I've had artists show themselves to me in a different light than I am accustomed to, bringing me around to appreciating their material where previously I did not. I've fallen in love at concerts and even proposed to my soon to be ex-wife at a concert. Sure, some shows are just shows, but some have served as genuine benchmarks or signposts in my life. Moments I can revisit every time I listen to an album or hear a song that means something special in a mall or in the car while driving to work.

I know I probably sound like a ridiculous, sentimental fool by this point but I own it. I know how goofy I sound, and that's okay. It's how I feel and that's just the way it is. I am prepared for you to judge me and stop reading right here if you haven't already.

The whole purpose of this post is to lament the fact that I haven't been to see a live show in quite some time. The last concert I saw was on March 29th and I went to see Stars with a friend. Amazing show, unforgettable night. Even got to meet Torq after the show and complete my Stars autograph collection so, yay me. I had tickets to see Passion Pit a few months ago but they cancelled and I've passed up or was forced to miss shows by M83, The XX, Phantogram, The National and a stupid amazing lineup at the Rock the Seine festival that I was a week late to see. Gah!!

I'm chomping at the bit, here.

Anyway, there are a couple of decent shows down the road that I'm looking forward to maybe going to in 2014 but I don't know if there is anything coming up before Christmas and that's not cool. Looks like Said the Whale is here in a week or so. Maybe that'll help take the edge off a bit. We'll see.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paris Hotel Room, 4 a.m.

I was going through some stuff I had saved on my phone and was a little surprised to find something I had written while In Paris that I had forgotten about. It was either just before I left, or possibly by e-mail while I was there, that my friend Carly told me that while I was in Paris I should totally write something. In fact, she may have even said that I would be stupid to not at least make the attempt. A reasonable idea and expectation, sure, but with all the things that I was trying to cram into the single week I was there I didn't have a lot of time to sit in a café with my notebook and just write.

God knows I would have liked to. Especially when I was standing by, and could have grabbed a table at, Le Select, where Fitzgerald and Hemingway and their ilk all used to hang their hats and grab a drink. I was passing the place on the way to the Eiffel Tower. I had decided to walk there instead of using any public transportation and, though I knew Le Select was somewhere out there in Paris, had no idea that it would be on the way.

Something to do on the next trip, perchance.

Anyway, one night while lying in bed in my hotel room I was having a tremendous amount of trouble sleeping. It was well after three in the morning and I grabbed my phone which was nearby and started typing away some ideas into my ColorNote app. The goal was to write a poem capturing the moment, perhaps reign in some of the things swirling in my head and commit them to 'paper'. Once everything had been evacuated from my head onto the digital page I tried to muster a bit more and, failing that, found my way to sleep.

I've pretty much ignored that small piece of writing since returning figuring that there might be an idea or two that I can cannibalize for something else down the line, but looking at it again it actually holds up as its own thing. I might be projecting my own experience on it and giving it more body or meaning than it perhaps actually has, but maybe not. I'll probably vet the thing with a couple of people I trust and see what they think. There's an element of...it has a roughness to it that may work in its favour but leaves me uncertain.

What I do know is if I start to try and refine and manhandle what I write it loses all immediacy and starts feeling kind of disingenuous, so I don't really want to tinker with it beyond what it is.

I haven't really done any writing for a while, particularly poetry, and have been trying to step it up a little in these past few weeks. I have gone back to working on a short story that I set aside and have been trying to blog here whenever I have something I think is remotely bloggable. I am hoping that the discovery of this Paris poem may bring some of those inclinations back, as well.