Midvale School for the Gifted Alumni Association

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Last night, I went to see two friends' respective bands play together. Divey little bar in Rhode Island, disappointing crowd, but a good show all the same. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by Jay's band, Mike G and Associates. Not the sound I thought, knowing Jay's musical tastes, and what the band he normally plays in sounds like. One guitarist is also in a Beatles tribute band, and the other guitarist/vocalist also is a Neil Young tribute singer. Unfortunately, their acoustic set was clipped by a bad monitor onstage, which is too bad. Jay messaged me today to tell me that he had asked them to add a song to the set, just for me, and I'd have gotten an on-stage dedication and everything. The song? "At My Window, Sad and Lonely", from Billy Bragg and Wilco. A terrific album, to be sure, that I'm just incorporating into my personal soundtrack.

But the choice is interesting, which is why I think I'm musing on perception. I know Jay through the game night crew. The core of that group are my friends Brian and Scott, whom I've known since we were kids. Jay is married to Lisa, who used to work with Brian. The game night crew is generally composed of four or five couples, and me. Single little old me. There have been conversations between some of the wives and I, and sometimes with Scott and I, about my single status, and Lisa has decided that I need to meet their friend Dan (who also was playing in another band last night, but I was riding with Scott's wife, and she wanted to leave before they took the stage). So, I'm wondering if Jay may have been interpreting some of these conversations about my single status, or was it just a great song for that band to learn, and since I dig on the Wilco, he figured I'd be happy (which, I would have been. Damn monitors.). If it's the former, are these friends of mine assuming I'm sad and lonely, or, listening to the song, pining away for an unknown someone?

For, and I'll be honest, I've spent some time over the last year pining for a certain unknown someone. And, although that's somewhat passed, maybe, there is part of me that hasn't given up that dream yet. I'm not sure I ever will give it up. Part of what makes dreams what they are is that certain unattainable off on the horizon somewhere quality to them. And when Tweedy sings,

Will you find another sweetheart
In some far and distant land?
Sad and lonely now I wonder
If our boat will ever land

I can't help but think about this ocean of unfinished business that's just been sitting, waiting, seemingly forgotten for all this time. Because that verse, right there, is just a little too telling for my taste. But, this isn't the song I'd have chosen for that pining, as beautiful and longing as it sounds. And I've already said more about this than I care to, but I will say one more thing. Jeff Tweedy's voice was made for this kind of feeling. He has this unique ability to lay it all bare and trembling before you, and you cannot help but nod in understanding, as the light behind your eyes drifts off to some dusty corner of your heart you were trying to forget needed to be cleaned. And he gives you permission to leave the dust covering what's there, for a while longer. Becoming friends with that sadness leads you to knowing just how good things will someday be.

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Blogger EDW said...

Oh, that was just gorgeous.

7:05 PM  

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Midvale School For the Gifted

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    "So I walk like I'm on a mission, 'cuz that's the way I groove. I've got more and more to do, I've got less and less to prove. It took me too long to realize that I don't take good pictures 'cuz I have the kind of beauty that moves..." Ani D.
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