a hiatus undone

what an amazing way to wake up.

i wrote that hiatus post the other day because i could feel i was nearing the end of it. i was feeling something in the ether, a bit itchy, like I was holding out for something special, something that would strike someday, somehow, some way. Who knew that later that same day Kristin would post about a secret show that turned out to be the very next day.

no better way to break a fast than to see Kristin and Dave perform together opening for Black Francis. Holy crap. Such an amazing show. The only thing that could’ve made it better was if the people who had wanted to be there were able to be there. I wished more of Kristin’s listeners could have been there. Never can get enough love in a room.

Mississippi Kite · Sno Cat · White Suckers · Quick · Delicate Cutters · Krait · You Cage · Flooding · Your Dirty Answer · White Bikini Sand · Your Ghost (with Black Francis) · Wave of Mutilation (also with Black Francis)

Krait. I need to talk about Krait. I could never single out a favorite song until Krait. To me, Krait is perfect. But last night, last night Dave played the most incredible drums on Krait that just propelled that song to a whole new level. So good that I tried to record it on my phone but the sound is all blown out from the crap phone mic, so, well, now I just hope to see that again someday.

White Suckers. I’m so happy Kristin’s been playing White Suckers lately. White Suckers is one of those songs that (for me) was a bit overshadowed by the heavy hitters on the record – like Spain, Your Dirty Answer, etc… but years later it pops out and says “hey!” and you realize it’s an incredible song that ends up being one of your favorites. White Suckers had its hand raised in the back of the room all this time. It’s a song that’s been resonating with me for a good part of the past year, and I love it even more for that.

Kristin, Dave and Charles doing Wave of Mutilation. What a great little duet that turned out to be! Love, love, LOVED it. The one thing that struck me most was how beautiful Kristin’s voice sounded. It’s a rare day that you hear Kristin singing with someone, and her voice sounded SO pretty against Frank’s (yes, his names are all interchangeable, to me, anyway). I tried to record it halfway through because I loved it so much, but the sound was a bit much for my phone’s mic so that didn’t quite work out so well.

Kristin and Dave’s set had me all open and receptive to music. I was feeling it completely, SO HAPPY. By the time Black Francis’ set I couldn’t keep still in my chair, sorry row-mates. Loved that he opened with Nimrod’s Son. Loved all his solo songs, new songs, Pixies songs. Loved his set so much. So much fun. No complaints there. I’d love to rewind time and experience that night again. Or maybe rewrite this post to use the word ‘love’ a bit less. Nah.

hiatus

Sometimes, I like a good hiatus. A small break. A fast of sorts. It’s a good thing to do sometimes. It’s not always easy, but I find it’s always worth it in the end.

Around the start of this month I didn’t really feel like listening to the music for a while. This is no offense to the music, of course, it’s just something I do every once in a while. We all know I listen to a LOT of Kristin/Muses/Fippy. DUH, it’s my favorite. Music doesn’t care if I step away from it for a while. It doesn’t get insulted or have its feelings hurt like people would. I still love it more than anything and that will never change. I didn’t so much make a “decision” to take a break per se, I just didn’t listen for a couple of days and it turned into a “thing”.

It’s been roughly 11-12 days now? I dunno, not really keeping track but it was around the start of the month so let’s go with that. Now it’s become a bit of a challenge. How long can I make it? I’m kinda clearing my mind a bit, and that’s very much needed. Coming back to the music after a long break like this is always sofuckingawesome and I think that’s why I’m doing it (at this point, anyway). When we reacquaint it’s so amazing. It becomes a rediscovery, the elation of being back with an old friend and it’s like you’ve never been apart. It’s so fun, eye-opening and wonderful. I crave that “holyshitthisisthebestthingieverheard” feeling. I can’t wait for it.

In the meantime I’ve been exploring. Mostly I tend to gravitate to 90’s music, songs that shaped my college life (oh, what I wouldn’t give to go back to that time). Old standbys. Those songs you really love and can always jump back to. Kitchens of Distinction. I loved that band so much back then. I still do. A lot of bands I liked back then didn’t have such staying power as Kitchens, who rank up there as one of my most favorite bands ever. Vic Chesnutt. I made it through The Salesman and Bernadette and part of Little and it just got too sad. Dinosaur Jr. Pond. Guilty pleasures I’m not telling you about, those are my secrets. Pavement. Pinback. Unintentionally listening to a lot of bands that start with the letter P. More stuff, too, but well, you get it.

I do that for a while, jump around, make playlists (I’m so witty, I call them “Other Music”). Then I start getting bored. I listen to Sirius radio, I jump around those stations like a hummingbird flits between flowers. I yell at the radio for sucking. I yell at the bands for making some sucky bullshit. Sometimes I’ll listen for a bit and wonder WHY someone thought that sounded good. It’s important to know what sucks, it helps you better recognize what doesn’t. Occasionally, very, very occasionally (perhaps I should say ‘rarely’), I will find a new song by a new band that I actually really, really like (The Men – Open Your Heart). Mostly though, even satellite radio has me hating more music than I like. I’m happy and encouraged by discovering The Men, because I really do have a hard time finding new and exciting music I really like.

This music exploration is for the most part fun, but it’s kinda like hanging out by yourself in a new city. You meet people and you drink and laugh and have a great, amazing time, but it’s lacking the comfort of good friends who truly know YOU. I’m missing that comfort, I think, but I have other favorites I have to somewhat fill that void. But at this point, I’m kinda starting to crave the music I know more intimately than any other. THAT is what I was going for.

I wanted to appreciate it completely. I never take the music for granted, but I wanted a fresh take on it. You can get too familiar to something, too used to it where you miss the fine details. Like mixing up your workout, to get your muscles working in a different way from what they’re used to, making them stronger than before. Stimulate the brain in another way. I’m finding my brain reaching out, it hears Kristin’s voice singing in the distance, it feels those songs tugging. I know they’re there and for now that’s comfort enough.

How long will I make it? Who knows. I like to make my own rules. Who knows when I’ll cave, but I’m a little excited about it, and I was kinda going for that, too. Half holding out to see if Kristin would post another video demo. Half challenging myself. I’ve been learning a lot about music as I make a half-assed attempt to play guitar. It’s making me think of music so differently now that I know a little about how to make it. That’s what’s been so fun about revisiting those old songs from my college days. I hear the fine details better now. It all makes more sense. I like to think I’m expanding my mind in this adventure, so when I pull Kristin’s songs out again I’ll find new things I hadn’t noticed before.

These songs never stop giving. They change based on who you are and where you are at that given moment. I hope that in our brief time apart I’ve opened new doors in my mind to where I can approach these songs from different angles and hear them in new and exciting ways. No other music seems to give me such vivid imagery, movies and mind pictures than Kristin’s. I can’t wait to see what they have to show me next.