Thursday, August 7, 2014

concert magic

you know when you find yourself thinking about angry cat robots and suddenly you realize you're thinking about angry cat robots and you're like, "brain, how did we get here?" and then you backtrack your brain thought steps until you reach thought patient zero, which was like, that woodpecker that just landed on the branch outside, and you're like, "oh yeah, that's how that thought process went." (this happens to me often with my co-workers, but after i explain whatever the steps were they're like, "ok, that wasn't as weird as i thought you were being. carry on..")  well, this post is going to be that. (don't say i didn't warn you.)

in a happy turn of events my work just installed wifi and now i can treat my disease by listening to spotify whilst i work.  having the becks could have been really hard if i couldn't self-soothe during my peak listening hours.  (9/10ths of my workday has me listening on at least one earpod as i go about my daily duties. i gotta have my tunes!)  i've been discovering and exploring his discography, and surprising past christine (but not current christine, because i like things more when i'm already in like mode, if that makes sense) by enjoying more of his work than i expected.  and i'm not really sure why it was surprising, because i like/d most of the singles, but i guess i didn't really realize i did until they were all laid out before me straight for the picking.

i think between yesterday and today i becked myself out, so today i also tried out the indie "channel" (ew, for me) and the americana one (better), but quickly used up my 6 skips per hour in one go.  uh oh.  so i signed up for the free premium trial for a month (which is just about how long i expect them to keep from locking the wifi). and then i could listen to ALL THE SONGS!  including full albums, in their actual correct song order! 

sidebar:  i don't know about kids these days, but when i'm introducing myself to a new album by an artist i'm into, i like to take things slow and progress in the appropriate steps, i.e., listen to the whole damn thing at once.  none of this shuffle, or worse, shuffle the new stuff in with the rest of your library nonsense. i don't even download the free singles or previews they like to put on social media because i want to hear it first as its part in the whole.  maybe i'm taking it too old skool, but i grew up in the days of cassettes where you were forced to listen in the intended order, or just try fast fowarding or rewinding and see how far that got you.  i like that they put thought into song order and gave you an experience instead of pieces. and i actually like when the song ends and then you "hear" the next one start in your head before it actually starts because you've played the damn thing so many times.  and i like when you first got an album and played it constantly and then now when you hear a song off it it's imbued with the feelings and places of where you were at that time in your life.  (old 97s "fight songs"?  totally fall, sophomore year, rollin home from down the highway in my mom's beat up chevy truck, and cool dark nights.)  so yeah, whole albums, it's a good thing, and nowadays i still listen to a new one as a whole until it's stuck in my brain parts like that for good and solid, til death do us part. first comes marriage, then comes shuffle.

which, this got off track.  what was i saying?

i think the thing about having access to full albums is why i took a break from Beck for a little Jason Falkner. i don't usually have him on my iphone due to burnout prevention factors (i'm at the point where too much of a good thing is a bad thing with several artists), but sometimes my ears go all new and want to hear him again. so i played "Author Unknown" in it's entirety and had a grand old time and that made me nostalgic for the first time i saw JF play, nie on 15 years almost. and listening to the album again just further cemented (and at this point with JF the cement is like, 20 feet deep, so it's a case of more cement than you can imagine) how good of an artist he really is. it's not like i forget, but it's not at the forefront of my mind, so i guess it's kind of like how you know the electric stove coils are hot and you shouldn't touch them and then you graze one of them while trying to pick up a spoon or something and that contact brings the pain to the forefront as your brain goes MOTHERFKER THAT IS HOT AND NOT FLESH-FRIENDLY! so that's kind of a negative metaphor, but that's what popped into my head trying to explain that one doesn't forget JF is a musical genius, it's just not always burned into the brain unless you are listening, and if you don't listen that often then it's a tiny revelation every time you do.

so i had my tiny revelation this afternoon and it got me to thinking how i really want to see him play again.  and not just as Beck's guitarist. like with actual songs that he wrote that he is playing and singing. and that's when i felt stirrings of my concert magic.  and what is concert magic, you ask?  i will tell you. (that's what a blog is for, after all.)  concert magic is what i call my one and only super power that may or may not exist.  (i don't *think* i have any other semi-imaginary super powers.)  concert magic gives me universe gifts of concert shows that i really want to see, in a not untimely manner.  that sounds confusing i think, but simply put  it works thus: christine decides she wants to see a band, and then christine gets to see this band pretty soon after.

this happened so many times in l.a. that i actually noticed it was happening.  i'll admit, you expect to see bands in l.a., everyone goes there, so that's not too unusual.  but the timing was always right, too.  i'd discover or get into a band, and then within a month or two a show would pop up.  i mean some of the instances were straight forward, like if someone put an album out, then you'd expect they would tour it, so that's not too unusual (owsley).  but the magic also worked when it was a no-hoper.   for instance, the divine comedy, which mark had wanted to see live for many years, released an album ("regeneration") in march of 2001, but he didn't "introduce" me to the album/band until the fall of 2001, at which time i promptly fell in love and began jonesing for a show. at which time mark informed me that they were from england and had never been to the u.s. so i was jonesing for a lottery ticket dream. at which time los angeles show dates were announced.  dates, plural. to which we went, 3 shows. that was when i realized i had the power to make my show dreams come true.  and i'd only had to wait maybe, 2 or 3 months?  and poor mark had been waiting years. (ha ha.)

and maybe the universe also influenced my powers with the timing.. mark had put a divine comedy song on a mix tape for me two years earlier, and i liked it, but nothing came of it. maybe it was only when the universe was ready to deliver a live concert show that i became receptive to the band's works.  because i feel like i have to really want it for it to work.  i can't just half-ass it... the magic knows.  i guess it's like meditating and setting an intention; if you're heart and soul aren't in it, then it's not going to happen.

anyway, i've been true to my powers and they have rewarded me with some of my favorites, sometimes at really slim odds, and i've appreciated it.  like, who would have thought the zombies would have reunited after 30-something years?  i guess i just had to get way into them first?  but i kinda thought that train ride was over when i moved away from los angeles. there's like 40,000 venues for opportunity in southern california and like, 3 here?  so yeah, i didn't think the magic was strong enough to withstand the void, but i'd had little touches here and there of Old 97s coming to town unexpectedly, or Spacehog getting back together and getting to see a them when i thought i'd missed the boat for good.  (ok, the Spacehog one is really awesome, but they were broken up and i didn't really think any magic would work on them.. that one's more just good luck.)  but sometimes a girl's gotta spread her cape and really stir the cauldron, amirite?  the time came this spring when i was ready to push back my sleeves and throw out some of that old concert magic.  this time it was for the foo fighters. i've grown to really like them over the years and that little seed of want started to grow inside my gut.  i thought, it's about time they hit the road again, right?  ima make them come to me.  i heard that some people in my town were trying to get them to play here, and i thought that was impossible, but i could make them play close enough for me to attend, like virginia beach or d.c.  so one day at work i announced my intention:  the foo fighters would be playing a show nearby and i would attend.

and you guys, it worked!

the concert magic had a bit of a laugh at first.  literally three days after i announced my intention to my co-workers, i read that they'd had a secret show in d.c. very funny, magic, you got me. i told it that it knew very well what i had meant and if it wanted to consider the wish granted and the contract fulfilled, then it had to produce a show that i actually had knowledge of beforehand.

so it did.
Foo Fighters Agree to Play Unscheduled Crowdsourced Show

whaaat?  this is a real life thing that is happening.  after i announced my intention i thought, hell, i'm going to join this crowdfund thing and just believe it.  and i did, but i didn't.  when i signed up there were like, 2 days to go and it wasn't even half funded.  i honestly didn't think there was a chance it would succeed, but you know, i have to keep the faith with my magic and if it gives me opportunities i have to take them or else i'm not holding up my end of the bargain.  anyhow, they managed to extend the deadline and i kinda of started to believe.  and by some crazy power (concert magic), the campaign to bring the foo to richmond met it's goal. 

here's me after getting the notification e-mail:
why yes that is my cat's cradle stamp from the first aid kit show the night before.

that's what concert magic success looks like, people.  IT WAS ALL ME!  ok, not really, but i helped?  yeah?  this is when i knew the magic was still alive and maybe even stronger than ever. i mean, the foo fighters are coming to richmond?  that's like, not a thing that happens.  but i can't wait for it to happen all up in my face when i'm standing in front of dave grohl trying not to get smooshed to death by the crowd.  (real life: i'll probably be in the back.)

so.  ... the point of this novel i guess is that i'm feeling those stirrings again, for Jason Falkner.  (that sounded... erm.)  which i guess is kind of lame to write a thousand page essay all to simply say i haven't decided to invoke the power yet, but i'm kinda sort feeling it, so stay tuned?  most anti-climactic ending ever, womp womp.

but i can promise you that if i do aim my magic at him, i will blog about it (and probably nothing will come of it and you can laugh and point fingers and i will slink shamefully into the night).

and now it's seriously time for bed.

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