Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Someone's Gotta Help Me Dig

(image taken from Earphoria)

(image taken from Interview)

(image taken from Brooklyn Vegan)

Not one to succumb to oblivion or blissful ignorance, I knew that moving to New York, while definitely a welcome and arguably overdue adventure, would not be the ultimate antidote to my various life struggles, big and small. Very aware, I knew I would continue to work long hours, would continue to combat constant exasperation from inane or incompetent clients, would continue to irrationally fear those creepily crawling brown water bugs that invariably live in apartment sinks, for a moment, before remembering I can triumph with a deluge of cleaning spray, accurately aimed. But, obviously, I did have some typical expectations of being able to indulge in the rich experiences the city has to offer. Music, art, literature. Margaritas. And the like.

After several days of incessant fretting and frittering over inconsequential details, there is a beautiful tension between the excitement and the calm experienced, engulfed in a crowd of strangers, old and young and delightfully diverse, listening to the creation of sound that, through the inevitable mysteries of time, can only happen once.

Last Wednesday, after a long day in the office, I saw Father John Misty perform, sing his poetry and gyrate, mostly ironically, on stage. His presence is an amalgamation, a hybrid of gods before him, part satire and part honest veneration, or at least respect: Joe Strummer, Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, with a splash of buxom lounge singer, anonymous, ubiquitous. He struts. He feigns slamming his guitar, his microphone stand, hard onto the stage, holding them aloft precariously, dipping low. He parades into the crowd, poses for photographs, smiles for the various likes and shares on some digital plane. He jokes and talks between songs, sharing stories that may be truth or lies, which it does not matter. And none of these things compromise the integrity of his lyrics, humorous and mocking but also gritty and provocative. Nor the integrity of his voice. As a wonderful cherry atop, his band is, unsurprisingly, equally talented; they do not merely support, but perform and entertain alongside him.

Rarely am I hugely disappointed after live music, though, naturally, some shows are notably better and worth it than others I have attended. While Father John Misty is certainly worthy of a gander, for me, last week, it was an evening of wiping my eyes of the computer glow and remembering why I moved, and why I should never forget to seek to live.

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