Monday, March 1, 2010

hootenanny for haiti

my pain is self chosen
at least i believe it to be
i could either drown
or pull off my skin and swim to shore
now i can grow a beautiful shell for all to see.
mad season, river of deceit

i've said it before, and pardon me while i say it again, but i LOVE living in seattle. what i witnessed last night at the showbox is reason number 25433 why. or reason number 1, i can't decide which.

you know that feeling that you get before a show you've been looking forward to FOREVER? that feeling of nervous anticipation, like butterflies in your stomach? yeah, i kind of love that feeling. and i had it all weekend. i wish that i had a good camera that could really capture what the stage looked like at the showbox - there were a couple of big couches, some stools, some music stands, and a lot of candles. basically, it was like a living room. and right above where i was standing, there were microphones pointed at the crowd.

according to wikipedia, a hootenanny is an informal, festive performance by folk singers, often including audience participation. that's really the best way to describe the night. all the musicians - too many to count, but i'll try: mark pickerel, kim virant, kristen ward, duff mckagen, jeff rouse, tim dejulio, mike mccready, star anna, gary westlake, chris friel, matt cameron, and other people i'm forgetting - sat on the couches with their instruments and each came up front one at a time to sing a song while the rest played along. mike did a rolling stones song, for example, kim virant sang neil young, mark pickerel did tom petty, star anna sang a FATASTIC version of what i think is an otis redding song (watch me be embarrassed that i'm wrong) which makes me want to immediately run out and purchase her records, and etc...

a definite highlight was when kim warnick, formerly of the fastbacks, came out and sang belinda carlisle's song just like heaven. i can't believe i'm admitting this, but i knew literally every single lyric to that song. somehow the music pulled that out of the deepest recesses of my brain. it's sort of frightening to think about what portion of my mind is made up by song lyrics. plus, she made a somewhat dirty joke when she said she had come out of retirement "only for one night.. and that's what she said."

brad, who i wrote about in my last post and who will be playing at the showbox in april (!!), played buttercup. and i suppose this is as good a place as any to write about shawn smith coming out later to sing crown of thorns with mike, stone, et al. despite the guy singing off-key in my ear (or, heck, maybe because of him - he sure seemed to know all the lyrics to EVERY song and his enthusiasm was kind of infectious), i don't think i'm exaggerating to say that this was one of the best moments, musically or otherwise, i have experienced since seeing pearl jam in philadelphia last october. SERIOUSLY.

... but only one of the best. another of those moments was to be had at this show when mike, duff and jeff rouse (who i also now feel the need to find out more about) played the mad season song river of deceit. the song that i quoted at the beginning of this post. the song that i remember first hearing on the pearl jam radio show self pollution radio in 1995, sitting in my bedroom listening to with the volume low so that my mom and dad wouldn't hear. earlier tonight, i found a video of this song on youtube, and i told myself i would only watch it once.. well, now it's 2 and a half hours later, and i've been pretty much listening to it nonstop. seriously. and i have an overwhelming urge to dig out above, the mad season record. perhaps the best thing i can say about this entire show is that it makes me want more. i want to listen to mad season for the first time in about 10 years, i want to go see brad in april, i want to hear more of star anna's (and kim virant and mark pickerel, and everyone else honestly) music, i just want. music.

here's that video of river of deceit


Kristine Rosenborg said...

Seriously... There are more than a thousand reasons why I love living in Seattle. Music being one of the top 5.
This was one of the best shows I have been too. River of deceit has been on repeat every since!
P.S. Write more on your blog. I love it!

megan said...

f*ck yeah!!