listenin’ too long to one song
Saturday night, we went to see The New Pornographers with Matt and Taylor at the 9:30 Club. I was pretty excited, but I wanted to make sure to prepare myself. So I listened to their album Twin Cinema at least seven times, during which one time I read along with the lyrics. The show didn’t start until 11, so I did not want to fall asleep. I feel asleep at the 9:30 Club once before when Henry and I went to see SonVolt with Shannon. I didn’t know any of the songs and I had just enough beer to make me really really sleepy. Going to shows just aren’t my thing unless I can sing a long to 25% of the songs.
Following Taylor’s selection, I ordered a Bailey’s coffee. I knew that I was risking it by consuming a dark coffee that late at night, but I thought it would probably only be one night of lost sleep. And I couldn’t risk being a total dork again. Anyway, as soon as I started drinking the sweet, but definitely dark coffee, I started blogging in my head. It was like I was on hyper-caffeine mood. I even overcame my anti-swaying stance that I took somewhere along the way in kindergarten. For the last twenty-plus years, I was not about to show any emotion in our school performances or any other time. All group sways felt forced and uncomfortable.
Well, the caffeine worked and I bopped along thinking about a wide variety of things while they were playing songs I had never heard before. For instance, I could probably have been in a large band of ten or so people. I mean, I studied music from 4th through 11th grade. My voice is not earth-shattering genius level or anything, but I could definitely have a small back up role with a group of friends. There maybe several occasions during practice when people might yell at me for singing the wrong part. But I can carry a beat and play a variety of percussive instruments. Plus my mom always wanted to be a professional singer and that part of her has to be buried inside of me somewhere dying to come out.
I think that I came to this realization when the three people I could see the most on stage look a lot like several of our friends. In fact by the end, I had mentally named them Paul, Nicole and Sturge. Paul played every kind of keyboard imaginable, which reminded me of the Casio keyboard I received for Christmas in 1984. It is in a large plastic storage bin in the basement of our apartment in Chapel Hill, along with my practice drum pad and Henry’s four track recorder. See, he secretly wants to play in a band, too. He even tried to record us singing The Little Drummer Boy several years ago. But he kept yelling at me when I sang the wrong parts. So we never completed our recording. Maybe that is what gave me the idea about practice a little earlier.
I was really excited to hear the final two songs before the encore – Sing Me Spanish Techno and The Bleeding Heart Show, which you may recognize from the University of Phoenix commercials. During SMST, I had to lean over and tell Henry the irony of listening to that song over and over in the last 48 hours. The chorus sings:
I won’t let this happen to you
listenin’ too long
to one song
listenin’ too long
to one song
Sing me Spanish techno
Okay, well it did happen. But that’s okay…
You can listen to the entire concert online at NPR. When Taylor pointed this out after seeing the flyers, Henry and Matt started screaming “Taylor Jones!” I have yet to listen to see if you can hear it. Let me know if you can.
However, I was absolutely the most excited when the show closed and we were filing out of the building. They played Xanadu! I, of course, had to sing every word. This is the song that I probably practiced more than any other on my pretend Solid Gold stage, aka my bed, as a child. I don’t remember watching the movie until probably two or three years ago. I was completely shocked by the final scene where everyone gathers at Xanadu for a final skate off and song montage led by Gene Kelly. I tried to recreate the clapping and moves for Matt and Taylor, who had no idea what I was talking about. I told them that I owned the movie and they were welcome to come over and watch it anytime.
The next day, I searched for Xanadu on YouTube and you guessed it – the entire full-length ending is there for you to view. If you can’t bear to make it through the entire movie, you should at least watch this scene to learn what Xanadu is. If you just want to hear the song, watch the short video.
I was even more thrilled when Henry sent me a review he read in Saturday’s Washington Post – Xanadu is a huge success on Broadway. People have gone to see it 30-40 times. I HAVE TO GO!!! If you want to join me, just let me know. I have already recruited Eris.