I was driving over to Cleveland Heights this evening for a poetry reading. As I drove, it struck me that I kept hearing and seeing great phrases. I have a theory that I was primed for them, because poetry was on my mind. Sort of like, when you are going to a comedy show, everything is funny or coming to or from a gallery featuring found art and everywhere you look you see beauty and accidental cleverness. You know?
Anyway, on the train home from work I was reading Saul Williams' She. There are pages of great lines, but two separate stanzas jumped out at me:
"and it hurts even more to write it/than it does to live it"
"and these tu lips/might soon eclipse/your brightest hopes"
On the stereo was a happy mix I had made back in Texas, with lyrics like
"Ooh baby/let's have a baby/before Bush do/something crazy" (by marxist hip-hop act the Coup)
"you can't watch pornography/without being affected/my broken heart/was mysteriously neglected/i tripped on my troubles/riding the sunshine/i tried to call her/but the undertaker answered/at the haunted house" (by Danny and the Nighmares)
"well do you have a girlfriend/does she look as good as you/would she like to meet my brother/he gets outta jail in a month or two" (by Cracker)
"I'm crawling slowly in the dark/feeling for/a punchline" (by Daniel Johnston)
"your pops don't like me/but your mom sure does/cause she sees the looks that I give you/and sees nuttin but love/enough to know this ain't no phase/or some part-time craze/it's a love affair/that's even during the week days " (by G. Love)
"heard it before and had my share/it didn't lead nowhere/i would go along with someone like you/ it doesn't matter what you do/who you are hanging with/we could stick around/and see this night through" (by Peter, Bjorn, and John)
Anyway, eventually I roll up to the parking garage across the way from Mac's Backs. Run in, get quarters, run out, deposit quarters, run back in. The poetry itself was rather forgettable, but I got a chance to meet (for the second time) Bree. Earlier in the day I had received a package in the mail from her, filled with awesome stuff, including her press binding of Charles Potts' two-volume memoir, Valga Krusa. She was really nice and even gave me a free copy of a new piece she had just pressed, which included the work of several different authors (one of which was by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame). I also got a chance to say hi to the owner, Suzanne, who recognized me -- that's always a nice thing, starting to be recognized by folks when you are new in town.
After departing Mac's I booked over to Collinwood. The Besnard Lakes were opening for the aforementioned PB&J. I stopped in to Music Saves first, picked up a copy of the recenlty released Audio Eagle compilation, which will hopefully aid in my quest to become more familiar with the music of NEO. Then it was off to the Beachland Ballroom, where I observed a great set by Montreal's Besnard Lakes. They were AWESOME, the ballroom is super cool, sort of a cross between what you see in Hollywood prom scenes and what I imagine really old-school talk shows had. Best of all, the bar is cool and cheap -- I only had a small amount of cash, less than ten bucks, but I was still able to grab a Genesee tall boy for $2.50 and a bottle of Straub (of which I had never heard, but it is pretty good) for the same price. After the BL played, PB&J came on. They were good, but I've heard their music so much in the past year it wasn't really exciting. I left at the beginning of the encore, but did stay long enough to hear them play their hit "Young Folks" (with Olga from the BL filling in for the golden-throated Victoria Bergstrom from The Concretes/Taken By Trees) and, better yet, totally freak out on "Objects of my Affection." As I went out, the guitarist/singer of the Besnard Lakes was manning the merch table. I congratulated him on his performance and, on the spur of the moment, asked him if there were any acts out and about these days he was really into. He thought for a moment, then suggested David Vanderveld and Sunset Rubdown. I'm new to both, but will give them a listen.
I headed out, stopped in to Music Saves again to pick up the BL album for Ducky's Christmas present and got some tips on December shows from the owner (he especially endorsed the White Magic/Mystery of Two show on 12/4, by the way), and then got back in my car for the short drive home.
3 weeks ago