Sunday, January 22, 2006

los angeles, my love

los angeles, my love
Originally uploaded by annette_oneil.
Okay -

I find reading other peoples' long retellings of great rock shows pretty insufferable, so I'm going to toss this into the ether as a post that only I will ever drink in its entirety. However, I've got to get some of this down in my rapidly-more-exhaustive records, 'cause I haven't had magic live-music moments like this in a while.

There's a commonly held (and often true) belief that Los Angeles shows are full of pissy-looking shoegazers and pulseless hipsters, incapable of rocking out, even just a little bit, to support the good folks that are up there wailing away on their instruments on our behalf. Let it be written that such a preconception was shattered there, tonight, at the El Rey. Y'know that sought-after moment when the experience is so pure that everybody standing around you becomes a friend? Like, you're all turning to each other and smiling and laughing and casting wistful looks? Yep.

Colin stands on his tippie-toes to tune. He asked the audience to stand on tippie-toe, as well, and boom - as one, the entire crowd raises a uniform four inches until he goes back down. I never knew what hundreds of people raising to tippie-toe together would sound like; now, I know. It's lovely.

He played the worst song he's ever written, stopping occasionally to footnote it with self-deprecating commentary. It's called "Dracula's Daughter". It's so awful you kinda want to kiss him.

'Los Angeles, I'm Yours', since it's really just for us folks, had us all dancing together and singing loudly along...and, at the bridge, the crowd did a really hilarious job of singing out the instrument solo. It happened again with 'Red Right Ankle', but to extremely tender effect. The darkness, clasped in warm arms, the crowd softly humming the guitar part...I felt laid bare in the most poetic way, with the music sweetly sifting under my skin. The last verse nearly raised tears - it's always so nostalgic, but in the spirit of the moment it had a sharpness and vividness I've not felt.

this is the story of the boys who loved you
who love you now and loved you then
and some were sweet and some were cold and snubbed you
and some just layed around in bed
and some they crumbled you straight to your knees
did it cruel, did it tenderly
some they crawled their way into your heart
to rend your ventricles apart
this is the story of the boys who loved you
this is the story of your red right ankle

It melts, me, y'know? So terribly beautiful.

Oh - and we, we (the audience) named the sheep that sits on a table on the stage next to Cheryl the skull and Maya Angelou the clipper ship. He's now "Erick-With-A-K".

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