Welcome back and thanks for tuning in to another edition of Waking Up on the Couch to Channel 2.1 tpt (recurring theme here due to the insomnia that prevents me from waking up in our bed where I belong). This morning, which is Monday, I received a friendly reminder from the universe to make good on my promise to come back to the topic of the Moors & McCumber, Mother Banjo (and special guest Ellis) show we saw on Thursday. No getting sidetracked by the other pressing topics of the day like you did yesterday.
I was startled awake this morning on the wrong side of 5:30 a.m. by a loud clunk, reminiscent of something expensive and electronic dropping to the floor– a shhhhhhluuuup of a cord sliding off the counter and the laptop (camera? cell phone? iPad?) following behind, perhaps. Wouldn’t be the first time when you live with a curious squirrel on crack (aka the kindergartener). There was no incessant chatter immediately following the crash, though, so I thought oh must be my husband, making his usual failed attempt to move stealthily through the house in the wee hours so as not to wake the boy. You do not want to wake the squirrel boy early, ever, because then your quiet morning time is done. Maybe Said Husband tripped on the cord of the vacuum, which I am notorious for not putting away (why bother when you are going to need it again in like 20 seconds?). I listened for swear words, but heard nothing. Just silence.
Hmmmm. Eerily, I guess it wasn’t him, and I still don’t know what the noise was, but it woke me up to tpt 2.1 Volume 1 (the Insomnia Toolkit I-Mean-Business-Level, which is almost zero, which apparently is what normal people who don’t have insomnia sleep to most nights) and when I opened my eyes it looked blurry and bluish and Austin City Limitsish, so I put on my glasses and then focused and wait—is that James Moors? (Maybe he was on MN Original and never told us? And possibly special guest Ellis on keyboards??) No, wait, the camera pans back and I now see it is a huge arena style concert venue. Not Moors & McCumber, but “Brit Floyd,” which you can check out on tpt2, if you are even remotely interested. (I have nothing against either Pink Floyd or Brit Floyd, in fact they were playing a beautiful Wish You Were Here when I awoke, but I am doing my best to stay focused, because according to my husband, yesterday’s post was a sprawly mess. Sorry!)
Here are the side by side photos just so you don’t think I’m completely off my rocker:
Well, okay, maybe a little off my rocker, but keep in mind it was 5:30 a.m. and I had only been conscious for seconds. So, as my sleepy head cleared this morning it became more and more apparent that it wasn’t Moors & McCumber or Mother Banjo or Ellis playing the giant arena. Not yet anyway.
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On the way home from the concert at Ginkgo’s on Thursday night, my husband remarked that it’s such a damn shame that you could have all that musical talent there in a little coffee house and not nearly enough people there to hear it. There are of course lots of talented folks who haven’t had a break, who maybe don’t yet have a strong foothold in the music world, maybe haven’t even attracted a significant loyal following, despite having all the right stuff.
I don’t know whether any of the aforementioned musicians even aspire to play to a giant arena like that, but I’m sure they would like to be able to continue to make a decent living doing their music. Maybe something in between Ginkgo and the arena with capacity for 20,000 is in their near future? I sure hope so.
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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs are more people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
When I wrote my first blog post back in October, I gave myself permission to do so by reading the above quote. There are a bazillion people writing blogs, and no, the world doesn’t need another blog, we have plenty, thank you. But I needed to do something to make myself come alive and find my true voice, and put myself out there, even if relatively very few people ever saw it.
Isn’t that the thing that really matters to all of us in life—we want experiences that have the power to make us come alive, and feel something, and sometimes to rediscover that first sense of awe you had whenever it was when you fell in love with the world. So often this experience is something grounded in nature or art—whether it be words, visual art, or music. Music plays a big role for most of us, I think, because it is a secret language of its own. If you happen to be the person making the art that moves other people, I think that is when it becomes something transcendent for both the giver and the receiver.
That’s what last Thursday’s concert at Ginkgo Coffee House was for me—another opportunity to come alive, and feel something, and be surprised, with a couple of moments that transcend the here and now. I love hearing brand new music, the feeling you have when you think you know where the lyrics might be going, or the melody might be taking you, then there is a little turn of phrase, a twist in the cadence or rhythm, something surprising but entirely right.
Even a cover of a not new song can do this if it feels fresh, like Mother Banjo and Ellis singing a spare and lovely “six o’clock in the morning . . . you’re the last to hear the warning . . .” and you feel something unlocking inside of you that has been stashed away for a long long time. You all at once rediscover and remember the first time you heard the song (thanks, CC for buying me the cassette tape of Achtung Baby, which I listened to over and over again on the move down to Madison, WI, more than 20 years ago!), but this rendition is so lovely you fall in love with it all over again. “. . .you’ve been tryin’ to throw your arms around the world . . .”
The song from Thursday night that has stayed with me the most, in a happy, follow-me-around-like-a-new-puppy kind of way, is Moors & McCumber’s So Glad I Found You. It is a sweet and simple feel-good love song, and appealing in a completely honest, accessible way. (Reminds me of why I like Michael Cera and Ellen Page doing “Anyone Else But You,”–just something plain and true about it.)
“ . . .Well I found you and you found me too, you turn the darkest skies to the brightest blue . . . you give me confidence and a broader view . . . you know you lift me up, when I’ve been knocked down, I feel so much better when you’re around. . . ” Love those words.
Public Service Announcement to myself: get out there and hear some live music, the smaller the venue the better. It might move you to feel something, come alive and fall in love again, with music, or words or life or something more. (Hopefully Moors & McCumber will share a little story on their website about how moved a couple of the concert goers were on Thursday night . . . it was pretty cool.) Even better, the music might move you to reach inside of yourself and offer up your own something simple and true to the world. Isn’t that what we’re here for?
I’ll end with another Howard Thurman quote I just discovered:
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”
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