Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bookstore Light

Sometimes you get just what you need when you don't know you needed it (previous post). Tonight I got something I needed--and knew I was going to get it all along.

This band Marah does that to you. Doesn't matter how pissed off you are, how fucked up your life is, what kind of a hellish day you've had. Doesn't matter how drunk you are and what a fool you are making of yourself. Doesn't matter if you don't know all the words, or if this is your first show or your hundred and first. This band will lift you out of your own personal shit into another place; they will make you forget about whatever it is that's bothering you, pull you out of your head and back into the world, and will make that world a place that's beautiful and messed up and profoundly moving and downright silly and it will all be all right.

Tonight they were just back from a show in Germany and going on pure adrenaline. Sleep deprivation can be disastrous, but it can also be cleansing. There is no room for overthinking when you're exhausted; you go on heart and talent alone. And that's really what rock'n'roll is all about anyway, so in a sense it's the best way to be. Tonight they were alternately focused and shambling, intense and loose, heartbreakingly sad and outrageously funny. They are brothers, and so they know each other's weaknesses and are able to poke and prod and needle each other in uniquely destructive fashion. It's hilarious onstage but the words are often true, the complaints ancient and ongoing. But no matter; in fuzzy sweaters to ward off the suddenly winterish air, with a couple of swigs of beer and a buzzing amp, they make the night their own. And you are there, and you are a part of this big family that is so warm and welcoming that you just don't want to leave, you wish it really were your family, that your real family understood you the way these guys do.

It's dark in the bookstore where the show is taking place; the three of them sit in a row, and the shadows and candlelight create a ghostly vibe but in an odd way sort of highlight everything; the way their faces keep shifting in and out of the light somehow makes it seem like you are watching a play, makes you pay attention. But how could you not? These are extraordinarily talented people having an extraordinarily good time, and you are fortunate to share it with them. I wish I could tell you how beautiful their faces looked while they were singing, explain the perfection of missed notes and guitars that won't stay in tune.

But it's late and I'm tired, and what stays with me tonight more than anything else is this--on a night when I felt like shit about myself--about the world--these guys made everything all right again. And for that I thank them.

2 comments:

  1. See? You are a beautiful writer.

    "And that's really what rock'n'roll is all about anyway, so in a sense it's the best way to be. Tonight they were alternately focused and shambling, intense and loose, heartbreakingly sad and outrageously funny. They are brothers, and so they know each other's weaknesses and are able to poke and prod and needle each other in uniquely destructive fashion. It's hilarious onstage but the words are often true, the complaints ancient and ongoing. But no matter; in fuzzy sweaters to ward off the suddenly winterish air, with a couple of swigs of beer and a buzzing amp, they make the night their own."

    I wish I wrote that.

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  2. Anonymous7:08 AM

    Great review, haven't seen the band for way too long, and really really need to. You're right when you say "..and you are fortunate to share it with them." as their shows are a genuine shared experience and you just don't get with most bands these days.

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