Friday, March 23, 2012

Some Musicians Disappear

Today there are people who live and breathe electronic music, and they play it obsessively like people play World of Warcraft. They sort of disappear in their cubicle for two years and they never come out. And they’re doing some really remarkable stuff.

A singer named Leon Redbone once did a show
in a suburban supper club near Chicago.

I didn’t go because I don’t like supper clubs.

But a woman I knew went to the Friday show.

Over lunch Saturday we talked about the show.

I said, “He’s such an idiosyncratic guy.
I still can’t believe you went. Was it a good show?”

The woman smiled and nodded but the way she smiled
and nodded without saying something said something.

“Is he still singing old jazz standards?” I asked her.

She blushed. I thought: What the hell is going on here?

“To be absolutely honest,” the woman said,
“during his first song he was singing so softly
and he was playing the guitar so peacefully
I just put my head against my boyfriend’s shoulder
and I fell asleep. I slept through the guy’s whole show.”

So I viciously ridiculed her for a bit.

After a while I said, “So I guess from now on
you’ll stick with big rock bands and pass on folk singers?”

She blushed again, and said, “I’m making my boyfriend
take me back tonight for Redbone’s Saturday show.
I’m going to try not to fall asleep this time.
But the thing is, when I slept through his show last night
I think that was the most wonderful restful time
I’ve ever had when I’ve gone out with my boyfriend.
Ever since I woke up I’ve been in a great mood.
Leon Redbone is my favorite performer
and I’ve still never even heard him sing one song.”

I’ve read some musicians disappear with their craft
and create remarkable things locked in their room.

But are any of those things as remarkable
as what a musician and audience create?

   (If you click the pic it links to a video)

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Leon Redbone at Wikipedia


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