Friday, September 25, 2009

Past the autumnal equinox

I miss poetry. Sometimes you have to take separate vacations even when you love each other, though. I just hope poetry and I can reconcile in time for us to whip some stuff into shape before some upcoming deadlines.

Speaking of which, I picked up a rejection slip at my PO box on my way out of town to go to my mom's and then to Chicago, last week. It had, as they say, "ink" -- the editor had particularly liked one section of a longish poem, which is one of my favorite poems from the new/current/ongoing project. So that was nice. Maybe I'm on the right track.

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Last night I saw Lucinda Williams perform in a smallish club here in town. The place was packed and enthusiastic. I was about four deep in front of the stage, a nice spot. I hadn't seen her before, though I've been a fan of her music ever since Sweet Old World came out years ago; in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of her first album, she's doing a chronological setlist on this tour, playing several songs from each album starting with the first and going through her current release. It was really cool to hear how her music has evolved over the years, from the rootsy acoustic folk/blues she started with to the rock-your-face-off sound she has now. Her backing band, Buick 6, opened with a very good instrumental set which definitely set the tone for the rock-your-face-off portion of the evening.

Sometimes, what you really need is just some LOUD. And loud felt really good to me last night.

This show was just a few days after Lucinda married her manager onstage at her Minneapolis show (a ceremony which included her father, Miller Williams, reading a poem) and she seemed to be in a fantastic mood. She also seemed to enjoy the high energy of the crowd and the rock vibe of the club (maybe she just needed some loud, too). If you're fond of good songwriting and bands with a lot of electric guitar, check out this tour if it comes near you. Good stuff.

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Dave over at Wings for Wheels has a particularly nice appreciation of Bruce Springsteen in honor of his 60th birthday (Bruce's, not Dave's); if you liked my post about the show in Chicago, his seems to come from a similar impulse. Yesterday's "Happy Brucemas" brought a plethora of articles, posts, tributes, lists, and other appreciations -- far too many to list here; if you really haven't had enough Bruce-related reading in your life lately, check out the links over at the Backstreets news page (scroll down just a bit for the birthday tributes) and the big honkin' linkfest at Blogness on the Edge of Town.

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The trees are starting to turn -- I notice it a little more every day. Summer's definitely over. I always feel like I write more, and better, during transitional seasons. Sure hope that turns out to be the case this time around. I miss poetry.


Jessie Carty said...

ink on a rejection slip does make it more bearable doesn't it :)

Lyle Daggett said...

Don't know if you happened to catch it -- the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine (the one with Megan Fox on the cover) has a short interview with Steven Van Zandt, reflecting back on the experience of playing in the E Street Band, how things are feeling on the current tour, and other stuff. I looked for the interview online, but it appears not to be, maybe in the print edition only.

I enjoy your posts about Bruce tracking. I've never been a major fanatic about any band or musician, not enough anyway to travel around the country to their concerts. In fact the number of rock concerts I've gone to over the years is small enough that I could in fact count them on the fingers of both hands.

Having said that --

If I had ever decided to plunge in soul-deep as a follower of a musician, the musician would have been Joni Mitchell. I've been absolutely devoted to her music since I first listened to it (her album "Ladies of the Canyon," which I first heard the summer of 1970, between my sophomore and junior years in high school.

When I listen to songs of hers I immediately time-travel back to whatever was going on in my life when I first heard the song or the album, etc. Of the miniscule number of live concerts I've been to, two were Joni Mitchell. She's the only rock musician I've had a dream about at night.

And so on. Anyway, just to say that although I've never done the kind of thing with a band or musician that you've done with Bruce Springsteen (i.e. travelled far and wide to the concerts, become immersed in the history and creative spirit of them, etc.), I can totally understand the impulse to do such things. That kind of thing hasn't been a part of my life, but it easily could have been, if I'd made one or two different choices along the way. I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it... :P

Anne said...

Jessie: Indeed, especially when it's one of those "tough nut to crack" journals as this one was. :)

Lyle: I had that issue of RS already but hadn't opened it up yet - thanks for the heads-up! Stevie's usually a good interview, even though you can't always believe more than about 20% of what he says. :) And yes, Joni Mitchell... definitely one of the genius songwriters.

Karen J. Weyant said...

Great poem -- also loved the one Coal Hill Review.

Anne said...

Karen, thanks! I didn't realize the Coal Hill Review issue was up already. :)