Saturday, April 10, 2004

Long Winters at Northsix

I went to see The Long Winters at Northsix in Williamsburg last night and came away as a sort of fan. Generally, I stay away from seeing shows when I haven't heard the records (which is a damn stupid way to take in the music scene in New York in light of the terrible radio options). I went to this one because of the connection of the band with the post-grunge Seattle scene that includes Death Cab for Cutie. I'm crazy in love with the new DCFC record, Transatlanticism, as well as the Ben Gibbard "side project," The Postal Service. (For the record, all the cool kids (like my purported friend ____) were into DCFC at least 3-5 years ago; they're too popular now but I don't care. This is what happens when you go to shows based on what you happen to hear in the atmosphere, but I digress.)

Anyway, Long Winters is led by this incredibly funny doofy blond guy named John Roderick. He's literate and amusing and kept playing corny classics by request from the audience between his own music, like Hot for Teacher and Barracuda. I don't have any of their records, but a song named Cinnamon (with a Neil Young tag in the middle) and another called New Girl just took off and propelled the young hipsters in front to bounce to the music. I saw a guy with long hair put his arm around his friend because the music was making him so happy, it was pretty damned sweet. This tall promoter dude was called to the stage because it was his birthday. He had been swaying with his uber-pregnant girlfriend throughout the show. The band also called up some guy from Brooklyn named Andrew, who was decked out in full Beacon's Closet ware, to sing along for a song. Yet another sweet young man, who hesitated to sing into the mike at first and eventually was enthusiastically harmonizing with Roderick.

As usual, I was self-conscious because I was there alone and was once again the only person of color in the hall. Today I find out that John Roderick is older than I am, which makes me feel slightly better about my solo Friday nights, while some friends are putting their kids to bed or working on computer theory papers or law review articles. The thing I usually get from these small shows is a great deal of respect that the folks have on stage for their craft. Maybe because I cannot play music (yet), watching them "at work" inspires me to pay more attention to my craft (whatever that may be). So, okay, I was not at home writing my life's work, but I was inspired by the band and the joy of the crowd.

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