I hate cliches. I hate bandwagons. I hate soporific memes.
Yet I found myself listening to Kiss in the driveway last night and crying like a baby. I have deep pockets of precious memories linked to Prince’s music.
My friend Heather and I used to share a walkman and headphones listening over and over and over and over again to the Sign O’ The Times cassette as we rode the bus to the hell that is junior high. A lifeline for two chubby white girls, bracketing the misery of being 13 in a public institution.
In college, Prince was my secret joy. Hopelessly nerdy and high-strung and often alone, I listened to Diamonds and Pearls. I might look like a white bread sandwich, but I knew I was funky. I knew that my depths were more than people saw, and part of that persona was loving Prince.
In my 20s I had a friend who would quote lines from Purple Rain to me. It was his Star Wars, his cultural touchstone.
That friend and I don’t speak anymore. Prince is dead. I am a blubbering white woman cliche. But I know I am funky.
You don’t have to be beautiful
To turn me on
I just need your body baby
From dusk till dawn
You don’t need experience
To turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I’m gonna show you what it’s all about
A little bit before Christmas, I took SD and her best friend to a rock concert. This is them chilling in their chucks in between bands.
It was beyond fantastic.
My first concert was pretty epic- Michael Jackson Thriller world premier with my friend Alynda. And that was just the tip of an awesome concert iceberg. I have seen some great concerts. I used to scream like a lunatic at Cake concerts – so much screaming that people backed away. I don’t do that anymore. But I still love concerts
I don’t like being out past my bedtime, parking and driving downtown, being around drunk people, or not being able to sit down. But I do all of those things fairly regularly (for someone my age) for those awesome moments in concerts – when all the people sing to a loved song performed live. An awesome high. And last year I found a friend who likes the same music as me and is almost always game.
.My SD has similar taste in music – I am Wilco, she is Green Day – but fairly similar. I have wanted to take her to a concert for a long time. But we live in Kansas City and good bands come to Kansas City on Tuesday nights, if they come at all.
And then all of a sudden the The Cold War Kids (LOVE them!) were playing on a Friday night. I scooped up 4 tickets and got excited. (There were other bands – ones I didn’t know).
It was everything I hoped it would be. Definitely one of the best nights of my life because I got to give these two awesome girls the gift of their first rock concert. Their first time seeing how dumb drunk people can get. Their first time singing at the top of their lungs to a song they love with hundreds of other people. Their first time seeing an encore. (I LOVED explaining encores.)
The featured band (Cage the Elephant) performed an encore and the lead signer took off his shirt. My SD’s friend went CRAZY. She kept saying “He doesn’t have a shirt on.” Hilarious.
I loved that night. Rock on.
The world’s not forgiving
Of everyone’s fears.
The days turn into months, the months turn into years.
So just for the moment, let’s be still
– the head and the heart
On a Wednesday, I went to The Head And The Heart concert. It was on a Wednesday because it is Kansas City. Big enough to get the good bands, not big enough to get them on the weekend.
It is hard for me to go to a concert on a weeknight. I miss sleep, work still marches on. I am a creature who has habits and likes them.
But 90% of the time I am glad I go to hear live music, even if it is hard to do so. And last Wednesday was no exception. One of the opening bands was The Belle Brigade and they were mind-blowing.
Since then I have downloaded their first album and am doubly in love. Especially with this song.