The Art of Almost

Let me start off my by saying that there is, without question, absolutely nothing that a Wilco show can’t cure. NOTHING.

Which is why I’d definitely be going back tonight if I didn’t already have unbreakable plans.

But I do, so I can’t, and that’s ok.

My Tuesday started off with a migraine – the likes of which I haven’t experienced in a while. Not the occular kind, like I had in May:

This was a good old fashioned everything-makes-me-want-to-puke-and-bright-lights-are-the-enemy-quick-I-need-a-dark-room kind of migraine. Ooh goody. I should have known it was on it’s way because all day Monday I didn’t feel right. By Monday late night, I could feel my body preparing, but ever in denial, I just ignored it and went to sleep… only to wake up and BAM! be confronted head on with THE HURT.

So I stayed home from work. I locked myself in a cold, dark room (AKA my bedroom), and emerged hours later feeling much better, but also exhausted. Then a big ole dose of LIFE! hit me and come 6 p.m. I wasn’t even sure I had the energy to attend the concert. I KNOW! Wilco is my favorite group ever in the world, and they are phenomenal live, and I just… didn’t think I could handle it.

Good thing “The Cobra” – he of Radiohead-Concert-Fail fame – knows just how to handle me and my STUPID EMOTIONS! We manned up, ate some dinner, and drove to Wolf Trap (NOVa! Ewwwww, but otherwise a lovely venue) to see Jeff Tweedy and Co. in all their glory.

At some point during the concert, The Cobra asked me what song I really wanted to hear. I answered, “Via Chicago.” I asked him what song it was for him, he responded, “California Stars.” We were lucky and got spoiled by both. Here’s some not-so-hot footage I took of the “California Stars” delight:

(I’m not a professional, give me a break.) The hardest part of gathering this video was the part where I had to stop singing and stop dancing in order to get a decent shot. BUT ISN’T THAT SONG JUST THE BEST? Tweedy dedicated it to Woody Guthrie, who recently turned 100. I mean, WOW.

And then, we have “Via Chicago.” Ohhhhh “Via Chicago.” If ever there were a visual representation for my life right now, it’s “Via Chicago.”

I dreamed about killing you again last night
And it felt alright to me
Dying on the banks of Embarcadero skies
I sat and watched you bleed
Buried you alive in a fireworks display
Raining down on me
You cold, hot blood ran away from me
To the sea

I painted my name on the back of a leaf
And I watched it float away
The hope I had in a notebook full of white, dry pages
Was all I tried to save
But the wind blew me back via Chicago
In the middle of the night
And all without fight
At the crush of veils and starlight

I know I’ll make it back
One of these days and turn on your TV
To watch a man with a face like mine
Being chased down a busy street
When he gets caught, I wont get up
And I won’t go to sleep
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Via Chicago

Where the cups are cracked and hooked
Above the sink
They make me think
Crumbling ladder tears don’t fall
They shine down your shoulders
And crawling is screw faster lash
I blow it with kisses
I rest my head on a pillowy star
And a cracked door moon
That says I havent gone too far

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Via Chicago

Searching for a home
Searching for a home
Searching for a home
Via Chicago

I’m coming home
I’m coming home

When you watch the video clip, should you choose to do so (and I urge you to do so), you’ll note when it goes from a lovely, rolling song to mass hysteria layered over the melody which trudges on through the chaos (~1:50 in). Is that not the perfect metaphor for my life? For all life? Obviously this was the likely intent of Wilco, but it literally just dawned on me. The poetry of the dark times in one’s lifetime is powerful stuff with Tweedy driving the ship.

Don’t tell The Cobra, but I cried a little during this song. Not because I was sad, but because I felt… in that moment… so understood. And I think that’s what I really needed yesterday (everyday?). Murder ballads FTW.

I AM SUCH A SAPPY GIRL.

It’s always annoying when the pictures don’t accurately represent how awesome things are… or in this case, how close our seats actually were. Just take away this: If you don’t already know, love, and worship at the alter of Wilco, do yourself a favor and take a listen. If it’s not from you, we probably can’t be friends.

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