I'm going to keep this short, being that it is September 11th and it's a national day of mourning and an emotional one. but a couple days ago I had a pretty emotional day of my own.
Tuesday night I saw the Airborne Toxic Event play an acoustic show with their buddies, the Calder Quartet. TBH I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, because the song that made me a fan, 'Gasoline', heard for the first time so many moons ago in 2008 on Lammo's 6music show, is decidedly NOT made for the acoustic setting. however, I was overwhelmed by the spectacle of the performance; it was obvious to everyone in attendance that TATE loves what they're doing, making music for themselves and others, and really took this undertaking to heart.
I really don't know how I managed not to weep uncontrollably. several times, such as during 'The Book of Love' (the Magnetic Fields cover) dedicated to Mikel Jollett's late grandmother, and the achingly beautiful 'A Letter to Georgia', I could feel the tears pricking my eyes. just beautiful.
something they didn't know: they were the first band I'd ever written about for a blog. click through here to read my breathless retelling of their show on 12 March 2009, the first time I saw them. (second time was at the 9:30 Club last October. Tuesday night was my third time seeing them. they do say three times's a charm, and I guess charm was on my side that night. even before the first time I saw them gig, I had read about Mikel's health problems and family turmoil. I hoped that one day I would get my chance to speak to him, to tell him how inspirational he was to be doing what he was doing as a rock star, living life, living the dream, even with a chronic illness.
I did not know that day would be Tuesday night. when I finally got a chance to speak to him and told him what I had been practising in my mind for almost 2 years, he told me his mother has the same genetic condition I did. I was shell shocked in surprise - I was sad of course that his mother had to deal with such an illness, but at the same time it was reassuring that I was not alone. and of course he knew what I was going through. I told him I was worried about him being too tired from gigging and running around with a band, and he said not to worry that what he had wasn't a big deal. he did however tell me I was a strong person...that was definitely not what I had expected. here was a world-famous singer/songwriter telling me that I was stronger than he was.
me? stronger? I feel like I'm fighting the world sometimes, railing against whoever made me this way, insistent that I will make it, be successful. I don't have a lot of continuous support from friends locally or otherwise, so yeah, often I feel alone.
Mikel happily mugged for a photo with me. I honestly don't know how I made it through that picture being taken without bawling. no matter where I am and what I do in the future, I will always remember that night.