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In Concert

April 20, 2008

Ask about my singing ability, and Caroline will be quick to tell you that she’d rather listen to a whale give birth (come to think of it, as much as I enjoy my own voice, I’m rather intrigued by the prospect as well). I’ll admit it, I’m not a good singer. I was once told by a friend that he didn’t like to sit next to me in church because of the sounds that came out of my mouth. Harsh.

On top of that, I am horrible—absolutely horrible—at recognizing and remembering the words to songs. I generally have no idea what a singer is saying, so I’m left to fill in the blanks with words that make sense. It’s not uncommon for Caroline to walk into a room to find me a singing a song that’s completely unrecognizable to her, both because the tune and pitch are off, and because the words, “Come home, come home, roam with your cow when the piece of nigh fa la la” don’t exist together in any song.

However, I’ve discovered a venue for my musical abilities: rock concerts.

At concerts, no one can hear me, so I can sing as loud and nonsensical as I’d like and it sounds like the band. It’s awesome. I’ve had little opportunity to test this out, as I don’t go to many concerts, but last night was the exception. I had the good grace and fortune of going to an Okkervil River and New Pornographer concert at The Pageant.

I had never even heard of Okkervil River, but they were fantastic. Full of energy and playing a set full of catchy tunes, they had me hooked for the entire hour they were on the stage. (If you iTunes them, check out Westfall, A Stone, Black, Real, Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe, Unless It’s Kicks, and Song of Our So-Called Friends.) They set the stage for the New Pornographers, who, even minus lead vocalist Neko Case, were still fantastic. Having just discovered them in the last year, I had never seen them live, but they were great.

I hadn’t been to The Pageant for five years (senior week), but it’s a great venue. It was nonsmoking last night, which was awesome, and the bartenders were plentiful and friendly. The place was packed with hipsters wearing t-shirts with funny text on them (I didn’t see “I Smelt It, But He Dealt It”).

Of course, for every NP song I knew, I crooned like I was on stage. It was awesome. Take that, society! Come home, come home, roam with your cow when the piece of nigh fa la la.

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