Archive for the ‘number twenty-one’ Category

Emily Colledge’s Playlist

March 28, 2007

Alias: Emily Colledge
Major: Master of Arts in Higher Education
Year: Second

visit culture. ish. on imeem.

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David Wilcox at Club Cafe

March 28, 2007
Rarely do you get to experience a concert from on stage, looking out at the audience. Apparently, arriving late can have its advantages. The last available place to sit in Club Café, a small lounge/bar in Pittsburgh’s Southside, was a speaker just off of stage left. It made for an awkward crick in the neck for the two hours of stories and songs with David Wilcox…but oh, it was so worth it.
Wilcox is not only a great musician, making his acoustic guitar keep the rhythm while sustaining intricate picking, but his ability to tell stories makes him unique. In fact, most of the audience was there because they knew Wilcox’s work (another advantage of seeing the crowd sing along to some of his more famous songs). Wilcox’s songs focus on human relationships, mostly the intensity of love, the pain of heartache, and the comedy of human mortality. Wilcox moved seamlessly from the laugh inducing “Reaper Sweepstakes” to the tearful “Deeper Still” (“In this life, the love you give becomes the only lasting treasure/And what you lose will be what you win/A well that echoes down too deep to measure”) to narrating the philosophical in “Inside of My Head” (“I’ve got to empty out the inside of my head/This could be a room with such a view,/but its covered up with junk/Blocking off the place the light gets through”). Wilcox claims his best song is “Three Brothers” from his latest album, which explores the religious conflict in the Middle East in a subtle and beautiful way.

The well-told stories interspersed throughout the set helped explain the inspirations to the songs, making the music take on heighten meaning. Wilcox is pretty honest about his faith and how it helps him see both the funny and serious sides of life, brokenness and spirituality; pointing out that our love for one another is a mired and grace-filled reflection of God’s love for us.

His latest album is called Vista. Wilcox was quick to point out came out before the latest version of Windows.

–gpv

listen to david wilcox.
visit greg’s blog.

The Hold Steady at the Rex

March 28, 2007


The Rex Theatre on the Southside of Pittsburgh apparently used to serve as an actual theater. The only give-away to this storied past is the lit, carpeted walkways. This is a fantastic place for a concert, especially the Hold Steady.

Listening to live music can easily be compared to watching a live sporting event. Rarely (except on dumb commercials by TV companies) do you hear the claim that it’s better to sit at home and watch the game than go to see it–everyone knows what you’re missing.

The Hold Steady show is the same way. As I stand packed in, listening with friends I came with and a couple hundred other people I may never see again. There’s a pretty intense energy flowing through the room. Yet, we’re willing to stand abnormally close and even smile and laugh with each other (which certainly wouldn’t be acceptable if we passed each other on the street).
There’s very little more enjoyable in life than getting a glimpse into the life of someone who totally loves what they’re doing. The guys from the Hold Steady are a great example. From their constant smiles to their incessant thanking, they certainly looked like they might have been enjoying the concert even more than the exuberant audience.

During the final song, vocalist Craig Finn told the audience that “there’s so much joy in what we do” and started grabbing people by the hand, pulling them up on the stage. Finn just stood there smiling–surrounded by the twenty people he brought on stage–and mouthed “thank you.”

This is the kind of stuff that makes it more than worthwhile to go hear live music.

–cc

listen to the hold steady.
photo credit: Rex Sorgatz.