Wednesday, March 30, 2005

So I cannot believe that it took me his long to write this…

Thursday eve Jon played in Bellingham with much loved Lou Barlow.
I need to preface this by saying that the first time I heard Soul and Fire I knew I wanted to play guitar if only to learn how to play that one particular song. Had I not picked up that Sebadoh tape for $1.99 from a pawn shop on Spenard in Alaska so many years ago, I may never have finally picked up a guitar.
With the purchase of Bubble and Scrape and then a cheap blonde Fender acoustic; so started my (not so) secret love affair with Sebadoh.

I spent so much of my daughter’s early childhood sitting around playing songs on my guitar like On Fire, Cliché, and Soul and Fire that I am certain she has grown up thinking I wrote them.

If you have ever listened to any of the Dear John Letters songs that I had a hand in writing, you would hear the Barlow influence all over them. Those were the kinds of records I dreamed of making someday.

I have seen Sebadoh live twice, Folk Implosion once and I have seen Lou play solo three times. Every time I have found a way to shake his hand and have found some way to stutter out that he is the greatest and walk away feeling like a big geek. I had no problem sitting around reading comic books with Thom York, but god forbid I can spit out a string of coherent words to Lou Barlow without giggling like a little girl!
Once I told him he is the reason that I started playing guitar, which he answered, “I’m sorry?”
He’s just cool like that.

Out of all of the times I have seen him, I think this show on Thursday at The Nitelite in Bellingham, WA was numero uno! I got a table right at the front of the stage. Jon opened and played a beautiful set of a lot of new songs I have never heard him play live before. I sat there very proud of my immensely talented husband and excited that I was going to get to see my favorite musician next!

When Lou got on stage, he seemed a little groggy. He did a song and then admitted he has fallen asleep backstage on a couch for about two hours. It took him about 3 songs to warm up, but once he did, he was Del fuego.
His stage banter was witty and interesting. At one point some obnoxious guy at the table behind me was yapping up a storm while Lou was singing. Most singers ignore it, but Lou handled the situation with his own special flare.
I noticed he started to sing quieter and kept watching the table of offenders. He then took a step back from the mic which made him even quieter, eyes fixed. He never missed a beat.
When the song ended he leaned in the mic and explained, “I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything too interesting. I always figure when people are talking like that there must be something really important to talk about”
But then he laughs and follows it up with, “But then again, I always talk my head off through shows, so I guess I am an asshole.”
It was priceless. The guys were quiet and we didn’t hear from them again after that.

The show ended far too early for my taste, I would have much preferred that he played for another two hours, but he had to get back to wife and baby. Did I mention that he just became a daddy and now has his lovely wife and new baby on the road with him? Yes, he is that dedicated! That just makes him cooler in my book! I hope my rock husband was taking notes that he can refer to when planning his next European tour!

Of course we bought every bit of merch he had. I left the proud owner of two new CD’s and a really cute baby blue T-shirt. I recently went to his website and found there are even more cute shirts to be purchased. I will be buying one for both Darian and I soon!

If Lou Barlow passes through your town, I highly suggest you go see him and buy his new CD Emoh! I can’t get enough of it. It really is the best of Lou Barlow in a lot of ways. And as for his live shows, if Bellingham was any indication of how he is on this tour, I’d have to say it will be one of the best solo performances you could see all year! He is charming, entertaining, and the music is heartbreakingly flawless.



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