first person: 3/7/09 anathallo at cat’s cradle: carrboro, NC

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm

At Elmo’s in Carrboro and I’m a bit disappointed because we’re eating in a strip mall next to the Harris Teeter. That’s okay, because the place is packed and we luckily get a seat inside (but I usually hate places that are full…or maybe I just hate waiting in line). Yes, I’ll have the chicken and dumplings with a sweet tea. She decides on the pulled pork. We debate the merits of Canopy Glow versus Floating World. I say “Floating World” is a natural evolution from Sparrows though with a more narrative vibe. No, she says, Floating World has those weird songs (the ones about dogs, I guess?) but I think it’s the crazy percussion that she doesn’t like. She likes Canopy Glow: the sweet female vocals the more traditionally arranged, softer songs. One time, I said, I listened to Canopy Glow on iTunes and the songs continued to the first song off “Sparrows” –the one about Aaron holding his peace and I thought for a second it was a Canopy Glow song because it had the same rhythm, the same flow, but then I recognized it. Though, “Aaron Held his Peace” does not fit in with the rest of Sparrows, it fits in with Canopy Glow. There, I said, the new one is nothing new, per se, but a return, just like the songs about the crazy dogs (“Hanasaka…what?)

We had seen Anathallo twice before together, but this was the first time that she was excited.
The table next to us didn’t pay, she said.
The check comes and I leave a tip for $2.38. Yahoo! Maps said from my house to Cat’s Cradle was two hours and 38 minutes.
It was appropriate then that my friend Jason was coming…

He called right before we sat down at Elmo’s and said he was going to make it. We were glad. Jason looks for “238” in everything. I’ve started it too, based off our mutual past appreciation of the band Two Thirty-Eight. We can’t help ourselves. We are haunted by the time, by the random sequencing, by exit numbers in certain states. I have written stories based off of two thirty eight, constructed from stories that have the page “238” included. Yes, it is very appropriate Jason will join us.

VisArt Video is next to Cat’s Cradle. “Rock n Roll High School” is playing on the television, and the counter clerks are eagerly eating up Riff Randle along with some hamburger takeout they had. A former roommate of Jason and mine in college appreciated this fine film. Once again, how apropos. I was tormented by the fact that VisArt had multiple copies of “Twin Peaks” and I hadn’t been able to put my hands on one in my town for some months. I am haunted by Laura Palmer without really knowing anything about Laura Palmer.

Filthybird, Sam Amidon and Anathallo. The girl from Filthybird could not sing, so we went and sat down in the back. Sam Amidon pulled off some freaking Jedi mind/vocal tricks complete with pushups and bird loping…but very impressed with how he first lulled the whole crowd to the sleep, then started unleashing the proverbial bag of tricks, complete with iterations of Thelonius Monk, frathouse couches and dreams about Thelonius Monk and a frathouse couch–or something close to that. Anathallo was next, of course, and she first tried to sit in the back until the opener, “Italo.” So went up and bopped along and realized that’s a lot more rockin song than comes across on the album, and that I’m not rhythmic enough to do those complicated handclaps. Then there’s the xylophone, a woodblock, is that a glockenspiel? No wonder the song changes take forever, though I guess that MIDI keyboard thing has cut down on their baggage. Where were the chains, the velcro? I missed the chains and velcro. Who knew “John J. Audubon” was actually a good song? Who knew that “The River” was that transcendent? Who knew that “All The First Pages” was in reference to Neil Armstrong (yeah, I don’t really read lyrics, just make up my own words that I think will fit)? Oh man, but who knew the song was inspired by a FreeDarko reference? That was the mind-blowing of all. I now know. Knowing is knowledge for real.

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