Friday, October 26, 2012

On blissful surprises set to good music.

I love The Mountain Goats. I've seen them at The 400 Bar in Minneapolis, a school auditorium in Durham, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Blue Moose in Iowa City, and Second City in Chicago. The Mountain Goats are coming to Chicago to play at the Vic this Saturday. I didn't buy tickets because I was being fiscally responsible, but I still put the date on my calendar, because it seemed important to note. I kept my schedule free for a concert I was not, in fact, attending.

I always say I went to first base with Ben Folds and all the way with The Mountain Goats. They are my musical true love. When I first met Scot, he was working on his play, thank u 4 a funky time, which has a passage in it about the Mountain Goats' break-up album "Get Lonely." His character says, "GET LONELY?! I don't want to GET LONELY. I already get it. I've already got it. I don't want more." He then proceeds to delete the album (and any others that remind him of or resemble his ex) from his iTunes. I've written before about how my favorite thing ever is to talk to boys about music. So my heart exploded a little when I met a man who was writing a play that had the line, "You can't take relationship advice from Fleetwood Mac!" in it.

Fast forward four months to yesterday, Scot West picked me up from work and asked me, "So Maura, do you like winners or losers?" He had entered a contest on his lunch break telling Reckless Records why he deserved a pair of tickets to see The Mountain Goats. He won. He won't tell me what he said, but it ended with "MAKE LOVE HAPPEN"and Reckless wrote on Facebook, "We have our winner- What a story!" Maybe one day he will share with me what exactly he said, but the man loves surprises and mysteries. I do too, in theory. I, to reference When Harry Met Sally, think I am surprising when actually I am completely transparent. We are a good balance, I suppose. Here is a short play based on a conversation we had which demonstrates my lack of ability to conceal anything:

 
A very earnest girl enters holding a glass bowl full of carrots covered in plastic wrap.
A boy (or a girl, a lover anyway) enters.
GIRL:
I love you so much I got you a secret present. You’ll never guess what it is.
BOY:
I can see what it is.
GIRL:
It’s a big surprise…
BOY:
You know that bowl is see-through, right?
GIRL:
Guess! Take a wild guess.
BOY:
Is it a bowl of carrots?
GIRL:
I’ll give you a clue… it might be a vegetable!
BOY:
Yeah, I bet it’s an orange vegetable. Probably similar to a carrot.
GIRL:
It grows in the ground…
BOY:
I don’t think you understand the concept of a surprise.
GIRL:
It’ll help you see better…
BOY:
I get it, it’s an effin bowl of CARROTS.
GIRL:
Bunnies eat it… nom, nom nom…
The BOY stares blankly. The GIRL holds out bowl, smiling.
BOY:
I give up, what is it?
GIRL:
A bowl of carrots! Don’t you just love it?
BOY:
(Sincerely) Yeah, I do. Carrots are my favorite.


Sometimes things come full circle. Scot's play involved The Mountain Goats darkest album which features the song No Children which holds the lyric, "I hope you die. I hope we both die." But time moves on. John Darnielle, the band's lead singer, is now married and has a gorgeous son who he is stupid fond of. When I first saw the band, it was Halloween in Minneapolis in 2007. A lot changes in 5 years. John now writes lyrics more like, "You'll never want for comfort/and you'll never be alone./See the sunset turning red/let all be quiet in your head/and look about/all the stars are coming out!

 Point is, everything changes. Seasons, jobs, friends, facial hair. But sometimes, the soundtrack stays the same. Sometimes you get to listen to your band for the first time with someone new who makes you feel like the luckiest lady this side of the Mississippi.

So Saturday night, you'll find us at the Vic. Boom.


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