s-tog til hundige

Music for me is very easily tainted by the circumstances in which I’ve heard it. Pop songs from circa 1993-1995 make me angsty, the end of Sibelius’ second symphony makes me light-headed, and Wolfstone recalls that spirited open-road feeling from the summer after I got out of high school, when I’d grab my pickup truck after a day at the assembly line and drive 5 hours for the only long-distance relationship I’ve ever tried. I’ve got a fair amount of nostalgic energy invested in that truck, actually, so in a tangential way the bass player’s mullet almost made sense. But it still took me until the end of the first set to remember that even though the band was rockin’ out like the noisy part of a trailer park, they were still playing music. After that, though, the dance pit started to be a bit more believable, and it was full of people grabbing each other by the elbows and skipping in circles, which I find infinitely preferable to trendier kinds of jumping about. So I still had a good time, and it took the entire train ride home for the rawness to ease from my lungs.

And due to my usual lack of planning, er, spontaneity, I went alone with an extra unused ticket. I think it’s because I made the mistake of telling people what kind of music this was – for some reason people were no more enthusiastic about Scottish folkrock than they were about a traditional Irish band. Maybe next time I’ll just describe the event as “unique” and “a surprise” and trick someone into coming along; it should work at least once. Anyway, since I’ve got such an unpopular taste in music I’ve begun to pay attention to all the other people going to concerts alone, and they all seem to fit in a small number of pigeonholes. You’ve got two or three potbellied balding men who look like refugees from a science fiction convention, one mid-thirties woman with a leather jacket, and then tonight there was a middle-aged man dressed in black smoking a pipe. If I get any choice in the matter, I hope I turn into the guy with the pipe, and not the transplanted scifi fans or the woman in her mid-fifties who stood up in the middle of songs and clapped wildly with no sense of rhythm at all.

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