Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Man at the Mann

I love all of the people
Yes I share the feast
So drink up my wine
And the song in my bones
I know the way
I can see by the moonlight
Clear as the day
Now come on
Come follow me home 1

A bespectacled, balding, 55 year old man ambled onto the stage wearing sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt and took the Mann Center by storm for two hours. To many he will always be the front man of Dire Straits but for me Mark Knopfler can be whatever he chooses to be.

For 2 hours he held me and the rest of crowd at the Mann enthralled by being electrifying, sublime, effortless and intense all at the same time. Nonchalantly switching guitars in mid song to play the finale for Sailing to Philadelphia just showed that he was the sensei of the chill. Listening to him belt out Sultans of Swing, Telegraph Road , Brothers in Arms was like taking a walk down memory lane for me. Ah sweet melancholy...

...cos I've run every red light on memory lane... 2

In contrast to the Dylan concert yesterday, Knopfler clearly showed that you don’t need to rework the entire song to make it seem fresh. All you have to do is tweak and extend. My only complaint…I wish he had played longer and that Wenerd was there.

1. Follow Me Home - Dire Straits
2. Telegraph Road - Dire Straits

Dylan is dead

Zeminky : Go to the Dylan concert we must.
Kogi Kaishakunin: No!!!! Suck he does live.
Zen: Old he is and die he shall soon. Go we must…

And we went to watch him at the Yogi Berra stadium in Montclair, NJ. After fighting traffic on the Garden State parkway, stuffing a camera into a shoe, and an argument with a drunk obnoxious 60 year old juvenile, we waited for Dylan to show up at the stadium. Willie Nelson was the opening act and he did his honky-tonk bit and then the abomination started. It was almost as if Dylan wanted to take the soul out of every song and throw the remains of the ghost to the crowd. Blind Willie McTell and Woody Guthrie must be squirming in their graves while Dylan plays live these days. Like a Rolling Stone was echoing back at him...

Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud…

I had come hoping he would play “Vision of Johanna”. I would have killed him if he had. This was one concert where I prayed the band would not return for the encore. But they did...

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just the freight train coming your way 1

If you guys want to listen to Dylan go for a Joan Baez or Peter, Paul & Mary concert. Thankfully the Man showed up at the Mann the next day and made up for everything.

1. No Leaf Clover - Metallica

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Girl with Kaleidescope Eyes

"To me, to me", I screamed.
"To the sea, to the sea", she cried.

A stone is thrown into a lake. It sinks to the bottom causing no ripples. The pond does not know about the stone.

There are no sides. There is no left or right, top or bottom, front or back. Dying is the only way to float free. 1

I walked into the ocean...

And the waves washed my tears and the wind my memories. 2

1. "The Wind-up bird chronicle" - Haruki Marukami
2. "Skellig" - Loreena Mckennitt