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Fate has a way of showing I’m where you belong.

February 25, 2009

Let’s talk about last night.

But first, let’s talk about iPods. My iPhone is the latest addition to my collection. His name is Orion, and he is quite hip. Obviously. Because he’s an iPhone. My iPod Touch, named Disco Lemonade, was a gift from my dad, and he is colorfully flamboyant, and all he wants to do is dance. (We are talking about Disco Lemonade here, not my dad, who, while he may occasionally enjoy dancing, would never say it’s all he wants to do. I will allow the description of colorful flamboyance to remain ambiguous.) Cordelia’s my iPod shuffle. She’s silver and sleek, and she lives to run. The sole female of the group, she keeps her head clear with exercise and loud music.

And finally, there is ROCKSTAR, the OG of the crew, my very first iPod. He’s so old, in fact, that you can’t really listen to him anymore. His tremors cause the music to skip. But I can’t part with him, not yet, not after all the good times we had together.

And I think he would have gotten a kick out of last night. I went down to the Roundhouse in London last night to see the Fleet Foxes play. I didn’t bother to check who was opening for them beforehand, so it was a pleasant surprise when I showed up and inquired about the timing of the performances (I ask that at every show I attend) and discovered that it would be Vetiver taking the stage first. But then, as happy as I was to hear they’d be playing for me, I realized I couldn’t place anything else about them, besides knowing that I knew them and liked them. I couldn’t name a single song or album or memory that included them. I was completely blanking.

At 8:05 (five minutes behind schedule), they took the stage. They were a motley crew, with the lead singer dressed like a train conductor, the drummer dressed like Neil Young, and the bass player straight from the set of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

(This was actually a five person band, though, so once I had my first impressions of those three, I desperately wanted to decide on people that the last two looked like as well. The best I could come up with was that the guitarist looked like John Mayer dressed as a priest, and the keyboardist looked like Sarah Peltier. A really funky Sarah Peltier.)

They started their set, and played song after song that I either didn’t recognize or could barely recognize but that I knew wasn’t THE SONG that I was waiting for. As the evening progressed, I became more and more certain that there existed THE SONG that I loved by them, and I knew that they just had to play it. In the meantime, of course, I managed to appreciate the songs as they came.

Finally, they kicked into their last song. And the second it started, I knew this was it. ROCKSTAR knows what I’m talking about! “Been So Long.” The number one played song on ROCKSTAR. When we got home last night, I even found ROCKSTAR, who had been abandoned on the floor of the extra bedroom, and plugged him in to show Michael that “Been So Long” was in fact the number one song on there. Not that he doubted the veracity of my claim, but providing proof is always satisfying. Even when you’re the only one who cares.

Now, because I’ve owned ROCKSTAR the longest out of all of my iPods, I’m assuming “Been So Long” must be my number one played song among all four. (Although if you look at the number one played song on Disco Lemonade, you might be fooled into thinking that “FM Radio” by Joshua James takes the all-around title, but that’s only because Disco Lemonade records the number of times that song was played on the computer before it found its way onto the iPod. And I wasn’t the one who fell asleep to that song playing on repeat. So someone ELSE listened to it a couple hundred times, tyvm.)

“Been So Long” was so frequently played because I listened to it during my cooldown stretching period at the gym. Almost every single gym workout for close to a year. That song was 4 minutes long, so I knew that if I couldn’t stretch at least the duration of that song, I was definitely not stretching long enough! Over time, I managed to stretch for a couple of repetitions of the song. And I never grew tired of it. And last night’s performance was even better than the album version.

Don’t get me wrong. The Fleet Foxes were great. “Your Protector” (my favorite song from their eponymous album) was probably also my favorite part of their performance last night. And yes, “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” was haunting in its beauty, and “Blue Ridge Mountains” lived up to the quivering of its lyrics as the evening’s closer. But I walked in the door knowing I’d love them. No surprise there.

So the high moment of the night as a whole just had to be Vetiver playing “Been So Long.” The unexpected encounter with the band, the anticipation of waiting for THE SONG to be played, then the fulfillment of actually hearing it. Take a listen for yourself.

Very nice.

With last night now over, I don’t have tickets for any gigs in the near future, so you may be happy to hear that you won’t have to suffer through any more sycophantic ramblings about bands and what their music does for/to me. At least not for a while.

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