Monday, June 05, 2006

You are the Northern Lights

I've got a new rule. Instead of just song titles, my blogs will now occasionally be named after song lyrics. Kathleen (the name of this song) just didn't seem too fitting, but I love the lyrics.

So, I just got home from the Josh Ritter show and can I just say I think he's great? I got to Music Millennium a little early. In fact, I walked there after work since it was only about 14 blocks away. I fell in love with Portland again on the way. Honestly, all those great Victorian houses on tree lined streets on a clear, sunny day would have anyone swooning over this city.
I had never been to Music Millennium and was pleasantly surprised by the entirely vintage feel that the store had. True music lovers central, but in an intimate way that True Music Lovers Central a la Virgin Megastore will never claim. I browsed around a bit and made three significant purchases:
  • Josh Ritter's latest album The Animal Years
  • Camera Obscura's Under Achievers Please Try Harder (what took me so long?)
  • Brandi Carlile Live From Neumo's
Although I knew I was a Josh Ritter fan from streaming his entire album online, this was my first purchase. I'm sure I will not regret it. I got a seat in the front row and so the entire performance felt like it was just me and Josh. And a few other people. But really, it was much like a chill family room setting among friends. Only part-way through the performance did I glance back to see the store filled with faithful fans on foot. But even still, to me it was just Josh singing and strumming with his hauntingly simple and repetitive melodic phrasing. He has a very genuine feel and he wasn't afraid to laugh when someone's cell phone disrupted the most heartfelt part of his mellow tribute, Idaho. It took the first song or two for Josh to really get into it - my personal favorites were a foot-stomping rendition of Kathleen and the soulful Girl in The War, which was actually more unfeigned (would that be less feigned?) in the live performance.So, even though my camera is crappy -- I was happy that I had it on a day like today. After the show, I had a nice little chat with Josh (a Moscow, Idaho native - doesn't that just make him cooler?) and he signed my CD. I love it when are with someone famous and you don't feel like you are.
-Josh Ritter-

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