Tuesday, December 20, 2016

name me a song that everybody knows

I'm lagging on this one, so let's get right into it.

Jeff Tweedy, Chateau du Polpettino, Dec. 2, 2016: Let the record show that it took this long to figure out a date that worked for the Tweedys and for our group. Then a last-minute development further changed plans. And yes, it took a few years to get this train rolling again, but as always, a huge salute to Jeff and Susan Tweedy for giving it another go. Fortunately, it worked out for almost everyone, and long story short, we had a wonderful evening.

Long story long, it began in the typical manner with food, drinks, and friends. Our new hosts put together a gorgeous setup, which made it even easier to sit back and enjoy the evening in creature comforts. Even Jeff couldn't resist settling down on an ottoman for a song.

As for the music, Jeff stuck to his own tracks, though many of us tried to sneak in a few covers among our requests. I don't blame him at all -- I mean, the man had only come back from a European tour a few weeks earlier -- but you know we're going to try, given the opportunity. Thanks to Andy for my perennial favorite "Lost Love," to Patti for the sobering "Country Disappeared," and to Susan for "You Are My Face," which I don't think I've ever heard solo acoustic before. How did it take so long for that to happen?

I loved hearing the newer songs acoustic-style, not to mention our friends' contributions. Jeff had more than a few stories and comments throughout the evening, including his thoughts on the incoming administration. Selfishly, I'll treasure his kind words about sharing these shows with us over the years. I know they've rank among my most treasured memories.

Per tradition, we ended on "Candyfloss," complete with the usual jumping around -- until someone realized we were still due Tamala's request for "Dreamer in My Dreams." We stayed on our feet for the epic, and I had a flashback to one of my most intimate public gigs I've been to: Liberty Hall in Marfa. Hey, I'm happy to have been a part of each of them.

Overall, the whole night was extremely well handled. In earlier incarnations, our shows sometimes felt like they might slip beyond our control, despite the hours, weeks, and months of planning that proceeded them. But even the afterparty cleanup felt manageable and orderly, even if we were eating delicious tamales over the sink at 2 am. Speaking of afterparty, there were plenty more tunes after the Tweedys left, thanks to our talented friends. I'll never hear "Hallelujah" the same way again.

You never want to take anything for granted, so I think of each of these shows as standalone events, and I never assume the same circumstances will happen again. If you're lucky, you might remember to take pictures, but you always treasure the friends and the songs and the refreshments. It's the winning formula every time.

The full history
» i wish that i knew what I know now
» people say i'm crazy doing what i'm doing
» the message
» all the ladies and gentlemen
» that year
» springtime comes
» turn our prayers to outrageous dares
» every day is dreamlike
» it's been a while

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