Swan Singing

What I Will Miss: Live Music

On September 30, 2003, I quoted an excerpt from a notebook:
“…I LOVE LIVE MUSIC. An energy materializes–thick, electric, palpable. The relationship between artist and audience is very interdependent. Plus, you can see facial expressions and mannerisms and muscles tense and you can hear the emotion, the humanness in a voice and somehow find a connection. It’s not just live; it’s enlivening. Nothing in the world is like it. …”

Then, September 13, 2005, I blogged:
“There are live performances, then there are live recordings; then there are mixed, remastered, ‘produced’ recordings. I will choose a live performance over the other two any day of the week. Twice a day, even.

I want to be in the middle of it. Concerts are interactive. They can be energetic and refreshing, as well as soporific and draining. That’s the fun of it: I can’t predict how enjoyable a concert will be. But, I can appreciate the concentration (or lack thereof) in an artist’s face; I can notice the playfulness in the eyes, the subtle smile of victory after having just licked an especially hard passage, the humble thrill of hearing thunderous applause and shouts for encores. I also like waiting for moments when I can close my eyes, let the music flood my ears, touch my soul, and overflow as exquisite tears. So yeah, for me, concerts are seldom boring.”

To be fair, live music is everywhere. Artists will tour just about anywhere these days. When I arrived in NYC in February 2003, it didn’t take long for me to explore the live music scene. I’ve said before, I’d go by myself, enjoy the music, meet a few strangers, make a few friends.

Wednesday night I stood in Webster Hall for an Ingrid Michaelson concert. She didn’t disappoint. She charmed and dazzled and sang beautifully and made us laugh. However, something else elevated my experience. It wasn’t the lights or the full band, and it definitely wasn’t the tame crowd.

I was with my friends. Some of my closest friends in the city. Of my life, even.

So, more accurately, I’ll miss live music with my friends. Nothing is like it.

What I Won’t Miss
Feeling this way about leaving them. That’s not saying I won’t miss them. That’s saying I won’t miss how much I’ll miss them. It makes me sad.


It’s 5:10AM. If only I were waking up this early, but that would mean I would have gone to sleep.

Second Missive

So, Barry.

We had kind of a smackdown, my friend and I. I pushed her, she fell down, I dogpiled her, she laughed while I pinned her to the ground. She just kept laughing, which added just enough salt to a sweet victory to make it even sweeter.

At least that’s how it played out in my head.

We have these moments. We walked to the the post office. It was around 10PM one day last week. We talked like we always talk. It was nice, a familiar walk with a familiar friend. She mentioned how her boyfriend wanted to talk to me, somehow gain a best friend’s approval for their getting married.

We’ve cried together. I’ve cried a lot. This isn’t even about me.

I did get to talk with her boyfriend on the phone, last Friday. She put him on speaker, and I got nervous, and I said as much, and then I couldn’t engage in small talk, and then I sort of shut down. Barry, I must say, your accent is very cute.

I don’t know. I usually don’t have trouble having conversations, but I felt pressure of some sort, expectations.

It’s fine, Barry. I still like you, and I still really want to visit you. I also like him, the boyfriend. He’s great: intelligent, funny, righteous, treats my friend like a queen. Again, I must thank you for helping make my friend so happy. I really only want to see her happy.

Maybe I’m just really going to miss her, and I’m having trouble dealing with it. I don’t know what to do.

I only want to be supportive and encouraging. I want to be positive and forthcoming and honest.

I hope I have been.