Browsing Archives for July 2011

David Gray

July 11th, 2011

Long periods of my life are going un-blogged. How is the universe able to cope with this?

I went to see David Gray in concert.

I kind of think I need to get credit for discovering David Gray.  I know.  David Gray is probably because of me.  I hope the world appreciates the gifts I bring.

Back in 1995, I was about to burst with my first son, but yet was still refusing to wear maternity clothes.  This resulted in odd clown like get-ups that included high waisted short dresses of which the front hem-line was several inches above the back hemline due to my protruding belly.   I often paired these dresses with pale pink leggings that that looked like my flesh.  This scandalous ensemble caused more than one horrified double take in the grocery store.  In subsequent pregnancies I succumbed to maternity clothes in the first trimester.

One day while strolling through Wal-mart in my pink flesh leggings and mini dress that just covered my ‘vital areas’ the CD surprised me with two tickets to see Shawn Colvin in Columbia Missouri. (Yes, I also discovered Shawn Colvin, but will not overburden your probably already exploding mind with that story.)   Guess who the opening act for Shawn Colvin was?  David Gray!  He sauntered out on stage with a drummer. The drummer sat down on a darkened stage, twiddled with his drums for a few seconds while David strapped on his guitar. Then David looked at the drummer and the drummer leaned over and pulled the string on a fringed lamp that was beside him.  Click.  A small pool of light flooded the two musicians and they began to play. David Gray’s head bobbled rhythmically as his creaky, nasal brogue filled the theater above a guitar driven dirge. And over the top of this strange and soulful mix, floated lyrics with a dark, sardonic, literary bent. I instantly became a die hard fan.

Fast forward five years. I am sitting in a parking lot at a school waiting for the bell to ring signalling that school is out for my kindergartner. There is a toddler and an infant sharing this space with me. I am covered in dried breast milk and cheerio crumbs.   The smell of a rancid sippy cup hidden somewhere in the depths of my car wafts around us. The baby is going to explode in sleepy/hunger/fury at any second and I can’t find the emergency pacifier. Why doesn’t the damn bell ring?

When suddenly!

A familiar Welsh voice bleats out from the car radio breaking the toddler trance in which I live.

It’s David Gray

He’s singing Babylon.

He is on the radio!

The radio!

David Gray is on the RADIO!

The rare artist who stays true to himself and yet transcends pop culture. I wept with joy and smiled for days.  A sardonic skip with a literary bent settled inside my step.

If you want it
Come and get it
Crying out loud
The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now

Babylon, Babylon

I love the play on words with Babylon and babble on.  Pure genius.

My favorite David Gray tune is Alibi. It’s like a stun gun.  I can’t move until it is over.

Stone blind alibi
I will eat the lie
Find the word
Could break any spell that binds you
Prayers like ammonites
Curl beneath the lights
How I long to
Bite every hand that feeds you more
Where d’it all go wrong
My friday night enfant
Where d’it all go wrong
My friday night enfant

I love that he references Ammonites.

But my favorite David Gray lyrics???

Why that would be New Horizons.

The lyrics kill me every time.

Weight on my shoulders
But I’m walking so tall
Out into the new horizon
Wonder in everything
No matter how great or small
Howlin’ like the midnight
Howlin’ like the midnight sun
And this ain’t no pale reflection
This is the real thing
New horizon
New horizon within

And your heart ain’t yours to control
No matter how tight the reigns
Love will find it’s own direction
A time to reap, a time to sow
And many a time to cry in vain
But now the time to celebrate
The glory of this imperfection
Same thing that’s scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

Things come too easy, I get suspicious
Things come too slow, I get bored
If it don’t work out I get superstitious
But if it does, oh my word

So I’m gathering all the remnants of beauty
From this wilderness in spin
And now I’m gonna light my own flame
’cause I’m charged with the radiance of the dawn
That’s been so long breaking
Now there ain’t nowhere
There ain’t nowhere I won’t write your name
There’s a time to search for understanding
Sometime you just gotta sing
New horizon
New horizon within

Baby there’s no need to get precious
When you know that everything must change
Complacency, it can be so vicious
Turn this love into a cage

Same thing that’s scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

These lines….
I think of them often.

Same thing that’s scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin

David Gray really is a poet first.  The music is merely a gateway drug.

Prior to the concert, I had dinner with Mike and Liz and then the three of us went to the concert together. It was a fabulous night.

Good company, good music, good conversation.

What more is there?

I ran into Johnny Depp at the gas station in Baldwin, while visiting the Oracle Known as Steve.

We were driving into town when suddenly (my)Jack squealed from the back seat, “It’s Captain Jack Sparrow!  It’s Captain Jack Sparrow!”

“What are you talking about?” I said.

“Over there!  At the gas station!  It’s Captain Jack Sparrow!”

I looked over and didn’t see anybody, but I turned around anyway and pulled into the gas station because that is just the kind of mom I am.  If someone in my car says they have seen Captain Jack Sparrow I am going to go check it out!

And sure enough.  Captain Jack (or Johnny as I prefer to call him) was about to drive away.  We pulled up along side him and all my kids (and me too) craned our necks out of the window of the truck to get a gander at Johnny.  With great aplomb, Johnny put his car in park (which strangely enough was Bumble Bee)  and swaggered toward us in that drunken effeminate pirate gait beloved by so many.

I, of course, pulled out my behemoth of a camera and started snapping away.

Johnny, being the gracious super star that he is, didn’t mind a bit.

He’s not like the other stars.

He launched into a Captain Jack Sparrow routine and sashayed all over the parking lot for us.

Talking in a clipped slurred British accent…

Delicately fluttering his fingers about in his signature girly pirate way…

Everything was spot on right down to his voice, his braids and his gorgeous blue gray eye shadow.

I almost asked him to come to the Oracle’s house with us and you know what?

I think he would have come!

It might have cost me something, but I think it might have been worth it.

If anyone in the Kansas City area is looking for a celebrity to show up at your next fete, I’ve got your guy.