Last night I had my second encounter with the scarlet pixie goddess and Voice of the Shadows, Neko Case, and once again she eluded my capture. It was sold-out show at the 9:30. The demographic was definitely skewed NPR-ish, Thank God!, and date-night heavy. There were also the archetypal alt-country boys with country-plaid shirts over their Johnny Cash tees. Not much drinking, as it was a polite older crowd on a Sunday night and for Christ's sake, this isn't the Arctic Monkeys! Or even the New Pornographers.
Everyone was much taller than me and my view was obstructed to say the least, which allowed me to close my eyes and count off the beat I would need to cast my binding spell which will snare a singer by the very songs she sings. My the time she got to 'Furnace Room Lullaby,' I could feel the flames licking my corpse and I knew that my spell was complete and it was me to whom she was unwittingly singing. At one point I had a vision of a past life where I was an lanky 18 year-old gas station attendant in Sheridan, Wyoming, emerging from underneath a 1948 Plymouth after changing its oil. A vast lot of goldenrod stretched out beside the filling station before me. Astonished with nature's shocking abundance, I wiped my grease-covered brow and as I gaped wide in wonder and epiphany, a single bee went down my windpipe. I was allergic and it stung in panic, closing my lungs until I died to pass onto now, this very moment. My meat was locust and honey, wild honey, and it dripped from the very air and fell on the ears of the faithless and faithful alike. I saw a blind man receive sight; I saw a boy crippled since birth dance a hillbilly jig. The light took the qualities of snowglare. The ghost of Blind Willie Johnson rose to the rafters. Merchandise sales were brisk.
And after the show, early this morning on a tour bus headed towards North Carolina, Neko was sleeping in her magic hubcap bed and dreaming of me, though she did not know it at the time. We will meet again.