// Sam Amidon @ Rockwood Music Hall //
This write-up isn’t so much about a concert, as it is about the way people communicate. In fact, that idea of outward extension, has been clouding the mind as of late. It’s even something that was mulled over on a park bench with a boy I fancy well. I had mentioned that warmth was most certainly a good thing. I had described briefly too, that of an interaction that took place in an elevator. A sort of prescribed discomfiture that excelled and won smiles. An interaction that exchanged any shit feeling of being alone. An awakening.
Those moments of handing over your life to complete strangers and befriending them with stories that spiral and tattoo your inner mentality on the heart of the world, are precisely what make living worthwhile. Because you know, that sort of honesty and frankness, just doesn’t exist all the time. Sure, there are stories, and there are generous kisses of social connection, but the stories just ARE. They aren’t vocalized and pinned down and examined as they ought to be. But you know, there are always people willing to open up.
Yesterday I hoped to enjoy some live music, but never thought my evening would include Sam. It took looking at the Rockwood Music Calendar, to even notice that he was playing in the city. And even when I saw his name there on the Rockwood website, there wasn’t any real connection at first, except that I knew he was someone I was fond of. I remembered fast and hard though. The music soon filled the veins and I was swimming all nice and festive and happy.
Initially what came to mind, was that dark album cover of him wearing the cowboy hat, with his upper-torso all covered in mysterious red welts.
Furthermore, I envisioned his skinny frame and felt drowned by a warm fire. I matched the sounds with my youth and childhood and those old fields with daffodils, butterfly, and deer. I was transported to that bluesy attic I had spent summers reading Melville, Proust, and Joyce in. The amount of freedom had then, was pretty electric. I’d sit in a dark corner and wail my very best.
The concert was strangely similar to an ‘after-school’ hang-out. In fact, I felt like I was sixteen and sitting inside the garage of some punk kid’s house, trying to learn a new song, by simply being exactly who it was that I AM. I mean, there was none of that generic phoniness one sometimes feels in a pub, when they’re trying to absorb all, but still feel like they don’t BELONG. Everyone present was perfectly happy to be where they were. Nothing felt forced at all.
Sam was good with the small talk. He told some side-story about a Japanese restaurant that he went to earlier with his musician friend who was on stage with him. It was a short tale about bad parking and silly automobiles. His friend was even claimed a ‘guru of sentiment’ later, as well. It was a continued joke that extended towards the end of his set, when his brother got on stage to play drums, and Oren from Elysian Fields, got up and played some kick-ass bass.
The best part of the evening was the lady sitting across from me though. We talked briefly about our love for the city and the power of keeping a day journal. We also discussed why ‘moleskins’ are better than typical notebooks and like prissy girls laughed afterwards. Not much was said, but what WAS, was incredibly inviting. Small words expanded and grew like flowers.
And hey man, when Sam sang his song about ‘home’, I almost lost myself.
What killed me, was his cover of R. Kelly’s ‘Relief' though.
The entire room of people just stopped and sang with him. It was a sing-a-long, that brought everyone closer. Hearts soared and the entire room glowed.