Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Think I'm Going In A Straight Line...

Sunday night, exhausted after our debaucherous night in Tulsa seeing the Pixies with friends, we managed to rally and head down to George's to catch Lucinda Williams. As I mentioned before, this was my fifth time to see her play here in Fayetteville. Every time has been different. The first was in 1999, on her Car Wheels On a Gravel Road tour. Perhaps the most meaningful was in September 2001, about two weeks after September 11th, when she played with her full band. Ron Sexsmith opened for her (I regret not listening more closely to his set because I love him now). She played a really rockin' show which I think we all needed. "You've got no right to take my joy/I want it back," we all screamed along with her as we were all lifted, momentarily, out of our collective stupor, fear, and shock. Powerful stuff, music.

Then I saw her twice at the Walton Arts Center. Once as part of a poetry performance with her father, Miller Williams. Then again a few years ago with D. when she had her band with her again but couldn't exactly dance or carry on. Assigned seating does that to an audience, you know.

Sunday night was a bar setting (preferred way to see bands, without a doubt) and so very intimate. There were probably less than 500 people there, many of whom knew her personally, or her father, or, like me, just adore nearly every song and lyric she writes. It was she and her guitar alone, but she managed to make it complex and loud and beautiful and soulful. It didn't hurt that I found myself at the very front of the crowd when the show began. I took over 100 pictures. Here are some of my favorites:

This is her father, Miller, reading his "most anthologized poem" in which Lucinda is featured prominently.
In case you're wondering - here is that lovely poem:

The Caterpillar

--Miller Williams

Today on the lip of a bowl in the backyard
we watched a caterpillar caught in the circle
of his larvel assumptions
my daughter counted
27 times he went around
before rolling back and laughing
I'm a caterpillar, look
she left him
measuring out his slow green way to some place
there must have been a picture of inside him
After supper
coming from putting the car up
we stopped to look
figured he crossed the yard
once every hour
and left him
when we went to bed
wrinkling no closer to my landlord's leaves
than when he somehow fell into his private circle
Later I followed
barefeet and doorclicks of my daughter
to the yard the bowl
a milkwhite moonlight eye
in the black grass
it died
I said honey they don't live very long
In bed again
re-covered and re-kissed
she locked her arms and mumbling love to mine
until yawning she slipped
into the deep bone-bottomed dish of sleep
Stumbling drunk around the rim
I hold
the words she said to me across the dark
I think he thought he was
going in a straight line.

And then Lucinda took the stage:
She was really relaxed and seemed to be having fun, even. I like this one of her smiling:
I covet her studded cowgirl boots. D. covets the guitar she played. A Gibson J45, according to him.
It was muggy and hot Sunday night and she took off her long-sleeved shirt, revealing a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt underneath for her encore.

It feels great to be in love with music again.

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