About a month ago, I downloaded the new Basia Bulat album Tall Tall Shadow from Play. I have been a long time fan of her work. I had an opportunity to get to see Ms. Bulat perform in Columbus Ohio in June 2012 at the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts where she was opening for Bowerbirds. This fall she has been working through the US on tour; check out her site for dates.
To skip to the review, I will have one up soon. Actually, two. It needed two reviews. I like the first one because it documents how much, and especially, in what ways it grew on me.
It was a normal day in Columbus, and a highlight of the month. Things had been settled for some time relative to a tumultuous previous year. The performance was fantastic. It was basically a solo show, a lot of just Ms. Bulat on stage, and immediately it can make you feel pretty vulnerable. Hers is a raw performance, a still performance. She began playing "The Shore" from her album Heart of My Own; she played acoustic guitar through it, and it felt very different, a little less delicate, but more driven. I think that it characterizes a shift of sorts.
I had the incredible privilege to meet Ms. Bulat after the show and also to share that album had been a big part of my post-divorce recovery. It helped me through some seriously overwhelming times. It helped me remain focused and achieve things (warning: carnivorous link) that I don't think I could have otherwise.
After I had admitted this I realized this was true of many other artists: Woods, Gillian Welch, Memory Tapes, Air Waves, Antlers.. Some of whom I actually met and shared this with. We saw Memory Tapes at Subterranean, and it came out. His work helped me sort through where I was. By the time I was submerged in the icicles of Player Piano I could focus but I had entirely lost sight of context and solid ground; his work helped me with that. Once I had finally pulled all that crap together, and most of the hurt was gone though, or at least in a manageable state, I had come across Dungeon Dots by Air Waves. It felt like they were there to find the part of me that was the most hidden from view. It felt like they were the ones who had gotten through an edifice of dried mud and caked on hurt and dead skin and they knew how to cut the cords that kept me suspended like some marionette of pain.
Their sound reached calmly, coolly down between the cracks and lend some safe buoyancy to the joy that had hidden far away from the light. When I had an opportunity to talk to the lead singer of Air Waves, Nicole Schneit, about this, I realized how much me I was just irresponsibly pushing on another person.
Not to mention that I was ignoring my partner in the process and inadvertently blocking her attempts to share with the artist. It wasn't until after and a talk with my partner about this that my behavior came more into focus. Like the paragraph above may concede; I can be a bit of a dramatist about my own life. I don't know if there is a good way, or a best practices for sharing about yourself. Obviously seems you need to be aware of your situation; which is obvious to anyone ever anywhere, even in raid in World of Warcraft so there's really no excuse to go vomiting how much feels are going on all the time in your head. Sometimes you might actually be on key, and a really nice Canadian singer may just smile and really thank you for bringing your experience of her work to her.
In other cases, you might be boxing out someone who has things she wants to say. I really enjoyed all of the above shows; each one allowed me to connect with the previous moments and events in my life that were buffered, or given a gentle nudge by those artists in a different space and time.