I have a backlog of concerts, trips, etc. that I’ve blogged about mentally, or even have drafts of, but which I didn’t put on the “page.” That’s crazy, since this writing is about sheer fun. 

I go to a lot of concerts. I see lots of performers in my role as a volunteer at the Cedar Cultural Center. It’s one of the main reasons I do it: so much great free music! But I pay to go hear music, as well. I debate with myself: should I go to so many concerts and plays that in truth I can’t afford in such volume? But it’s my transcendence. Music and literature always have been, and music to such an extent that sometimes it actually hurts. I ask myself: why not just listen for free at home on a recording? But there’s nothing that beats that buzz of going to a venue, being among the audience, and feeling that electricity between performer and audience.

Now comes an attempted reconstruction of an event I should have posted about when it happened, June 2017, the Electric Fetus:

Friday evening was gorgeous, partly for the weather, and partly for hearing Dan Wilson play (for free) at The Electric Fetus. I go to hear a lot of musicians I’ve heard and read great things about, and it’s how my music knowledge moves into the future. Of course, Dan Wilson’s been around a while, but it took me a while to go see him. But I want to say: I was once with a couple of other baby boomer friends, one of whom said, “There has been no good music since the ’70s,” and the other heartily agreed. No no no no no!!!!

The ’60s was a very special time in music, and I will never forget the thrill of learning about the Beatles, following them in 16 and Tiger Beat, going to Hard Day’s Night, discovering Merseybeat, the Kinks, etc etc etc. Joy and innocence. But there will always be new people making amazing new music, standing on the shoulders of those who came before.  Sometimes it takes me a while, occasionally decades, to find them, like say, Big Star. Or Elvis Costello.

Getting back to Dan… What I recall is that I was struggling, as I so often do, with navigating some seemingly irreconcilable difficulties in my life, and the Dementors in my head start to take over. But I went nevertheless to the record store The Electric Fetus out of curiosity. He was doing a free in-store performance tied with his new release, Re-Covered, his covers of songs he co-wrote and which were performed and made famous by others. And there are some big ones, like “Someone Like You,” written with and for Adele. “Not Ready to Make Nice,” with the Dixie Chicks.

By chance, I happened to arrive the same time as Dan and park very close to him. I saw him get out of a little Toyota or Honda or some such car with a woman who I later realized was his wife. Then I passed him as he was going downstairs to the Fetus basement to tune up or something before the performance.

I took my place in the crowd. He’s well loved here for his Minneapolis roots, back to Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic. A South Minneapolis guy. There’s so much Minneapolis music, like, later on, Eau Claire music, that has a special quality: a connection with the neighborhood, with roots, with families, high school friends. 

But I digress: So I was fighting Dementors. I’d navigated construction to get there, so I was a little harried. He opened with just the words I needed to hear, as if he knew my life and mind. I’d never heard the song. Thank you, Dan, for just what I needed, for breaking from the worn mold of having your trust betrayed by others to the much harder one.

“All will be well/Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself.”

And I love that evocative part whose meaning isn’t entirely clear but is just right, as poetry should be, and makes me feel  cozy:

And all the children walking home past the factories
Can see the light shining in my window as
I write this song to you

So, two-plus years delayed, this post, but just right for coming back to a blog I’ve promised to tend. So, Dan Wilson’s solo rendition of “All Will Be Will,” originally written with and for the Gabe Dixon Band: