Brandon Wetherbee is the host of the talk show You, Me, Them, Everybody. He’ll be hosting YMTE at the Wonderland Ballroom in D.C. tonight with guests Matt Cohen, Laura Meagher, Katie McD, Natalie McGill, Jenn Tisdale and more.
Last night I saw a band that reminded me why I do what I do. Today I listened to a lecture that reminded me why I do what I do. These reminders will get me through the next year, even if nothing new and good happens.
The previous 24 hours has taken me back to when I was a teenager, when hormones screwed up brain chemistry in a way only a rational adult can see. Hindsight, etc. Last night and earlier today I felt like a kid in an ugly basement, making ugly sounds, writing dumb but VERY IMPORTANT thoughts and feelings about what MATTERS. All caps necessary.
Landlady, a band I’ve written about more than any other band in 2014, played Black Cat’s Backstage to a warm, receptive and happy crowd. I will not apologize for my praise and friendship with this band. I found out about the band thanks to D.C.’s biggest D.I.Y. supporter Alex Tebeleff. I was looking for bands for a YMTE at SXSW and Alex recommended this 6-piece (occasional 5-piece, occasional 4-piece). Since I trust Alex, I booked the band. Now I will always trust Alex. Landlady put on one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. To a very intimate crowd. Last night wasn’t much different. Thankfully, the crowd wasn’t as intimate.
This has only happened three times, I see a band I like on record and fall in love with live. The other two are Detachment Kit and sally. Most likely you have not heard of them. That’s a shame and something I take as a defeat. That’s why I do what I do. Spreading the love of a band or artist doesn’t sound very important and it’s not (we’re not curing any diseases, I’m not just beating myself up for sympathy), but it has the potential to make my world, and the world at large, smaller. If that’s possible, we’re better off. (I wrote that last sentence while standing in the corner of the Black Cat while listening to my favorite working band so I’m music high. Forgive me.)
Landlady triggers memories before the song was recorded. That’s hard. Their songs and Adam’s live performance, equal parts David Byrne and Wayne Coyne, take me to overly romanticized, potentially made up memories of happiness. I’d like to clarify I’m writing this completely sober.
The following paragraph was also written during the concert:
I don’t want to be writing this, I want to enjoy the show, but I don’t want to forget. I want to be in the moment. I want to spread the love for this band. Unless you have a child, you should be here. This is the kind of band that makes me want to write a zine. That’s rare. That’s special and should be cherished.
I wasn’t going to publish this because it’s so flighty and saccharine. Then I listened to Iggy Pop’s John Peel Lecture and am embracing it. Embracing that feeling that made the music feel important and joyful and worth spreading.
Iggy is a man I’ve written about. Iggy is a man I tried to get officiate my wedding. Iggy is a man I’ve followed and hopefully taught me and every other performers/musician/writer/artist/person something. Today I learned that music can have a value that can only be judged in feeling. Watch this video. It should make you feel something.
Iggy’s lecture is getting some social media traction because he spoke about U2’s new, free album. That’s not why I’m recommending listening to the hour long speech. I’m recommending it because it will hopefully remind you why you liked music in the first place. Regardless of crooks and pirates and all that dirty stuff that’s been around since music, it’s still worth loving.
Landlady’s Adam Schatz and Iggy Pop are very different men. One man drinks tea on stage. One man battled addiction and bled on stage. But they’re also very similar. Both love indie labels. Both give one hell of a live show. Both are extremely important. Both helped remind me why I do what I do. Give them both a listen.