The fiancee and I caught Clint Maedgen and Strings at the Ogden last night. It was a great show with an interview in the middle by Allison Fensterstock* between tiny sets. We love string instruments. I realize that Nola is a brass city and, lord do I love trumpets and sousas, but there is something about bowed strings that reaches deep down into the ethereal soul of a human.
A huge highlight of the evening for me was a rendition of the Jane’s Addiction song “Summertime Rolls.” This tune was overplayed in the cassette deck of my Honda Prelude many consecutive nights in the early ’90s. It later came to reach a “don’t even look at it” status due to the chords and melodies becoming too intertwined with the glorious moments and youthful zeitgeist I endured with it as the soundtrack. So I had to shelve it so later listening would not interfere with the synapses in that cavern of my mind connecting THAT song with THOSE events.
My fiancee thinks I am crazy for this but there are many CDs that I will only listen to every few years in a nostalgic mood because if I listen once to often, the connection in my head might switch to the later event and I will lose that rush of emotion that connects the song to previous experience. I understand this is sort of a kooky concept but I swear by it and I know I have read some science that backs it up.
Anyway, back on track, Clint sang it with just him and vibraphonist Mike Dillon and it was damn sublime, the original, stripped down, melodic bass line was replaced with soothing vibraphone and serene vocals bouncing off the stark and open foyer of the Ogden, man, it was a joy. The ecstasy of the original was matched and, since it wasn’t a cassette deck but a live performance, even surpassed.
Video is below. Enjoy.
* Who I noticed also has an article on Al Green in a recent issue of Paste. Try to get past the Scarlett Johansson feature where she opines about how Barack Obama, Bob Dylan and others are her surrogate fathers and just read about Rev Al and the other great stories in that issue.