Welcome to Your Weekend Plans

When was the last time you went to a show? If it wasn’t last night, you need to get on it. Live music is it. It’s the reason sound was invented. Also, feelings. The two are connected like peanut butter and the roof of my mouth.

I would die without live music. I would fall over and stop functioning. iPods and headphones are all well and good (get yourself a good pair of headphones and it is ON), but seeing a band live can’t even be compared. It can make or break your relationship with that music. I know most of my favorites come from people I saw do great live shows and some live shows were so bland they ruined my love for amazing songs.

I’ve moved twice for music. I’ve never moved for a boy. I’ve never moved for family (except that one time I was ten and it was either going where my parents were or… well, nothing. I mean, have you met my mother? Don’t mess with her). I’ve contemplated moving for cuisine but didn’t actually do it. But I moved to Austin to go see shows. I even got to make a film about it, which was pretty amazing. I also moved to Portland for music. So if you’re planning on relocating based on auditory preferences, we can talk, but I’ll point you directly to these two cities.

Sometimes I don’t even know what’s going on in my complex little emotional world until I’m standing in front of a stage in a dark room and it’s just the music and my brain ticking. Going to shows with friends is fun but going solo is like therapy. I get into a whole different headspace.

The first time I saw Irving (a Silver Lake band who are no more, but their bassist is the lead in Sea Wolf), it was 45 minutes of a crazy fun adrenaline high. I felt like my heart would explode from too much happy. I was in love with the world for days. It was disgusting, like a sweet, gooey girl scout Samoa left in the sun. The day after my grandmother died I had tickets to a Voxtrot show in New York, at the Bowery Ballroom. I wasn’t in the mood to go out but I didn’t want to stay home and have always had an intensely visceral experience with their music. Standing in the balcony, isolated because I was by myself yet not alone because I was surrounded by people, the music seemed to channel and siphon my mourning. It actually made me feel better. When I saw Death Cab for Cutie, without any warning, I started sobbing like a baby. Their music carries a lot of life in it. Eventually I just let it happen and sat down halfway between the stage and the end of the field and just turned into a human fountain. Call me emo; it was amazing.

If you’re not sure where to go or what to see, just google your town’s name and the words “show list.” Odds are you have one. Or just go through the calendars of local venues, then look up the bands. If you want to test drive some mp3’s for free, look up the band on the Hype Machine (google it – you can send me a fruit basket c/o Hello Giggles. You’re welcome.). But trust me – one show week, even a month, will change your life.