Friday, September 6, 2013

Triangles are my favorite shape

I married a musician. A drummer, if you're into specificity. So a good chunk of our dating days were spent at venues all across the Salt Lake valley.  I sipped crappy Diet Coke at many a bar while watching Stephen drum with whatever band he was part of at that time (he went through a few). Sometimes we stood together in  a crowd watching other musicians perform. Shortly after we started dating, Stephen took me to see Andrew Bird for my birthday. We were Twilight Concert Series regulars. It was usually as easy as  "Hey (Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Sonic Youth) is playing tonight. Want to go?" And we'd get in the car and go. Then we graduated and got married and got grown up jobs and  Stephen started law school  and we had a baby and we ran out of time and money and inclination to spend our weekends playing or seeing music. Stephen left his drum set in Utah.  I slowly replaced my radio presets with NPR 1 and NPR 2 and stuck with the same three Pandora stations for years, just to have something to listen to while running. Together we talked less about bands and more about Ivy and Ollie and tax policy what we want to watch on Netflix. So it was unusual that we were listening to an All Songs Considered podcast in the car together. I guess we weren't so much listening, it was just kind of on while we were in  the car.  But then a song played and we both stopped talking and stared  at each other and asked, "Who is this?" It was Alt-J. It was amazing.

As soon as I learned Alt-J were coming to Denver, I knew we had to go. I bought the tickets for Stephen's birthday. I made arrangements for a sitter. And then of course a million different conflicts arose and we thought maybe we should sell the tickets? No, we could make it work, so after Stephen had had a long day  on campus and I had had a long day mothering, we dumped Ivy and Ollie on our very kind relatives and raced to the venue two hours late. "We're too old for this," I told Stephen, before we walked into the venue  wearing twice the amount of clothing as anyone else there, and smoking a lot less pot (read: none, Mom). We'd just missed the opening act, and stood watching roadies prepare for the headliner. Within five minutes I knew the cardigan was a mistake. All around use were sweaty, drunk hipsters, and I started to think we'd made a huge mistake in pretending we belonged there. But then the lights dimmed and fog rose and the bearded front man walked out and in that wonderful Brittishy way said, "Hello, Denver!" For the next ninety minutes I didn't care that both Stephen and I were sweating from head to toe or that I was getting real up close and comfortable with what must have been a college freshman or that someone spilled beer on my shoe. Because Alt-J was that good. The music was that beautiful and captivating. I remembered our dating days in years gone by and got real sentimental remembering Stephen and drums and the shows we used to see.  I didn't care that we were the Ugh parents among all these youths. For ninety minutes it felt like we belonged. 


  1. It makes me feel slightly better that you heard them first on NPR. Keepin' it classy :)

    1. Yeah, so sad that my go-to for new music is NPR.


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