A Tale of Two Fridays

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 4)

Friday was kind of a conflicted day for me.

It started out with me feeling pretty awful.

It ended with me feeling pretty great.

And Saturday made me feel even better.

Let me explain.

Friday night Kathy and I saw Tom Chaplin perform at Brighton Music Hall.

It was our Christmas gift to each other.

I mean that literally - we each, without the other knowing, thought tickets to this show would make a great Christmas gift for our spouse. Luckily I was the only one who went to get physical tickets - Kathy's gift was hand-drawn tickets. But I guess that just confirms we really know each other well.

Tom Chaplin is the lead singer of Keane, which I've addressed before in the Sunday Paper, and I'll write a little more about below. But I think to understand the real gamut of emotions we need to start earlier on Friday. Like, at noon on Friday.

I don't want to spend too much energy on that right now, but suffice it to say the early-Friday happenings had my stomach in knots.

I also had a sick daughter at home which in one way was a good distraction but in another way was tough because I wanted to wallow in sorrow alone and her presence meant I wasn't wallowing alone...and I probably shouldn't be wallowing.

Then Kathy and I went to the concert. Besides just being a genuinely good time the show restored my faith that a good live performance can provide someone with an escape and allow them to take their minds off of their troubles while at said show...which is what I wrote about after the election back in November. (I also, in the back of my mind, when I bought the tickets thought This show will be the day of the inauguration. Maybe that's a good thing. It was.)

Then Saturday came along. And I knew for weeks that a bunch of people I knew were going to Washington to march. (And lots others would be in Boston doing the same. And others were participating in comedy shows set up to benefit the ACLU all weekend long.)

But when Saturday hit, I just felt such immense pride to know these amazing people doing such an amazing thing and standing up for what's right.

It's inspiring to me.

It made me realize the good far outnumbers the bad.

It helped me think that maybe four years isn't all that long really.


*This is the most frustrating part of writing. I do work with a couple of companies where I have a somewhat steady flow of work, but I started the new year by sending out pitches and stories/essays for publication...and the responses are few and far between. The waiting is hard. The flat-out rejection feels worse but at least allows me to move on. I hate waiting and not knowing what will happen. And that's been happening a lot with the writing lately. Also, as previously noted, Friday was a tough work day. I didn't get anything done...and it wasn't because of the sick kid at home.


*Since Thursday a bunch of cities have been participating in the 'What A Joke! National Comedy Festival' to raise money for the ACLU - it was planned after the election results were in and it seems to be a pretty big success so far. I was not scheduled to be on any of the Boston shows that were participating so I went to the Stand Up Break In Thursday night to show my support...I wish I had thought to plug this last week but there is still one more show participating in the Boston area tonight. Unfortunately it's opposite the Patriots game, but it's a good show and if football's not your thing, make this your thing. Here's the website with the info for Liquid Courage at Slumbrew.

*I did make it out to a few other shows this week after performing at McGreevy's on Monday night. (That's a jam-packed comedy show every Monday and Tuesday at 8pm at McGreevy's on Boylston Street.) Wednesday night I finally made a long overdue trip to Limelight in the theater district, a karaoke bar where there's a comedy show every Wednesday. That's worth your time if you're in the area. And then - this is kind of a big deal, actually - Saturday night Shaun Connolly (I wrote about him and all he does before, and this is an update on a fun show he does) had his first Saturday night Sort of Late Show at Ralph's Rock Diner. The show had been on Wednesdays and now it's on the weekend and there's a music show immediately following the talk show. I made it a little late but still saw most of the show - it's such a good show and a good time. Everything Shaun does is.

*This week I'll be in Arlington Thursday night performing at Kickstand Cafe (see the 'Comedy Shows' link at the top of the page for details)...and who knows where else. I'll get out Wednesday and over the weekend as well.

What I've Been Enjoying

*So how was the concert? Amazing. I will link here back to what I said in October giving you the mini-history of the band and our connection to it. (Turns out 'A Monster Calls', which is now out and is getting rave reviews, is a sad movie.) I stand by my offer in that link to recommend what you should listen to next if you're interested. Anyway, I had never been to Brighton Music Hall before Friday night. It's a real intimate venue, and there we were seven people back from one of our favorite musical artists. And all I could think about was how lucky Kathy and I were to be fans of a guy who we could see in that kind of setting rather than a huge arena...which of course is cool in and of itself, but this was a way to feel very connected. Anyway, if you're a Keane fan you might be interested to know that in addition to Chaplin's new solo stuff, which was the majority of the show, he played Keane favorites 'Bend & Break', 'Crystal Ball', 'Everybody's Changing', 'Bedshaped', 'Silenced by the Night', a song from the 'Night Train' album (the disappointing one - I still stand by that too), and, shockingly to me, my favorite, 'Sovereign Light Cafe'. (Kathy was a little upset he didn't do 'Somewhere Only We Know'...but I wonder if that's exclusive to Keane since it's what made them.) Such a great show. If you're in Cleveland or Chicago this week he's headed there, then the west coast, then Europe. And he hinted he'd be back sooner than the five years since we last saw Keane in Boston...so maybe join me and Kathy for that show.  

*In case you missed the link on Facebook, this week I was a guest on the Series Finale podcast with local comedians Jack Burke and Zachary Brazao. It was a really good time. I am going double bullet points in today's 'What I've Been Enjoying' because I really should have written about this podcast before but I was spacing them out and I know I write a lot about podcasts....but I have to tell you about this one now. First of all, I think it's great when people I know come up with an idea, follow through on it, and do it well - that's what Zach and Jack have done with this podcast. Secondly, they are such fun to listen to. They're both pretty young, but wise beyond their years in a way I was not when I was their age. And sometimes they get immature - and it's funny. They have a great rapport with one another and it's enjoyable to listen to them play off one another. I was talking to a friend of mine about it - it's probably the type of show, had podcasts existed when we were in college together, we would have done. And I think I like that about it too. Here's the link if you want to listen...it's a little more 'PG-13' than my usual PG comedy, but you know, it's not my podcast.  


*A couple of 'Silly Mind Games' updates: 1) there's still one little patch of snow on our lawn that held tough through the rain and sunshine...not sure it's going to make it another week though, and 2) the Chiefs lost, which you probably are aware of...and since the Packers beat the Cowboys we are looking at a 50/50 shot in the NFC Championship Game of a rematch in the Super Bowl. So I'll be rooting hard for Atlanta so we'll be guaranteed a new Super Bowl Matchup...and if Green Bay wins...I might not even watch the AFC game.

*Here's a concert question for you (I don't go to all that many live music shows...but I've been to enough to make this observation.): How is it that so many people in a crowd like the one we were in Friday night know all of the words to all of the newest songs? Chaplin played songs from his solo album, which came out earlier in the week. I had listened to a couple of the songs on YouTube and was familiar enough with some of them, but there were people who KNEW EVERYTHING. How does that happen?! I've seen it with other live performances too, even before albums are released. Do they have some kind of insider membership where they get to listen to stuff ahead of time? Boggles my mind.

*Kathy's observation during the Tom Chaplin concert: "This guy sang me through childbirth." Not untrue.

*Long one today. Guess I had a lot on my mind. Thanks for reading.