Singer/songwriter Greg Brown is coming to town on Saturday night. As things go around here, this is an event. Thinking about that a little more, it should be an event anywhere. The man knows how to put a song together. More important, Brown can take complex human emotions & situations — love, obsession, longing, regret, the need for solitude, appreciation of nature — and distill them down to a fine sip, one that can only have a single meaning, even though it can trigger a firestorm of related thought. This is what great poets do, and I'm pretty sure Greg wouldn't mind being called one.
we have no knowledge and so we have stuff and
stuff with no knowledge is never enough to get you there…
See, this is what I mean. In the middle of a song about love — love of another and love of this imperfect life — a couple of lines that illuminate the failure of materialism. It makes you think that a whole book on the subject would be a waste of words.
More amazing is that Brown reminds me that there are things, simple things, that can be more important than anything else: the meaning-laden glance from her, a weekend that stretches out forever, the shared history of an old friend. Heck, he can make a Saturday afternoon spent cooking a pot of soup together sound like the sexiest and most spiritually elevating thing you've ever done…because sometimes that's true.
I get this odd feeling that Greg Brown is my older, wiser brother. He knows those family secrets that mom & dad never wanted to let on to. He remembers that time we didn't know where our next meal was coming from and knows how we got out of it. He remembers that girlfriend of mine, and really knows what went wrong. He never talked about it with me. Maybe he was afraid of hurting my feelings.
Come on, Greg. I can take it. See you tomorrow night.