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The Friday Morning Listen: Greg Brown – The Evening Call

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I have to admit that I was sort of baffled this morning, so much so that I didn't feel like listening to anything. Does that mean that I have to trot out Cage's "4'33"? Eh, that seems like taking the lazy way out. Anyway, that piece's concept has more life and complexity in it than my current mood so…not a good fit.

So I wandered upstairs with a fresh cup of coffee and took the completely lazy way out. I turned on the stereo and punched the play button, starting up The Evening Call, which I have been listening to every morning recently while getting ready for work. It's a musical security blanket of sorts. Actually, that's how I feel about Greg Brown's music in general, even the really ugly stuff. Oh yes, there is ugly stuff. But that's not a topic for today. I feel ugly enough already.

The last time I wrote about this record, it was about Brown's plans to work on several smaller projects, and how the Internet is changing delivery of music and blah, blah, blah. Don't care about that today. The only point of intersection is the song "Eugene," (Mini David Foster Wallace-esque note: do you see that comma in the last word? The one inside of the closing double-quote? It irritates the living begeezuz out of me. I know that's the current 'correct' usage in America but it has always struck me as being wrong. The Brits do it the right way. Seriously.) which is about piling some stuff in the back of a pickup and heading out into the out back of the out back. It's a spoken word thing, with an old-timey vamp over which Greg waxes on about getting back.

In fact, let me repeat my favorite part of the song.

I'll park by some rivers, cook up some rice and beans, read
Ferlinghetti out loud, talk to the moon, tell her all my
life tales, she's heard them many times. I'll make up some
new juicier parts, drink cold whiskey from a tin cup, sit in
a lawn chair and fiddle with my memories, close my eyes and
see. Sometimes you gotta go not look for nothin'.


Look for nothin'. Yes, that's what I'd like to do today. The funny thing is that I'm not really a take off and get back to nature kind of guy. At least, not as far as Greg takes it. On the other hand, there are parts of my every day that I could do without, things that I would not miss ever. Civilization. It's a great thing, except for the parts that do their best to drain you of your own essence.

Greg gets it exactly right: Sometimes you have to dream deep to find your real life at all.

Excuse me, I have some dreaming to do.

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