Monday, October 14, 2013

Then there was a Mark, or more aptly, The Mark.

Iron and Wine was good. The next thing I was looking forward to was Mark Lanegan at the Old Town School of Folk Music. I had been there sometime ages ago, lifetimes past, when I still lived in the U.S. and myself and the Boy tried to entertain ourselves in interesting ways. He was taking singing classes there for a time, and I would go and buy Robbie Robertson albums and other Native American folk singing to rock out on when I wasn’t working or borderline depressed.

It was a thing, it was a time.

Mark Lanegan was also a long time ago. Another trip down memory lane to when I first discovered him as a part of the Screaming Trees. Long time ago. Nirvana time ago. He nearly lost me, but he didn’t. I kept coming back to his music, and have listened over the years as he evolved into a solo act. So when I saw he had a new album out this month I looked for a tour and found him coming to Chicago.

I bought tickets, good tickets. Part of my expatriate rehab was going out and doing things. I figured if I went and did more things I would find something here that made me feel like I was at home. So far I have done many things. So far I still don’t feel like this is home. At least I’m having a good time.

I got two tickets.

Then I realized I had forgotten to get a date. I figured I had almost a month to figure out the date problem.

Thus started almost a month of not getting a date.

As the night of the concert approached, aside from feeling particularly untouchable, I was desperate to not go to see Mark Lanegan alone.

So I told Young Kubrick he was coming with me and I’d buy him dinner. That seemed to do it. (Demanding a date is almost always better than asking.) I decided where I wanted to eat, instructed him to meet me there, and then spent a day listening to Mark Lanegan at work.

This was a bad idea.

Mark Lanegan has one of those voices, a voice like Nick Cave has: it makes me want to do things to myself. What is worse is its effect: his voice makes my panties, my thoughts, and my inhibitions melt away on the smooth basso of it, until I am left drained and wanting moreall for the sound of a voice.

It’s that good.

I left work in a worked-up state that was entirely unacceptable and thoroughly excitable, and executed my plan to have a bottle of wine in a little Italian restaurant that I found just down the street from Old Town. The owner sold me on the cheese plate and a South African Pinotage, and I enjoyed my book, sitting on the patio with a bowl full of olives while waiting for Young Kubrick. It was a very familiar experience, reminding me of my favorite restaurants long lost in Asia, leaving me instantly comfortable and immediately homesick for my dear sweet Koreanized world. Young Kubrick and I had mussels and calamari as well once he arrived. The cool autumnal evening of Chicago grew dark around us as we got pleasantly drunk and ran down the street to the show.

We found that our table (we had a small four-seat table) was already occupied by a girl, and so I asked if she was there alone. She responded in a heavy accent that she was.

“Well, you could not have picked two better people to have shared a seat with,” I smiled back.

We got some wine and sat down next to her. She was a nice girl, doing a second or third Master’s degree, originally from Ukraine, who had traveled up from Iowa for the show. We were later joined at our small table by a bald gent who had nothing to say to us and spent most of his time staring at his phone while waiting for the show to start.

I was amused.

Then the lights when dark.

And the first act came on.

UPDATE:  This will be finished, but the thing with Cate really threw me off. For right now I just need to continue moving forward. I will get back to this. It was an awesome show.

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