We are just about an hour into Friday, which makes it an entirely respectable time to put up my weekly set of random music.
1. Family, Dar Williams (Mortal City)
2. Jelly Belly, Medeski, Martin & Wood (Shack Man)
3. The Fox, Nickel Creek (Nickel Creek)
4. Go, Indigo Girls (Come On Now Social)
5. I Knew Love, Nanci Griffin (From a Distance)
6. God Song, Beth Orton (Daybreaker)
7. Forever After, Deborah Smith (Deborah Smith)
8. Aquamarine, Santana (The Essential Santana)
9. Robin & Marian, Nickel Creek (Nickel Creek)
10. Blue Canadian Rockies, The Byrds (Sweetheart of the Rodeo)
Saturday night, as part of my overfilled, crazy weekend, I’m driving down to Wilmington to see the Indigo Girls play an acoustic show at the Grand Opera House. I’m looking forward to it because it means an evening hanging out with a couple of wonderful friends as well as the fact that the first concert I ever took myself to as a semi-grown up was one performed by the Girls, so seeing them is always special.
It was the summer of 1997, I had just graduated from high school and was finally back on my feet after ankle surgery and a summer on crutches. I drove down with Elaina, the younger sister of one of my close friends. Her mom bought the tickets and wouldn’t let me pay her back for mine, even though I offered. The show was at Champoeg (pronounced shampoo-y) State Park, about half an hour south of Portland.
Elaina brought a portable cassette player along so that we could listen to the Girls as we drove down. The 1989 Subaru sedan I had in those days didn’t have a tape deck, only a radio. Driving down I-5, the clouds darkened and the sky got increasingly ominous. When we were 15 minutes away, the rain began to fall. And it was an outdoor concert. As we headed through the storm, we wondered if we should just give up and head back to Portland, as it was an outdoor concert. We decided to take our chances and keep going. It was a good thing we did, as the rain stopped falling just as we pulled into the field (although that was a little nerve-wracking as I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get out of that muddy field when the show was over). It turned into a beautiful evening, without a touch of chill. The air smelled clean and halfway through the show, a rainbow appeared over the stage.
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I saw Indigo Girls many years ago at the Mann. Sadly, I’ve lost track of them, but whenever I hear something of theirs, it’s always good.
I had a ’76 Pinto that didn’t even have a radio. I don’t think you can buy a car without a radio anymore.
I loved the Indigo Girls so much during high school and early college. They still hold a very fond memory for me. During my sophmore year of college I was living in Spain and having an awful time adjusting [socially] thhere…and Emily and Amy’s voices kept me going and gave me the link to home that I needed. So much so that I wrote them a fan letter (the only fan letter I’ve ever written) to tell them that they had practically saved my life there that year.
Later, I was working retail in Atlanta and I met Emily. I never told her I’d written that letter (because frankly she probably would have thought I was strange), but it was so wonderful to see her up close. And silently, I thanked her again.