Last night found me curled up with Favorites on a blanket under a tiny grove of fogged-in redwood trees, listening to Will Oldham sing with a guitar, kazoo (now mine!) and friend.
We showed up to the Library 'round 3, which lies across the road from the edge of the continent, in Big Sur. We settled on our blankets in front of the tiny stage and placed our beard bets (my bet: no beard, mustache only. Steve: 'I bet his beard will be made of bees!'). I bought a book called 'A Brief History of Infinity.' After I bit I saw him sneak in, in a train conductor hat and a beard of epic proportions.
Alela Diane played, she was lovely, she sang about tatted lace and the Civil War. Sort of like if Joanna Newsom was part of the Decemberists. Here is a song from her:My Tired Feet
She made me want to move to Nevada City straightaway, to own a dog and a garden and walk the train tracks and swim in the river every day. Sometimes in the city I forget how much I crave the simple, the quiet.
And then, Will. For those that don't know, Will is one of my top three obsessions. The others being New Orleans and books. Curiously, Will Oldham is from the south and named his last album after an Emily Dickinson poem (which I was dying to ask him about, alas...) Coincidence? Either way, he Gets It.
So, the show. It's like he knew I was coming, because he:
-talked about R. Kelly at length
-played a kazoo
-put on lipstick to play the girl singing part
-played a round of existential 'would you rather?'
-played my favorite song
(which, with his extremely large canon, was surprising), and played it beautifully
-told us that his favorite moment in the history of playing music happened at the Library, singing with Dawn McCarthy under a full moon
-tossed me the kazoo, which is engraved in gold with:
Property of Bonnie Prince Billy.
I sort of think we are soul mates.