Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011-01-29 Marc Cohn

01-29-2011: Marc Cohn  
Where: Burnsville Performing Art Center, Burnsville MN
Went with: Myself

On January 29, 2011, I  had a busy evening:

  • Walked in Memphis
  • Took a ride on a Silver Thunderbird
  • Wondered about Heaven
  • Walked through the world
  • Found 29 ways to make it to my lovers door
  • Said goodbye to my Mom when I was 6
  • Saw the Day of The Dead parade just after the levees broke
  • Met my True Companion, got married, lived, and died

…at least that’s what my emotions went through at the Marc Cohn concert.

IMG_2141Marc Cohn’s songs impact me like no other singer/songwriter. I don’t know why he isn’t more well known. If I were to name my top 5 songs, I think 2 or 3 would be Marc Cohn songs.

I wish I could write songs like his. His vocal range is a perfect match, and our piano/guitar styles are similar. Maybe I haven’t tried because when I’m sad and blue, and I’m trying to convey how I feel, I hear a Marc Cohn song and think, “Yep, that’s it exactly”, and then move on since I can’t improve on what he captured.

The almost-idiotic thing is that I nearly decided not to go. I had traveled SO much in 2010 and I had barely set foot in the house when the pre-sale email appeared. I hadn’t listened to his music much lately, and I didn’t know if he was still relevant in my life. But, I did buy them and ended up getting a first row seat.

It wasn’t perfect, though. I only got one ticket and not two. I do remember asking my wife if she wanted to go, but it was in December and the last thing she wanted was another commitment. I should have just bought two tickets as the night was a journey I wish we could have shared.

IMG_2136 From the first chord, the music filled the theatre, and my heart. Even the placement of the instruments was perfect. Notice how the guitar amp was pointing directly at me? The combination of clean electric and piano on these songs was breathtaking.

He is very much a musicians musician. He talked about his songs, how they were inspired, and how blessed he feels to still be doing this after 20 years. His first album (with Walking in Memphis and most of his other hits) was written in a 3 month period after his hero, James Taylor, said in an interview that when he has writers block, he physically relocates to another part of the country. Marc then took a 2 week trip to Memphis, soaked in the culture, people, places, then three months later returned with 6 hits.

Finally…I love this shot:IMG_2145The players were so good and loved the music so much that many times they just turned to each other and let the music pour out…and since this was his last show before returning home, they played for nearly 3 hours.

I think at times they forgot we were even there…which is fine with me. 

Thank you Marc, for giving me music that captures my adventurer’s heart so well. You’ve inspired me to get back to writing songs on piano again…

…maybe there’s a song or two in me yet.


Read other robot concert thoughts

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A REAL Hintermeister – Marriage Quiz

If you look around the Hinterland, you may notice an extra dose of
affection in our marriages. While communication, hard work, and listening are common ingredients, there is also an extra "something" that makes a HinterMarriage work.
Take this quiz to see if you have a dose of HinterMojo in your marriage.
Scenario 1: Your wife is playing a timed game in her phone which requires all of her concentration.
Do you:
A) Wait to talk while while at the same time enjoying the beauty of her face. Additionally, you spend the time thinking how you can make her happier knowing as soon as she is able she will focus on you.
B) Tell her some bad news...most likely she won't hear it. But later,
you can truthfully say "but I told you last Sunday"
C) Ask permission to buy a new gadget (read: guitar). Most likely she'll just hear "can I... " and just say yes. Note: be sure to have your shopping cart full to the point of "confirm purchase". That way the time between her "Yes" and " Wait, what?” only needs to be 1.37 seconds long to finalize the purchase.
Scenario 2: You and the missus are deep inside Mayo Clinic on an all day adventure with your mended-heart girl, and there is NO SERVICE on either iPhone. Your wife pulls up a game to pass the time.
Do you:
A) Compliment her on her casual gaming skills
B)  Pull up a fancier-dancier game because she inherited your old phone, and while it was cool in 2008, you almost feel sorry for her vintage technology as you pummel your virtual opponent.
C) After she starts her game, loudly state (so the echo tech can
hear), "Huh. No Internet connection. I guess I'll do what I always do: pull out my Bible app and read my off-line version of the New Living Translation. I wonder what Haggai can teach me today? Honey, do you want to read along? Well, maybe your heart will soften some day"
Scenario 3: Your Bride complains about all the laundry she has to do with 6 humans in the house.
Do you:
A) Offer to take over the laundry chores
B) Offer your kids as humble laundry servants. That's the second reason why you had 4 of them anyway. (The first being, of course, being that a family of 6 is the perfect fit for amusement park rides...whether the seats come in 2-2-2 or 3-3 configurations)
C) Embark on your one-man campaign to reduce laundry-ready clothes by wearing the same jeans, cozy shirt, and fleecy the whole week long...only putting on new undergarments each day...ok...once every two days.
Scenario 4: You're turning down the street with your blinker on, and you use your tongue-clicking skills to create a crazy complex rhythm that combines ethnic tribal beats with the turn signal. Your wife says to stop acting like your 7 year old and be quiet!
Do you:
A) Apologize and turn the radio back to “songs we thought were cool in the 80’s”
B) Feign shock at her dissing your new found gonna-retire-a-gojillionaire tongue-rhythm skills and vow to only let her visit you in your tongue-shaped mansion twice a month
C) Triple-down and add lip spurty razzberries, guinea-pig-throat-grunts, and perform your “Shower-stall symphonies” until she remembers she married you for richer and poorer, sickness and health, adolescent and mature.
How did you score?
If you chose:
A) You will learn the hard way that women don’t really want sincerity and apologies. Good luck.
B) Your HinterMojo is brewing but still needs some time in the fire
C) HinterMojo is nicely adding fire to your marriage and you are closer than ever to her realizing you already ARE the perfect mate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

857,942nd Follower

It’s dark

My pack is heavy

The path is narrow

I can see where I’m going by the light in the distance

Not doing a lot of talking

My head is down

I am (mostly) surefooted

I am focused on the journey

There’s excitement up at the front, but not back here

The One I’m following is up there

He called me to follow Him when I was young

I answered the call

I’ve been following ever since

At times I’ve been sold out

Other times not so much

But I know this is where I’m meant to be

I know to my core this is the Way, the Truth, the Life

There’s a long line behind me

There's an even longer line in front of me

I know people up front, excited, talking a lot

They’re really close to Him

They talk directly with Him

My Dad is way up there sharing wisdom

My Grandma smiles at His stories

My brother talks to strangers about Him

Me? I’m back here

I’m serving in the band

It’s what I’ve been called to do

I help create a ‘moment’ so He can call others

I think it helps open their ears to hear Him

Some answer His call and start their journey

Soon they pass me by

They join the excited up at the front

They celebrate their changed lives


I’m still following

At a distance

I’m following

But it’s a lot of work


Not doing a lot of talking

I am a follower

But following doesn’t require conversation

Only obedience

I want something deeper

I want to join the excited at the front

I want to say hi to Him

Be passionate for Him

Be sold out again

Ask Him questions

And listen…

And understand…

And smile…

…and rest.

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