Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pleasure Coated Nuggets of Pleasure

What I'm reading right now: Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

After an exploration into alternate URLs and redirecting and masking that yielded nothing but techincal difficulties and ultimately just kept this blog down for a week or so, I'm back. And with my rentré I'd like to make a bit of a departure from my standard fare.

This blog was built on my passion for language, writing and specifically words - using words to convey emotion. In an earlier post I talked about how Orson Scott Card moved me, literally right off the treadmill, with his amazing organization of words that, when taken as a whole, amount to his novel, Lost Boys.

It is that type of emotion that I seek. I seek to experience it and to create it. So far I've had more success in the former than the latter, but truly believe my best days are ahead of me. Last night I experienced it again. To my great pleasure I get to experience this particular event each March, just a bit before St. Patrick's Day and the great news is, you can too--next year. I'm talking about The Young Dubliners.

The Young Dubliners started out as two young lads, Keith Roberts and Paul O Toole, who moved from Dublin to Los Angeles in 1988 and were essentially dubbed The Young Dubliners by their fans. Keith has said, "Had I known then that we'd have such longevity and would still be out there doing 180 to 250 shows a year I probably would have come up with a different name. When people say were no longer so young, I reply, well, the Fine Young Cannibals never ate anyone! . . . The cool thing is, we've stayed young at heart, doing our best to grow into the name rather than let the name grow out of us."

I must agree. My wife and I have been going to their show for the last three years now and we will continue to go as long as they continue to come. Their live performances are nothing short of frenetic. Even if you aren't into Irish rock, you can't help but get swept away by rhythms, melodies, chords, and sheer power of their music. It's not hard for me, I'm a ginger, thanks to my full-Irish grandmother (more evident in my beard than my hair, but it's there.)

What's even better, and why I've chosen this topic, is their lyrics. Their songs tell stories and relate Celtic culture. Combine it with guitars, drums, a fiddle, an assortment of pipes, and a love of story and you leave having been moved. It's an experience that will stay with you long after your ears have stopped ringing.

For nearly two hours we gorged ourselves on pleasure coated nuggets of pleasure dipped in a mixture of light and dark pleasure with a sprinkling of delight. When they first came on stage, Keith started with a guitar riff and then thanked us, "Salt Lake City. One night. Whenever we feel like taking a break or getting off the road for awhile, all we have to do is play Salt Lake City for one night and you remind us why we do this."

Does he say that to all the girls? Maybe. Probably. But we don't love him any less.

He thanked us. Young Dubs, I thank you; for giving me a night to let my hair down, to let my soul and my feet dance, and for giving me one of those moments in life that take your breath away. And to the young lass in the suite directly across from me, who was so proud of her red bra, well, I thank you, too.

I've never seen an author resonate with a room full of people the way musicians do, but I have seen people pack conference halls to listen to their favorite writer, stand in line for hours to have a book signed, seen a wheel chair bound veteran give his purple heart to an author who, through his writing (Tracy Hickman,) inspired him to save the lives of his unit, and seen the lengths that one person will go to, to say to an author, I love your writing.

Yes, we write for ourselves. Yes, we write because we are compelled to. Yes, it's great to hear those four words, I love your writing. But not out of pride, but because somebody is better off because you did.


Sabine Berlin said...

Oh I like them, thanks for sharing. I am a big fan of The Pogues, but it looks like I will have to check out some more of these guys.

the Damsel in Dis Dress said...

The first time someone told me I'd made them cry I knew it was all over. For better or worse I can't stop stringing words together.

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