“The gorgeous and terrible things that live in your house”

I tend to not buy new books unless they are marked down or remaindered at Book Warehouse but I am going to go to PulpFiction next week and ask them to order Kristin Hersh, Rat Girl, a memoir.

At Bumbershoot in 2000, I think, I saw Kristin Hersh and Mark Eitzel on the Northwest Court stage. Past the book fair, at the far end next to Key Arena and the makeshift art galleries. This was the same year that I saw Sleater Kinney and Elliott Smith in Key Arena – I kinda knew who they were but not really. I think I had one Sleater Kinney record and no Elliott Smith records. Did I leave the Elliott Smith show early to go get food? Possibly. Probably. But I was right up front with a camera for Kristin Hersh and Mark Eitzel. Friday night and Saturday night; as good as it gets.

The next year I graduated from high school and went to SFU, fall 2001. I got permission from my History 101 –Canada to Confederation TA, who is now my Facebook friend, to skip tutorial and take the Greyhound bus to Seattle on two separate Fridays to see, respectively, Death Cab for Cutie at the Crocodile Café (now they play stadiums!) in Belltown and Kristin Hersh at the Shoreline Community College (she is still playing community colleges, I believe!) way out in Shoreline. To the best of my recollection, there were two Death Cab for Cutie shows – I went to the early, all-ages show because I was just 18 – and when the set was done I went for sushi in Belltown and then walked around the north end of downtown taking pictures of neon signs at night.

I’m not much of a ‘fan’ anymore. Since 2003 or 2005 I haven’t collected stuff or even bought records or tracked down interviews and reviews and upcoming tour news but there was a time when I did all of those things, over and over. I wear rock concert t-shirts but they’re all old. I managed to be a big fan of records at this wonderful time in my own life and the life of the internet and that made it easy, learning everything I could when there was still some mystery left in it all. The Internet in 1998; a new world.

I know that I listen to records differently now than I did ten years ago. I think I am the same reader; I am a better reader now but I read books the same way. Somewhere, in reading now about records I listened to then, I can figure it out: what changed, and why.



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3 responses to ““The gorgeous and terrible things that live in your house”

  1. these posts are my favourite

  2. Karen

    Nice post, and not just because it mentions that I let you miss tutorial. I still think about that sometimes when I hear Death Cab for Cutie. I’m not sure any other student ever gave me an honest reason why they wanted to skip my class.

    • Thanks Karen. You may be glad to know that I finally finished a BA in History this year, due in some small part to your benevolence in my very first history class.

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