I skipped tonight's story reading to go see Kallet/Epstein/Cicone perform in Medford.
The only previous time I saw them live, during my Wanderjahr six and a half years ago, I wrote:
This trio is even better live than recorded; if you live in the Boston area and like folk music at all, you must see them perform. Almost no songs I didn't like; lots of new-to-me stuff I liked a lot; some old favorites ("Shantyboating" and "I'm a Mammal" in particular); and a couple of moments when Kallet's or Cicone's voices hit that resonant place somewhere deep inside me and sent shivers all through me.
Tonight wasn't quite as magical, but oh! the harmonies are still fabulous. Lovely lovely stuff. Some of the high points:
- Cindy Kallet's "I'm Gonna Walk" (I love the slightly stumbly rhythms of some of her songs; unfortunately, this one (like much of tonight's concert) isn't recorded anywhere)
- Her amazing Bobs-like "I'm a Mammal" (not quite as amazing as last time I heard them do it, but still my favorite of their songs; still not to be confused with the not-remotely-similar TMBG mammal song that everyone I know starts singing every time I mention this one; still worth the price of C/K/E's Only Human album just for this song)
- James Gordon's "Frozen in Frobisher Bay" (you can download the original version for free; on a much sillier note, you can also download his "Sweaters for Penguins" from that page if you're so inclined; note that mp3.com apparently requires free registration now)
- Dave Carter's "When I Go" (his recording is very different from the three-part harmony version I heard tonight)
- Moving from the sublime "Fiddler's Hymn" (which I didn't like quite as much as the stunning Cross Country version, but it was still good) by Pete Sutherland, to a ridiculous but very funny Barbie gospel song
- Dave Dodson's "Farthest Field" (scroll down for lyrics, no MP3 available)
Before the concert, I grabbed a quick sandwich and then took two buses (one of which was nearly 15 minutes late, so I stood in the cold waiting for it for about half an hour) to the concert location; total travel time, including waiting for bus, about 40 minutes, for what would've been about a 5-minute drive if I'd had a car and this weren't Boston. After the concert, I'd have had a half-hour wait for the first bus back if it were on time, followed by another wait for the second bus, so I decided to walk. (Story reading would've been over by the time I could've gotten there.) Tried calling various people as I walked but they were all unavailable. Realized after not too long that despite looking carefully at the map I had absolutely no idea where I was, because of EVIL BOSTON LACK OF STREET SIGNS!!!!! I talk a lot about how bad Boston driving is, but when I'm not actually here I forget just how insanely frustrating it really is. Like tonight: standing on what's clearly a major street in the middle of the night, with a map, completely incapable of going anywhere because all of the signs indicating street names are for the side streets. Boston city planners clearly believe that the names of major streets are obvious to locals, and non-locals shouldn't be traveling on their streets anyway. I spent a good 15 minutes wandering around in the cold trying to figure out what street I was on. Finally figured it out, and realized I could cheer myself up by playing tunes I like on my iPod; from that point, it was a pleasant 20-minute walk home. It would've been a pleasant 30-minute walk overall if I hadn't gotten muddled; but even with the muddling, it still only took 45 minutes to walk it, which is less time than the buses would've taken (because of all the waiting involved).
Arrived back at Bh&S's place tired but a little cheerier than I'd been, and was immediately swarmed by a pair of extremely friendly and cuddly cats asking to be scratched. I realize that cats are immensely selfish creatures, and that as soon as you've met their needs they will fickly (is that a word?) rush off to do something else, but it's still somehow very satisfying to scratch them and have them purr.
So, much more cheerful than earlier. Still sick, though.