It is hard to give some kind of existential account of one’s membership in an audience, but the phenomenological facts are as follows: there was music played, it sounded good, there were a few notable characters watching said music, the music ended, we walked half-way home in the rain, caught a bus, end scene.
Let’s start with the most predominant features of the night. The scene was filled with the constructed towers of delayed drum sounds, guitar sounds, mouth/voice sounds, and sample sounds. Califone presented these very factual aspects along with visions of my past that could be best described as a dash o’ super 8 blended with a pinch of tear-water tea.
Centre stage, the smaller-than-expected Tim Rutili (whom I imagined to be bearded and bigger for some reason), the tall and lanky Joe Adamik and the regular-sized Jim Becker. To the right, a young man wearing suspenders (sporting what could only be described as ‘train-conductor-style’), to the left, a young man with a very large red book, in the middle: me (me, trying to stand tall under the weight of my memories; me, awash in the music).
The beer was laden with a heaviness accentuated by the emotional ties to Califone’s music (read: I became a nostalgic drunk relatively quickly). Yes, the night was warmed by the music, drink and company, but I left feeling somewhat empty. It is only now that I realize what was missing. Califone didn’t play “Electric Fence”, one of the best songs of all time (read: complete lack of objective journalism). Please, go and listen to Califone, and years from now, you too will be awash in nostalgia when you hear them meander their sound and vision through your ears.