singin' the blues
last night alex and i went to my last Blues 'n' Ribs at Ida for at least a v long time, more likely forever. and it was good. i mean, the fried chicken and the ribs were, as usual, lackluster, but hey, they were free. and we college students are the kings and queens of free food (esp when there is also free beer involved.). but the blues, ah -- the band wasn't bad, the singer wasn't bad at all, and i was really enjoying it. alex and i got up and danced a bit -and despite the fact that i literally haven't danced since something like this time last year, i really enjoyed myself, my feet remembered (mostly) what to do, and i proved to myself that i can still count to eight. and feel the music. it was awesome.
and i remembered something eun once said about whether the music is in our flesh and bones, when we don't come from the land where this music was born. and i thought about it more later, when i was watching Emeril on Food Network (don't ask. you do stupid things when you're tired.) and listening to snippets of his live blues band (i mean, how sad is that? you have a live band on your cooking show? how can you have ANY credibility?). after all, this music was born right here in Chicago, and in New Orleans and Kansas City, and it's heard everywhere here in Chicago. and ultimately, i feel like everyone can feel and understand the blues. it's something every person shares a little bit of. ok maybe not everyone can dance to it, and not everyone is moved in the same way by it (i always want to get up and dance, and sing -it's impossible for me to be still when someone -a live band!- is playing the blues near me) but i think everyone can understand, at least a little bit, what blues music is about. to me it's all about the rhythm and the chords and the glorious exchanges between lead instruments and there's something there too about the pathos of being human. you can sing the blues about anything. it's a terribly distinctive, wonderful sound, and it always gets my feet tapping and i start hunting for someone who can lead.
that's one of the things i'm going to miss about chicago, for sure. live blues bands -because really, it's so much more awesome and so much more real when the band is there, you are dancing, and they are playing off what you are dancing and you are dancing to what they are playing. it's a wonderful amazing tremendous feeling, and it's not one you can get from listening to a recording in the quiet of your own room.