I’m Not Sick, I Just Have Symptoms

My friend Paul used to say, “I’m not sick. I just have symptoms.”

I’ve felt better. But it’s been a long day. I struggled to make it into the 9:30 news meeting on time. And I struggled through the day. Coulda’ been my late night watchin’ documentaries and recording strange songs. Coulda’ been getting soaked last night. Or it could be all those whack germs floatin’ around the airplane finally caught up with me. Whatever, I’m nursing just a little bit of a soar throat.

The Smith Family rehearsed after work. We musta’ spent an hour on our cover of Waylon Jenning’s ‘Luchenbach Texas.’ We’re performing at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn on Sunday, and Two Boots in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Plus about a dozen more shows between now and Christmas. So… we had some work to do.

Afterwords, I checked out Keane at Irving Plaze. I don’t think I’d been there since covering Ani DiFranco for Rolling Stone in the (gulp) late nineties. Last time I saw Keane, I was wedged into The Knitting Factory with a hundred other early adopters. Tonight was quite the rock show, complete with a blinding, swirling light show, and nearly a thousand adoring fans. That Tom Chaplin sure can sing. And he’s pretty darned cheesy, talkin’ between songs about relationships and stuff. I love it.

I must admit, it is difficult for me to watch a rock show like that. It’s hard for me not to be envious. It’s hard for me to get past wanting to be on stage long enough to appreciate what’s going on up there. The French Kicks, a coupla’ dudes in suits from New York whose February residency at Mercury Lounge put them on the map, opened up. They were good enough. But it coulda’ been me and Tony and Todd. We’re loud enough for the boys and soft enough for the girls (as Rolling Stone wrote of Keane). Between The MTV and all the great rock venues in New York, many of which I play, it’s tough to be this close to “success” all of the time. I hope I don’t sound like I’m whining. I’m just trying to be honest.

Eventually, though, that veneer chipped away. I was pretty absorbed by the time Keane performed ‘Bend & Break.’ What with those high notes, those chords and beats, it’s tough not to let the feeling in. It’s difficult not to smile. And why not smile?

So… like I say, I’m not feelin’ so hot. I have tomorrow night off — no rehearsals, no shows — though I do have to work MTV’s Choose Or Lose debate coverage from home. And I basically have the weekend off, excepting a few parties and a half marathon. I’m looking forward to the rest. Because another part of me, in the constant Choose Your Own Adventure that is my mind, is traipsing around Australia. He feels a lot better. Though come to think about it, I feel pretty good too. Right here’s not so bad. Symptoms or not.

Related Posts