Thursday, May 13, 2010


Clare and the Reasons, last night at Joe's Pub.

It's been a while, I know, but I moved studios, Laura and I moved apartments, I went through all my stuff and packed it and then I unpacked it; except for the stuff I got rid of, the stuff I left behind, the stuff that was part of my life but isn't now. Because you can't keep everything if you want to live in New York City. Especially when you're trying to fit two lives in to one apartment.

I used to put a lot of arrows in my drawings. I thought they were neat.

I thought they were an interesting way to add movement to a drawing. Plus, they're sort of a challenge to draw free hand, to get good and pointy and to get the proportions right.

Then Kimberlee told me they weren't neat and she didn't like them and I realized she was probably right. Plus, they were a pain to draw, to get them nice and pointy, to make the proportions work and stuff.

Besides, frankly, they were a cheat.

I was drawing a lot of dancers at the time and, as a graphic representation of motion, well, arrows were a pretty clever cheat. Still, when it came down to it--and either Kimberlee knew this or she just had a thing about arrows--there were better ways to draw movement and I would figure them out.

So, I used to really like to draw arrows, but I don't anymore and I don't miss them.

Last night, Clare and the Reasons ended their set at the Pub with their cover of That's All by Genesis.

I used to love Genesis.

Back in college, I used to love Genesis.

I saw them live in concert a few times and I remember thinking--when the album with That's All came out--that I didn't like Genesis as much as I used to, that That's All wasn't a very good song and Genesis wasn't a very good album and I probably started listening to REM or 10.000 Maniacs about then.

Last year, when I first heard Clare and the Reasons' version of That's All, I grinned from ear to ear because they had found something wonderful in a song I hadn't much cared for and they had turned it into something truly special.

As far as I'm concerned, Clare and the Reasons now own That's All. (Although, I bet Banks, Collins and Rutherford charge them something for the privilege.)

Now, I liked Clare and the Reasons from the first time I heard them a few years ago singing Pluto, their song about how we got rid of Pluto, decided it wasn't a planet we wanted to keep and tossed it. I like how they said the New York Times reported it and so it was true, but that Pluto shouldn't take it so hard.

It was a great song and I made everyone listen to it. I put it on mix CDs and stuff at the end of that year and gave it to folks and told them it was one of my favorite songs from the then last 12 months.

Right now, I think Clare and the Reasons are better than Genesis. There. I said it.

Also, last night, in honor of their new album, Arrow, Clare and the Reasons wore shirts with silver arrows and jeans with a black tape arrow which meant I got to draw arrows for a reason other than cheating. And that's new.

There's all this stuff we carry with us in life, and there's all this stuff we leave by the wayside and there's all this magic sitting in places you never expect to find it. Arrows can be direction markers or shortcuts, always pointing us one way or another. For good or bad, that's what they do. We can obey and go where they say. We can try to draw them like we know where they should aim. Or we can aim to move forward like a perfect point at the end of a line and hope for the best.

That's all.


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