Of course, house concert nights are some of very favorite nights of all in life right now, and of course this was no exception. House concerts are special for so many reasons. For the community that has built up around us through these events, for the sharing of delicious food, for the inspiration that inevitably results from watching talented musicians perform in such close quarters, and for the sheer magic of filling my home with friends, family, and fellow music-lovers to celebrate and support independent artists and the value they bring to our lives!
But the house concert we hosted with The Atomic Duo was special for some of its very own unique reasons. First, there's the fact that Mr. Mark Rubin (one half of this fine duo) is a founding member of The Bad Livers. And although I didn't even mention this in my introduction to the show (this fine duo can certainly stand on its own...), I have to admit, that to Brian and me, this was a PRETTY BIG DEAL! We LOVE the Bad Livers. We were excited and a bit nervous to meet Mark in all his tuba-playing bad ass-ness. We were looking forward to meeting Silas, who from our phone conversations, seemed like one of the nicest people we would ever be hosting. But, we were also a bit nervous about putting Silas up in Sadie's room and did our best to "de-princessify" the space before their arrival. Do you like the new words I'm using in this post? Ass-ness and de-princessify? Yeah!
Anyway, needless to say, this may have been the most fun I've had with any of our house concert performers ever. Silas and Mark came by the house mid-afternoon and I relished spending a couple hours getting to know both of them. We talked politics, Judaism, food, music, energy policies, you name it. Brian and Mark picked banjo upstairs. Silas gave me some GREAT leads for future potential house concert performers. It was great fun. They are both so interesting and smart, and very easy to talk to.
There's always a bit of the unknown when you invite musicians into your home. It's my most intimate, personal space, and what I want most of all is to make it comfortable for them. I like to offer to get out of their way, and give them the upper floor of the house to make themselves at home and relax before the show. Often, these musicians are on the road touring, and an afternoon in a comfortable space where they can nap, catch up on phone calls home, and the business of being a musician might be just what they need. So, I like to make sure that's an option. But I also LOVE when I get to spend the afternoon making new friends and talking music and other interests with these new friends. It makes the house concert so much more meaningful for me personally when I feel like I've had a chance to get to know the musicians.
The fact that it almost always works out this way, is a testament to this particular brand of musicians as a group. Everyone we've ever welcomed into our home has been overly friendly, generous, and respectful. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this community of folk and bluegrass musicians.
Silas and Mark's music is unique and thought-provoking. I so admire their honesty and willingness to push the envelope with their opinions. And although I was worried that some in the audience might be offended by their message(s), the feeling in the house was respect and consideration for everyone. What a novel idea in the year 2012! Wait, you mean people can freely express their opinions, however radical they might be, and we can still all listen respectfully and raise a glass to each other at the end of the night? Yes, please. We need more of that.
Here are a couple videos from the night. More available at our youtube channel.