Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Last night a few friends and I went to see Ray Lamontagne, a musician who I pimped a few posts ago, at the Mercury Lounge.
All I can say is, "Wow."
I'm telling you, this guy is going to be big. And remember, I'm the guy who started wearing those Elvis Costello/Buddy Holly-type glasses before they were cool, so I know a thing or two about "coolness."
Ray Lamontagne met two personal standards of greatness for me:
1) There are some artists who, after seeing them perform or reading their work, you never want to write again, because you realize that in no way can you approach their level of greatness. You say to yourself, "Wow, that guy was awesome. With people like him/her around, I have no shot, because he/she is so far and away better than me, that I should just go home and eat a bottle of Tylenol PM" (and sure, this may be because of my whole "low self-esteem" thing, but you know what I always say - when you're judgin', you're not lovin.'")
For me, these include writers like Nabokov, Pynchon, and Almond, and poets like Eliot, Neruda, and Auden (not that I read poetry, because poetry is for gays). Musicians like Elvis Costello, Nick Drake, and Jeff Buckley (to name a few) make me want to sell all my guitars, and just forget the whole thing.
Add Ray Lamontagne to that list. He got up there with just his guitar and mesmerized the entire audience. I got home and started sobbing, yelling at my guitars, and then I called my parents and yelled at them for not encouraging me to get into music earlier, and then I downloaded a ton of porn because my roommate Ben is in California and he forgot to password-protect his computer (it was a real roller-coaster).
2) Speaking of masturbation (?), after seeing this guy, even I wanted to fuck him. He's got this whole "I'm sensitive and really shy" thing going on, and he played this part well, not looking at the crowd once, and only saying, "Thank you, thank you very much" between songs. By the end, every woman in the audience had their shirts off, and this wasn't a good thing in every case. My record of straightness is unparalleled (except for the time in Phoenix in '99 which I needn't get into), but if given enough booze and maybe some prescription painkillers, I think, well, I don't think I need to finish that sentence.
So keep an eye out for him, and I'm sure I will be handing out many of his (pirated) cds to my friends. I'm not a music critic, but I do have an iPod, so that means I'm serious about music, so trust me on this.