The Black Void: Jeff Tweedy Live in San Diego – 2/11/06 - Part One

I began my I-5 descent from LA to San Diego at 6:00 Saturday evening. After about 45 minutes in the straight jacket clutches of erratic Orange County traffic, I was sailing down the left lane of the freeway, shuffling my CDs on the highest undistorted volume, mentally fatigued but physically present, anticipating my first date with Jeff Tweedy.

As the lead singer and songwriter of the understated alt-rock mainstay band Wilco, Tweedy has earned a privileged spot in my heart as my generation’s Bruce Springsteen. Now, I do not drop the Bruce barometer carelessly, but given Tweedy’s combined lyrical intimacy, humbly self-aware attitude, and unquestionably pure artistic motives for creating and performing music, I can’t help it; the comparison is practically begging me to acknowledge it. Simply put, with no exaggeration, there is no musician out there who deserves it more.

I was pondering Tweedy's Springsteenliness as I sat in my seat at the Spreckels Theatre, feeling like a high priestess in upper echelon of the balcony, peering down at the stage being rearranged into what looked like (from my vertical vantage point) a circular cave of intimate seclusion, guitars and amps enclosing the microphone stand, awaiting the solitary performer.

Tired and jaded by a long day and the aimless chatter droning on around me, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and exhaled, ready to surrender to exhaustion. All of a sudden, I felt a jolt. My eyes opened abruptly and darted around the theatre, which was breathtakingly beautiful, transported in from another time, defiant of the trappings of modernity. Somehow its cavernous, hollowed atmosphere seemed ideal for delivering Tweedy's songs to our receptive eardrums.

As I zoned out on the surreality of it all, enjoying an especially up-close-and-personal view of the ceiling and the sculptures reflecting one another above box seats, I decided to write some lame poetry to commemorate the moment. To add some much-needed literary cred, I will break it up by titling the sections with roman numerals, the way real poets do. I also thought it might read more poetically in italics.


Angels on ceiling ornate
Sculpted nymphs slay animals
Royalty resides
Ghosts of opera echo
Mingling with forced conversation

My nose is bleeding
But my ears they are prepared

Look up to the yellow cloudy abyss
Idols fly, nonchalant
They watch us from the past
What do they think of what we’ve become?


Warming up
Prepare to confront the witnesses
Connecting effortlessly with something familiar

We’ve seen it before
We know how it moves with our thoughts

Muster up energy
Running on fumes

Realizing the stimulant of the next instant
Hiding from unconsciousness until we were meant to succumb

There’s a way to stay awake


Voices merge
Eyes make contact
Common complaints float in midair
You’re just an excuse

We’re waiting for you to remind us
We don’t make any sense
Your timing ideal
Floating above my stare
Cynicism drops like gravity
I’ll get lucky again

Connecting with the world through your headaches
Your words stain the silence with its own nothingness
Your downfall is my bargain, but we’ll never make a deal

(Part Two coming soon. No poetry - I promise)



hooray for san diego and tweedy and everything else. .. . hooray for delia and italic poetry

10:15 PM  

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