February 29, 2012

i had a dream last night / everything that happened, had happened

I’ve sat down to write this post about fifteen times and never quite get the words out right, because this song by Cataldo (Seattle’s Eric Anderson) is much more of an impressionistic short story than a song. Trying to write about my feelings for it is kind of like trying to tell someone about a dream, scratchy-voiced as the sun rises: it never comes out right.

It starts with only Eric’s words alone in a room for the first several lines, echoing as he tells us a fleshed out, highly personal dream. Unfolding in a town where everything’s been demolished, it is a story of seeing that person again, finding yourselves in that one house where you lived for the summer, and hesitantly playing a song together (you on an old piano, she on the violin that someone left). It’s that dream where — oh, we’re back in this room again? It’s the deep desire for reconstitution that tries to address those loose frayed ends that our hearts want to knit back together again, so much. Even if only in dreams.

This is my favorite song on the new Cataldo album, Prison Boxing, which some of you helped Kickstart, and is the second Cataldo album that’s been mixed by the intuitive Tucker Martine. It’s now streaming in full over on Bandcamp, along with the past two releases.

Don’t Lose That Feeling – Cataldo

I had a dream last night
everything that happened, had happened

The air cracked in my throat, a dry highway through stubble fields
all the businesses were torn down, flat lots on the left and right

i wasn’t tired or thirsty
i felt almost home

Like probing a wound that we didn’t know was still healing, it’s a dreamworld that puts us back in those places and times we wish we could still inhabit with that person, in that way. It’s one where everything, wonderfully, makes no sense but in that freedom there is finally peace: a version of trust (with no future, no insight, and no guarantee).

We didn’t kiss (everything that happened had happened)
but we embraced
in a way I imagine we will someday

melting what years have hardened

I first listened to this song as I drove over the Continental Divide, through Colorado mountains in a verdant July. I texted Eric to thank him for writing this perfect song, with a perfect crescendo, and incisive truth that just gets me every single time. It keeps getting better, from where the piano comes in, to the achingly sweet violin piercing the song after “melting what years have hardened,” to when the mandolin delicately sings, like the rebirth of hope.

Everything that happened has still happened.

Cataldo plays my house concert tonight. Won’t you come?

[top image of time-lapse fireflies via]

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  • Sounds Great! would love to be there, unfortunately I’m up in Southern Alberta, and it doesn’t look like it’ll happen.

    Harb — February 29, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  • I met him once at a show and told him that listening to his songs made me feel smarter. he writes such amazing, intelligent lyrics. I got his first album about five years ago and was stunned when I learned how young he was (is)…how could someone that young know what he knows? but he does. I so wish I lived anywhere near you, I’d love to be there tonight!

    LP — February 29, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  • Ah, the harmonies … “… everything that happened had happened” then the soulful violin just killed me. Been a long, long time since I commented on a blog entry of yours Heather, but couldn’t resist this one.
    Thankyou for this gem.

    Craig — February 29, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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