Bottle rockets and smoke bombs lying dead on the sidewalk
black marks on the concrete now but they were beautiful last night
the picture of our life
can we make this what it was?
everything is right, everything’s wrong
sparklers only burn for so long
…watch the light dance in the dark ’til it’s gone
sparklers only burn for so long…
Seattle’s Rocky Votolato specializes in the kind of hushed, pensive songs that sound especially extra-good in the gray chill of November, so it’s fitting that Barsuk Records (Death Cab, Nada Surf) just announced his forthcoming third album True Devotion (Feb 23) with a live version of this melancholy song.
This version of “Sparklers” was recorded at a house concert this summer in East Palo Alto, up the peninsula from where I grew up, onetime Murder Capital of the US, now with an IKEA. I think the domestic ambiance of the house concert idea is especially well-suited to a gorgeous little song like this one.
Sparklers (Live in East Palo Alto) – Rocky Votolato
This song reminds me quite a bit of something that Ryan Adams could have written, and thematically the bits about sparklers and explosions feel like the remnants of what started in the that fabulous Fourth of July song from Jason Anderson. The domestic intimacy continues with a series of living room shows in the East these next few weeks:
ROCKY VOTOLATO LIVING ROOM TOUR
(buy tickets here – and agony, he just came through my town and was looking for a house. Fail!)
Nov 6 – New York, New York
Nov 8 – Boston, Massachusetts
Nov 9 – Boston, Massachusetts
Nov 10 – Providence, Rhode Island
Nov 11 – Burlington, Connecticut
Nov 13 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 14 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 15 – Washington DC