Saturday, February 14, 2004


To tell the truth, I'd kill for you
It's sick I know, but after all
My definition of the word:
Love is blind, love is good.
('Love', The Twilight Singers)

I've been telling people, anyone who will listen really, that I dislike Glasgow, that I'm ready to leave this forsaken city for sunnier skies and greener vegetables, that it is time to return to the country that needs me most, that it is time to go home. A part of me thinks it is the weather. Winters here are, in two words, a bitch. Not too cold. Certainly not too sunny. Just the same: day in, day out . . . the same. It's no wonder these people drink themselves to an early grave, or that I very likely have shaven a few off my own life. Or, then again, maybe it's just the really lousy exchange rate. After all, over the past couple of months, the value of my dollar has decreased by about 10% every thirty days; in fact, since arriving a couple of years, it's lost about 45% of its overall value. If I were just buying food every now and then, I might not even notice the hit. But when there's tuition to be paid, it's kind of difficult to be nearly so obtuse.

And yet . . .

It is Valentine's Day, no? If I'm not necessarily going to be any better boyfriend to Katrien, I should at least be a more amiable person in general. With that in mind, I'm not going to mull on these details. There are, for now, more important things to tell you about. Namely, The Twilight Singers. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a chance to see them in action a couple of weeks ago; what I didn't mention, however, was that for about two hours, they made me absolutely forget not only my present dislike for Glasgow but, oddly, all the intervening years from when I was twenty years old until now. Those college years of mine were spent listening to the Afghan Whigs, thrashing about wildly at their concerts in Cincinnati and Columbus, oblivious to everyone and all. They were, and still are, the best live band I've ever seen. When they broke up in 1999, I decided that was the sign that it was time to put college things behind me -- to move on to more sophisticated things. To a bit of jazz. To classical. Hell, even an opera or two. On January 30th, though, at the King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, I hit a worm hole or something such, and found myself back in 1997, held in complete awe by a pudgy, unremarkable looking gravely-voiced, bourbon-drinking former Afghan Whig frontman named Greg Dulli.

The Twilight Singers are not as good as the Whigs at their height -- the intuitive mix between the band members just ain't there. But the energy, oh yeah, they got that in spades. Greg Dulli on stage is rough sex incarnate: sweaty, grunty, and a little jiggly. He thinks he is the coolest, sexiest thing in the room, and everybody at some point during the show, even if only for a moment, believes it. In the ensuing frottage of singer and audience, you can't help but start feeling the same thing about yourself. People who never dance bootylicious-style, like me, who never scream 'Fucking Aaaaaaaaaa' at the top of their lungs, unlike me, do so. Every room Dulli's bands walk into becomes a party, an intoxicated saturnalia whose hangover you'll greet with a wink and a smile.

You think I'm exaggerating, I know. I'm being hyperbolic, to offset the pissy mood this city sometimes puts me in. The only way you can be sure, though, is to check this band out when they come to your town or a town near you. Do so, and I promise you'll be kicking a boot in any television showing MTV-2, because you will have been truly reminded what rock music could and should be.