Archive for the ‘The Borderline’ Category

Jay Farrar

Why:

 So, since being diagnosed as autistic I can see my thing about music as what’s called a “special interest.”

I think the gigs were too. Other than drinking after work (where my special interest was the office) there wasn’t much else.

As long as people didn’t stand too close to me for too long and the music hit my pleasure centres, the gigs gave me what I needed to be among people.

Familiarity in the same venues and routines:

  • Where significant conversation during the show itself is almost impossible. (I said “yeah” and I nodded a lot. Some of my more successful small talk)
  • Where conversation before and after can be largely fixed on music
  • Where alcohol (and for many years, before the smoking ban) drugs were part of the ritual

In ’99-2000, starting from a thing with ‘alt country’ I discovered Uncle Tupelo.

I came to them late but became quite obsessive.

This was the era of Napster.

I still have folders of live tracks and rarities.

I was giving copies of Anodyne and Still Feel Gone to people as birthday presents.

Obviously, I transferred this love to Wilco.

Not so much to Jay Farrar’s band, Son Volt.

They had a song with a great title (Caryatid Easy), but for me that was honestly it.

So when the guy who’d helped to get me into this, the old bass player from my band, flagged that Jay was playing the Borderline I went with a weird attitude.

I basically went drunk.

I remember it being loud, I remember being towards the front of the venue.

I remember a lot of guys with very little hair getting very irate if anyone made a noise during any of the songs.

I’m not even sure what he would have been playing.

Son Volt was done, and the first solo stuff hadn’t come out.

But hey, I saw Jay Farrar solo in a small London club in 2000.

And at least for me it wasn’t ruined by some drunk guy slopping about and mumbling to his friend between songs.

High: really, none.

Drinking: oh yes.

Thinking: weird vibe.

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