29 August 2011

Live: Jeffrey Foucault (100 Bands Review #73)

posted by: Jessica 100Bands | Live Reviews | Reviews

What’s Left: 8 days. 27 Bands.

Who: Jeffrey Foucault

When/Where: July 27th, Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA

Expectations: Quiet nights with acoustic folk don’t happen too often, but when they do it’s usually because I’m seeing someone I’ve been a fan of for a long time, as was the case when I went to see Jeffrey Foucault.

Concert: It wasn’t that long ago that I saw this concert, but there’s only one song I really remember. There’s a few details I can recall like his lovely wife a great musician as well, Kris Delmhorst, joining him on cello for a few songs. I remember Foucault seeming a bit shy as he started a story but then eased up with the gentle laughter of the audience. He played 4&20 blues and an unrecorded song, Hurricane Land (possibly?) that was downright gorgeous, I wish I had it now after this weekend. But those are just details, what I really remember is the solitary tear that I let roll down my cheek when he played “Mesa, Arizona”.

The song meant a lot to me–more to me than I could sum up here–and was blown away by how much it still means to me. My eyes got misty as Foucault was tuning his guitar and I realized what was coming. The people around me nudged their significant other’s to tell them this was “the one I really like”.  When I heard it, I saw a four year long relationship play from the awkward beginning to the fizzling out end, even though it ended three years ago and I’ve long since moved on, the song and that relationship are eternally interlocked in a way that can never be undone. The song largely reminds me of a time I was carelessly happy and swimming through the depths of a love I thought would last past the confines of college. I once got a phone call from the boyfriend in California when I was in Denver and we decided at 2am on a tuesday to drive 7 hours to a half way meeting point in Utah. I cut days of classes to do this without even hesitating, and yeah I played this song at least twenty times on the drive. But that’s just one memory of many this song has soundtracked for me, and for the ‘we’ that no longer exists. It’s not that I miss the relationship, but rather more than anything I miss the person I was when I was in love.  I felt all of this so intensely during the song that I didn’t realize the tear until it reached my chin, the lyrics “I know when I know nothing, I’ll always know your name” echoing in my head. I was lost inside a memory encapsulated in a song and it’s stunning how powerful music can be.

When you see Foucault play this song he closes his eyes and sings with such emotion you wonder what memory he’s thinking of. I couldn’t have asked for anything more that night.

Afterglow: (speechless) I biked home and took at least five wrong turns because I was still thinking about the concert.

Recommendation: I love indie rock, and when there are seven musicians on stage, and weird effects being used, really I love it all dearly, but what moves me the most and often catches me off guard is a voice and an acoustic guitar. I don’t know if this is a universal thing, but you should give it a shot. Especially if it’s Jeffrey Foucault who constantly turns out wonderful albums.

Jeffrey Foucault – “Mesa, Arizona”

MP3: Jeffrey Foucault – Albuquerque (Neil Young Cover)

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