The Supper Club Tour

Music seems to happen to me by accident.

Like a lot of things that everyone else seems to know about effortlessly, I stopped trying to keep up somewhere around eighth grade. Before that, I’d dutifully bought NSYNC and Backstreet Boys cds, learning their names so I could participate in “Who’s hotter?” conversations at lunch. But after awhile I fell further and further behind until it didn’t seem to be worth the effort to pretend anymore. I never listened to the radio. As with make up and celebrities, the effort of blending in with everyone else just didn’t seem worth it, so I quit. Defiantly. I guess you have to do something defiantly when you’re 15, and I defiantly read the complete works of Charles Dickens instead of watching MTV. I know, what an exciting rebellion! I guess I didn’t realize that most people rebel against their parents instead of their peers.

Anyway, since I wasn’t seeking it out, most music comes to me completely by accident. My favorite band in high school was a folk-rock band from New Foundland who play sea shanties with electric guitars. I only discovered them by mistakenly downloading the wrong song one night (Don’t worry, Great Big Sea, I’ve bought enough of your albums since to more than make up for this small crime). Things got a little better–or at least more normal–when I went to college and had to contend with the peer-pressuring juggernaut that is Rob, convincing me to listen to his favorite songs until I liked them to, through familiarity. I never minded so much, really, although I think my lack of strong opinions about music has made some people question my sincerity. Am I really just agreeing to anything because I lack a strong personality? Am I pretending? For some reason it’s harder to believe that someone could be musically ambivalent. Why do I have to have strong and narrow musical tastes if I’m not required to have much of an opinion about cars or curtains? I don’t know, but I’ve accepted that to most people it makes me pretty weird.

So here is the story of probably my greatest musical-acquisition accident. I think it was my senior year at Rice, maybe in the fall of 2008. I was walking through the Rice Memorial Center with some time between classes, but not enough to actually do anything constructive. I was contemplating buying a smoothie. I noticed the ballroom was full of tables because KTRU, the Rice student radio station, was having a cd sale. I went in because I wanted one of their bumper stickers. I wasn’t interested in any of the cds–KTRU’s musical tastes have never really interested me.

Mission accomplished, by the way. I put it where I put all stickers.

I didn’t own a radio, so I’d only had a few opportunities to decide this, but even I with my eclectic taste didn’t really feel like owning “Experimental Didgeridoo Concertos” or “Mozart played entirely with sounds from nature” or whatever it is KTRU plays (played? I’ve heard they are no more, maybe because of this). Still, while I was there, I might as well look, and maybe I would like something KTRU was getting rid of for being not weird enough, right? There was no way to actually listen to the tables of CDs they had, so I was judging primarily based on cover art. As a librarian, you’d think I’d be against this, but I actually do it all the time. We all do. Here’s the cover art that I’m glad caught my eye:

The Silver City by Jeremy Messersmith

I don’t know what it was about this. Maybe the fact that it looked sort of like a children’s book. For whatever reason, I bought it. It was a pay-whatever-you-want type of fundraiser, so I think I paid a dollar. I didn’t know who Jeremy Messersmith was, what he looked like, anything about him. Only later would I discover that we have Minneapolis in common, which only made me love him more. At the time, though, all I had was his music. And for the rest of the year I woke up to it every morning. It’s the perfect thing to wake up to: soft, mostly acoustic, a little bit sad. Here’s one of my favorites:

It’s amazing how waking up to Jeremy Messersmith everyday can improve your mood! Anyway, he’s going on tour soon and actually coming to North Carolina, so maybe I will get to see him in person! If he finds a host, that is. See, this tour is the Supper Club Tour, which is probably the greatest idea in all of music history ever. From the website:

This fall I’ll be embarking on a solo house show tour.

There’s one thing though-I want you to bring food to share! I want to try your best, most mouthwatering dishes- the kind passed down through battered cookbooks, the recipes you’ve sworn to keep secret.

Yes!!! I am so into this concept!! I love trying other people’s favorite recipes and sharing my own! Plus, I am usually the most awkward concert attender ever. It’s like I don’t know how to sit still and just listen, probably because I’m only used to listening to music while doing something else (driving, cooking, cleaning, working out, writing). This idea sounds like the perfect solution! If I lived in a suitably-sized house instead of a tiny apartment you can bet I would be volunteering to host in a hot second! Even if I don’t get to go to one of the events, I love that this is a thing! So I thought I would spend today informing you that something awesome is happening in the world. In case you hadn’t realized.

If you’re interested: all of his albums are currently pay-whatever-you-want downloads! I’m surprised to see he also has his latest album available for real-life purchase on CD, vinyl, AND cassette. So hipster right now! But also awesome.

And here’s a song about Tatooine amazingly stop-motion animated with paper cut outs:

4 responses to “The Supper Club Tour”

  1. Uncle Bill says:

    Does tiny apartment community have a decent sized “community center” type amenity available to tenants, maybe for a minimal fee? I have been to a number of parties at similar venues. Maybe you can find a place to help showcase Jeremy’s work.

  2. mom ladd says:

    Great Idea Uncle Bill!

  3. Uncle Bill says:

    Oh yeah. I almost forgot.

    “Tattooine” is awesome. I have watched/listened more than once, and have deemed this “forewardworthy” (new word alert!).
    Is that one available on vinyl?

    If you host it. We will come. Probably.

    • pladd says:

      It looks like Tatooine is only available for mp3 download (pay what you want). The only vinyl on the website is The Reluctant Graveyard

      The “clubhouse” here is pretty small too. I don’t think think 30-50 people could fit inside, let alone set up a buffet line for a potluck or eat dinner. Hopefully someone else volunteers! And I live somewhere bigger next time!

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