Saturday, September 17, 2011

Longest Night

We saw Fleet Foxes play at the Greek a few nights ago, and they lit the place up. It was a beautiful show by a funny group of friends. Robin, the lead singer, played a song he wrote two weeks ago to open the encore and I immediately hated it. I had a very guttural reaction to it, and the song kind of embarrassed me like I shouldn't have been listening to it or I accidentally stumbled into Robin's sad diary or teenage livejournal. It is, I think, his best song yet. Gone are the lonely folk metaphors of mountains, stars, railroads and wooden nests and here, I hope to stay, come the universities, living rooms, paperbacks and living room floors of real life. It was this closeness that embarrassed me. It feels like Robin asked a very scary question of himself, as a writer and as a person -- what am I not saying? -- and answered it here. Even their best songs, like "Montezuma" and "He Doesn't Know Why," have the privilege of imagining their own deaths or using frontier imagery to keep some kind of distance from the scary emotions they sing about. Not so with this one, which I guess will be called "Longest Night."  




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