The Knowing and the Not Knowing

I saw Pete Yorn play an acoustic set at the Troubadour recently and it was sublime. I told a couple of people at work that I was going to see him to which they responded, “I don’t know who that is.” It was all I could do not to cry for them. I mean, anyone who didn’t spend the early 2000’s wallowing in musicforthemorningafter and Day I Forgot on repeat truly missed out.

“If you heard Strange Condition you’d know who he is,” I told them.


Judy Greer was there and  I saw her buying merch and she was so excited to get her Pete York t-shirt. She was seriously adorable. My friend Lisa who I went to the show with didn’t know who she was. If you don’t know who Judy Greer is, she’s one of those working actresses that you recognize when you see them on TV or in a movie and think to yourself, “Where do I know her from?” and it drives you so crazy you have to pull up IMDB on your phone immediately because you cannot wait one second more to figure out where you know her from.


So maybe that was the theme of the night – knowing, but not knowing.

My friend Lisa may not know who Judy Greer is but she loves Pete Yorn (almost) as much as I do and spent the early part of her 2000’s not missing out by listening to his albums on repeat. It’s better to see a show with someone who loves the music as much as you do if possible.

The Troubadour is tiny, but it was packed. (Of course it was packed. Pete Fucking Yorn was playing the Troubadour!) We stood to the side of the stage so we could be close and feel the breeze from the door (because a packed Troubadour equals a hot Troubadour) and we lucked out because we were standing right behind his parents. He was a good son and acknowledged them and made sure they were comfortable and talked about them and thanked them for being there which made me love him even more than I already do (and trust me the way that I love him has nothing to do with him being a good son if you know what I’m saying).

I mean it would be easy to love Pete Yorn because he’s beautiful.


Obviously.

But that’s not why I love him. (Okay, maybe it is a little.)

And the reason I love him is also not because of his songwriting. Though his songwriting is amazing. Truly.

I don’t miss you, still I will take a car to be with you
I don’t know you, of course you think you know me
I don’t want you
So why should I compete with other guys?
I don’t love you, no
I think I’ll take a long way down from here

(Guess what – he loves her.)

The reason I love him is because of the yearning. In his voice. In the way he strums his guitar. This dude is yearning for more. Even in his song about a burrito (which is not really about a burrito at all even though the song title is Burrito) the yearning is there.

In the knowing there’s more to come.

Or not knowing if there’s more to come.

Or knowing everything is perfect and not knowing how long it will last.

Suburban Moms Go Acoustic with Mikey Wax

This was originally posted on skirt.com on January 31, 2011. It’s been edited. Heavily. (Though, probably still not nearly enough.)

I’m reposting because my friend Mikey Wax is performing at Hotel Café on Tuesday, July 1. You should go see him. Here’s why…

Hearing live music is one of my greatest loves in life. Innocently flirting with cute young boys is another. Last Monday night I hit the jackpot and go to do both.

My daughter’s elementary school held a fundraiser that was a little bit outside the box. It was the brainstorm of super cool mom who’s really into new music and an artist named Mikey Wax caught her attention.

And for good reason – he’s incredibly talented. (And super cute…in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, Mikey performs concerts at people’s houses. For free. All you have to do is guarantee 25 people and he will make it out to your house to perform for you and your closest friends in the hopes of building a fan base and selling his CDs. (And trust me once you hear him perform you’ll be buying a CD!)

Debbie saw that he was planning a trip from his home state of New York out to California for some shows, booked a date with him, and created a Mom’s Acoustic Night Out fundraiser. Tickets were only $10 and seating was limited to 50 people.  We held the show in the school library and Debbie turned our library into a funky coffee house by ditching the fluorescent bulbs and bringing lamps and candles and twinkly lights. There was tea and bubbly water and baked goods. (Oh, if only we weren’t on school property and could have had wine!) She even made laminated passes for everyone.

As school fundraisers go, it was pretty awesome. Mostly because Mikey was awesome.

 

mikey-wax-house-concert
Photo of Mikey Wax courtesy of Laura Starks Photography

 

His voice was amazing and his songs were just fantastic. He’s young and adorable and has a really great presence about him. Hello suburban cougar moms – having this guy serenade you and your mommy friends in an intimate setting is even better than flirting with a hot waiter. (And everyone knows how much I love to do that!)

Before the show he was chatting with my friend Laura and me and telling us about his house tours and how he usually stays at hotels, but sometimes ends up crashing at the house where he plays.

“Where are you staying tonight?” Laura asked him. “You know Charlene’s happily married but she really likes young guys. Do you want to stay at her house?”

Yeah I love it when my friends whore me out.

 “Oh, and my husband is out of town. Hmmm, how could we explain it to the kids?” I said.

I think he might have blushed.

“Don’t worry, I’m kidding,” I said. Then I turned to Laura, “You know you’re kind of embarrassing me. I usually like to have these conversations after a few cocktails, not at the school library.”

After the show a few of us took him out for a drink and bought him some dinner. (Oh, shut up!)

He was pretty enamored with Southern California. Of course every east coaster who visits in January is enamored with Southern California. What’s not to love – it’s sunny and 75 degrees outside. Sunny and 75 in January is the reason why tiny little houses with ugly backyards and no closet space cost over a half a million dollars.

He talked about his musical influences and growing up in Long Island listening to Billy Joel.

When I was 25 or 26 I went to a wedding in Long Island that was next door to Billy Joel’s house and at one point Billy Joel just came over, uninvited, and started wandering around the pool area where everyone was having cocktails.

“Wow,” he said, “when was that? In the 90’s or something?”

I thought back, “Yeah, I guess it was in 1991.”

You know, back when Mikey was six!

That’s when I realized my time flirting with a cute musician was over and it was officially time to go home.

Watch this video of Mikey and become an instant fan.

Then go see him next Tuesday night at Hotel Café. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased here.

Or if that’s not possible contact Mikey for a house show. You’ll be the coolest mom in your ‘hood and get to hang out with a cute musician.

That, my friend, is what I call a win!