Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The scene is dead. Long live the scene.

Sleater-Kinney played the Beachland last night. I really don't know what to say. The entire point of the experience was that it was beyond words, beyond soundbites and slang and glib scenester reporting. Because it wasn't about haircuts and setlists and posters and interviews and label changes and promo and who used to go out with who. It was about a small roomful of people almost catching the same breath, skipping the same heartbeat, thinking the same thought at almost the same moment. It was about the impossibility of ever getting past that "almost," and having it be enough anyway.

Why is it that we so rarely take advantage of something as transcendent and potentially powerful as a community of the alienated, the weird, the queer, and instead let it devolve into a judgmental fashion show? We owe it to ourselves, and to our music and politics, to get over the too-hip/not-hip-enough zero-sum game, because if we don't love and help each other, no one will. People should be able to wear no-wave goth carnival drag and not get stared at and whispered about behind their backs. And so should people wearing t-shirts and courduroy pants. Maybe that's why this show was so inspiring and heart-breaking at the same time. For one painfully brief moment, all that mattered was the music, and catching the eye of the person next to you and the eyes of the people playing on stage and seeing your own joy reflected back at you. I know it will be a long time before I come across that moment again.

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