Despite many years of conditioning, my dog has yet to believe that I can go outside without her and return unharmed.
I'm Michael. These are my sophisticated points of view.
Find a new illusion
This time last week, after secluding myself away from people and technology to study all day for two midterms, I picked up my phone and noticed I had three different text messages from friends that each said something along the lines of, “Hey man. I heard the news. How are you doing?”
My immediate response, after realizing I wasn’t run over by a bus without my knowledge, was to open my computer and see what was happening in the world.
The news of his death was really difficult to process. The truth is I always thought I’d meet him someday. Somehow it just seemed like a given that I’d be able to say thank you. Not just for his music, or his contribution to the greater rock effort, but for the very direct role is his words played in me being the person I am today. I think for those reasons, as well as him only being an abstract idea to me (as people you don’t actually know are), it seemed impossible to believe he was really dead. It still does, and I suppose that’s because everything I’ve ever known of him exists just as much now as it ever did before.
Is it silly to say it’s been a surreal week? Also, it feels like that was last night, not a week ago.
The last time I saw Lou I complimented him on a searing version of a blues song and one of his new songs that he had just performed live here in NYC. His energy and performance had brought me to tears. He wore a beautiful leather jacket that he didn’t take off.
He hugged me, as he now did quite often; and he didn’t let go for a very long time.
To my favorite curmudgeon, grump, genius, icon, pal. We will miss you very, very much.
— Michael Stipe
Here come the waves
I didn’t know I could be this upset about the passing of someone I’ve never met. I feel like I could write hundreds of pages about him and how much I appreciate him and everything he did. But I’m completely lost for words right now.
The National show was kind of lame
That title probably sounds sarcastic, but it genuinely was. Or on a kinder note I’d call it lackluster.
The audio was terrible and the audience seemed half asleep. Matt Berninger’s commentary in between songs was quite amusing, but also kind of alarming.
He told us he started to get sick the day before, so he took Dayquil but then after drinking wine… “Shit got weird. In my head. It wasn’t good. So today I’m on Sudafed and bourbon. We’ll see how it goes.” Then half way through the show he threw his bourbon glass into the air and grabbed a bottle wine. I think shit got weird in his head again.
Bryce cringed a little every time Matt started to tell a story to the audience. And there was a fairly awkward moment where the two of them were arguing about whether or not suicide was funny.
Everything seemed even stranger by the fact that the audience was so sedate. I think Matt was the only person in the theater with any energy, and that was because he was pretty fucked up.
The audience got lively when he was moving through the crowd during Terrible Love (I got pulled right into his path by the friends I was with and took the opportunity to pat him on the back) and then he climbed back on stage and they went into Vanderlyle, which the entire audience sang and Matt didn’t use the mic. It would have been moving, had it not felt so contrived. Matt started to wonder backwards at one point and had to be steered back toward the mic. He was looking a little green by that point.
Hearing Pink Rabbits live was brilliant though.