I wasn’t going to go see Chatham County Line tonight.
Not because I don’t love them, of course- I think it’s been well documented in these pages that I do- but lately my budget has become less of a stable document and more of a vortex. A black hole. The kind of whirlpool that sinks pirate ships, if I may be so dramatic. It’s actually not that bad, quite yet, but I’m two weeks from getting laid off, and, well, I just spent all of my money at the sausage festival in Budapest this week. Also, I got a $100 robocop speeding ticket in the mail from my day in DC. I was clocked doing a reckless and dangerous 36 miles per hour on M Street in Georgetown. (Yes. I am the kind of girl who gets caught for doing 36 mph. Ask me to tell you sometime about the two speeding tickets I got within three days a few years back. Those were for 38 mph and 46 mph, respectively. It’s no wonder I am bad at disobedience, in general. )
I was sitting at my desk right before I went to Europe, checking things off my to-do list. I got an e-mail that the CCL show at Fletcher was almost sold out. I held fast to my budgetary principles anyway. I stood firm. I was stoic and practical and unflappable. And then I remembered that I missed the last Chatham County Line show at Fletcher because I had just finished grad school, and just spent two months job hunting, and just started work as a lowly intern. The well was dry. Tickets were $20. I did not have $20. I could not rearrange anything to get $20. I regretted missing that show even more after I heard the beautiful album they recorded that night. So after I got the sellout warning on e-mail I logged on, you know, just to see how many seats were left. I figured I could always decide after I got home from Europe.
There was only one seat left. One single seat, out of 650. I bought it. Quickly.
I am not sorry.
They did my old favorite, Gunfight in Durango, and my new favorite, Tightrope, and a whole bunch of other favorites in between. It’s fun to hear them in a rowdy crowd, but it’s also nice to hear them in a place where everyone is sitting quietly and listening, as is not always the case at Cat’s Cradle. The girl beside me tonight actually sang the whole time, because if I attract anything more frequently than motor vehicle infractions and crazies, it’s people who behave badly at concerts, but I forgave her. They’re always that good. You want to sing along.
I’ve been thinking of that quote lately: “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” I feel the same way about music. I was described recently as being “starry-eyed,” in kind of a pejorative way, but I decided not to be offended by it. I’m not starry-eyed about many things these days, and I’m really glad that music is still one of them. There are a whole lot of things I can cut out of my budget (nay, shall cut out! must cut out!) but it hasn’t come to cutting out music yet. Not the kinds of music that keep me going in the face of speeding tickets and layoffs and challenges I haven’t seen coming. Chatham County Line is my favorite band, and we here at Carolina Gypsy believe in showing up for our favorite bands. Mine, yours, and everybody else’s.
Live music is always worth the investment, people. Always worth it.