This amnesia should not exist. Far from being elusive, show reviewing should be automatic by this point in your, um, career. You've spent the better part of a year reviewing several shows a week (with a few breaks here and there due to depression, discouragement, and a rigorous drinking schedule). Is not music blogging like riding a bike (i.e. goofy-looking to the outside observer, conducive to head injuries, and impossible to unlearn)?
You remember the basic structure. Right here, for example, should be the part where you ramble about something semi-relevant. It might be a rumination tangentially related to the bands you saw the other night, or it could be a seemingly unrelated anecdote that will later be tied into the actual "show reviewing" portion of the show review. Or not. Maybe it will only tie into the "show review" in a distant, instinctive, dreamlike, bullshit way. In any event, the important part is to write enough words so that, in the end, you feel like you've sufficiently differentiated yourself from other bloggers who review shows, even if it's only insofar as you're exponentially more self-obsessed and self-indulgent than they are. Everyone needs a hook.
But you can't seem to do it right anymore. It's not that you haven't witnessed some inspiring music recently: C-Horse and The Terrapin and Peg Leg Love and So Many Wizards and Battles and Cody the Band and Les Blanks and others have provided you with everything you ask for from bands. But the words haven't been there.
And when the words do come--when you force yourself to write something--it invariably comes out in the second person. You're not sure why this is. A hundred years ago or so, such a gimmick might have been considered innovative, but in the ragged, sorrowful year of our Lord 2011, it's just played out.
You have some ideas, though, as to why you suddenly find this technique so appealing. Writing in the second person is a cheap, easy way to seem less self-absorbed, to use "I" and "me" considerably less. Plus, when you have written lately, it has involved topics that you're not entirely comfortable addressing in a public forum, such as spiritual longing and your unhealthy obsession with the music of WHY?. Rather than associating yourself with such topics, you attribute your feelings to an abstract "you."
To be honest, there have been moments over the past few weeks when you thought your public life as a local music blogger of some note was over. You decided to put your pseudonym to rest and reassert your old identity: just some drunk asshole who goes to shows. Your work was done. It was time to move on.
But you were never serious about that. There was nothing to move on to, unless you count drinking alone. And when a chorus of voices built demanding that you return to blogging (well, not a chorus, really--more of a jam band), you decided to reclaim your passion, to go to shows, drink, observe, and review the living hell out of every band. You cut your hair off. You shaved your beard. A new era had come.
Then you went to Casey's Friday night and you realized that you'd forgotten how to review shows.
You could, you thought, write about how you don't like Casey's. That seemed like something you would do. But what would be the point of that? Why wallow in negativity, even if a bro bar in the aftermath of a Laker playoff loss is as close to hell as you ever hope to come?
You could just focus and write about the bands. But that would be boring for everyone involved. Who wants to read a show review that's not weighed down by paragraph upon paragraph of irrelevancies? Not you. Not me. Not Hater X.
So where did that leave you?
You could ramble on and on about how you've forgotten how to do show reviews? And then you could throw in a few kind words about the bands, who did turn in lovely sets Friday night?
Yup. That's it.
Let's make this happen.
Count Fleet Played a sunny, bouncy set of hard-to-resist pop, as has been standard operating procedure for them lately.
Seasons isn't your favorite band in the world, but they probably should be. Their set was sweet and dark, ragtag and goofy. Every time you blinked they were conjuring a different sound, evoking a different emotion, tightening and falling beautifully apart.
Okay. Okay. That wasn't so bad. It wasn't good, but it wasn't so bad. You think you could get back into the habit of show reviewing. After all, you're going to have to. Tragically, it's what you were born to do. You will be doing it for the rest of your life. (The world is ending on May 21st, right? You hope so. You're really banking on the Rapture being nigh. You don't have a back-up plan.)
You're not sure whether it's more appropriate to close out this review by embedding "Light, Lost" or "Always".
Let's go with "Always". Why not?