|The Carolina Theatre
in downtown Durham...
Anyway, the other night we took in a little show by Brad Mehldau and Chris Thile at The Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham. Now, first off, The Carolina Theatre is a great venue – a lovely old Beaux Arts style building that has been beautifully restored. It makes you feel grand just to be there. Okay, so I did used to make their ads, so I’m a little biased. But it IS cool.
|...a great place for a show!
Anyway, if you don’t know who Chris Thile is, his Wikipedia page gives a pretty good rundown, although you will want to take into consideration that it IS Wikipedia, and so, questionably accurate. You could also click on some of the links in the next paragraph to learn more.
Tom and I have seen him with his childhood/teenage band Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, solo, with Michael Daves, and last night’s show with Brad Mehdlau, a jazz pianist who, like Thile, likes to play a buttload of notes.
Thile is a charismatic personality who never fails to entertain and impress with his virtuosity. His skill with the mandolin is unsurpassed. I’ve written a whole post about my awe at his prowess. You can read it here. This is not about that, and it’s not really a review – I just wanted to give you a few thoughts I had that night.
|Okay, so it's creepy
for me to say so, but
Chris Thile is hot!
And lust like that, after all, is just surface. It’s a fantasy. A guy like that… might be an a-hole, am I right? Chock full of talent and charisma… women probably throw themselves at him. Lusting after the guy is just part of enjoying the performance. (That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway.) It’s not like pledging your life and living through the good, the bad and the mundane with someone. That’s why, at this point, I just snuggled up to my husband, the only male body I have rightful access to… and he’s a tall, joyful hunk of man who more than suffices.
My next observation… I am so not a jazz fan. Noodles? My favorite food! Noodling? No thanks. That said, this show was a nice blend of note-y noodling and actual songs. Thile has a pleasant, expressive voice, but you don’t really need to even listen to the words. I mean, he pretty much uses his voice as third instrument, bending and shaping the sounds to match his musical aims. Not that the words were bad or inconsequential, I just got the feeling they were very much not the point. Even on the crowd-pleasing Dylan song, Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.
|Actor Ian Charleson as Eric Liddell in
Chariots of Fire, feeling God's pleasure
Speaking of the devil… While Thile and Mehdlau played they employed maximum facial expressionage. In fact, Thile kind of plays with his whole body… Think about the faces jazz musicians make when laying down funky riffs, multiply it by about ten, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. It made me think of that line in Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddell says, “When I run I feel His pleasure,” to express the joy in the Lord that running gave Him. The movie would show him running down the beach or in a race in those loose white running clothes and at a certain point he’d throw his head back and you’d know that He was feeling God’s pleasure. This clip says it all.
|Chris Thile, feeling God's pleasure?
Anyway, I don’t know if this was exactly what was happening to Chris Thile, but when I know that when he plays that mandolin – no matter the style… I am most certainly feeling God’s pleasure!