Jamestown Revival At Way Over Yonder

They were playing “Born On The Bayou.”

I’ve been in a funk, trying to figure this crazy, messed up world out, or rather my place in it. You grow up too young to participate and then suddenly you’re too old to matter, held back by not only others’ judgment of you but the knowledge that the end is near. And it is.

I’ve got no idea what to do with my time. Whether to stay home and read, watch television, or is it really just all about hanging with friends? I feel like I’m in the pinball machine of life, without my hands on the flippers, afraid I’m gonna fall in the hole and it will all be over, knowing if I don’t pay attention I’ll tilt and suddenly I’ll be done without warning.

So today I went to the Santa Monica Pier for the Way Over Yonder festival. To hear Jackson Browne. To see friends. To check out some new acts. Because I felt like that old cliche a change of scenery would do me good. If I sat inside just a moment longer I’d spontaneously combust.

And if you asked me at 8:20 PM what this was gonna be about, I’d have said Jackson Browne’s “Barricades Of Heaven”.

Running down around the towns along the shore
When I was sixteen and on my own

Back before we were cataloging our lives via Instagram, when no one was paying attention, not even our parents. We left home and we called collect every week or two but the truth was we were on our own adventure and there was only one constant, music. We may not have had iPods, but it was everywhere, it was the glue that kept us together. And it was all about the mind-meld as opposed to financial shenanigans. No one wanted to get rich, we didn’t even know what that was until the eighties. Other than players, nobody we knew had a Mercedes-Benz, you could hear someone calling from one end of the house to the other and our dream was to play music and go on the road, or to work with those who did.

But now the world has gotten smaller, but something has been obliterated, there is no glue, nothing holding us together, because money never kept anybody warm at night, for that we need others.

Standing in the ocean with the sun burning low in the west
At the edge of my country, my back to the sea, looking east

That’s exactly where we were, according to Jackson’s kids, the center of the universe, that’s right Santa Monica by the sea. We were literally standing at the edge of our country, looking east. And it’s a good place to be. It means we’ve gone as far as we can go, we’ve shed not only family and friends, but inhibitions. At this distance, three hours behind New York, it matters not a whit where you went to college, what you got on your SATs, life in California is all about your own personal experience.

Or to put it Jackson’s way, he likes Newport, but he loves Santa Monica.

What can I say?

Standing in the audience with no VIP all in it together it was the same as it ever was. You remember music, right? Something that’s played on real instruments that is melodic that you can sing along to, that touches your soul. And that’s not what’s being sold in commercials, it’s not what’s getting endorsements, but it’s what we need.

And got at today’s Way Over Yonder festival.

And I’d be lying if I told you every act was spectacular. It seems today people can sing, but they seem to have lost the ability to write. Listening to Jackson for just a moment illustrates the difference.

Which is why Jamestown Revival was such a revelation.

I couldn’t leave to go to the carousel to see the act I came early to see, I was riveted by the notes that were just right, the way the band played in harmony, the way my body was set free.

And I’d never heard them before.

But now it’s after midnight and I’m playing their album “Utah” on Spotify and I’m having that same experience, you know, the one where I don’t want to push fast-forward, where I don’t want to go back to the classics, where I just want to go to the next show.

I don’t know why these people do it. It certainly couldn’t be fame and riches, because this music is not on that path, it features no synths, no beats, no aggressiveness, it’s more like life, just in the pocket.

So play me that old time music
Play that familiar song

Those are the lines in the song “Golden Age” I’m listening to now.

And I’m not telling you it’s going straight to number one, I’m not telling you Jamestown Revival is going to replace Lady Gaga, I’m just telling you the music is setting my mind free and giving me hope.

I’m never gonna have an app, I’m never gonna make it big in tech.

Because I don’t want to. I want to use the tools, but I don’t want to throw my life away in pursuit of riches. I’m not a 1’s and 0’s guy, I want to color outside the lines, I’m looking for something messier, like love.

You remember love? Not the porn-infused one you experience on the internet, but the one between two real people? Who have imperfections, who don’t always get along, whose experience is enriched as time goes by.

We’re on a train to nowhere. We’ve sacrificed culture in the name of influence. Money is all that matters.

But it doesn’t matter to me.

I don’t want to hear you bitch about Spotify payments, about all the ways you’re getting screwed, I want you to stop wasting that breath and practice and play or get out of the way. I want you to study the game of notes and changes, not html and tweets, I want you to reach out across the aisle, from across the stage, and touch my soul.

Jamestown Revival is not groundbreaking, there’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but to hear it once again resonates. Because once you take the sheen off the popsters all you’re left with is aluminum, the bones of the productions which are here today and gone tomorrow. What we need is food, that keeps delivering to the plate again and again.

So what I’m saying is when Jackson was singing “Barricades Of Heaven” I was the only one singing along, but it bothered me not in the least.

But I didn’t see anybody singing to “Take It Easy” either. Because the audience is too young and everyone’s burnishing their image on their mobile phone. In touch with air.

I’m right here.

You’re right here.

We can’t let the tools trump our identities, we can’t let them become the story. We can’t let money get in the way of fulfillment.

I’m missing the music
I’m longing for you

I’m gonna make a playlist. I’m gonna tell you if you think you’ve got the answers, you’re wrong. I’m gonna tell you that life will mess you up. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you’re gonna get fired, you’re gonna get sick, and the only thing you’re gonna be able to rely on is music.

I know that again tonight.

Jamestown Revival – Spotify playlist

Way Over Yonder – Lineup

3 Responses to Jamestown Revival At Way Over Yonder


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  1. Pingback by 9.30.14 Daily Links | Daily Links & News | 2014/09/30 at 17:04:52

    […] http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/i Another powerful moral, spiritual, cultural contemplation from The Lefsetz Letter, about the predatory, out-of-control acquisitiveness that rules everything, including the author’s beloved music: “I’m never gonna have an app, I’m never gonna make it big in tech. Because I don’t want to. I want to use the tools, but I don’t want to throw my life away in pursuit of riches. I’m not a 1’s and 0’s guy, I want to color outside the lines, I’m looking for something messier, like love. You remember love? Not the porn-infused one you experience on the internet, but the one between two real people? Who have imperfections, who don’t always get along, whose experience is enriched as time goes by. We’re on a train to nowhere. We’ve sacrificed culture in the name of influence. Money is all that matters.” […]

  2. comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  3. […] about them in the post. Rather, I suggest you take a read of what Mr. Lefsetz said about them by CLICKING HERE … after you take a look at some of the photos that I snapped […]

  4. comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  5. […] I read a hell of a review from Bob Lefsetz from one of your […]


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  1. Pingback by 9.30.14 Daily Links | Daily Links & News | 2014/09/30 at 17:04:52

    […] http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/i Another powerful moral, spiritual, cultural contemplation from The Lefsetz Letter, about the predatory, out-of-control acquisitiveness that rules everything, including the author’s beloved music: “I’m never gonna have an app, I’m never gonna make it big in tech. Because I don’t want to. I want to use the tools, but I don’t want to throw my life away in pursuit of riches. I’m not a 1’s and 0’s guy, I want to color outside the lines, I’m looking for something messier, like love. You remember love? Not the porn-infused one you experience on the internet, but the one between two real people? Who have imperfections, who don’t always get along, whose experience is enriched as time goes by. We’re on a train to nowhere. We’ve sacrificed culture in the name of influence. Money is all that matters.” […]

  2. comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

    Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

    1. […] about them in the post. Rather, I suggest you take a read of what Mr. Lefsetz said about them by CLICKING HERE … after you take a look at some of the photos that I snapped […]

    2. comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

      Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

      1. […] I read a hell of a review from Bob Lefsetz from one of your […]

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