Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending the latest show in the Notes from Home series, curated by Dylan Priest & Tyler Kalberg. Along with Laura Musselman, I was asked to document the evening in photos as they took video & Zach Varnell captured audio. The performers? Colin Reynolds, Damien Jurado, and John Vanderslice.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of John Vanderslice‘s music in my life. There’s an entire year in the ’00s that I credit JV with helping me survive. In 2009 we played a few shows with JV in the UK, and I wrote this on the way to London:
“We cut through endless miles of clouds as we descended towards Heathrow. I had tears in my eyes throughout. Another landing kept playing back in my mind; a two day drive to LA and an immediate flight home. One detour at the Kung Fu Bakery en route. When I landed in Seattle, I didn’t have a home to go to, one foot there + one in Portland. Vanderslice was, of course, the soundtrack to that trip in 2006. I sat alone that flight, listening + pondering + feeling heartbroken. JV made that pain more acute, sharper; he was also the only thing that made it bearable.
Fast forward to yesterday. I’m holding hands with my husband, on our way to not only see John play in London but for Damien to be sharing the stage with him. When I landed my first text was: ‘Life can be shocking in its capacity for joy + beauty.’ I never would’ve dreamed of an existence like this.”
That last sentence still holds true. The ‘Time Travel Is Lonely’ journal that still sits on my bedside table was the first gift Damien bought me – in a weird twist of fate, it was handmade by Dianna Potter, the same lady who helped Notes from Home bring together last Wednesday’s bill. Dianna not only helped corral us & JV in the same spot that night but created vinyl title cards for the artists – AND she sang with both John and Damien.
Notes from Home will launch their site soon with those songs & much more. In the interim, those prone to twittering can follow them at @_notesfromhome for the first word on upcoming shows. All my photos, including shots of the talented Colin Reynolds, will be posted with the show’s audio & video. For now, a quick glimpse of John & Damien: