Sunday, January 21, 2007

Live From Your Living Room

Today, my dad and I went to a house concert.

I've heard of these before but have never been to one. House concerts are up close and in your living room performances where you usually have to bring your own chair. Generally, these to seem to feature folky types, who prefer smaller audiences without the fear of having beer bottles thrown at them. Unless of course their songs encourage this kind of thing. They also do it as a way to travel without having to pay for a stage, sometimes get a place to crash and meet the people; a great "grass roots" effort to get your name known in a personal venue.

It didn't hurt, of course, that it also doubled as a pot luck. Any excuse to consume free food in exchange for making guacamole (which I will also consume) is A-OK in my book. I'd probably hold a house concert myself, except I'd have to call it a "Large Walk-In Closet Concert". There is also the fear that they might get sucked into the black hole and then I'd have guilt when I have to ask myself, "Whose remains ARE these?" when I clean it out twenty years from now.

My dad had never heard of this type of concert (which surprised me) and asked me to go with him. We went to see Pierce Pettis, a superb singer songwriter of whom my dad is a big fan. It was just him and a guitar and some stories. I basically sat next to him while he played.

All in all I enjoyed it. But now I'm totally spoiled and it reminded me why I am already an old man in some respects. And not just because I actually knew and enjoyed his cover of Wichita Lineman.

I rarely go to concerts. I can't remember how many concerts I've attended but it's been very few. They were always full of smoke and pot and booze and the people who had already absorbed too much of the aforementioned smoke and pot and booze. The tickets were pricey. It was so loud that the next few days strangers mistook me for a retired, deaf Canadian. "Eh? What was that again? Eh? Speak up, sonny!" I'm sure I enjoyed seeing whoever it was I was musically obsessing over at the time but always came home feeling like a train wreck.

My, look at the time, I must now shuffle off to bed after I take my teeth out.


Michael said...

That sounds fairly awesome. I have never heard of these things, but now I must seek them out!

Finding good show venues is hard...this concept really intrigues me!

Marty Gilbert said...

Music sooths the savage beast.
Glad to see you posting agin. life is complicated and your no different. But your insite of the world and its people is the type of thing i enjoy.

Still waiting on you to write the book and esqusite illistrations of your ability of words and color.
its like you speak with color.

Bill said...

Sounds like a fun evening. I've gotten a few notices of such events, but it never worked out for me to attend. I'll have to make a little more of an effort in the future.

If you like Pierce Pettis you should try out the audio stream from WUMB ( in Boston. I listen to them all the time at work. They are the only full time folk music broadcaster that I know of and I hear Pierce Pettis on there a lot.

Heath said...

good for you for supporting independent artists....

my partner and i host house concerts as well through our company Cabana Gatherings, there are also some websites like that allow you to search for cool concerts in your area, or sign your house up to's really a lot of fun. you can meet new people, and hear some great music for a cheap price!

Kris said...

Sounds like you had a nice evening. I have never been to a house concert, it sounds very nice.

Adam said...

Yeah I'm not much of a concert goer myself. I prefer to enjoy the discs of live performances in the comfort of my own home. I'm an old man too, wanna have a denture brusing party?

Lee said...

A local classical music organization that's dedicated to early music (classical music prior to 1750)hosts about 4 house music concerts a season on top of their main concerts. It's usually performed by local musicians and been popular for them