Sunday, June 26, 2011


I was first introduced to The Sorrys' music during the course of what was ultimately a summer fling. I dated Aaron for a month or two, and it was the kind of quick, exciting relationship I used to have when I was younger. It was fun, and I felt young and happy while I was in the midst of it. I even chose to believe in its future, a boldly optimistic decision I hadn't made since I was in my very early twenties. But it did feel like a decision, as opposed to the outlook I'd brought into my much earlier relationships. Before I chose, I felt the nagging doubts natural to an experienced thirty-something year-old, particularly in Aaron's refusal to discuss the long and significant relationship he'd recently been in, or how that might still be affecting him. When it ended, as, duh, of course it did, I spent about a week feeling angry and sad, but I got over it. I didn't even miss Aaron, and I didn't want to be his friend. It was significant, though, but its significance was virtually unrelated to Aaron, and all about me. I felt possibility. I remembered that I was worthy; that I could be seen the way Aaron saw me, however briefly. And I knew that I didn't want light. And the two of us were definitely light. I wanted brutal honesty, but I wanted that to come with faith. I had always imagined these things in opposition to one another. I had been so doubtful of every romantic relationship I'd approached since I was 22, aside from this one, and including the one that lasted for four years. I decided, post-Aaron, that I would rather get hurt than enter everything with so much cynicism, despite the odds. 'Cause it's hardly possible to beat the odds if you go into everything so certain that they're stacked against you. And besides, however things ended up, I had a really fun summer.

That was also the first time I quit drinking with real intent. I mean, I had tried to quit drinking in the past, for set periods of time - a week or two that I never made it to. This time I was going to quit drinking for good, for real. It didn't work that time, but it set the stage for several months later when I did, with a lot of help, finally manage to quit drinking for good (hopefully!). It was an incredibly optimistic thing to do, and it came out of my decision to develop a more optimistic outlook, more generally.

The other thing I got out of that summer was my introduction to The Sorrys. And listening to The Sorrys on cd is great and all, but there's nothing like a live performance, something that took me far too long to discover. I was kind of nervous about going to see The Sorrys live, because I didn't want to run into Aaron and all those weird social dynamics. That's just not a way to live your life, though, if you're a music fan and you live in Halifax. This city is small, and your history is everywhere.

Jim, Steven, and Richard are great musicians, and they sound so together, but seeing them live, you also get to see how much they are enjoying playing together. They have so much fun! Even better though, is how they remove that line between performers and audience, inviting the people in attendance to truly participate in the event.

Trevor Millet is the best front-person in Halifax, maybe even in the country. He's entertaining and sometimes slightly offensive. He gets off the stage and wanders around talking to the audience while the rest of his band remains on stage. He drinks his band-mates beers. He is unpredictable, and he doesn't seem to censor his thoughts. He's so much more than that, though, and I feel really lucky to get to know him, however peripherally. He's a really great songwriter, and what makes him such a gifted writer is undoubtedly his genuine interest in the people around him. I get the feeling sometimes that he wishes he could be living parallel lives, that would afford him the time to really get into other people's worlds.

I've been going to watch bands since I was about sixteen, and I've been lucky to have had some favourite bands who have made me feel really appreciated as a fan. Certainly the most notable and constant has been Dave Bidini, of Rheostatics. But there's also, once you get to that level, a degree to which professionalism plays a role in being personable. Not that famous people have to be nice, or remember names, but it certainly makes for better press. When I was in high school, my friends and I used to sneak in through the back doors of Lee's Palace, left ajar by Dallas Good, of Satanatras, or Derek Madison, of Grasshopper,who found us underage fans endearing I think, who got excited by our enthusiasm. They weren't that much older than we were, after all. The way I felt then? That's how I feel when I see The Sorrys play. I love that I can be 35 years old and feel excited about hearing this super amazing band play songs that I love, and then sit down with them after the show and talk like we're friends.

All of that said, I don't feel like The Sorrys are on a different planet of awesome that is far, far away. They're grown-ups, with families and careers and responsibilities. They're grown-ups like the way I should be, could be, would be, if I had made different choices. I write songs myself, and Trevor likes my songs. I mean, he has really listened to and really appreciates them in a way that I don't think many people have or do. It means a lot to me that anybody could be affected by what I write, and especially somebody who writes great lines like, "I have an aversion to disaster, but I like the edges rough." The mutual appreciation makes the audience-performer line even blurrier, and I like that. It's more interesting, and fuller. 

In my quest to live my life, and to experience relationships that are clear-eyed, honest, and built on understanding, while also being fun and exciting, I would like my soundtrack to be reflective of that as well.

*It has just been brought to my attention that the lyrics for "Dust" were actually written by Jessica Russell. I'm going to leave it here though. I almost like that it was a collaborative project even more than when I thought that it wasn't.

 Dust - The Sorrys
The greatest lie that you ever told was in your laughing out loud.
The greatest sins that you did commit were always against yourself.
And in the end we all turn to dust.
Why don't you tell me, what was your rush?

The greatest pain was in your smile. I knew it was a lie.
But I always loved your smile, yes I always loved your smile.
And in the end we all turn to dust.
Why don't you tell me, what was your rush?

1 comment:

injection port liners said...

Lovely people. Thanks for being so generous on what you are doing.