Err On The Side Of Love

The studio is the emotional equivalent of a lead lined panic room.

My son, Joey, recently spent a week with our mountain friends. He sent me a text in the middle of the week that said “It is literally impossible to be stressed out here.” He is correct. The mountains are amazing and the studio is anxiety’s kryptonite.

I am sitting in the studio, waiting for band practice. There is a rubber band suspended from the ceiling by a cobweb, a casualty of gong ball.

gong ball

Randy and I went down the night before Joey came home. We had one evening together before Joey left. Of course, gong ball (or as I inevitably call it, gong bong) was part of the evenings festivities. Joey talked a lot of smack, but like it or not, Randy is the lord and king of gong ball. Although, Joey did hit that cobweb.

The very first night I met Mountain girl and Bass player was in their studio. Randy and I were there so Randy could take some pictures for their website. I found the experience quite surreal and count that first night as one of my most treasured memories. I remember writing about the longing I felt watching them play. I could see their passion and all I wanted in life was to feel that. To be a part of something and to feel something as deeply as they felt it. I remember feeling like the little match girl on the outside looking in.

Randy and I have seen The Madison’s perform live a number of times, but the only time I got my very own, up close and personal concert was that first night.

Until this last trip.

Middle earth

Randy and I stayed for a week this time, which means we didn’t miss out on church. Which is what the Madison’s call rehearsal every Sunday. Church.

I went to catholic school and had to go to church every day. The mountain church is better.

I started sitting close to Randy on the sectional couch at the back of the studio, but my view was obstructed, so I moved to the opposite end and settled in. I watched the drummer moving his head back and forth as he kept time. I listened to Mountain girl’s sultry and strong voice. Her voice floods the room and everything else falls away. I watched the bass player play his instrument with his hands and his face. His eye brows move, his mouth twitches, and I could feel him feeling every note.

I knew what to expect this time. I guess the wonderment of hearing them in their studio for the first time was gone. That experience can only happen once, but that’s cool. The sound was amazing and fluid as I listened to them run through their playlist. The Bass player sang a song, the drummer sang a song, but they would circle back to Mountain girl and her vocals. She’s my favorite, but don’t tell the guys I said that.

The laughter and irreverence between the songs is nearly as entertaining as the music. Nearly. Well, until I heard Mountain girl sing the first few words of “Fire” and then music was again the clear winner. At times I can feel her voice in my skeleton. I feel my bones vibrate as the music passes through me as if my bones are independent of me. The feeling is amazing.

I listened to them play and considered how different I am now from the first time I saw them. Back then, I would have never identified myself as a writer, even though I had been blogging for two years. Then, I viewed writing as a self-indulgent folly.

Now is different. I sat and listened to them play and I recognized their passion in myself. My passion is true. I am no longer the little match girl.

I feel sorry for every motherfucker on the planet who doesn’t get to experience this moment. A moment that I know I will experience again and once again, their performance will belong to me. Just like that first time. Just like this time.

I am so curious to find out who I will be the next time I am in the studio with The Madison’s.

Before they finished, I scooted back around the couch. I am always at least a little uncomfortable when I am away from home and Randy feels like home.20150710_123303 (2)

What is the point of this? No fucking clue. I guess I just hope that all of you get glimpses of self awareness when you need it. Feeling good about myself, trusting my own thoughts, these things are still in the infancy for me. I love it so much, I just want it for everyone.







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  • Hey there~love to read whatever is on your mind at the moment. Very refreshing take on the many ups amd downs we call life…I would love the CD you mention. Sounds like amazing music as you describe your thoughts…..
    Thanks, Ruth M

  • Hi, I’m a longtime lurker, but your writings are a highlight of my week , and follow you on FB 🙂 I would love a copy, if you have any left. I think you are fucking fabulous!

    • So glad you are here! I can’t tell you how good it feels to read this on a Monday morning. I am sending you an email to get your address for a CD.

  • The songs I listened to were wonderful – what great voices! Sounds like they would be a huge hit at Bluegrass Festivals as well. I’d love a copy if they’re still available! But know that your blog is the reason I come back every time – when you take long vacations, I’m a little lost without your slant on life!

  • I’m so glad you are no longer on the outside looking in. Thank you for sharing the magic of your week through your passion. And yes, I would love a cd if they are still available.

  • Cool. Thanks for sharing your experience through your friends and their music. Creativity fills our souls in various forms. Your is the written word. Those without a creative outlet are soul-less, just saying…

  • It’s always a welcome treat to get to share my coffee with your musings. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like you’re my smarter, wittier, sister that I’ve never met. If it didn’t sound creepy and stalkerish, I’d say that you inspire me. I’d love a CD too.

    • I don’t know…I don’t think it sounds creepy or stalkerish at all. XOXOX

      And if you knew me in real life, you might feel different about the “smarter/wittier” thing. I get to edit my blog…the unedited torrent of words that often fall from my face are not quite so edited. haha. And I would love to send you a CD.

  • I have been following you for a few months, and find you funny, thoughtful, and sane. I really enjoy your exploration of different pieces of life. If you have any CDs left, I would love one. Thank you!

  • “What is the point of this?”

    Silly Rage-M…

    “I love it so much, I just want it for everyone.”

    How wonderful would our world and living be if a few more people felt this way about ANYTHING???

    Music is a soul resonator. The sound vibrations match sight vibrations, smell vibrations and touch vibrations…. they have numbers and order and if the frequency is off it feels just as bad as ice water in your veins.

    The point of this was to remind everybody that the frequencies of life have to be sought out and enjoyed. Given a priority.

    What the world needs now…

    Thanks, Michelle. This was exactly what I needed to start the week: Gentle, loving reminders to tweak my frequency.

  • What Lisa K said. Also, you rock so hard I’m amazed they don’t pick it up on the seismograph at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Full disclosure, I’ve never actually checked, so maybe they do.
    Calling band practice church sort of reminded me of a Motorhead lyric, from “Built for Speed”:

    Don’t you listen to a single word
    Against rock’n’roll
    The new religion, the electric church
    The only way to go

    I seem to remember it more like grade school recess myself, but every band is different.

  • Wow. Just, wow. You put it so well. I had that “I wish everyone could have this feeling” after an improv rehearsal once. It made me think, “if only people could feel this – experience this – people would be so much more connected to themselves and each other.” And you can never have that exact, same feeling again. But you can remember it and have a new experience from where you are now. Brilliant!

  • There’s always a point to our writing, especially when a story is on our hearts. It always seems to touch the right person and the right time. Very lovely piece.

  • “I guess I just hope that all of you get glimpses of self awareness when you need it. Feeling good about myself, trusting my own thoughts, these things are still in the infancy for me. I love it so much, I just want it for everyone”.
    Life in a nutshell. What an astoundingly generous heart you have! You are a teacher, a philosopher, and a truly kind human being.

  • This was great! Wish I could find some anxiety kryptonite. Glad I found you on twitter. Enjoy reading the blog. If you have any spare CD’s left I would love one.

  • What a beautiful piece – I love how you describe how you feel. I feel like that sometimes when I’m crocheting – completely at peace and knowing that I’m in the right place doing what I’m meant to be doing.
    I’d love a CD if you have any left and if you don’t mind posting it to Australia !!
    Thanks so much and have the best day !!!

  • I got caught in the orbit of a musician once. I’m not sure I ever fully extracted myself. It’s amazing how they can just pull you in…

  • Oh yes please! My skeleton would love to hear their music. It might shake a few stuck things loose.
    And I love how you talk about them, drawing us into your world with them in it by giving us these glimpses. Now I know what part of their studio looks like! It’s a lovely feeling, getting to know friends of friends. Thank you! And congratulations, one of your more hopeful and “settled” pieces, sounds like things are going well and you can appreciate it.

    • Well…I was GREAT while I was there and then last week melted the fuck down. haha. I am very consistent in my inconsistency. And I would love to send you a CD!

  • I would love a cd because if it is anywhere near as healing as this blog post was I need it – it has been a shitty year.

    I’ll pay for shipping, since I am way up in Canada.

    Love you.

    Love your words.

  • Your site is my little oasis in a sea of hot crazy. Everyone needs a mountain church and a true passion. This was lovely.

  • Today I read a very sad series of comments re the performing arts being a waste of time. I was very restrained, (I’m learning slowly), and though I would love to have ripped the deluded woman to pieces I didn’t comment. I have learned that changing that kind of mindset is impossible.
    Reading this brings back a little hope.
    May there always be creative spirits in the world.

  • I just received the CD in the mail..thank you very much! You rock, in so many ways I’ll listen and definitely give a review. Have a glorious day ✌️ (And thanks for the hand written note, you paper-loving, pen-using lady!)

    • Thank you!!! I feel bad that the out of country people don’t have theirs yet because I have to fill out some form and just haven’t done it yet. This weekend for sure. And thank you for supporting my friends. I know you’ll like the music, they are so awesome.

  • Michelle, you are such a writer and so much more. I so wanted to go with you to the studio after reading this! Sounds……wonderful! Thanks, as always, for your writing treasure.

By Michelle


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