[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] 5pm_weds

Song for Brandy
Bobby Dove

It is no secret that I love NDG.

For me, it is a perfect fit.

I always felt a little out of place in the suburbs.  Everything was so bland, uniform, contained.

In the city--and NDG in particular--the weird is celebrated, embraced, encouraged.

I love that.  And I love how the idea that we are "free to be you and me" here makes me feel.

This past Sunday, I happily stumbled upon "Country En Ville" (I stay "happily stumbled" because I sought out the event the day before.  When I couldn't find any cowboy hats or musicians I concluded that I had missed it).  I knew of the event because I wanted to see a coworker's band perform.  A stage was set up in Girouard park (above that concrete pit-area where break dancers congregate).  Walking towards the small stage I passed a hand-painted banner that read, "Cheap Arts Collective" and a tent set up to give away free slices of watermelon.  I found a shady spot to sit and realized that I happened to arrive just as the first band was taking the stage.  A Cajun group followed the opening country-bluegrass trio and then, the presumed organizer of the event (a smiling man in a dusty brown cowboy hat), announced that Bobby and Eddy would be up next.  I flipped open Fingersmith and alternated between reading and sneaking glances of the crowd--old men and women with walkers and canes; children with their faces painted; mothers pushing strollers; side-burned guys taking surreptitious sips from green beer bottles.

On stage, a twenty-something guy holding an upright bass and a short-haired girl in aviator glasses and a black t-shirt.  Now, I don't want to make assumptions about anyone, BUT in the last little while--perhaps in acknowledging my own sexual identity--I find myself sensitive to, and in search of, media and people and stories I can relate to.  I saw Bobby Dove on that stage and had a little twinge of excitement; maybe, just maybe, she would sing songs that resounded with me in a very specific way (let's be frank, here--what I mean is in a big gay way).

SHE DID.  Dove's music is traditional-sounding country but, at the same time, is something unique...an interpretation of country distilled through her own experiences? (if that makes any sense at all). I love that voice; like Neko Case, but with a more nasal twang? "Song for Brandy" is becoming a favourite; the story of the excitement and nerves that come with the start of a relationship (a bean one!).  When I hear lines like, "I want to kiss her and I can't even look her in the eye" I am this happy, beaming bundle.  A her singing about a her!  Someone making art about who they are, really.

When Dove announced that she would be selling CDs after the show, I knew I would buy one (that is an amazing feeling in and of itself--that you've been transformed by a piece of art, that you know you need to have it in your life; that you need to do what you can to support this local artist; that there is art out there to support).

Midway through their set, Bobby and Eddy were joined by the "Cheap Art Collective"--adults and children came running, skipping, fluttering out in front of the stage in handmade costumes.  They performed coordinated movements with flags (bits of fabric glued to pieces of wood--remnants from a household remodel).  The crowd cheered.  I smiled hard and clasped my hands and thought my heart my burst.  It was so weird and goofy and slapdash and wonderful.  A perfect moment.  I wanted to take up the whole of the world and squeeze it tight.
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