Wednesday, December 22, 2010

blame it all on my roots...


It's been an eventful put it very mildly [Tangent: Why whenever I use the term mild do I envision a tiny golden packet of Taco Bell sauce? I swear I am a fat kid inside]. Almost daily since my last blog, I have pulled out the laptop to write, but within minutes, I end up metaphorically crumpling up and throwing away each sentence I have cyber scribbled. Then, yesterday came and punched me in the face with inspiration. In a less than 24 hour span, my best friend and her boyfriend were robbed at gunpoint and aforementioned best friend and I went to see Garth Brooks, which has more or less been a childhood dream for both of us.

Yesterday began semi normal- I rolled into work electrified. My Pandora radio was temporarily taken off the hipster  Dr. Dog radio and switched over to the Garth Brooks station. In addition my favorite songs about "damned ol' rodeos" and "shameless" men,  I was being blasted with 4 gigs of pure nostalgic 90's country awesome [Tangent: Yep...that's right. Deanna Carter, Alabama, Diamond Rio, Colin Raye. All the usual suspects. Ok...I am fully aware how tragically unhip it is to be as hopelessly butt-crazy obsessed with Garth Brooks and terrible mid 90s country as I am, but I don't mind.  It is something I try to not air out and hide within the confines of my eclectic musical tastes, but every once in a while I'll hear a karaoke-er drunkenly garble through American Honky Tonk Bar Association and lose my freakin' mind. FACT: Every native Nashville girl went through a country phase, and I happened to go through mine at the best possible time-  '92-'96 aka the Garth years. If grown-up, jaded, cynical Kimmie heard his songs for the first time, she may have wrecked her car trying to get to the off button. However his songs are to me are synonymous with some of my favorite memories, and evoke only pure warm whiskey-scented fuzziness. See below.] After opening my computer and setting down my lukewarm Dunkin Donuts beverage [Tangent: Once again...I'd like you to introduce you to the fat kid inside me.],  I decided my Garth fueled good mood needed to spill over, so I went to go leak it all over Alicia's desk. Amid me blathering on at length about the cheap tickets I'd bought off ebay, and the great seats and the fact that me and Kristen were going to get our faces turned to country fried mush [or grits?] care of a stout man in wrangler jeans, Alicia stopped me. "So, yeah...what's up with Kristen, how is she doing?"

Once again, I was trumped by facebook. After receiving a blank stare, Alicia told me that the omnipresent social network had informed her earlier that my best friend and her boyfriend, who I love to pieces, had been mugged and shot at.  Wow. A lot to digest. After talking to my best friend, I learned all the scary details. Surreal to say the least, and seemingly reminiscent of a Cold Case storyline, I assessed that my loved ones were vigilante badasses, because the bad guys were caught. With little sleep and a day of talking with the police ahead of her, I wondered if Garth was a good idea, but I knew she needed distraction. This called for a giant distraction, a giant cowboy hat wearin', fiddle accompanied distraction.

Although Kristen was not in the Garthiest of moods, [Tangent: She had a good time, don't get that wrong...she just had some palpable pent up rage. In the friendliest of manners, she did sort of verbally assault a guy who told us to "shut up already" during Garth's slow jam -The Dance. However, he rightfully deserved it given his rudeness and constant glaring. Also, in her defense- she showed great restraint in not bringing up that the reason he was sitting in the handicapped section was because he was too large to fit into a seat. What's country music without a little rowdiness?] I will say I am very glad I got to go, and that I had her by my side. For 2 hours, I was in this strange Utopia where everyone was happy and singing together, all ages and income brackets [Tangent: I can't say races...because I daresay the only black people in attendance worked at the venue or were in the band. Two out of three ain't so bad.], singing along to every word and just glad to be there watching this man sing and entertain his ass off in an oddly sexy way. Yes...oddly sexy. Despite wearing the never popular denim jean/denim shirt homage to a Canadian tuxedo, and making it almost translucent with perspiration- I still think think he is dripping with charm in a strange Kevin James kind of way.

Gross...see the Knuck tux is never a good choice.

He also knows what this audience wanted to hear. He hit all the check points. All the hits. A video tribute to the Nashville flood on the jumbo-tron. Random cameo from his wife/duet partner/fellow arbiter of 90s country goodness, Miss Trisha Yearwood (who in turn sang She's in Love with the Boy which in turn made me audibly squeal with excitement.) He didn't mess with deep cuts or B sides or covers, he sang his quintessentially Garth songs. Although I do think it would have been the most amazing idea ever to perform one amid the series of 9 fund raising concerts as his alter ego, the flavor saver sporting emo pop star, Chris Gaines- I don't think it would go over well.

Since this will likely be my only post detailing my love of Sir Garth, and given that last night's show will be the biggest page in my hypothetical, but kinda pathetic, Garth Brooks memory book- I wanted to share my favorite memories.

  • My family didn't listen to country music much, when I was growing up. My brothers listened to rap and heavy metal respectively, and my sister and I hadn't much forged our own tastes, but when I went to Muscular Dystrophy camp as a child, someone in my cabin had the No Fences album and opened my ears to the gospel of Garth.  I heard the song- Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House and by the end of the week, it was my new favorite and I knew every word.  Was it the partial shared title with my favorite Bob Sagat sitcom or its unapologetic use of poker puns that I loved so much? Not sure. I will say I respect a man who makes Radio into a five syllable word. I think it paved the way for Rhianna's Umbrella-ella-ella.
  • Garth Brooks: The Hits was the first full length CD I ever bought. 
  • When I was in second grade, we found a turtle in the back yard, which I now know was a terrapin because it had a weird spiny prehistoric tail.  My sister and I were convinced this turtle was somehow a relative of some sort of prehistoric beast...what did we choose to name it- GARTH!
  • I remember making up interpretive dances to Garth songs with Kristen and my sister when we were younger. Admittedly, I did the extremely restrained,low impact version of the Thunder Rolls dance at the concert, but couldn't remember all of the moves for That Summer...but that's probably for the best because they song more or less is about a creepy widow seducing a young farm hand, and taking his virginity. 
  • I remember distinctly taking the Garth Brooks Hits CD (probably the 3rd or 4th copy that I have bought in my lifetime) to Kristen's neighborhood pool when we were in high school. We laid out and sang Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old while likely getting sunburned. At the time, it was just a song...but after this shitstorm of a year, I think truer words were never spoken for the both of us. [God Bless Chris LeDoux.]
Thank you Garth, you're a peach.


  1. when he goes back on tour. you and me girl, we're going!!

  2. its 330 in the morning, not a soul in sight, the city's looking like a ghostown on moonless summer night


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