Fall, pt 1: Music and books

Before I forget.

1. On one of the first truly cold evenings of the fall, we went down to Christie Pits where Julie Doiron was playing an outdoor set. It was dark and chilly and we stood high up on the hill, a bit set apart from the small crowd. The guitars were loud. We stayed until we were too cold, walked back to the car as the music slowly receded in the distance. Warmed up again. It feels like a dream when I think of it now.

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2. I found out Okkervil River were playing in Toronto a few hours before they went on stage. They’re the kind of band that inspires fawning devotion, and I fall into that camp, despite not being up to date with their touring schedule. But I was already downtown for dinner and a movie, and then instead of going back home with Andrew, I dropped him off and drove to the concert instead, arrived just as the opening act was winding down. Seeing music I love alone is one of my favourite things. I wedged my way near the front, in the middle, and stood with other fans who sang along enthusiastically, so I sang along too. That feeling of leaving a club, your ears cotton-y, the night air perfectly crisp and silent, was always something I liked best about going to shows and I remembered it when I walked out afterwards holding the new album under my arm.

3. Andrew surprised me with tickets for us to see Rufus Wainwright at Roy Thompson Hall, and it was sweet of him because he barely tolerates his music. But the concert was a special one with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the venue was nice, and we had nice memories of seeing him together in Greece. There was an opera singer, and the entire symphony, and Rufus occasionally flubbed a note or stopped everyone so they could begin again, promising that it would be better the second time around.

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4. I’ve been reading books either in large gulps or not at all. If I don’t swallow the entire thing whole, it languishes in the growing stack by my bed for weeks, and there are only particular things that capture my attention these days, it seems. I read Stacey May Fowles Infidelity late into the night despite having to get up early for work the next day. I read Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home over two consecutive mornings on the long weekend, staying in bed later than I’d like to admit. I read Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey a little greedily, so excited to have it before it was officially out in the world. And then most recently, The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller, a retelling of The Illiad from the perspective of Patroculus, Achilles’ beloved. Finished it on a lazy Sunday afternoon, sniffling in bed when it got to the inevitable ending.

5. I’ve also been playing a lot of Candy Crush. Help.