Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

First off, I want to apologize for not only taking the majority of the summer off, but for also posting two days late. Yikes.

The best song I’ve ever heard all summer long.

As far as summers go, this one was a doozy for the old Tornado Chaser. I toured throughout the better part of it, traveling to several places I’ve never been and meeting many great people. I also got to see a ton of really awesome shows. But something else happened this summer that will forever register in my list of “best ever-ness” that I keep running in the back of my head:

This past July I saw Slint perform on two separate occasions.

While to most people, this wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal, to me it was like The Beatles and Nirvana raising the dead and getting back together for a prime-time special broadcast on all the major networks. We’re talking huge.

Most people would have a hard time settling on one song that they could call their favorite. Not me. If you have ever listened to Slint’s album Spiderland, you’ll know that about 18 minutes into it, there is a song called “Washer.” This is it folks…as far as I am concerned, this is the apex of musical composition. This is the best song ever written. On July 13, I was standing in Union Park in Chicago, surrounded by a few thousand people, when I saw Slint play this song. I’ve never really understood what people meant when they talked about “religious experiences,” but that Friday evening, I think I came close. Watching that song in the flesh, the guys who wrote it recreating it right in front of me, was the most fulfilling interpretation of what I perceive as “art” or “expression” or whatever you want to call it. I still have a hard time finding the words to explain it to anyone that wasn’t there experiencing it with me.

One week later, I was in San Francisco with a handful of friends where we saw Slint again, this time at Bimbo’s, a really classy 1930s-ish-type place. This time, I knew what was coming, and still, as soon as they started those opening chords, I had the same reaction. I know music is a highly personal thing for most people, and by and large, how it is interpreted is closely related to specific memories and so on, so I don’t expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to respond the same way I do to this song. I have, however, posted a link to the song below, so everyone can check it out for themselves.

Washer on a Slint fanpage

This isn’t from the SF show, but the stage layout was almost identical, plus the sound is pretty killer…