SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

 by: Cherri Bird


Spur of the moment, I went to shoot EDIE BRICKELL & THE NEW BOHEMIANS playing with THE OLD 97’s at THE BOMB FACTORY on Saturday night. It was that, or stay in and finish moving furniture around the loft that I started late Friday night. Of course, I opted for the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands from college and into my 20’s. Who wouldn’t right?



Y’all, Time is kind of a funny monster. I remember loving EDIE BRICKELL and her folkish ways back in the day. I can see the cover of the CD like I’d had it in my hands yesterday (which I haven’t had since maybe 1991 or 1992). I remember songs like “WHAT I AM” and “LOVE LIKE WE DO”, and “NOTHING”. I loved the simplistic air in her songs; that were almost poetry set to music. Since then, I totally gravitate towards lyrics that have that punch of prose as a result of her music. I also dug the freeness or what I thought of as being free back then in 1988 or 1989 when I bought the tape first, then the CD and listened to it a gazillion times.


When she came on stage last night though, I didn’t recognize her. And I scoured my memory to recall her and I couldn’t. What I did remember was her hair of all things...but I remembered every word to every song she played off “SHOOTING RUBBERBANDS AT THE STARS”. And what she looked like then or now only raised the question within myself as to why I couldn’t recall her face. I can certainly recall other people and artists from that time. And while this point has nothing to do with her performance or her, it’s just an interesting point to bring up about time and music or music vs. time. Music can mark time, but it can also be timeless. Time can be good to a memory or it can erase some of the strangest things that I thought music would always help me recall.


It turns out that EDIE BRICKELL's music back then for me, was more about me than recalling a time or other people or even how I felt about other people. Every song I heard last night, brought up my own memories about myself and her music making me question some of the things about myself so that I could change what I wanted the answers to be. I think music can help us define ourselves, to help us chart a course or blaze a trail to becoming who we want to be.


The show was amazing; through the lens and then from the crowd. I found it really curious though that many of the people did not know who she was. How is that possible? It wasn’t that there was a younger crowd - I mean the OLD 97’S aren’t a new band by any means. I thought the pairing was great for 2017. But I wasn’t listening to the OLD 97’S in the late 80’s to early 90’s - but in hearing them last night, I would listen to them now. In fact, I dig the hell out of them and now wish that I would have gone to see them when they played down in Deep Ellum at places like Curtain Club, Trees and Dada.


EDIE BRICKELL was fabulous and her NEW BOHEMIANS backed her up like champs. I don’t know if these guys were the original band or what. But waking up this morning to edit some pictures, the show left me with some questions, like is this a comeback for her and the band? Was this a one-off show? Does she still feel like that free-spirited, whimsical girl or has life grounded her into a different peg hole?


I saw a woman on stage that was almost awestruck under the lights; an internal squabble about being under them that exposed that conflict in some ways. I saw a woman that took those empowering moments from the rubber bands we all shot up to the stars hoping for more than what we had at that time and music that had such an impact on so many almost 30 years ago. (Jesus mother of pearl - 30 years. What. The. Actual. Hell…) I heard a woman that could still sing like she did as a girl wanting to be a woman and I heard those underlining lyrics that fed us girls with independence, self-awareness and beginning to learn to be ok with going against the grain, almost give her strength.


I wondered as she looked over the sea of silhouetted heads in the crowd if she had missed this over the years. Missed this part of her life when she was who she was before the who she is now. I know she’s had a great career since with THE GADDABOUTS and playing and signing/touring with STEVE MARTIN. But I wondered if this definitive time when SHOOTING RUBBER BANDS AT STARS was for me, was as definitive for her. Or was it just a place in time that the significance isn’t as important as the product or outcome for both of us. I saw a beautiful woman that embodied doing what she did to make herself happy and a woman that did what her songs had taught her to do and to be. I saw a woman that didn’t conform or bend or break. I saw a woman that seriously despite what unknown trials she might have had; she was a success. She was successful because she remained true to herself.


Needless to say and in spite of the bottom part of the water coming to the top in my glass from her set, on the walk back to the loft, I felt connected to myself and to the past a little more than I have. Instead of feeling like I was hovering over the ground, like a tethered parade balloon being led by little people in matching suits that blended in with the scenery on the ground, I felt each step underfoot. And each of those steps had a purpose. As a matter of fact, all the steps behind me had a purpose in leading me right there.


Music creates vibrations that connect us to places in times; sometimes without our knowledge or approval. Finding what those connections are and sometimes what they hold for us is one brilliant part of human nature and finding the human spirit even within ourselves. And sometimes when we find it within ourselves, we find that same connection with everything else. We find that symbiotic feeling of being a part of everything and everyone and that, my Lovelies is the ultimate goal - finding ways to follow those vibrations.


Til Next TIme - MRML


EDIE CB_1351.jpg


EDIE CB_1366.jpg


EDIE CB_1396.jpg


EDIE CB_1418.jpg


EDIE CB_1427.jpg