I am not totally sure why my mom seems to be so present in my thoughts lately, maybe it is because she recently joined Twitter (you should totally follow her…I mean she is my momma @dellinek) and as a result we have another touch point, another space where we can attempt to connect from 6 states of separation. However, no matter how much I enjoy Twitter, I cannot give it that much credit. Maybe it is that she moved back to California, and for the first time in years she sounds happy. I hear it when we talk on the phone. I see it in her posts on Facebook. She is genuinely happy. And while I am sure that is a contributor, there is more. It’s music. It is always music, and like I am music, my mom is music.
Last night I was at Celebrate St. Louis' final concert event for the summer which featured Silversun Pickups. Honestly, these events are probably one of the coolest things about this city. They are completely free to the public and usually feature local artists opening for touring bands. Sure people can complain about the VIP section, the inability to bring in coolers and such, but THEY ARE FREE!!! And it is a totally pro-setup put on expertly by the fantastic people at Entertainment St. Louis. While there I saw several families with young children, instant flashback to Taste of Chicago and hundreds of other random events that my mom took me to as a child. I credit those moments being seared onto my tiny kid brain for the fact that I am most me when I am on stage with a guitar in my hands belting out something that is so powerful to me that I am impelled to share it with you. My completeness is not determined by a job, car, house, some material possession…I am me when I am in a band and we are trying to live the dream. I believe those in my inner circle would attest that there was a different Eric between 2007 when Whiskey Daydream broke up and 2009 when So Much Closer formed. Whether that is good or bad is debatable, but it is, and I can thank my mom for it.
I didn’t want to get out of this blog without mentioning where I was Friday. Yeah, you guessed it, Celebrate St. Louis enjoying Sara Bareilles. I do not go to these events as much as I should because for all my love of music, I do not love chaos and can get weirded out in large gatherings of people, but I could not miss Sara. I think like most I was introduced to her via “Love Song,” sure it is poppy and catchy and worthy of VH1 rotation, but I would have never bought a CD based on that song. Then I saw a small piece of amazing Mia Michaels choreography performed to “Gravity,” and it moved me in places that I thought had been dead for years.
I sought her out the next day and have been a huge fan ever since. As a musician and songwriter I have always struggled to connect with critics. I do not know what they want from me, why some bands get praise when my projects are largely ignored, but I have come to the conclusion that all I can do is remain authentic to myself, to create music that I want to hear, and I want to hear music that moves me: “Gravity,” without all the flash and movement, just stripped and every bit as powerful.
You know I couldn’t close without a poem, so here you go. Mom, this is for you. I love you.
Laughter as Sunshine
I wish I could cut the continent in half and be there for you
You whose voice quivers when upset
You try to hide it
I hear it across cellular waves sharing a satellite to bring us closer
That little girl fear of uncertainty
Exhausted and depleted
Yet somehow able to choke down the tears
And I with my special gift to make you laugh
Hoping to hear your smile across miles of atmosphere
When you laugh
The entire world is sunshine
And I bathe in it