Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, John Linnell!!

So it's Linnell's birthday today. It occurred to me when I realized I was going to need to prepare this post soon, that in the nearly three years I have been running this blog, I have never done a birthday post for Linnell. For the simple reason that for the last three years running I was at a show either on his birthday or the day before it. So instead of a birthday post, I always just posted the show recap. But, since that is not the case this year, I find myself in the position of trying to prepare a birthday posting worthy of Mr. Linnell, while at the same time knowing I am not up to the challenge.

I know I have said before that I am slightly terrified of Flansburgh. Well, I am absolutely in awe of Linnell. The rational side of my brain tells me he is just a guy, just like the rest of us (if the rest of us were freakishly talented songwriters), who walks and talks and eats and sleeps and celebrates his birthday with cake and musical cards and terribly normal things. But on the irrational side of my brain, Linnell lives on another plane of existence, removed and above us puny little peons. I believe this is why the few times I have ever encountered the man, off the stage, I have a reaction akin to that of a youngster seeing their teacher outside of school for the first time. Confusion and a little alarm that we are sharing the same breathing space.

But on the stage, the man has a presence that is electrifying. He manages to make every person in the audience (or at least the first 10 rows or so) feel like he is singing directly to them. And singing lyrics of profound depth and humor and sadness and joy set to music so insanely catchy and lively and beautiful that it often blows my mind that so much of it came out of one person.

So the only thing I can say to celebrate John Linnell's birthday is thank you. Thank you for being born. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful music inside your head with the world. Thank you for Ana Ng and Don't Let's Start and Museum of Idiots and Mammal and Withered Hope and The End of The Tour and Nine Bowls of Soup and Doctor Worm and Seven and Till My Head Falls Off and Spiraling Shape and Man, It's So Loud in Here and every other piece of music you have ever created. And most especially for Birdhouse in Your Soul and the 928 times you have performed it to crowds of pogoing fools united in a shared passion for a perfect song.

And from one lowly little fangirl with pigtails in the front row, thank you for endlessly hamming for my camera and encouraging a shared love of photography.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Linnell! May it be a happy one, filled with love, laughter, good friends and inspiration for many more years of music. And hopefully, some really good cake.

TMBG 3/8/12 #22

TMBG 2/9/12 #36

TMBG 9/30/11 #24

TMBG 7/21/11 #22

TMBG 7/20/11 #8

TMBG 10/17/10 #15

TMBG 6/12/10 #4

TMBG 3/7/10 #2

6/12/09 #4

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