February 15th @ Free Times Café

I think I’m having an existential crisis. The reason I say that “I think I’m having an existential crisis” is because I’m not sure I really know what an existential crisis is. It does seem like something serous though, doesn’t it. I mean the word ‘exist’ is in existential and exist is a serious word.

I remember that in university I studied some guys from France who were called existentialists and wrote about existentialism. Again, I’m not sure I really understood it, but it seemed important and significant. I do remember that one of them, Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote a play called No Exit. The play is almost always described as making the point that “Hell is other people.” Now I didn’t need to go to university to learn that “Hell is other people.” As far as I was concerned “Hell is other people” was the motto of my high school (admittedly I might be mistaken about whether that actually was the motto of my high school, but I am not mistaken that I thought it was the motto of my high school).

What, you might wonder, has brought about this existential crisis? I’m glad you asked because, you (the collective you – not necessarily any specific one of you) are part of the crisis.

As you know, every month or so I write a blurb/rant/essay/pensee/screed/ad/whatever based on the fact that the band I am a part of – Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – is playing its monthly gig at the Free Times Café (on College, just west of Spadina). Because the blurb/rant etc., is an invitation to you the reader to attend the show, and because I am sending out the invitation, on those occasions when I am not able to attend a show, I don’t write a blurb/rant etc. It seems odd to me to invite you to attend something where I won’t be there after having invited you.

This month, the band will playing its regular show on Sunday, February 15, but I won’t be there – which is fine because I’ll be somewhere else that I want to be. When I told some people that I wouldn’t be writing a blurb/rant etc., for February because I wouldn’t be at the show they were surprised. Not surprised that I wasn’t going to be at show, surprised that I wasn’t going to write the blurb/rant etc.

For these people, and perhaps for you, my presence or absence at the show has no relation to the blurb/rant etc. In fact, some folks who insisted I write the blurb/rant etc., for February have never attended a show and frankly, never intend to do so. They just like getting the blurb/rant etc.

And hence my existential crisis. Why am I writing a blurb/rant etc., inviting people to attend a show if they don’t want to attend the show but just want the invitation? What is the point? Why am I here? (and by “here” I don’t mean here in front of my computer writing this particular blurb/rant etc., I know why I’m here – I’m writing the blurb/rant etc., I mean more in the broad existential sense – if that’s what existential means).

And then it occurred to me; I’m as much writing this for me as I am writing it for you and as long as I enjoy doing it – then it’s all good. There, crisis averted.

– Jonathan

P.S. For those thinking/planning/contemplating attending the show on February 15 it starts at 8 and there’s no cover and even though I won’t be there the rest of the band will be there and I’m sure it will be a great show and if I weren’t somewhere else I’d sure go and hear it, except of course I’m in the band which means I wouldn’t go to hear it but I’d go to play, but I think you understand. I hope so.

February 15th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Setting Course For Lewis (Pipe Set)
It’s All Your Fault
I Am Weary
Every Time You Want Into The Room
Wedding Dress Lament
If I Had A Hammer
Still A Part Of Me
Edward VIII
Golden Ring
Dark Island / Calypso Piper
Redemption Song
God Only Knows
She’s Not There
Hobo’s Lullaby
Take Me Somewhere
Alcohol And Pills
Crazy Red
Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name
Catch The Wind
Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes