G'day from the first day of four days of public holidays where the shops are closed in an odd sequence (open Fridays, closed Saturday from 2.23pm, closed Sunday until 6pm, open Monday from 11 - 3.15pm). I never quite know how those things are worked out but I reckon it has something to do with a church group.
We are up to blog #28 and I have about half a book's worth of words here on thisahereblogwhatsit. I didn't say they were worthy of being in a bound publication (except perhaps of my own making), but the words are starting to stack up. I guess that is persistent effort for you, if I may grant myself a self-congratulatory glowing moment. Ok, now that's over, onto today's post.
Ok, so what's today about? Well! Last night we went to see Lyle Lovett in concert - that's him in the picture on the right. Lyle is a singer/songwriter from Texas, which I believe is inside the United States - it being somewhat hard to tell as Texas is referred to by true-blue ten-gallon hat wearin' four-generations locals as though it were a country all its own. He is unfortunately still very well known for being married to Julia Roberts for 4 days, although we do not know if they were the shortest or longest days of his life.... Certainly the media frenzy after it would make you wonder if it was worth it. To this day, if you google Lyle Lovett, pictures of him with Julia Roberts come up. ANyway, I digress - public holidays have that affect on me! I love his songwriting - it's country with brains is how I like to think of it. One of my favourite lines from a ballad is "they all sat around in a circle, they were laughin' and all tellin' lies". You can just picture that scene, right?
Kasey. He was supported by Australian Kasey Chambers, pictured above on the left, who has one helluva voice. Kasey was low-tech, just her, her dad, her husband and 3 guitars (yep, one each). She chatted about all kinds of things, in between songs while her husband was tuning his guitar - her childhood on the Nullabor plain, her life with her husband, her being a Carlton supporter and him being a Lions supporter (something about "Fev" came up during that bit). Well she just chatted on very conversationally and laughed about herself and her life and generally seemed like a great gal that you could imagine chatting to at a barbecue.
Lyle was a little different in his stage style. He seemed to have a more rehearsed set of comments in between songs and sets. Even though he's been performing since 1978, he seemed slightly uncomfortable on the stage and punctuated his words with a lot of uhh-uhhs and silences. He did share small things about his life, but they were mostly comments about the tour and the history to songs - nothing personal. When he told us about watching football at home on a Sunday drinking beer, it was an unexpectedly raw moment (plus I found it hard to imagine Lyle Lovett watching football. Or drinking beer. He seems more a poker and scotch kinda guy. Not that I stereotype based on one-dimensional media-driven images one iota, nosiree!)
Style summary. If I had to sum up (please do, I hear you say), I'd say Kasey was casual and Lyle was formal. And here's what is so fascinating for me, and where the relevance to this blog comes in. They were dressed that way! When I was searching for images to accompany this blog piece this morning, I tried to find images that showed them as they were most like they were dressed on stage last night.
Kasey again. Her dad and husband were both wearing jeans and some kind of shirt - they were so non-descript I can't even recall what they were like. I do know her dad had on a white hat - it was the same as Kasey's... one of those ten-gallon style Stetson things with the sides all curled up. Kind of like the sort Napoleon wore, but turned the other way on the head. Kasey herself wore a cute but casual white dress affair with the hat, and some kind of shoes. I didn't even know she had brown hair until I Google Imaged her.
Lyle again. He was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie. He could have been there to do our taxes or sign us all up for life insurance. His band of 5 men were all dressed identically. In fact, one of the crew, when they were setting up, was wearing a suit - I noticed him because all the other "roadies" were dressed in the casual attire they are known for (black, shapeless, wash'n'wear), but one guy was up there, doing stuff to microphones and putting down bottles of water and fluffy white towels dressed in a suit. So, Lyle's dress style was very formal, much more so than I would've imagined.
Respect. Does the way we dress have anything to do with the respect or regard or esteem (or whatever you want to call that thing that signifies we care) we hold our surroundings, including the people in those surroundings? I mean, would you say that Lyle had more respect for the stage and his audience than Kasey did, by virtue of the way he chose to present himself (and one imagines, ask his band to present themselves likewise)? For me, I could see no discernible difference in the levels of respect that Kasey and Lyle showed the space or us, the audience - they were both gracious and acknowledging. But different. Definitely different. And I reckon their clothing styles reflected their stage style -- hers being more conversational and casual, his being more faulting and formal.
Messages clothing sends. I do believe that clothes send a message. Clothes are important symbols. In another blog post I might wax lyrical about that some more, because it's an interesting topic. For now, I'll just say that I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed what both artists showed us of themselves, and I was very fascinated by how they 'showed up' on stage. It was a treat. I wish you'd been there. You probably do, too. Right?