You know that thing you did in high school when you got a new cd (okay, album) and you thought it was the most perfect thing ever and you decided you didn't need to listen to anything else for weeks on end if not your whole life and it stayed in your cd player (on your turntable) until a family member performed an intervention and removed it while you were sleeping?
That almost didn't happen with Tim Finn's "Imaginery Kingdom."
It almost didn't happen because I mistook it for SWAG. Chris brought me two cds from Mountain Stage, which he bought while he was there with Patty Larkin (I am such a name dropper, no?). The thing is, we receive cds all the time. Bands often hand them out like business cards. We have sooooo many unopened cds on our shelf. So I looked at the bag of goodies he brought me (two cds and a Mountain Stage t-shirt) and it never occurred to me that he picked out and purchased these things. And then when he said "one of those guys (nodding towards cds) is playing in Boston on Wednesday" I said something like "that's nice, dear."
So they sat on the counter. I kept picking one of them up because the name rang a bell, but I figured I was thinking of an artist I know named Tim Flynn. Finn. Flynn. Whatever. And then on Tuesday morning I picked it up again and Chris said "Chandler says Tim Finn's brother was in Crowded House." And you could probably hear the tinkety-clink, clank, ka-chong of the tumblers falling into place and the lock on my brain swinging open. Tim and Neil Finn. Crowded House. Split Enz.
So I took it with me to play in the car and half a block later I pulled over and called Chris. "GET A SITTER FOR WEDNESDAY," I yelled over the stereo.
Tim Finn's music gives me chills and puts a huge smile on my face. I think it might be a drug. As I drove along listening, I had this feeling that everything was right and nothing could possibly be wrong and the whole world was there in front of us to do something stunning with and there was nothing but joy, joy, joy. He is a brilliant, brilliant songwriter.
On Wednesday night he played in Cambridge at Club Passim in Harvard Square. Passim is unlike any other club I've ever been in. First, they don't sell alcohol. It's a coffee shop/vegetarian restaurant (I had roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, sage and goat cheese on coconut rice), and it's tiny - maybe holding 100 people.
I'm not sure how to do a proper music review, so I'll just say that I want to hold the show cupped gently in my hands and look at it from time to time. Seeing Tim perform put a personal edge to the songs that makes them even more luminous.
Everyone we met was nice as can be - especially Tim's tour manager, Chris (to whom we owe a huge thank you). And whoever thought it would be a good idea to give us the table near the front, we thank you too. Now I have to go order a replacement copy of Time and Tide, because mine is all worn out.