Don Chaffer – 2010-07-17: Birmingham, AL, USA

release2010-07-17: Birmingham, AL, USA

I cannot promise that I will write detailed notes about shows like this every time out, but I feel like doing it this time around. This show was hosted by Casey Patton, for which I am quite thankful. Don did a run of shows in mid-July 2010 as he worked out some songs for a series of EPs he’s working to release in the next few months. He discusses that in detail during the show.

As I give this show a listen, I’d like to note a few things:

  1. I’m an idiot, because I had a stereo recording rig and didn’t hook up both mics. As such, this is a mono recording. The lesson, as always, is that I’m an idiot.
  2. Even though I was using cardioids, you can still hear my camera shutter. That frustrates me. I was hoping that being directly under the cardioids would help with that. Alas. I wasn’t the only photographer at the show, but I am definitely the one you hear the most.
  3. You’ll see a killer mic in front of Don if you look at my photos from this show. He recorded all these shows to his laptop, so it’s possible that his recordings will show up online, too. We can be hopeful. Of course, Don mentioned that he also had hundreds of old Waterdeep bootlegs on MiniDisc that he needed to transfer to the Internet at some point. I know how that goes.

You can stream the show if you like using the Flash widget below [sorry, I hate Flash more than you do].

Specific notes follow, on a track-by-track basis:

  1. The “you’re wearing pants” line comes from the fact that Don was wearing shorts before the show and mentioned to us that he was normally wearing pants at these shows. I was surprised that he changed.
  2. “Everyone’s Beautiful” is one of my favorite Waterdeep songs, just like Everyone’s Beautiful is my [current] favorite Waterdeep record. It was hard not to sing BGV’s.
  3. “Happen Every Time” is always just weirdly named to me. Hearing it acoustically was a bit strange, too.
  4. “And” is growing on me. Yes, I’ve had Sink or Swim for years. Different songs hit me at different times in my life, as I’m sure is true for many folks. Like Don, “I am haunted by my love for comparison.”
  5. An Unfinished Tale will be the name of the EP, based on the African proverb, “If the story doesn’t end well, it must not be the end of the story.” He’s going to name the EPs after quarks. When he says, “You might know this better than I do,” he’s referring to me. Just because I have an aerospace engineering degree …
  6. I was amused that Don vamped the chorus of a new song because he’d messed up a line. Don, we don’t know your new song. The “Class 5 hurricane” line in the chorus refers to Hurricane Katrina.
  7. Center for Action and Contemplation is what Don’s referring to here.
  8. “Haven’t You Always” translates better to an acoustic, Don-only treatment than I thought it would. It’s also one of my favorites off of In the Middle of It.
  9. I loved the Stockholm syndrome joke he told about it not being the Derek Webb record.
  10. I find it difficult to truly be enraptured by a quiet, acoustic song. This could just be me. I do love the melody, and I am curious to see how the larger treatment of it goes. I gave this a 4 of 5, though.
  11. Skullduggery, indeed. I have this same problem with words, although I did use agnostic in a non-religious discussion once and was chastised by both Amy and Stephen for doing so, but ended up being right. Huzzah. [Did I challenge them on it at the time? No. Did I look it up later on the Internet when I got home? Hell yes I did.]
  12. I was quite moved by the poem, not because I’ve lost my own father, but because I’ve seen my family go through similar situations.
  13. I have some of those kinds of recordings, too. My grandfather had a recording of the 1974 Guin tornado that we heard as kids. 300+mph winds are impressive.
  14. “Captain Purdue” was enough to convince me to buy the Khrusty Brothers record the next night.
  15. I had never heard of the Public Theater.
  16. Doing the call-and-response thing was kinda fun.
  17. If “Captain Purdue” hadn’t convinced me, “Sympathy for Jesus” would have.
  18. The story about Don’s getup is really, really hilarious, but … also fitting. Don is delightfully weird, you know? Here’s Jacob’s Well in Kansas City if you want to know more. Also, I loved that Don brought up the concept of liturgy in how, after repetition, things really do hit you. That is totally my experience as well.
  19. I identify with “No Reason to Leave”. I’ve moved too much in my life, and right now, I really don’t relish the thought of leaving my local friends. I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon, but I would have some huge hurdles to overcome to leave.
  20. I really didn’t know the story here, and it was fun to hear the backstory. Fun, well, in a Schadenfreude kind of way. 29 letters in 26 days? Man, I’m not sure I’d even go that far. Also, he mentions “Skin” off of Vigilantes of Love’s Blister Soul.
  21. I now appreciate “Down at the Riverside” much more.
  22. Getting the group to do these readings was interesting, but we took to it.
  23. We read I Samuel 31 through II Samuel 1:15. He chose the NIV. Simmer down, ESV fiends. [And hey, I’m in your number—not for the theopolitical reasons you are, but because I find that it reads pretty true.]
  24. I really dug “How the Mighty Have Fallen”.
  25. I wonder how much Don will use the feedback. Amazingly, I didn’t peep anyone else’s sheets to see how they liked stuff. But mine was marked in Sharpie and easy to pick out.
  26. I like “Fight Our Way Through” mainly because it explores Don’s lower register. I always appreciate male vocalists doing that.
  27. “Sweet River Roll” is absolutely one of my favorite Waterdeep songs, and I loved that folks felt comfortable enough to sing some BGV’s. Or was that just me?
  28. Going back home is something I get. Going back to Ohio is like that for me.
  29. As I reflected on “What I Would Like to Imagine” as I drove home that night, I had my first true, real visualization of what Heaven might really be like. Don’t you think that we’ll all see those we love as we remember them? Children will see their parents at their best time, and parents will see their children at varying stages of life. I will see Mom before she had her stroke. I will get to introduce people I love, who’ve only ever known Mom since then, to the free, easy-talking woman I knew as a child. Mom will get to introduce me to her father, but in a cancer-free state. He died when I was almost 12, and for those dozen years, he was always in treatment and usually in pain. As I wrote this, I came to the realization that he died 20 years ago tonight. Oh, to be made whole again. That is the power of the promise of Heaven.
  30. “Good Good End” is the perfect song to follow that.
  31. I hope you enjoyed listening to this show as much as we all did.
  32. Our singing was okay.

I’ve got a recording of the next night, too, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Maybe tomorrow.