Van Halen, Chris Trapper, and this Messy Little Life

hedgehogI’m just sticking my head in today to say thank you. There’s a real post brewing behind the scenes, thanks to all of you. Oh, and I got you a hedgehog.

Holy shit, ALL of you.

What do I mean by ALL of you?

The 213 (and counting) people who sent me emails in response to yesterday’s blog. The 72 (and counting) comments. I’m responding to EVERYONE, but you can imagine the weird and fuckin’ glorious world that is my inbox at this juncture.

So the next time you look at a blog post and see its only been shared 25 times on Facebook and feel like it might not have been so great, consider what might be happening down below and behind the scenes. Awesome shit, that’s what.

But before I duck out, I’m going to tell you a little story about Van Halen, Chris Trapper, and this messy little life we all live.

Rocking Out With My Cock Out Badass Self at Van Halen

I’m a life-long Van Halen fan and finally got to see them for the first time when they came through Denver exactly one week ago. David Lee Roth had short hair and a hat. Eddie Van Halen was rockin’ a few extra pounds. But you know what? They fucking ROCKED. Granted, DLR’s vocals left something to be desired (and my compatriot for the evening pondered whether this might have been due to his physical histrionics compromising his voice or if he’s just older and not as on as he used to be), but I could close my eyes and hear those tunes just the way they were on my radio back when I was in my early teens. The music was flawless. Unadulterated rock and roll. And I won’t mention the gal sitting in front of us who casually mentioned that she was at a VH concert back in 1984 and happened to have forgotten that both hairstyles and fashion had evolved since said demarcation point in time.

The bottom line is that the concert, musically, was fucking awesome. Which brings me to the second musical event I attended in less than a week, the Chris Trapper concert.

Yeah, I Cried. Fuck You.

I first caught Chris last year when he opened for Colin Hay. Musically, I was in love, which meant that there was no question that I’d be hitting up his show when he came through Denver this year. I got to the venue about a half hour early and was soon joined by a group of three sitting behind me.

One of the guys started talking about the Van Halen concert. And how much it sucked.

“Yeah, he’s old. The vocals were shit. The whole tour was a money ploy. Wasted my money, for sure.”

We’ll get back to this cretin in a moment.

Chris is always a plugged-in performer. He can spin a story with the best of them and keep you plugged into his show until the very end. Tuesday night was no different when Chris played one of his new songs called “Skin.”

As the girl who lived “You were covered in tubes in a hospital bed,” back in October of 2010, my glasses came off during the first few moments of the song. I take my glasses off when I don’t want to focus on something that’s hitting me pretty hard emotionally, so if you see me do that, you know my ploy. It’s also possible I have an alien in my eye or we’re sitting too close to one another for me to focus with them on, but odds are I’m emotionally avoiding you. I was ripped to shreds by this beautiful song, reminding me of something that was and that I’ll always carry with me. I cried. It was a quiet cry — the “I wiped the tears away before anyone saw them so I didn’t really cry” kind. But fuck you. I cried.

Because Life Is Messy

And sad. And brilliant. Tragic, exhilarating, fucking incomprehensible. Beautiful, stupid, crazy, and the kind of activity that leaves you breathless like a soccer ball kicked square to the gut.

I happen to like it that way.

To the guy who pissed and moaned about DLR’s vocals: I’d like to see you take on a national tour and wail on a mic night after night when you FIFTY FUCKING EIGHT YEARS OLD. Do you know what I saw? Four guys kicking the shit out of music and doing what they love. It sounded brilliant and by the end of the show, I’d fallen in love with DLR’s spastic little sideways foot shuffle and one-legged kick. How about you save your money next time and go see Justin Bieber, whose voice is sure to hold. Well, at least till he hits puberty.

Messy is great. And we talked about it before — perfection never gets invited to pool parties. Chris Trapper set to music a cacophony of emotions that, I’m sure, resonated with everyone that night in a different way. For me? It was messy. But the song itself celebrates just how messy life is.

And how beautiful that makes it.

Now, I must depart. But there will be more tomorrow. And for those of you who mentioned that it had gotten pretty quiet in here lately, you’re absofuckinglutely correct. It’s about to get quite a bit louder. More loud. Whatthefuckever. Call my English teacher if you don’t like it.

7 comments
bethh
bethh

Wow, I was a huge fan of the Push Stars back in the day, but I've lost track of Chris. I'm so glad you posted this.

Blue Skies Magazine
Blue Skies Magazine

Looks like Chris Trapper has found himself another fan. Thanks for sharing Redhead, not just that artist, but yourself. I squeal with joy every time a new post pops up in my RSS feed, and I've been meaning to come by and say thanks for a while. Exercise the good manners and all that. So yeah, good luck with the move, life and all that, and keep on writing :)

Kimberly Crossland
Kimberly Crossland

You're amazing... and this is so true: " So the next time you look at a blog post and see its only been shared 25 times on Facebook and feel like it might not have been so great, consider what might be happening down below and behind the scenes. Awesome shit, that’s what." Great lesson to learn :)

Michael Travers
Michael Travers

I have a Google Search set up for Chris' name and it's because I love reading other people's concert stories. I've been a fan of Chris either as frontman for the Push Stars or out on his own for around 14 years now. That alone is enough to make Chris' music an important part of my life, but from the moment that I first put "Starlight" on a CD for my wife as I was first getting to know her, Chris' music has become the soundtrack to our relationship. So much so that we had Chris perform at our wedding. We just saw Chris last night here in Cambridge and when he played "Starlight," the waterworks began for my wife. It's far from just "Starlight" though. Chris does an amazing job of capturing what's special about the little things in life and celebrating them. For me, it's been a different song from the new album that's gotten to me. "Lonesome Parade" stirred up memories of my grandfather and brought back the ache of missing him. For every song of Chris' that might make me sad, there are 4 or 5 that bring forth a smile or laugh. I'm not sure how familiar you might be with the stuff that Chris did with the Push Stars, but I would definitely recommend searching it out if you haven't already. Fans of Chris as a solo artist should especially love the rarities CD that the band put out. You can see the start of Chris writing more personal songs with these selections that didn't make it onto Push Stars CDs.

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

Call your English teacher what? The 'real' Van Halen. They.rock.hot. For being so unpopular, your peeps sure luv ya.....that.is.all. 

Erica Stone
Erica Stone

I'm listening to Chris on Spotify now. Beautiful.

Todd Schnick
Todd Schnick

i lived in vegas for a year, and i made it a point to see the older (aka has-been) acts... just because i could. you could tell the acts that were there for the money, and who was there for the love of the art. and yeah, even though most weren't up to their old game, you appreciated those that poured their guts out... 

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  1. […] Van Halen, Chris Trapper, and This Messy Little Life Life Is Messy. And sad. And brilliant. Tragic, exhilarating, fucking incomprehensible. Beautiful, stupid, crazy, and the kind of activity that leaves you breathless like a soccer ball kicked square to the gut. […]

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