Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Light

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Then just sing what you feel
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

Those lyrics are from WILCO’s song “What Light”, one of the many songs they did as an encore, including some of my favs off the Mermaid Avenue albums, like “California Stars” and “Airline to Heaven”. The Seattle crowd is very alt-country so they definitely catered to that crowd (as opposed to the Irving Plaza show in NYC we saw them at—very different vibe).

All in all, the concert was a blast. We got there super early thanks to no traffic on the 520, but we had a nice little Subway sandwich in our beach chairs, under a partly cloudy sky blue sky, had some beers, hung out, and people watched. I found it fun to count the beards (What is it with northwest guys and beards? All I saw was beards and plaid shirts everywhere…).

They opened with “Sunken Treasure” and then played a lot of songs off the new album, as well as off Ghost and YHF. And although the couple behind us screamed like wookies for “Heavy Metal Drummer” (the pregnant lady can really belt high-pitched shrieks, I tell ya), they never played it…but ended with a rocking version of “Kidsmoke”.

I realized another sign that I’m getting old. In high school concerts were IT. They were the event. You waited for it for months, told friends about going, or how you couldn’t get tickets (or your mom wouldn’t drive you), and then you finally get to the concert and its this excuse to get drunk and stoned and have the best time of your life.

Well, I’m not a teen-ager anymore…so we sat on the grassy hill a little ways from the stage, drank only a few beers, and enjoyed it like civilized adults. It was good to know we weren’t alone, though. And there were even some college kids and high schoolers sitting down right nearby. Smoking pot, of course. But still…

And then I had a sobering thought related to screenwriting…the WGA usually registers an average of 5,000 new scripts every year.


That’s how many people were at the concert last night. If you’ve never imagined the amount of people your work is competing against before, just try to picture 5,000 people at a concert. Imagine each one wrote a screenplay (and I’m sure at least 100 of them have, or have tried). It makes you want to make sure your script is really good in order to stick out.

Because out of those 5,000 scripts, only about 10% get bought or optioned and then only 5% get produced. Actually, those estimates are probably high. Must be the optimist in me.

Forecast is partly cloudy today. Again. I think I saw the sun peek through the clouds so there’s some hope there.

And remember:

If you’re trying to paint a picture
But you’re not sure what colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

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