Last night I went to a kickass party. Leo had (what might be becoming) his annual lobsterfest.
The lobsters arrived from Maine yesterday afternoon.
It had been a long day, what with finally making it to the Washington County Fair after all these years, and I was pretty tired when it that was time to decide to make an appearance at the party. All four of us who had planned to go together—me, Tim, Alison, Sioux—were extremely low energy. Sioux suggested we start by unwinding on her porch by the river.
We did. Had a beer and some talk. For two of us, it was a school night, so at six o’clock I initiated migration. I knew that none of us had energy, but that we’d all be glad we’d gone once we got there.
That feeling turned out to be immediate. Leo’s place is right in the village, and he has this huge backyard, which was already filled with a hundred or so people. The party had started midafternoon, I think. I have no idea how Leo could serve so many lobsters to his friends. At some point, he made an announcement that he still had “about 100.”
There was live music from local musicians. Matt played his guitar a good bit, and Darcie got up to sing with him. She’s got a killer voice, and her first tune was “Love Me Like a Man.”
“Love Me Like a Man”—rather, “Love You Like a Man”—was written by Chris Smither when the guy was like, twenty-three. It is a great song. And although the Bonnie Raitt version is admittedly amazing, there is nothing like hearing Smither do it. Not sure why it is that I can feel these lines in my loins when he sings them:
Cause they all want you to rock them
Just like their back ain’t got no bone
What you need is a man who can rock you
Like your backbone was his own
There’s something about the original version that’s all baby-here’s-what-I’m-gonna-do-to-you that’s different from the woman’s switch to baby-here’s-what-I-need-you-to-do-to-me. There’s something about a man singing about other men having their balls up on the shelf that hits harder than a woman singing about guys who have their souls up on the shelf. Yeah, I know Bonnie recorded it in 1972 for a wide audience. It’s still a down-and-dirty song, but it’s been cleaned up for people to look at it. I wish I could find a Smither clip of it, but alas. You’ll have to listen to Bonnie (always a treat).
Being in the room with Smither is a jaw-dropping experience. (I know what you’re thinking. Stop it. But I’ll continue in this double-entendre vein.) The more intimate venue, the better. To get a slight taste of him, here he is (in a nonintimate venue) covering Dave Carter’s “Crocodile Man.” Smither always says he should’ve written this one, and believe me, it’s surprising he didn’t, because it sounds like him:
Mama she raised me on riddles and trances
Fatback, channel-cat, lily-white lies
Rocked my cradle in a jimmy-crack fancy
Never knew papa and I never asked why
Now that’s poetry. Like last night’s party. So glad I was there.