About ten years ago, a record came out by the Magnetic Fields. A record called 69 Love Songs. Some of you reading this, will have no idea who that band is, and it will mean nothing to you. Some of you reading that, will instantly remember exactly the dorm room, or shitty apartment you were living in, when you listened to that record, or the first disc at least of that record, over and over and over again. It was perfect if you were in love. It was also perfect if you’d just been dumped. The songs are short and clever, and sung in a variety of styles with a variety of singers. Frontman Stephen Merritt says that the album is not about love, “It’s an album about love songs, which are very far away from anything to do with love.” In much the same way, 69 Love Scenes is not so much sketches about the songs, but about the themes of the songs.
“Gnap! Theater Projects presents 69 short plays very loosely based on the songs on the The Magnetic Fields’s triple album 69 Love Songs. This is a workshop production of a show we intend to mount in its final form in 2011.
Each weekend of the run, we do one album each, and then add a Thursday night show to accommodate album 1 during the fourth weekend. Confused?
I am performing in the Disc 1 and Disc 2 shows. The rest of the cast is fairly evenly divided between traditional actors and improv performers. And the band they are pulling together, fronted by the awesome Adam Hilton, is gonna be badass. I think we are having a little party after the show next Friday. So come on out. And it doesn’t really matter if you know the music or not, since Merge Records isn’t letting us play any of it anyway. Here is the link for more information and tickets, and a video promo that I couldn’t figure out how to embed. If you like the promo, then you will like the show. Trust.
This is my mom, Marie. She moved to the United States in 1976, to marry my Dad, Ed Jemison. They met in Germany in 1974 while my dad was stationed there with the Air Force. She is not German, she is Irish. Both of her parents died when she was very young. When she was in her early twenties, she went to secretarial school and began traveling and working all over Europe. She was working there, as a secretary, in Wiesbaden, I think, when she met my dad. I attempted to read her diaries from this period but they are all written in shorthand. She said no to my Dad the first three times he proposed. He was too young (four years younger), and worse, a Baptist. But somehow, he won her heart. And more incredibly, convinced her to move to Mississippi. For his part, he agreed to convert to Catholicism. My brother and I were born there, in the appropriately named Starkville, Mississippi, while my parents were living in the married student housing dorms of Mississippi State. Dad was getting his masters in Poultry Science. Yes, really. After that we moved to the sweet sweet land of mass produced chicken, Arkansas, and my three other siblings were born. We all went to Catholic school and played outside in the woods all day. If we were kept inside because of days of rain, we would be terrible. I remember that she would never yell when she got angry, but sometimes she would cry, which always made us immediately penitent. She was just so gentle, and patient, you never wanted to hurt her. Ever ever. And she wasn’t quick to not believe you when you said you were too sick to go to school. She always gave you the benefit of the doubt, even when you didn’t deserve it. I think I broke her heart when I moved in with my boyfriend my senior year of college, but she accepted it. There are so many thing things that I wish I had said to her then. And since. Questions I wish that I asked. A poem I wrote her in college that I never gave her because I was embarrassed. Times that I yelled at her that I wish I could take back. It goes on like that if I let it.
My mom isn’t dead. She’s still the sweetest, kindest lady you’d ever meet. She’s still happily married to my Dad and she still loves to ride on the back of his motorcycle. But she doesn’t remember who I am anymore. And what bothers me more, she doesn’t remember who she was either. So I just wanted to write down a few things about her, so that I would.