Given to me by Cassie Berman after the Silver Jews show at The Social in Orlando, FL on September 15, 2008. “Tennessee” and “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed” are cut off on the end there (my scanner wasn’t big enough to get it all). Less than six months after this show, Silver Jews announced they were disbanding, so this one is special to me and this one has a story.
Silver Jews is one of my favorite bands and I had never seen them live, so this was (and still is) a big deal for me. My cousin and I got to The Social a little late and walked in the middle of the opener’s set. It wasn’t really crowded and after their set, which was mostly played in the middle of the crowd and on top of the bar, the two of us made our way to the front of the stage. We were right in front. Cassie Berman walked out to arrange some stuff on stage and placed a set list by her equipment.
"Excuse me, are you going to be here for a while?" she said.
I looked around. I didn’t think she was talking to me, but she was looking right at me, so I responded, “Of course, the whole show. I’m here to see you guys.”
She smiled and said, “Great…look, I’m going to leave this here. Can you make sure no one takes it?”
I laughed, “Sure, no problem at all…but, can you make sure I get it when the show is over? Is that possible?”
She smiled again, “I will make it happen.”
A few minutes later, David, Cassie, and the rest of the guys came on stage and played one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. During the show, Cassie and David were giving each other a lot of looks during the show. I assumed it was a romantic thing at the time, but looking back, I kind of feel like the whole band knew their time together was coming to an end and Cassie and David knew this could be one of the last times they play together in front of a crowd like that one. David also sang most of “Trains Across the Sea” while staring at me, so I assume he’s probably some kind of wizard who can tell which songs are some of his fans’ favorites.
When the show ended, the band left the stage. As I began to assume that I would have to fight for this set list, Cassie came running back on-stage.
"I keep my promises," she said, out of breath.
"Aw, you didn’t have to do that," I responded.
"Of course I did! So, what’s your name?"
A little nervous and surprised, I responded, “I’m Stefani.”
"Great, I’m Cassie…do you spell it special or anything?"
I was giggling at her assumption that I didn’t know her name and said, “‘F’ instead of ‘ph’ and no ‘e’ at the end.”
"Awesome…here you go. Can I get a hug?"
I thanked her about 30 times during the hug, even mentioned how I can’t wait to see them in the future, and then she ran off-stage again.
When I looked at the list, I noticed her little message and smiled.
I was bummed when I heard the following January that they would be splitting up. I thought that maybe I should’ve driven to a few other nearby cities and went to those shows, as well. But then I remembered this experience with them, my first and possibly my last, and I thought, “Well, it really can’t get any better than that.”
From the boarded-up window of a house down the street from the apartment I stayed at in Toronto.
Found in a used copy of Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories at Big Apple Bookstore in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in June 2009. I have invented a story about these gift tags where a young woman went to France to study abroad, fell in love with a French guy, and never came back to the U.S. Some years later, her mother came for Christmas and both her and her French husband wrote out gift tags for this book. Or maybe these gift tags don’t belong to this book at all. Or maybe it’s the French guy who came to the U.S. and stayed and these were for his mother. So many possibilities. Feel free to translate the tag in French and send that information our way because the Internet’s translation seems really off.
In keeping with the “just some shit we found” theme, here’s something I found in the washroom at work a while back. I can assure you all that this particular note was not directed at me. I also never noticed what would have prompted the note (and there was only one stall in that bathroom), or caught any coworkers acting particularly like either the person who posted the note or its target. A couple of weeks later, it was gone.