The Old 97s at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC, July, 1997.
The Old 97s at Cactus Music, Houston, TX, Oct. 2010.
In Chicago this weekend I’m going to catch one of those “90s-band-plays-all-of-beloved-album” shows, in this case the veteran alt-country band The Old 97s, doing 1997’s Too Far to Care. It’s easy to feel embarrassed about attending these sorts of things. Nostalgia is so shame-ridden and uncool. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting some musical company as one grows old, or as I like to put it, “careens sidelong toward the grave.” Especially when the band isn’t re-forming as a cash grab but has remained a going concern. It’s no more embarrassing than pretending we’re still just as young, that time hasn’t passed, that we have no memories. So long as wallowing in them is not all we do.