ASSORTED DECLARATIONS BY STAFF WRITER TOM GRAHAM
Pop Up Pow!
I had the honor of attending Pop-Up in the Park, the first ever pop-up restaurant event from Peculiar Culinary Co., this past week at Jefferson Park in Pittston. Believe me when I tell you that you must be on the lookout for their upcoming events. This isn’t a food column by any means, but with dishes like “Duck 3 Ways,” “Salmon Tartare” and “Pork Cheeks,” I was in the cuisine kingdom come. Not only did people come together to break bread in a unique environment, Chef Gene Philbin and his crew also incorporated live original music into the evening. The vegetables and meats came from local businesses and the talent was local as well. John Smith and Shannon Weeks performed mostly original compositions amidst a sea of candles as the crowd ate up their performance as well as the delicious food on their plates.
The Smith and Weeks duo have a busy schedule performing throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, and recently garnered the attention of some music bigwigs outside of our area. They may be heading south of The 570 very shortly to be closer to the Nashville music scene. Be on the lookout for Smith and Weeks appearances this fall before they make the big move and ask them to play some new songs they’ve been working on. When two talents like this join forces, it’s fun to sit back and watch them do their thing.
Life delivered a unique surprise his week. After a lengthy and hectic day at the office, I returned home to find a note taped to my front door from an elusive neighbor I hadn’t met yet inquiring about a land surveyor I had recently used for the lot. I called the number that was left on the note, wrote down the information and hand delivered the appropriate numbers and contacts that would be needed to my neighbor. What began as a simple property boundary conversation quickly turned toward the subject of home ownership and life and loved ones lost. We talked about careers and family life, our love for the area, and ultimately ended on the topic of music. We talked about different guitars, makes and models, as well as artists and the types of music we enjoyed. My newly-discovered neighbor told me that he didn’t listen to music for a number of years (“busy with life as it happened” I believe he said), but said two things that really made me think as I walked away and entered my home.
He said he didn’t like certain music in which he couldn’t “hear” the guitar. I shrugged it off at first keeping in mind everyone’s different tastes, but it later occurred to me that he wasn’t scoffing off rock ‘n’ roll. I imagine he wants to hear the instrument very clearly, in an almost concentrated fashion, as if his ears were studying for a final exam. The idea of listening, and I mean really listening with intensity, to music is still very romantic to me.
The other thing he said was “I don’t have much, but whatever I have, you are welcome to it. If you would like to play some of my guitars, they’re here as well.”
Life is full of moments, and a good amount of my moments revolve around music.
Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: The Smiths Louder Than Bombs (Sire) 1987
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