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Date: Fri 13 Mar, 2009 at 20:54
Headline: Nostalgiarama

Greetings & Salutations!

It started when I decided that a new batch of tunes for the SoN Facebook page should all have titles beginning with the letter M. "Money" was the obvious choice to represent the Floyd tribute days, and my favorite performance of that tune has always been the one from our first night at The Zephyr, back in 2003. After pulling the track, I ended up listening to that entire show (for possibly the first time since we played it) and really enjoyed what I was hearing.

At the same time, I was choosing photos to upload. Without a template to work from since we've never had a centralized gallery here at the official site (something I hope to remedy soon) I've decided to just begin at the beginning and work my way forward chronologically. So far it's working out pretty well. I especially dig that 2001 folder -- it looks like the layout for liner notes on the live album that should have been but never was.

Spurred on by these twin trips down memory lane, I got caught up in tracking down and organizing as much old live audio as I could find, and over the past few weeks have been listening to SoN history unfold, one show at a time. It's been a little overwhelming, honestly, to realize just how much history that is.

The set list geek in me has been fascinated with how the shape of the shows evolved over time, the patterns that emerged, the ideas that were either adopted or discarded, the way arrangements changed depending on the situation or personnel involved, and the constant push/pull between the original material and covers, whether a handful of random tunes or a full-on tribute set.

It has been just as interesting from a time-travel perspective, comparing my (sometimes fuzzy) memories of these shows against the actual artifacts, hearing what worked and what didn't, reliving much of the agony and ecstasy, tragedy and triumph. It definitely has a downside -- as I learned when I found myself in an unaccountably grouchy mood the other day, and finally realized that it was because I had been listening to an old show which had gone badly and the remembered frustration of the night had leaked into my present mental state -- and even the good memories are sometimes bittersweet for me when I recall, as our friend Jason Giron recently put it, "the days we sometimes wish we had back." I find myself wishing I had enjoyed those days more while living them, or made different choices that could perhaps have stretched them out a little longer.

But for the most part, I'm taking away from this experience a sense of pride in the legacy that we created, tinged with a sense of astonishment that I can use a word like "legacy" in conjunction with our name without feeling like a complete poseur.

That, and some cool ideas for future set lists.