Baby & Duhks

Just got back from seeing the Duhks down at the Wilma. Those guys are so freaking great — incredible instrumental precision and creativity balanced by infectious energy. They didn’t play any of the songs off of their eponymous album (truly one of my favorite records of all time) and they had a new lead singer AND drummer…..but they’ve still got the same vibe, the same blow-your-mind interplay of instruments and quirky personalities that made me a devoted fan the first time I heard them, back at the old Blue Heron.

That said, it was kinda a weird show. Part of it was getting used to their new lead singer and drummer. The two new replacements are great — and make no mistake, this is one band that doesn’t ride solely on the magnetism of its lead singer, magnetic as Jessee Havey was.

But part of it, too, was having Julian along. Julian is our 10-month old son. Although this wasn’t his first concert (he heard me play in my band at a show in Seattle back in October), he’s a different baby now, more willful and active and unwilling to just hang out when he’s not the center of attention.

Meaning: He spent most of the concert trying to get his protective earmuffs off, and fussing and writhing when he couldn’t. The only thing that kinda helped settle him down was walking him around, letting him look at all the people and the funky wallpaper and the groovy sconces with little metal cupids on them. He liked those. He also seemed to have a great deal of interest in the high-school girls sitting in the row behind us; but he was too shy, apparently, to ask for their phone numbers.

His constant wiggling made it a hard concert for my wife and me to enjoy fully. And by the time the Duhks started their last song, it was obviously time to get him to bed; so we completely missed the headline act, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars.

Ah well. Such is the trade-off, and I’m totally happy we chose to take him. My own first rock concert wasn’t until I was in junior high school (Electric Light Orchestra at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, on the Discovery tour). I’m glad to be able to take Jules to these shows at this age. He may not remember them specifically; but given that he already dances whenever music comes on the stereo, he’s obviously soaking things up.

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