I was one of the lucky few to see Animal Collective play before 300 people at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur two nights ago. I’ll have much more to say about the show in the days to come, and a ton of pictures and video to share too, but I can’t get the memory tied to “Lay Low” out of my mind.
Words fail to express the love I have for this stretch of the California coast. So many of my happiest moments have their roots here, and I know of no other place that so thoroughly calms my restless soul.
I proposed to Abby in China Cove, a secluded beach in the Point Lobos State Reserve made just for us, but totally unknown to me before we arrived:
And shared the first of many Carmel sunsets that night:
And celebrated her birthday the next day at Nepenthe, perched high above the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur:
And were married in the Carmel Highlands, with our families in attendance, on a day when the fog to burned off just in time to give us our moment in the sun:
And I love the drive from Carmel to Big Sur. If I stopped every time I saw an astonishingly beautiful scene like the one below, the 35 mile drive would take a lifetime:
So you can imagine my delight to find out about the show in Big Sur, and my sheer joy at getting four of the most precious tickets on earth, in my humble opinion of course. Abby, Sawyer, my brother Kevin, and I arrived to find the Library tucked in between towering trees and completely enveloped in the densest fog. The entire scene was magical, and only made more so by the song that plays in the background of this quick video:
I only wish I would have moved the camera more slowly, in spite of the speed it reminds of how time stood still that night. The entire hour plus before Animal Collective played was filled for much of the same ethereal sounds, none of which I recognized, but this one stood above all else.
I spent the better part of tonight with that video looped, trying in vain to decipher the lyrics with the hope of identifying the song, when at last I remembered seeing an app for my iPhone called Shazam. Sure enough, a ten second sample identified it, and after scouring the internet again I finally had my song (it seems to be a live version from SxSW, the album is all but impossible to find). Here it is:
The show itself was almost an afterthought given the majesty of the setting, the crisp and cool air ever so slightly misty from the fog, the history of the land on which we stood, and the band that brought each one of us there. But my most cherished memory is the few hours I was able to share with my family in such a magnificent place, and now I have a song to take me there in an instant.