Sunday, October 11, 2009

So long Russenorsk...

This was the magic of Russenorsk.

I really miss Russenorsk. They began during our freshman year at OU and I was even part of the jam that brought Tim and Jack together. Our dorm from freshman year, Washington Hall, absorbed their energy and their concerts were the single way that I kept contact with some friends from Washington Hall. Now that Russenorsk is gone, it feels like those friendships will fade as well. Conor Hogan and I were the two biggest fans, and we went to an uncountable amount of shows. There was a core group of people, mostly all from Washington Hall, that were always there with me, pumping our fists in the air and jumping around as we sang every word. 

There was a magic about Russenorsk. They grew with me through college and they represented what Athens was to me. There was a sense of friendship in the music. A feeling of adventure, that no matter how small and unimportant the adventure may be to the rest of the world, it was vital to the me. Their music was kind. It had despair, yet carried a hope. Russenorsk mirrored a lot of what I loved about my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut. They shared these themes and feelings and messages.  I finished the ending of Slaughter House-5 while sitting on the sand of the Atlantic coast and listening to "Long Winter's Coming" on repeat.

Tim, Jack, and Zach of Russenorsk... I want to thank you for growing with me and giving us all some very wonderful music. The memories of the shows are still strong. The beginning shows when it was only 2 members and you were still trying to figure out what you were doing. The first album release show and how I was amazed at how good the record was. The acoustic show at the donkey when the power went out and we in the crowd kicked in as a room full of backup singers. The countless shows at The Union where you guys made it your home. The second album release and the growth and maturity of "Comforts."

Russenorsk went out in perfect fashion. Bidding farewell with a final show at The Union, they played for about 90 minutes, twice the normal set for a local show. My friend Sam from Cincinnati was finally able to see them live after 3 years of loving their music. They played all of the favorites and we were able to sing along the loudest that our voices would allow. We yelled "No Crash!" as the music stopped for a second and Jack pointed his cello bow out to the crowd. They played their last song, "Long Winter's Coming" and the Athens music giant was falling down, just as the capsules of fire do in the song. I looked over at Conor at this point and could see that he too was going to deeply miss this band. It felt as if a vital part of what the town of Athens and Ohio University were to me was dying prematurely. I had expected them to last until we all graduated at the end of the year, but it didn't work out that way and a hole has been left unfilled. Once the chaos and mayhem of "Long Winter's Coming" came to a halt Tim went to the side of the stage and grabbed his acoustic guitar. Russenorsk had been playing all electric for at least a year. Jack grabbed his cello. Zach grabbed his floor tom. They walked off the stage and into the crowd. Unplugged, they began playing "Science Tells Me" and the crowd sang along. It was pure. Russenorsk was ending , perhaps burying, their music with the people who had loved them so dearly. As "Science Tells Me" ended they went right into "Long Winter's Coming" again.  As the last chorus of the song came, the crowd was off time with their singing. Tim asked for one more time to get it right and we gave it to him. They deserved it. It was beautifully sad.

Thank you Russenorsk for more than you could ever know. I know you appreciated it with everything you had in your hearts. Take a listen to understand what I'm talking about.

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