I wouldn’t take Afie Jurvanen as an old fashioned guy, but he’s certainly got some respect for the way things were. He’s also a fan of living in the moment and not getting bogged down with distractions, a mindset that’s hard to argue with.
When I was chatting with Jurvanen for the prairie dog about his band, Bahamas, and their upcoming Regina show, he said:
There are so many distractions out there. The more focused you can be, the more present you can be in each conversation, you get more. You get more out of things if you’re willing to put yourself into them. And you can’t do that if you’re texting all the time or if you have 25 guitar pedals. You might spend the whole song trying to figure out what pedal to use instead of just playing the song.
I guess that texting part caught Whitworth’s eye when he was editing the piece, since the sub-headline for the piece wound up being “Why Afie Jurvanen doesn’t think you should text all day”.
Well, irony of ironies, that.
Bahamas played on Saturday night at the Exchange. It was a really loud crowd which was kind of a shame. Their latest album, Barchords, has some bouncy and loud songs on it, showcasing Jurvanen’s free-flowing guitar playing and Jason Tait’s pro drumming. At the same time, like a lot of good breakup albums, Barchords can get quiet and a little sad. There was a really good turnout for this show — the kind of turnout that’ll probably bring Bahamas back sometime in the future, which I’m really happy about — but I don’t think the whole crowd was ready to quiet down when necessary.
During the set, Tait left the stage and, eventually, the two female vocalists backing Jurvanen while looking stylish in gold lamé took off too, leaving Jurvanen all by his lonesome. I’m not sure if the following moment happened right before the Lamé Duo took off or after, but it was around there.
Near the end of a song, a young fellow standing directly in front of Jurvanen started doing something on his phone and didn’t let up. Whatever he was doing seemed pretty complicated, because it took a while. So of course Jurvanen noticed this guy right in front of him working on his phone instead of enjoying the show.
Jurvanen’s response? He just keeps playing the guitar and stares, stone faced, at the phone fellow. He even finishes the song and waits through some applause, staring at him the whole time. After between 20 or 30 seconds all told, the guy looks up at Jurvanen, who just winks at him.
This worked for a lot of reasons: because Jurvanen is classy; because he’s a charming presence; because he’s perpetually cool-headed; and because he’s a real handsome guy, looking like a young Josh Brolin or something.
That last point doesn’t pertain as much to the situation, I’ll admit, but it never hurts to mention it while talking about Bahamas. Also, re: Jason Tait — look up a picture of him then look up a picture of Office Space‘s Ron Livingston and then try to tell me the Bahamas movie isn’t mostly cast already.