I had a funny experience at work tonight. I’m working in one of the ramps in downtown Iowa City. In fact, I’m in my booth at this very moment. A snow storm is beginning and so it is very slow.
Earlier, a lady drove into the lane next to mine in order to use one of the self-pay stations. She had music playing which I recognized as Iris Dement, a fairly well known folk snger who is married to Greg Brown, both of whom live around here. Iris Dement has a distinctive singing style and I’d rate her voice as one of my top favorites.
The lady apparently had trouble with the self-pay machine. She backed up and pulled over into my lane. After handing me her ticket, I asked her about her listening to Iris Dement. She then asked me how I knew about her music. I told her that I’d seen her play live.
Her response was that she was Iris Dement and indeed she was. I didn’t immediately recognize her out of context. Plus, remembering faces isn’t one of my stronger abilities. So, I chatted for a moment with her. And that was that.
The incident amused me. I could recognize Iris Dement’s voice from hearing a small snippet of music, but I didn’t recognize Iris Dement herself when she was at my window talking to me. Part of the amusement also had to do with her listening to her own music. The thought didn’t occur to me that it might be Iris Dement herself driving along with an Iris Dement song playing in her own vehicle.
I admire an artist who can appreciate their own art. I’m fond of how Philip K. Dick analyzes his own fiction in his Exegesis. It always seems odd to me when a musician claims to not listen to their own music or a writer claims not to read their own writing, claiming to just produce it and never give it another thought. I find it nice to know that an artist I like apparently also likes her own art.
Anyway, that is my amusing anecdote.