Friday, April 09, 2004

"Are you ready to pop?!?" I asked the crowd at the Lizard Lounge last night. We were opening the show for the second installment of the Boston Pop Underground. It was nice.

The drive into Boston wasn't too great, though. It was ok, just not great. It was Brian, Tony, Lesa, and me in Brian's car. I was driving. Max and Anya went seperately from the band, like they do. Everything was going well, Brian had his Rio MP3 player (man, he loves that thing) and we were listening to a shuffling of the over 2500 songs that he has filled it with. Kinks, Dylan, Lo Fine, Robyn Hitchcock, Morrisey, The Figments, The Beach Boys, Mike Flood, Suzanne Vega, Velvet Underground, Humbert, Fountains of Wayne etc.

When we came up to the Boston toll booth there was a pretty good sized traffic jam, turns out a limo had an accident (I hope Elton is ok). Traffic jam, yeah. The real pressure-maker for me, though, was that the Low Fuel light was glowing and I couldn't lose the image of us running out of gas in the middle of a traffic jam on that stretch of Mass Pike with no break down lane. It didn't happen. We were fine and we pulled into the Lizard Lounge parking lot at exactly 8:15. Then I went and parked the car a mile down the road.

Inside the basement club, the little lights were glowing. Max was already there. Chris from the Space was there, which was nice, and so were my brothers. When I told them I was surprised to see them, Alvin repied, "Have we ever not come?". He had a point.

Bishop Allen was kind enough to share their drums and bass amp for the evening, so we helped them bring in their stuff and then we set up on stage, or more accurately - the rug.

When we started playing at 9:30 there weren't quite as many people there as I was hoping for, but it was still a very nice crowd. We played a pretty energetic set. I don't know what it is about Boston but something in the air just makes you play harder than usual. It was good, though. From where I was, everything sounded great. Tony especially stood out. Maybe I could just hear him more than usual but he played some great guitar parts and his harmonies were right on. We ended with the spaz out version of Omnivore and Brian was a fury of arms and sticks, Max was pressed up against the bass amp, smacking at the bass which was somehow up and behind his head.

Bishop Allen took the stage after us and played a set of bouncy music. They were good. Brian turned to me and rhetorically joked, "Who said blonde female bassists are out of style?". In my head, I thought, "Winston Churchill?"

We sat off to the side and Brian and Tony ate hamburgers - I horked a bunch of fries off Tony's plate until he just gave up and gave me the whole rest of 'em. My brother, Norbert, was explaining to me his new concept for how bands should release their music. It was kind of confusing. I thought I understood, but then when I tried to explain it to Brian on the way home, I realized that I didn't. It had something to do with an ever changing album and I think there was grapefruit involved, or a Tonka truck or something. I can't really remember.

At the end of the night, after Senor Happy played their set, Andrea Kremer (who put the whole show together and has been really kind and supportive in general) gave me a Boston Pop Underground T-Shirt. I gave her a Fawns CD. It was like Christmas. There was even cake. A big Christmas cake. You know, like you have at Christmas. Cake.

The ride home was pretty quick. The late night Mass Pike is like a deserted runway sometimes. I feel like I'm flying! Brian and I sat up front and I kept him awake all the way home talking about this whole deal of being in a band - about how easy it is to forget that some people are still into music and bands and not everyone is as buned-out and cynical as we sometimes get.

I imagine that Tony might be crying right now since he was the only one of us who had to get up early early for work today. Sorry, Tony. Just remember, last night you were on fire.

For some reason that phrase is cracking me up.

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