Sunday, July 31, 2005

People On Airplanes = Pussies

It's been over a week since I posted but I've been out of town on business and then wasted a lot of money and brain cells drinking in Clarendon and Adams Morgan this weekend (and no, I am not a 22 year old girl).

Anyway, for work last week I had to fly to San Antonio via Dallas, then Denver via Dallas, and back home to DC via Dallas. That adds up to an assload of flights and plenty of time to contemplate how shitty people become once they set foot onto an airplane. In a word, they become pussies. I don't know why it is but people seem to need the following three things when flying:

1) Bloody Mary mix and/or tomato juice. Who drinks this shit when they're not 30,000 feet in the air? Bloody Mary mix. Most people don't even drink a real Bloody Mary unless they're at brunch or some all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in Vegas. But three cans of the shit on a 4-hour flight? It makes no sense.

2) Multiple trips to the john. Apparently air travel turns everyone's bladder into that of a senior citizen. I seem to always get stuck in the back of the plane on flights and I get to watch a never-ending parade of the same people trekking over and over again to that stuffy little toilet in the back. Maybe it's all of the Bloody Mary mix they're drinking.

3) To generally be coddled and waited on like some spoiled debutante. Most people don't go out of their way to have someone fetching after them constantly but put a 40-year-old mother of two on an airplane and she's ringing for Bloody Mary mix on the hour.

And that last item brings me to a final and generally broad sweeping observation. There are two types of people in this world; those who ring the flight attendant call-button and those who don't. If you've ever been on a flight and pressed the call-button for a non-medical emergency don't ever do it again. If you happen to be someone who has pressed the call-button more than twice in your life, well you deserve to have a large aluminum Samsonite fall on your head. You are a shitty worthless human being.

Just an observation.

Friday, July 22, 2005


I just realized that there are now three consecutive posts that use the phrase "existential crisis." Shit, I guess this makes four.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Let's try this again...

As promised, a second attempt at my posting re: the Teenage Fanclub show at the 9:30 Club last night.

This wasn't supposed to be a review of the show; and it's not. But I will take a moment to say that the band sounded great and it was a real joy to go to a straight-up no bullshit pop show. Big guitars, lots of major chords, vocal harmonies, and catchy-as-hell me simple (call me morbid, call me pale) but that's what pop music is all about.

But I digress. The real point of the post is what happened to me, or rather what I experienced, just before the Fanclub hit the stage. And what I experienced was a Major Existential Crisis. I didn't mean for it to happen but then again aren't all crises beyond the recipient's control? I don't know but here's what went down:

I was walking around the club just people-watching and killing time before the band came out. Now at the past several shows I have been to at the 9:30 there has been an inordinate amount of hot ladies (who seemingly get younger with each passing show) in attendance. Maybe I'm just hard up and am more aware of female presence these days or maybe some of the bands I've seen of late have been doing a fantastic job of bringing the hotties into the indie rock scene; either way I was expecting more of the same as I rolled up (alone, shocker) to the show last night. Not the case. I mean, there were a few lookers there but by and large it was mostly dudes. To be specific, dudes like me. You might be asking yourself, "what does he mean when he says 'dudes like me'?" I mean just that. They were all old (and old means late twenties when you're working with the Rawk Paradigm), obviously single, posessed an unhealthy obsession with the Holy Trinity of Media (movies, music, and televesion), and were overly-enthused to see a band that many had given up on a long time ago. These were my people and I fit right in and that scared the shit out of me.

It was so frightening because ultimately this was a group meeting for The Old Guys At The Show. TOGATS is typically a singular identity seen somewhere towards the back of the crowd at whatever hipster event happens to be taking place that week. He's the guy that the really in-the-know high school kids (the ones who are lucky enough to have parents that will let them trek into DC for a concert) talk about on the ride home; "Did you see that guy in the faded Wrens t-shirt standing in the back? He's always there! I wonder if he's homeless." Because the core element of being TOGATS is to be single and alone, you usually only see one or two (but never together) per show. Well, apparently the Teenage Fanclub show was slated to be the reunion/support group for all of the DC-area TOGATS because they were all there and after a quick scan of the room, I relaized I was one of them. It scared the shit out of me. I mean, there's still time left but I am marching down a dangerous path. Do I really want to be that guy, the one who uses weeknight concerts in dingey clubs as some sort of placeholder for intimacy and companionship? Hell no!

Again, this all took place in a matter of minutes before the show started and once the band started I was all smiles and toe-tapping. The good news is that I realized I still take enjoyment from all of the shows I see. For the time being it's still about the band, the music, and the crowd. So maybe I'm not TOGATS yet but it is getting goddamn close.

I don't ever want to stop going to shows or lose the feeling I get when the band comes out but it would be nice to have something better to do every now and then. Gotta work on that.

Ain't That Enough?

Once again Blogger has fucked me and destroyed a nice long post during the publishing process. And once again, I don't have the energy to write it all over again.

It had a lot to do with the Teenage Fanclub show I saw last night and the subsequent existential crisis it caused. An interesting little story, in fact.

I'll see if I can pull it all togetehr again this afternoon. Goddammit!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

I am in a band

We're just a group of friends who have been together for a long time and every so often come together to put on a show and amuse our friends. Why am I mentioning this? Because we played a show on Saturday night and my ears are still ringing.

I find it more than a little amusing that we have the audactiy to book a gig in a bar, invite our frineds to come out and see us, and then play a third set of some seriously loud and abusive cover tunes. Full dsiclosure: yes, we are a cover band. The premise is that we do interesting takes on new-wave 80's stuff, play some reliable and just-below-the-radar classic rock (Byrds, Velevt Underground), and then some straight-up loud indie rock. What's odd is that we pack all of the loud inaccessible material into one drunken last set that is somehow twice as loud as anything that came before it. After getting the crowd grooving in set 2, we completely drive them out of the bar in set 3. Now that takes stones. But hey, the bar usually does well and that's all that matters to them.

I guess I'm writing about this because it points out an interesting conundrum. We (the guys in the band) have all been playing music for a very long time. We were the kids with the large tape/cd collections who always had headphones on and talked incessantly about the rockstars (when we were younger) and legitimate artists (as we got older) we most wanted to be. As is usually the case, that didn't work out for any of us but playing is still a big part of who we are. We put this little band together to do what we like to do: play the songs that we would want to hear on a night out. The catch is that as music snobs/elititsts, our tastes tend to diverge from those of the average bargoer. Now that we have been doing this for a while and have considered moving on to more interesting venues we have to take a serious look at the kind of music we want to play. It ultimately comes down to us either:

a) Playing whatever the hell we want in the same shithole bar that could care less as long as people are drinking, or

b) cut out some of the weirder shit that we love and make the sets more accesible in order to play better more exciting venues.

Believe me, the absurdity of it all is not lost on me. A COVER band having an existential crisis? Fucking ridiculous.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reality TV

The continuing US Supreme Court saga is beginning to eerily resemble an episode of the West Wing. In it an Associate Justice suddenly dies leaving a vacancy on the court. The Spin Machines on both sides of the aisle begin the march to war driving each other towards some sort of "moderate centrist" whom no one wants but is rather unobjectionable from each point of view. At the last minute someone in the administration (Josh Lyman) comes up with the idea of convincing the elder (and ideaologically like-minded) Chief Justice to resign in order to produce two vacancies: one for the Dems to appoint whomever they like, and one for the GOP to do the same.

Is it possible that a similar (although much less heart-warmingly equal) situation could arise in real life? With Rhenquist in the hospital again it seems ever more likely that he will soon vacate the Court. Finding himself with the greatest judicial windfal in presidential history, could W end up nominating an "acceptable" moderate for Sandy's seat, thus generating some bi-partisan goodwill as far as the public is concerned, and then down the road nominate an absolute conservative reactionary-type for the impending Rhenquist vacancy? Having a little capital to burn with the first appointment, the administration could find itself in a position to really push someone through the Senate and ultimately payoff the right-wing fundamentalists that turned out in this last election.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Missed Connections

I am totally fascinated by the craigslist personals page -- the Missed Connections portion in particualr. For the uninitiated, anonymous users are able to post "shout outs" to people that they see in public but never get a chance to ask for a number, or in most cases never even have the nerve to say hello to.

There are hundreds of posts describing some beauty who made eye contact on the Metro for a split second before disembarking the train or a the hot guy working on the 4th floor of your building. It's an astounding example of how many genuine romantics and complete assholes there are out there. Some are sweet, some are funny, and others are downright terrifying.

I can't decide whether this is an interesting way of meeting people or a psychotic forum for virtual stalking. Either way, I'm gonna keep reading.

Freak Scene

It’s so fucked I can’t believe it
If there’s a way I wish we’d see it
How could it work just can’t conceive it
Oh what a mess it’s just to leave it

Last night I went to the Dinosaur Jr reunion show at the 9:30 Club. Wow. I would describe it as 1 perfect hour of guitar meltdown madness. J was absoutley unreal.

It was really amazing to hear the original lineup playing together again after all of these years. The show was made up entirely of songs from the first three "seminal" albums with J, Lou, and Murph. Although I am a sucker for J's later Dino albums with the poppy hooks, there is an intensity and degree of madness to those original albums that is unmatched by anything that came after them.

The most interesting aspect of the show was to hear how J's playing has evolved (I'll use that term loosely) over the almost 20 years since the first album. While he still plays with as much volume and agression as in the early years, the guitar solos seem more focused. Through all of the fuzz and distortion they are even more melodic than I remember and actually go somewhere in the end.

Highlights included Freak Scene, Budge, Bulbs of Pasion, and of course Just Like Heaven.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wedding Bells Rung

Well, cross another one off the list. This past Saturdaay my buddy Greg got married. Not much of a surprise since this one has been a long time coming but it's always a little strange when you start tallying up those that have left and the rest that are left behind. was hard to imagine all of this when everyone started hanging out over 15 years ago.

The weekend was a blast. EVERYONE who mattered was there and the groom had the brilliant idea of renting a number of condos at the resort for everyone to rage at 24-7. I tapped out at a "decent" hour each night but with the windows open I heard several people howling well after the sun had come up. Good to see everyone. Great having an open bar.

The odds aren't in yet, but it's not too soon to start making bets on who's next. The lottery picks are as follows:

(Eric and Michelle don't qualify since that train has already pulled out of the station.)

I think the smart money is on Bubba/Shannon but Jason/Debbie may throw in an early curve ball. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Recap (redux)

OK, I tried posting this once but Blogger shat on me. If this gets posted twice I'm going to be bitter.

Screw it. I typed up all of this crap about the Midtown Liberty Bar Crawl in DC this past weekend but I'm too lazy to do it all over. For those of you thinking "he should save everything before he tries to post," fuck off.

The only thing important to note from The Post That Never Was is the set of Iron Man awards I handed out for those that actually made it to the end of the night (i.e. midnight). Here goes:

Charley - for somehow ending up near the National Zoo and possibly rumbling with a Barbershop Quartet

Steve-O - for keeping all of your teeth

Sean - for walking to a metro stop on the wrong line just to get as far away from the bar as quickly as possible

Michael - for not shading out when I thought you did

Honorable Mention is awarded to Sheryl for getting Justin home in one piece.