Monday, March 31, 2008

from my "cake or death" series, volume #1

I’ve been messing around with the layout of the blog header and have managed, through sheer will or stupidity, to create something new. You might notice my hard work; you might not – some people are only in it for themselves. There are six musician header backgrounds that I’ve created and they’ll be randomly chosen each time you visit. If you’re curious you can hit your F5 key (which is refresh) or simply refresh with the mouse to see what’s what – or you can let it be a surprise. The list includes the previous Old Crow Medicine Show collage along with some featuring Gillian Welch, Carrie Rodriguez, Tift Merritt, Patty Griffin, and Erin McKeown. I’m working on more guy artists…hold your horses. I actually found some stunning black-and-white Nashville portraits that I want to use but I’m waiting to hear back from the photographer. I’m not certain why I don’t spend time tracking down permission for the ones I’ve already used – they are from myriad publicity sites and photo archive sites – not really professional stuff. I guess when I stumble onto a professional photographer’s studio site I feel the need to ask and then cite the source. Regardless, I haven’t heard back from him yet so those are on hold. Let me tell you a thing or two about a thing or two: when you start messing with HTML code on the internets it’ll confuse a small mind like. You’ve got buffers, alignments, buffers, and alignments and my chosen technique of making wholesale changes without either saving my format or writing down the stupidity I’m executing isn’t a good thing. I’d have gone and asked some computer or IT professional but there didn’t seem to be any available; and to think that’s possible within the crowd of which I run? I could have shortened this entire paragraph down to “Hey, look! It’s prettier.” I’m all about the narrative.

We took in the first set of the Bastards the other night and were having a grand ol’ time until X had her space invaded by some weird dude with a death wish (I think beer was involved – on his end). For those unawares, there are standard practices that are in play at music clubs and venues where standing is the norm. Here’s a sampling to bear in mind the next time your at a Drams show wherever you may live:

If someone needs to leave the area near your standing position – let them out.

If that someone returns with beers for friends – they get their place back.

Be aware of those around you – don't be backing into the person behind you.

Be aware of those around you – don’t be leaning and falling all over.

If you arrive late(r) and decide to move toward a good viewing area that is far beyond your stature as a late arrival, remember these nuggets:

By default you are hated, but
No forcing your way in,
Don’t put your big head right in front of someone else,
Be cool,
Say excuse me…often.

Simple, right?

We had been sitting on a couple of the very few barstools on offer at the club, being as we arrived well early, but then decided to stand up as the Bastards came on stage. (Iota is a pretty small venue so it’s not like we’re dealing with even a hundred people.) After a few songs above-mentioned dude shows up and plants himself just in front and off X’s right shoulder - this signals the assholeness alarm. Way too close for anyone in the club that night. Since the bar on our left, I’m just behind and to her left against the bar, he believes that reaching his claw the three feet across her front and resting his Miller Lite on the bar is perfectly acceptable. This little maneuver also get the girl in front of us a bit agitated – he’s digging a big trouble hole tonight. Then he started violating all the bumping, leaning, and falling rules listed above which eventually leads to X giving him a quick-and-dirty warning. One might thing that would be the end but it wasn’t. A few more bobs and weaves from dear ‘Jimbo’ and I think can see he’s about to get popped. As he teetered toward the final showdown I think he got some religion, realizes danger was upon him, and tumbled off to another corner of the venue. Now, I don’t want anyone to think I wasn’t ready to Jet Li this guy but the ball-and-chain is more than capable of ruining his life all by herself. I imagined a quick elbow to the head followed by some Army-learned death move and we’d have a corpse to stand on for a better view. At one point I slid our stools further under the bar so we could slide over a step but that was not an option – chivalrous as it may seem. What I got was a quick (yet loving) glare over the shoulder and words that echoed something like this: “I’m damn well not moving and if this idiot doesn’t see the light in about a New York second then I will kill him dead. D-E-A-D.”

The music was lovely; a prime-time review.


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