Sunday, July 27, 2014

Albany Again

Life turns on a dime. My earliest memories of anxiety stem from a burgeoning awareness of the capriciousness of life. Good parents give their children a sense of safety but slowly, or at least hopefully slowly, through a loss, an accident, or some sort of observation that stirs unease and uncertainty, we begin to put names to the shadows. I think it’s this knowledge that creates pre-tour anxiousness, because leaving the familiarity of our little dens feels as if it drastically increases your exposure to that drunk step-dad of the gods: Fortune* (it feels to pretentious in a post already skirting that to say Fortuna - so I won't)   There’s no point in talking about good fortune because it mostly goes unrecognized, and even attempts in earnest at practicing gratitude are shot through with the defects that come from how goddamned hard it is. Touring is an adventure because rootlessness is a kind of vulnerability. You are dependent upon the kindness of people who know the lay of the land better than you. You increase your exposure to the wind and weather. You speed up the process of entropy upon your vital resources. (i.e. miles on a shitty van) This isn’t a bad thing as long as you accept that experience carries with it no judgment. It has that impersonal quality of nature about it. All manner of things: good, bad, easy, and hard are fair game. The odds of experiencing a more even split of good and bad increase depending on certain behaviors. The chances of getting stabbed in the eye decreases if you never leave your house, but increases if you invite the local intravenous drug users knitting guild over for lunch. If you travel 10,000 miles on our nations highways you increase your odds of experiencing the full range of capriciousness they have to offer. Three hours into our next journey the slippery scale of our friend fortune tilted sharply towards equilibrium. For we have experienced our fair share of very good fortune.  I’m just going to say it was a brutal day and leave it at that. We had a show to get to and sometimes that necessity of action is the greatest gift. During the black heart of my divorce the fact that I had to get up every day and be a parent to my kids was at the time incredibly difficult, but upon reflection the very thing that kept me from going under.

We knew we were going to be very late to the show in Albany, and that is a horrible feeling. The Low Beat folks are so sweet, (and thankfully big fans) that they moved back the show and let everyone know what was going on. We are not a band that ever moves with any alacrity so making good time was a struggle. We got there a bit after 11:00 for a 9:30 show. And then the sweetest thing happened. When the crowd saw we were there they poured out onto the sidewalk and began carrying our gear into the club and onto the stage. They were smiling and clapping us on the back. We got set up and went straight to it. And this is a crowd that comes right up to the stage and gets right into it. It’s the kind of instant connection that makes the raising of roofs, the shedding of skins, the dancing on one’s grave possible. I still have no opinion about Albany the city as I’ve not seen anything beyond this one block, but I love the people. I mean there was more than person who still had a two plus hour ahead of them and had to work the next day.

We had been going since 7am and finally got settled in at the hotel around 3:00am. A long day deserving to be put to rest.

Tomorrow is Boston.

*Tyche according to Wiki

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