Animals: Great Blue Heron
Quotes: “I heard LeBaron is coming back to Cleveland.”
“I always figured her butt smelled like a well bucket.”
SIARPC: Fat Folds Five
For the two days preceding our leaving, and continuing apparently forever, I have been getting hammered by the acid stomach and omnipresent anxiety. I don’t even know what to do. Nothing seems to be working, not even gobbling antacids like a stockbroker on September 18th, 1929. I woke up far earlier than I wanted to but couldn’t quiet my brain. So I went for a jog because sometimes that helps. On my travels I found a shop in a depressing little strip mall that sold all things British. They had prawn crisps, scampi flavored crackers, and all manner of chocolate with air bubbles in it. I got Marmite flavored potato chips that tasted like yeast, and a plastic foot that spouts Monty Python insults for my kids.
And then off to Boston. Our first destination was the house of Darren, the co-owner of Shake It Records, our label. He was the guy who asked Chuck to bring in a three song demo we had made in one evening in order to be considered for the MidPoint Music Fest, and when he heard it said, "Do you want to make a record?" He is also a good and old friend. We spent a lovely couple of hours hanging out in what is apparently one of the few backyards in Cambridge, eating cook-out food and relaxing with his brilliant wife and kids. We weren’t supposed to be at the club in Jamaica Plain until 8:00 because they had a Grateful Dead cover band playing an early show. The upside to what is basically a morally offensive gathering, that in a less free society would be banned on grounds of cancer causing tediousness, was the fact that there were several dogs in attendance. Including a particular pug who sat on his owner’s lap at the bar with a small glass of Guinness in front of him for a full five minutes until he was given the signal, and then ever so elegantly he put his cute little paws on the bar and lapped it up. My sister-in-law (former) got cornered by a guy who said he had done ‘shrooms with Jerry Garcia back in the ‘70’s. Great, and I pooped in the same stall that Jeff Tweedy once used back in 2010.
We haven’t been to Boston since I started the blog so I’ll briefly give some background as to why Boston shows are sweetly nostalgic for me. I feel like I might be repeating myself here but I’m sure as hell not going to go back and re-read all this stuff to find out. Anyway, I went to college there, which I credit as to being maybe the most important non-prison formative experience in making me the person I am now. Moving from a small suburb in Ohio to the heart of Boston was at first overwhelming, sort of frightening, and I hated it. By my second year I had learned to look pissed off so the Scientologists would leave me alone, and slowly my worldview expanded. Berklee is a small school but draws from all over the world, so I remember clearly reveling in the experience of sitting on a hard plastic purple chair in the lobby and being surrounded by conversations, none of which were in English. Anyway, one summer I stayed in Boston to do a crappy internship at a local recording studio. I met my future ex-wife at the bookstore where I found a job, and thus a deep and abiding connection to the region was born.
Jamaica Plain has changed a ton since I was here in the day back then, and the neighborhood where the Midway Café was located seemed cool. The show had sold out fairly quickly, which was awesome, even keeping in mind it’s a pretty small club. People were vying to get in just like for a real band. Getting a show in Boston is really hard. For some reason the clubs book way out in advance and we, even at our most business-like, never book early enough. And so it had been since 2009 when we had last played here. It was fun to debut Strawberry material as well as the Attica! songs. For the second night in a row we played as if our lives depended on it and the crowd gave it right back. It’s a great little club, I liked it a lot. Getting to hang out with family, dear friends from college, and transplanted Cincinnatians was pretty sweet as well.
Tomorrow is Baltimore.