Went last night with happy S and delightful R to see Grasshopper perform at Sam Bond's Garage. We got there early and chatted over a bottle of wine while the band did the sound check.
For whatever reason it always takes sooooo long for the one particular sound guy to get all the microphones adjusted, I dunno if he doesn't know what he's doing or what. I've seen Peter Buck and his Minus 5 band play there, and the sound guy on the "professional" nights never has problems like the long scraggly haired dude who was working the mix board last night.
But the sound guy finally figured it out & the opening performer, who should've stopped saying, "I stole this next song from a friend," came on with his guitar and harmonica and he played about three songs too many, as indicated by the ass-o-meter. Most shows and performances can be determined for quality by the ass-o-meter: at the point when you notice your ass
is starting to get uncomfortable on the chair, it's time for the performer to wrap things up. I have a very accurate ass-o-meter. I've discussed its merits at length with numerous friends.
He finished with one more stolen song just about the time R and I started singing, "Widdly widdly widdly" along with his belly-button gazing guitar playing. I do commend him for getting up there and playing, and he was pretty good with the harmonica. He just did go on, is all. For nearly an hour. All by himself. Playing song after song that all sounded the same. Dragging the energy in the room down down down.
Finally, JJ and Tebone took the stage with their guitarist, who was quite accomplished but not interested in being a show-boat, their bass player, and their drummer. They opened with a swift rockabilly, and quickly brought the room's focus back to the stage. They played lots of songs from their standard repertoire, that I've heard just JJ and Tebone do acoustically, so it was a real treat to hear the whole band behind them.
I don't know how to describe JJ's voice... it's sort of like her physical features, tall and dark, eyes so black you can't see where the irises stop and the pupils begin. She likes to sing sad songs because they are the most suitable for her voice, which is sometimes haunting. She was classically trained, and when she belts it out, the sound fills the room like an angel's voice and all the hair on the back of my neck rises. She doesn't slide around, either; she knows her voice perfectly and can nail any note with no mistakes. I could listen to her all day long.
She sang some of her own songs, and also covered "Women be wise, keep your mouth shut, don't advertise yo' man..." and "Angel of Montgomery," and both R & I sang along while chowing down on some garlic bread designed specifically to ward off vampires.
We were seated close to the stage, and there were maybe three or four empty tables in the place, which was a great turnout for a local band on a Thursday night. One of the empty tables was just to the front left of us, between us and the stage. Towards the end of the show, halfway through one of my favorite songs, this veryfront table was overtaken by the same lanky tall skinny feller whom I mentioned was present at the party last week: S & Tebone and I were all chatting, and tall guy gets a beer, makes our acquaintance, then says, "So how do you know Mike?"
I reply for all of us, "Actually, we know Andi."
Tall guy looks at the floor, and then walks away.
Them sittin at the table up front is not what bothered me. What bothered me was how he and his girlfriend proceeded to have an obnoxious, boisterous and inconsiderate conversation, full of gesticulations and exclamations, right there in front of us, in our line of sight and within earshot. I was annoyed, and S, who does not tolerate idiots or big mouths, was pinning his ears back and starting to frown.
I overheard this dude, who I learned later S had chatted with at the party and discovered was an investment banker (probably feeling "down with the indie scene" in his Bob Marley t-shirt, feeling like he's cool because he's at Sam Bond's), say in that unmistakeable I'm-an-asshole voice to his friend, "I was at a party last week and I swear JJ and Tebone were wearing the exact same clothes they have on now."
Which wasn't entirely true but that's beside the point. Is this high school? Who keeps track of what other people wear? It was extremely rude in a most nit-picky manner. Besides, you should not go around saying stuff like that when you don't know who is sitting behind you. I think he saw my drop-dead look. Come to think of it, I was probably wearing the exact same clothes I had worn at the party, too. But I, like Tebone and JJ, have a washing maching. Sheesh. What a prick.
Since I was seated a little to the side of R & S, I didn't see R stifle S from pegging the guy in the back of the head with the greasy garlicky wadded up napkin. I asked later if he had heard the comment about JJ and Tebone's clothes. He had not, and said if he had, then he probably would have swatted the twerp in the ear.
The show ended and we collected hugs and a refrigerator magnet from JJ and Tebone, walked R home safely, and then drove home.
"What if that guy shows up at our party this Saturday?" I asked him. He leaned back in his seat, shrugged, and said, "Well I wouldn't be rude, if he's in my home then he's a guest, but he's not welcome and he'll probably figure out I don't like him much the next time I see him." And with a wink and a laugh he launched into Tebone's song, "Gaugin had a gas can, filled it up with gin..."