03-20-2004
Austin, Texas, Red Eyed Fly
 
It's taken me ages to write this, so most everything's been forgotten. I get one week of retention; after that it's nothing but guesswork. Was this the day we ate all the barbeque? Yes, it must have been. Yes, Saturday. I think I've already talked about the barbeque - and that's hardly the important thing.

It was fun to go to one of these music-seminar-convention things after so many years. I saw so many people I haven't seen, some people I thought I'd never see again - like Marco, the guy who put out His Absence is a Blessing, seeing him again was like seeing a ghost. I mean, it was great to see him; but years ago, the guy who played Gilligan on Gilligan's Island was the captain of the Seafair parade in Seattle, riding on a fire truck, wearing his little white hat. Seeing him there, live in person, I felt like I was seeing a ghost from my childhood, some character that had been burned into me after watching him for so long, like he'd become a part of me and my memories - he couldn't be actually there. To see him in person was like watching a memory come to life. That's what it was like to see Marco. It was like seeing a dark, long-hidden memory suddenly incorporate in front of your eyes. I wanted to scream and run. It was like that seeing everyone else, too - Nils, Scott, even Gerard - I wanted to scream and run.

It was even kind of like that to watch American Music Club play, but for a slightly different reason. No, I take that back - for precisely the same reason. We played with them over ten years ago in Seattle, during a time when we were going to these music seminar-type things all the time, trying desperately to build ourselves into the successful & immortal institution we're finally becoming. So it's been about ten years since I last saw AMC, and what's happened - AMC broke up, Mark Eitzel went solo, who knows what the other guys did, maybe they were in 10,000 Maniacs or something... so now we're all ten years older; and suddenly AMC is back together, playing these songs that seem to have become classics. But for me, it was a little eerie - because we're still together, we've just been touring and putting out records and doing our thing this whole time. It's kind of creepy, like an era has come, and gone, and now come again, and we're still pounding away. Strange.

So those were my reflections during the day. That night we played directly after Britt from Spoon, and, well, he's more popular than we are. He'll pay for it, believe me. Still we had a good crowd, and before the show a young man told me that I was an inspiration to him, and asked me who my inspirations had been when I'd started drumming. I fed him a bunch of bullshit - Charlie Watts, Levon Helm - and then, thanks in part to his kind words, I beat the living shit out of the rental kit. It was unlike anything either Charlie Watts or Levon Helm would ever think to do. I may have some sort of double standard going on here.

But it was a good night. Fun to rock out with Joel. The music was great, Chris Brokaw hit me just right, and Thalia Zadek was a revelation - I had one of those moments where I was talking with someone, I heard her start her set, and after a few moments the sound she was making forced me to sprint to the music room mid-conversation. Much of her set was beautiful.

I ended up staying an extra day in Austin, getting kicked off the plane w/a free ticket & a hotel downtown. I should have asked them for a rental car, which I'm sure they would have given me; but I rented a car anyway, all on my own.

My idea of a dream vacation has always been: rent a fast car, head to the hills, and drive fast. So the fucking rental car guy offers me a turbo Volvo S40 for an extra $15! It was so nice... and Monday morning, blasting through the hills south of Austin, hunting down a country breakfast, passing mile-long motorhomes in seconds, singing along to AMC w/the sunroof open & the windows down, was bliss.

I think that's about it.

Back to the list