Friday, July 9th. Sandi and I are in the surprisingly large Orange Peel in Asheville, NC and Rhett and Murry of the Old 97’s are in the middle of wooing us with Murry’s heartbreaking "Valentine". When they get to the break a lone voice says what we’re all thinking, “We love you, Murry!” He doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but of the bands’s later songs I like, they’re mostly his. You can feel the traditional country greats dripping from his songs. He covers Buck Owens and “Valentine” sounds a bit like something Willie Nelson might’ve written years ago.
Most of the night Rhett completely controls this crowd. A girl to our left shrieks and shakes with excitement like it’s John and Paul up there, and she isn’t alone; Sandi gives him a score somewhere in the fifties out of ten on the attractivimeter and only some strong, unseen force keeps her from attacking him on stage *. They really do put on an amazing show, pulling out songs from the early days, including the first one I heard, "Doreen". This song killed me in the days of 97X (Gainesville’s eclectic FM station in the mid-90s) and it still does. That poor drummer gets a workout every night.
Sandi’s been down from Jacksonville a lot lately. A few weeks back she stayed with Dana & Miriam and we all saw The Terminal, took in the local Ansel Adams exhibit at the Harn, ate at Satchel’s and went to the Reitz Union for pool and bowling… and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). I’d seen it before, but this was my first go at it and it’s immediately addicting, like a stomping-on-the-floor video game version of crack. At $.75 for a couple minutes, it’s slightly less expensive, but the next day we knew better and brought 5s.
She stopped by yesterday on her way down to Tampa and Josh, she and I went to the very packed Ichetucknee River for some lazy tubing. Our timing turned out perfect; for most of the way we were mostly by ourselves (we did sprint halfway down the trail to get ahead of the crowd) and we got back to the van the minute the downpour started. Tomorrow DDR may be on again.
At 3:00 PM I closed on my first home, a rancher out by Satchel’s Pizza in the NE (not far from 23rd Ave and Waldo Rd.) My sister was there to smooth everything out and besides signing very important documents with my increasingly illegible signature, it was mostly painless. And anti-climactic since I don’t get to move in until the 15th… but, yeah. To celebrate I took Ruth to the Top. They didn’t have the chocolate bourbon truffle torte. Boo!
Ruth reminded me that I haven’t quite figured out where to put the rock room(s). The “office” may become the drum area so I won’t have to cover all the nice windows on the back porch.
Quite an evening. I arrive at Laura’s “dirty thirty” party at Kim’s house and all our gear is set up in the living room (it looked like rain). There is much shoving of friends in front of kareoke mics. After an hour or so of watching, when the Hollies’ “Busstop” comes on Amy and I are ready and we procede to rock it. The audience recognizes showmanship and bathes us in appreciation. Andrew shows up a little later and we duck out to pick up tickets for the Beat Buttons.
Our friend Mario plays drums and keyboards (yes, simultaneously) for the BB and this is his last show in Gainesville for probably a long time. He and his wife Tricia are moving to Philadephia; more good friends skip town.
We head back to Laura’s party and arrive just in time to see a great show by Laura and a couple friends. Funny songs with local charm and really great three part harmony, quite impressive. When our turn comes, Laura, Hazel and I cram into the “stage” and I grab an amp for seating. We play one of Laura’s new songs and then Jackie takes Hazel’s place bringing in lap steel and everything goes swimmingly for our last three songs. Hazel and Rob McGregor play some great songs and Andrew and I head back to CG.
I’ve seen Alex and Mario play on this stage dozens of times, but this night is something to see. The Beat Buttons play every one of their songs and I’m enjoying the hell out it, fist-pumping, yelling lyrics. Although they never play covers, they end with New Order’s “Age of Consent” and I go home a very happy man.
(I didn’t get this posted until 7/14.)
I’ve lived and rented in Gainesville eleven years now. For so long my big
goal was to leave, go to San Francisco, to Atlanta, to some music hub somewhere, but the past year, ups and downs and all, has made me rethink my position.
OK, so over Christmas break I bought a 95 Ford Windstar. Story below.
She is nicknamed "the Patriot" and we will travel the country together, celebrating Freedom, allegiance to our leaders, and flags. When the next Orange Alert strikes fear in the hearts of our nation’s children, I will be there to inspire pride in them, teach them to hate our enemies, and drop them off at practice.
Addendum: Just to clarify, my van doesn’t have a flag on it; it’s just white. I photoshopped a pic off the web.
Yesterday was quite an amusing afternoon. Immediately after work I hit the mall to treat myself to a used Xbox so I could finally play my copy of THPS 2X (think of it as the widescreen director’s cut of 1&2) that had been sitting around for months. Andrew planned a little surprise party at Satchel’s for me and the pizza was brought out with candles that merely fell over when blown upon
Andrew, Josh, Tanya, Lynn, Tricia, Jeremy and Juliet made it and I wore a Lynn-crafted construction paper 29 crown…with red glitter spots! Two older gentlemen played various songs, mostly from the 40’s/50’s, on banjo, piano and trumpet, and it added the perfect amount of ridiculousness to the evening. Before leaving I rushed up in front of them for a photo op and ended up being cajoled into playing a song. I played You Belong To Me and goofed most of the lyrics. As we got up to leave I made one of my best/worst puns. They said something about church music and asked if anyone wanted to hear Olivia Newton-John, to which I remarked, "Let’s get hym-n-al".
We went back to my place and Andrew had secret pie! of banana cream, no less. I’m sorry all my friends couldn’t be there and apologize to those I didn’t tell. You’ll be excited to hear I already opened the disco level and, thanks to Natalie, we’ll be seeing Airplane on DVD soon.
…because things have been going too well lately. The first full French Horns show went swimmingly. I’m doing a website for an interesting exhibit at the Harn Museum — I’ll have to work a few 11-hr days, but still, a neat opportunity. Monday I spent a nice afternoon with a friend. Yesterday I got the first haircut I’ve been happy with for as long as I remember and tonight, out of the blue, a guy who used to live in Gainesville sends me a link to his band’s website and it’s just gorgeous stuff. Hula is their name and they remind me of the first Mojave 3 record, early Aden and a little Low, but catchier. Here’s an mp3: “Over the Ground“
…when she’ll put her hand in another’s.
Secretly I want to bury in the yard
the grey remains of a friendship scarred.
It’s hard to leave all these moments behind.
— from “Kissing the Lipless” by the Shins
- I’m back from San Francisco!..a month ago.
- After 5 years, a new phone number to memorize: 337-6050.
I hate Bellsouth and can no longer justify giving them $40 a year to keep my number.
- I moved across town and now live with Andrew Chadwick of Boxcar Records non fame. Don’t stop by the 307 house, the fun and excitement has relocated.
- A proper French Horns site (one page for now) is finally up. The mp3’s are there.
- I’m getting bored with this theme, expect a new style soon.
New address and phone #
238 SW 2nd Pl Apt B
Gainesville, FL 32601