Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Hey, Ho, Let's go to a rock show

Yesterday afternoon Michael and I drove up to Chapel Hill to see the band Yo La Tengo. Being completely unfamiliar with Yo La Tengo I went because I happened to be off and a road trip with Michael and James sounded like fun. Unfortunately, James couldn't make it because he got sick. If you want details go to his blog.

I spent the trip up playing with Michael's new digital camera. I spent about an hour trying to take pictures of other motorists as we passed them. They turned out just as silly as you might think. The only precaution I took was not to take pictures of someone who liked they might react to the invasion by trying to kill us.

Upon arriving at the club we might Tom and we went and had dinner at Mama Dipps. Who knew that spaghetti could be so greasy? It's darn good food but it'll send you running.

We had a lot of time to kill before the show so we went to a few bookstores and record stores. I bought the recent CD by the Blind Boys of Alabama and a novel by Patricia Anthony who is a criminally ignored writer, dadgummit. We went to one store in Chapel Hill called the Internationalist and I think we may have stumbled into a meeting of the Weather Underground. Nice people but they looked a little paranoid.

We then went by a Harris Teeter so Michael could buy chapstick and I could get a remedy for Mama Dipps. With an hour to kill the three of us sat in Tom's car and bullshitted and laughed and just plain caught up. The nice banter between three people that are very comfortable in each others presence that don't get to hang out too often.

The Yo la Tengo show was pretty darn good. I haven't been to Cat's Cradle that often but each time I go I leave impressed by quality of the sound system. They really put a lot of effort into presenting their customers with excellent sound. It's the kind of sound that will keep you coming back.

Although I enjoyed Yo La Tengo's performance I found it lacking just a little bit. I may be missing something but these accomplished musicians perform songs by other musicians better than they play their own. They're so eclectic that it's hard for them to establish a groove. Perhaps they should watch a David Childers show and see how a master changes tone effectively.

The last half hour of the show was the best portion of the show for me. The band relaxed, played some covers and, upon returning to their own material, played it with a purpose that was lacking earlier in the night. Any show that includes roaring covers of "Roadrunner" and "What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding" is not a waste of time. Goddamn, that cover of "Roadrunner" made me want to run up front and jump off the stage.

Thanks, Michael, for driving up there. I had a darn good time.

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