Wednesday, August 29, 2012

With the Band

A few years ago at one of those hippie festivals with lots of organic food and even more bare feet, I wandered onto the grass in front of the stage where a band called Holy Ghost Tent Revival was playing.  I fell in love that day—as much with the band’s unrivaled sound as with the energy level of their live show.  I sat on the ground and watched them, bereft of any desire to see the rest of the macramé and scented candles.  I can still picture the guys leaping up and down as they strummed and banged and honked and wailed.  The lyrics to one of the songs they played (something about a view from a rooftop, and then “it never felt so good to feel so small”) stuck in my head for a long time, but the song wasn't on their album, and I couldn't find it anywhere.

I'd heard that they were going to be in town a couple of times, but each time discovered with dismay that I could not make it to the show, for one reason or another.  A couple of months ago, I found them on the schedule at a local venue and decided that this was it—I was finally going to get to see them again.

In the meantime, I continue to get to know the people I work with, and have learned that a lot of them are musicians.  Two of the guys who work in support are in a band called Annuals, whom I had not heard but decided I liked almost immediately.  I went to one of their shows a couple of weeks ago and was blown away (which may have had something to do with having my favorite tune —“Hardwood Floor”— dedicated to me by name, at which point I may or may not have cried a little bit).  Needless to say, they procured one more screaming fan.

So you can imagine my excitement when I casually mentioned my plans to go see Holy Ghost Tent Revival and one of the guys said, “Oh that’s cool.  We’re playing with them.”  I honestly couldn’t have put together a better lineup if I had tried.  The show that I had already been looking forward to for more than a month had now become the ideal concert.  All I had to do was make it a week and a half without peeing myself.

Last Friday night, the wait was over.  I was not disappointed.

From walking through the door and being able to say, “I’m on the list” (which I found out shortly before the show), to getting to hang in the balcony area with the guys of Annuals after they played, to shaking hands with the members of Holy Ghost Tent Revival (with what was probably the biggest and most idiotic grin in history on my face), it was pretty much, to put it eloquently, totally the coolest night ever. Seriously, unprecedented levels of cool were reached.  Because apart from being musical geniuses, they are some of the friendliest people in the whole world.  They even played the song I remembered from the first time I saw them.  The name of the track is "Overlooking Brooklyn," and you can listen to it here.

My friends harassed me afterward saying that it was "like I had gotten to meet a celebrity."  My response was, "What do you mean, 'like'?"

Am I biased a little at this point? Possibly.  Should you listen to them or go see them if they come to your town anyway because they're genuinely awesome, biased or not?  A thousand times 'Yes.'

Help me make them (more) famous:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School... Or Not

As you may have noticed (but admittedly probably haven't, because you are all busy people with successful careers and families and hobbies and lives), I've been a lazy bum about blogging recently.  In an effort to rectify this situation, and no doubt improve all of your busy, successful lives by at least .0037%*, I'm going to do something I don't usually do here on my cozy square foot of Internet:  I'm going to tell you about my day.

Today was supposed to be the first day of classes.  I guess I sort of knew, over the course of the summer, that school was looming somewhere in the distance, but I was working 40 hours a week at my ridiculously cool summer job, and had forgotten about all of the prep that was necessary.  I needed a parking pass, textbooks, and probably notebooks and pencils.  I also had to unearth my backpack from the archaeological site my room had become.

I waited in line for about an hour yesterday with all the other lazy college bums who waited until the day before class to pick up their parking permits.  I woke up at six this morning and didn't hit the snooze button.  I yanked my backpack out of a mountain of art supplies, then decided all I needed was my laptop.  I put on a brand new pair of contacts, left the house on time and with a full tank of gas, remembered my phone and my wallet and my headphones and my car keys.  I caught the bus and snagged my favorite seat in the back left corner.  I landed on campus a full half-hour before my 8:30 math class.  I swung by my favorite coffee shop and bought the first cappuccino of the year, which earned me the tenth and final punch on my "Java Junkies" card.  I strutted to class with Holy Ghost Tent Revival wailing through my headphones.  I even found my classroom without excessive wandering or hair-pulling.

At this point, I should have been suspicious.  I wasn't.  I poked my head into the classroom.  Empty.  I was fifteen minutes early, so it was plausible that I was the first one there.  Then I looked at the board.

305 canceled
jury duty

I was conflicted.  Was this the cherry on top of my perfect day?  Or the thread that unraveled it all?  Am I excited because my first and only class today is canceled or enraged because I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and burned a gallon of gas to get here?

I'm usually a proponent of the philosophy that no class is better than class.  Period.  And any frustration toward the professor is speedily erased by imagining how his morning has probably been.

So I've decided, sitting back in the coffee shop, listening to the classical music they're playing, overhearing snatches of intellectual conversation at the tables around me, that this development is indeed a positive one.  And while I'm on campus, I can procure textbooks, which I have yet to do.

My aquarium stand landed on my porch yesterday, and now I have everything I need to set up my Atlantis/Pompeii-themed goldfish tank.  I suppose I can do that.  And I should probably clean my room.

But I think I'm going to take a nap first.

*percentage based on a clinical study of females ages 18-35 in Siberia