Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Woke up hungover Monday morning. Drinking beer and scotch into the wee hours off the morning. Not proud of it but these things must be done occasionally. (Okay, once a week.)

My excitement for life was crushed just a hair more by the job yesterday. I spent about 45 minutes playing the "Bowling" game on my cellphone trying to beat my high score of 187. (I couldn't.) Took a longer lunch and spent sometime sitting in Madison Square Park. (The squirrels here are so thin here, like arboreal whippets. I am used to the robust, solid (and ubiquitous) Chicago squirrel, fat from chewing holes in the alley-bound garbage cans and eating everything they can get their little dexterous paws on.)

Tim and Cathy invited me to an Our Lady of the Highway show (http://www.ourladyofthehighway.com) at the Knitting Factory. I wasn't scheduled to meet them until 8, so I wandered down to Home Depot and picked out some paint chips and then spent about 90 minutes sitting (again) in MadSqPk, listening to the iPod and watching people. Met Tim and Cathy and some of their friends at Nam, a Viet place down on Duane. I had the grilled pork. After a long absence, pork is now making its way back as a staple of the diet. I now find myself craving it. That, and beer and scotch.

There were four bands of the bill. We arrived at the end of the third band's set. (Notice my hip music biz language: bill, set. I'll try to work "gig" in somewhere here.) I caught about three songs; the band had put up fakes white picket fences in front of the stage, and they had the kind of clunky, nine person horns-accordian-washboard-nylon-string-guitar self-consciously "ecclectic" thing going on. They weren't bad but they could've focused more on making the music better rather than making it wackier.

Our Lady of the Highway is fronted by Dominic, an old friend/former roommate of Tim. The band was good. I was expecting something a little rockabill-ier for some reason--not sure why. It's hard to describe the sound, definitely in the rock category but a little more introspective. Dominic tended to smile gleefully and execute these little jumps and dances which seemed totally incongrous with the music. He's be jumping up and down enthusiastically as if possessed by the demons of rock and roll buy would instead be playing this sweet little melody on his acoustic guitar. The love and joy for performing was evident and entirely natural with Dominic--and the whole band, actually--which stood in vivid contrast to the clunky stylings of the previous band.

The best part of the Our Lady performance, however: the drummer. Our Lady has a Chinese girl drummer who a.) was a great drummer and b.) could play the keyboards while drumming. She frequently got a amazingly beatific smile on her face while she was playing. Transcendent, it was. It rare to see that kind of joy anywhere.

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