"If you are free, we need to go to this show," said the e-mail from Andrew, my musical partner in crime. Fortunately, he gave me enough notice that I could guarantee my presence where it was needed last night. I'd just recently discovered Jukebox the Ghost so I was excited to have a chance to hear them live so soon. With the local additions of Prabir and the Goldrush and The Trillions opening, it looked to be a musical bonanza of an evening.
Garnett's was our choice for dinner and it worked out well because it wasn't crazily busy, so we got plenty of conversation from the staff as well as a visit from George, the cat, who once again had wandered down the four blocks from where he actually lives. His daily presence is thought to have something to do with Hunter feeding him salmon ("I just wanted a companion," he explained, "and someone to stroke." Ahem), but I've never seen a cat so nonchalantly work a dinner crowd. Having both doors open probably doesn't discourage George much, either.
Searching the menu for a new sandwich to try, (Andrew the smart-ass said, "You haven't tried them all yet?") I decided on the grilled cheddar (with hot mustard and red onions on rye bread) on Curt's recommendation, with a side of Mac's fresher-than-fresh gazpacho. It was a variation on a cliched theme, that of the grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch of childhood; there was absolutely nothing cliched about this combination. I'd like to dub Mac the Soup Master for his talent with liquids, but he already knows I worship him. Dessert was the luscious chocolate cake with coffee icing and then we headed down to the Bottom for music.
We were early, or the show was late starting, however you want to look at it, so we did a stroll since it was such a beautiful night, which resulted in one of those sublime moments that you wish you could capture, raved about here.
And then it was show time. It was our first time seeing Prabir and then the Trillions (his former Substitutes plus one) at Alley Katz. My only complaint was the sound mix; the recently-added drums of the Goldrush pretty much canceled out Matt's bass, which was a real shame. If there's going to be an instrument that big on stage and being played with that much verve and enthusiasm, I want to hear it and I couldn't, except when the drummer was playing the high hat.
Prabir, take note.
I'd run into several friends who, like me, were there for Jukebox the Ghost and they delivered in spades. A Philly trio with an emphasis on crazy keyboards, they were tight, melodic and completely engaging. Pianist Ben was also a ham, using elaborate hand gestures and high voices to dramatize their songs (almost Freddy Mercury-like).
The crowd had a clear contingent of fans who knew every word and danced pretty much non-stop. The band even introduced their first two songs as "dance sensations." A skinny older man in the front row provided a frenetic dance performance to many of the songs, amusing the band and entertaining the crowd. He was completely into following that frenzied keyboard and it was awesome to watch. Andrew had been exactly right, I needed to see this show.
My last stop of the evening was Ipanema to meet up with a friend for catch-up conversation and of course we ended up closing the place (not that I was drinking after the lunch I'd had, here). It was funny, we both had a story about how a guy we knew had misinterpreted one of my recent blog posts. Both guys had had reading comprehension issues about this post, here, reading into it a completely different meaning than what I wrote.
Luckily, my girlfriend had interpreted it exactly as it was intended when I wrote it (so I knew I wasn't crazy), but these guys saw a completely different and provocative meaning to it. Song lyrics, guys, they were just lyrics and I wasn't lusting after or propositioning anyone in that post. Hell, the point of that post was about all the various enjoyable guys she and I had run into that night.
Until I get this guy thing going right again, thank god there are girlfriends who get me without needing explanations. Believe me, if I'm lusting after someone, I will be clear as crystal and you won't have to read into anything I write.
I'll spell it out for you and, male or female, you won't be able to miss my meaning.