Sunday, July 17, 2011

Long Arms to Hold All the Girls

"My heart stopped when I saw you walk in."

Given the right circumstances, those words would make a girl go weak in the knees but they had another meaning entirely tonight.

I'd gone to the Camel to see a triple bill with Long Arms headlining. Long Arms is the band of my fellow nerd and lecture-attendee, James.

He has chastised me more than once for not attending the band's shows (always due to a prior commitment, I might add) so my arrival had been noted immediately.

He gasped, he gave me a hard time, but I was glad to finally take away his ammo. Then I told him what a great Civil War lecture he'd missed Thursday night at the Library of Virginia...and he wanted details.

That's a nerd.

There was already a good-sized crowd milling about and it was barely 10:00, not always the case

It should be noted and exclaimed over that the show began on time. At the Camel on a Saturday night. Whoa.

Promptly at 10, DC singer/songwriter Justin Jones (with an upright bass player, but minus the Driving Rain) started playing, making sure to include some "Saturday night songs."

Despite a well-executed set, the crowd talked on.

A friend came over to ask me why a girl was wearing a see-through shirt, as if I would know what goes on in the mind of a 22-year old.

"Does Taco Bell wrap their burritos in clear plastic?" he asked rhetorically. "No. Where's the anticipation with that?" No clue.

Meanwhile, I noted a guy in a blue "I ♥ Hot Moms" t-shirt, not one you see every day, especially at a show.

When Justin left the stage, his button-down shirt was soaked through front and back from his energetic set.

Horsehead was next and after the first song, a girl walked by me, stopped and noted, "Look at the singer with the hat on. He looks like Kid Rock." True that.

Calling their set a "rock show," the band went hard, with  Kevin delivering his usual guitar magnificence.

"This is Kevin's debut on piano," we were told. "If you ask what Kevin plays, Kevin plays everything." And very well, I might add.

The girl at the merch table next to me decided to mount the back of the booth (beer in hand) to see better and as she did so, she requested, "If I fall, you have to catch me."

Ethically, maybe, but she wasn't the boss of me. On the other hand, I did not want a body dropping on to me from above, so I kept one eye peeled in her direction.

In addition to the transparent and the hot mom-loving attire, there was an abundance of girls in strapless and low-cut dresses tonight. It was almost as if a memo had gone out.

Curious about it, I asked someone for an explanation, only to be told that they were hoping to get lucky with James.

Nerdy James? James I see at the Historical Society with alarming regularity? James who gloats over knowing about a lecture I don't?

Inquiring minds had to know. Next time James passed me, I asked him outright.

"I heard all these scantily-clad girls are here because they want to have sex with you."

He grinned.

"They might be," he allowed. "Well, no not really. Well, maybe."

A friend later told me that if I didn't want to sleep with James, I failed the heterosexuality test.

For what it's worth, he's also the friend who greeted me by saying, "I'd ask what you've been up to, but I can do the research myself."

Yet another of my comedian/musician friends.

A cake had been baked for the occasion, frosted in turquoise icing to match the turquoise 7" Horsehead/Long Arms record being released tonight.

I had no qualms whatsoever about being the first to cut the cake (nod to AWB), putting two pieces on my plate and sharing with a friend who assured me that my sexuality was not in question because I didn't want to sleep with James.

Long Arms rocked hard from the second they began their set, playing songs from their CD and the new record.

The highlight came when James said, "This is a song about a woman from the Civil War who lived in Church Hill." A runaway? A spy? Are we talking Elizabeth van Lewes?

Forget Sexy Beast, that's the nerd I know.

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