Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rebuilding the Bionic Woman

Never make plans because they are always subject to change. But set goals anyway.

I began at Amuse because it was a favorite bartender's last night and far be it for me not to worship at his bar one last time.

The vibe was low key when I arrived and escalated to full-on busy before it was all over.

Even better, a dedicated admirer joined me before long, making for an even better way to enjoy my evening.

We started with the Boxwood Rose despite the plethora of happy hour choices. As if that weren't surprise enough, there was a new prix fixe menu.

Amuse, you've gotten so hip lately.

We couldn't resist the regular menu, though, choosing  the country style duck pate with quince whole grain mustard, pistachios and toasted crostini.

At the bartender's recommendation, we let it sit for a while to warm up, releasing the flavors.

Just as compelling were the house-cured sardines and roasted piquillo peppers with arugula, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It was just short of an Italian's wet dream.

Last, but certainly not least, was the grilled polenta with a saute of local mushrooms and creamy sherry with chives.

Meanwhile, we had been greeted by WRIR folk, the bartender's parents ("Didn't we meet in an alley?") and a couple who clarified that they were not engaged.

Because it was the bartender's last night. It seemed only appropriate that he make my last absinthe drip at Amuse.

Okay, maybe not my last, but the last he  prepared for me.

A nearby bar sitter marveled at the process, never having seen it before.

You have to love absinthe virgins.

Because of the later light and the magnificent view, we lingered over absinthe while admiring the fading March light over the sculpture garden.

By then I'd missed the Black Maria Film Fest I'd intended to make.

Eventually, we marshaled our forces and went to see "Visions of France: Three Postwar Photographers," a beguiling show of people kissing, cafe scenes and assorted denizens of Paris' streets.

We were taken with Doisneau's "Kiss by the Hotel de Ville" mainly because of the girl's arm.

Yes, he is holding her shoulder and kissing her hard, but it is the surrender in her right arm that captivated us.

Clearly, she was completely helpless once he started kissing her.

Now, that's street art.

Stopping on the second floor landing, we paused to admire the host of couples tangoing on the lower level.

Every third Friday, they do Tango after Work and watching these couples dance was a beautiful entertainment.

I am probably far too uncoordinated to attempt tangoing, but I couldn't help but admire the beauty of the joined bodies.

And I've got the wardrobe; all the women wore skirts or dresses.

We all need something to aspire to.

Next up, I went to Strange Matter for music because how else do you follow absinthe, street kissing and tango?

In this case, with leg compliments from a girl, libido questions from a guy, a man in the ladies' room and three excellent sets.

Marionette started on time, a rarity at Strange Matter, and played an incredibly tight set of new music.

It's fantastic when old fans get rewarded with new material.

During one song the drummer's girlfriend came up to me and said, "This song sounds like sex, doesn't it?"

When I mentioned her comment to the guitarist later, he said, "I thought it sounded more like victory...or maybe that's the same."

Ocean versus Daughter was next, and while I'd seen them once before, I hadn't known the full back story then.

Hearing her sing "You hurt me. I hate you. I hope you die in a fire" takes on a whole new meaning when I learn that the guy she wrote it about is in the room.

While I liked her voice and keyboards, even better was when she had two members of Marionette backing her up.

During a trip to the bathroom, I came out of my stall to find the singer cornered near the sink by a guy who wanted her to listen to his band.

But really, following her into the ladies' room to make his pitch?

I can't decide if that's very rock and roll or just skeevy.

Last up was Canary, oh Canary and while the vocals weren't quite high enough in the mix, they did their usual superb job with reverb and obtuse lyrics.

So while I'd traded off film for music, I can't come close to matching the record of WRIR's Galaxy Girl, who was there tonight. She's now seen fifteen shows this month and it's March 16th.

I bowed at her feet for such awesomeness.

The best I got tonight was having a musician friend tell me he'd been driving through my neighborhood and was admiring some great legs in shorts when he realized it was me.

We're going to call that metaphorical bowing at my legs for semi-awesomeness.

I know it's not much, but it's hard to compete with a record like fifteen out of sixteen.

Truth is, when it comes to some things, I'd be happy with one out of three.

As long as it's the right one.


  1. So nice running into you the other day! I'm slowly catching up on posting my shows to Still determined to see 31 in 31. Starting to think I can actually pull it off!

  2. Hey Karen. Thanks for coming last night. Always good to have you're positive vibe and shining face around.

  3. GG: If anyone can, you can! I'm sure I'll see you again before the end of March. The Kurt Vile show is going to be amazing! Maybe there?

    Marshall: What else was I going to do with my positive vibe and shining face on a Friday night? Besides, you guys were terrific!