I practically qualify for mayor of Balliceaux lately.
Let's just say that when I paid my five bucks to get in, the door guy said he didn't need to stamp my hand because he knows me (should I decide I wanted to come and go).
For the fourth time in eight days, I was back in the back room to hear live music, a testament to how much terrific talent is passing through there lately.
Playing first was Peace Beast, a band I hadn't seen since last August.
With two members from the Diamond Center and two from Roanoke, all I recalled was a female-fronted band, but that was enough to get me there.
Tonight's show reminded me what else I'd liked about them.
Kyle's guitar playing, Kelly's songwriting and the overall dreamy psychedelic mood of the music add up to my kind of music.
Kelly is an enigmatic frontwoman, though. It's hard to tell if she's enjoying herself despite the compelling lyrics coming out of her mouth.
Honestly, I hope she is, but for purely selfish reasons.
I was really excited to see The Garbers for the first time. Born out of the ashes of Hot Lava, I'd heard nothing but great things about singer Allison Apperson's latest pop project.
To tell you the truth, I already knew that if it was anything like Hot Lava, I was going to love it.
It was. I did.
Sunny and bouncy with lots of harmonies and the kind of keyboards that make it impossible to stand still, The Garbers grabbed the attention of even the pretty people and chatters in the room.
Earlier, drummer Giustino had said hello and we'd discussed his choice of a (red) polyester shirt on a night where he'd be working up a sweat.
Any drumming is work, but his is especially frenetic and energetic(attributable perhaps to 20 years in Bio Ritmo?) .
Now onstage, he also admitted that his corduroy flares were interfering with his abilities on kick drum.
Never one to be shy about making a fashion statement (I once saw his other project, Fuzzy Baby, perform as the Red Stripes in all red polyester), Giustin just rolled up his pant leg and drummed on.
The Garbers don't have a lot of music yet because they've only been playing together since December, but what we heard, infectious and poppy as it was, sounded like a great start for a future album.
In anticipation of the last act, my girlfriend and I took seats on the back of the front booth, enjoying unexpected seating with a view over the crowd.
Snowy Owls finished out the night with a vocal mic that had a mind of its own, coming and going at will.
No matter how many times I see these guys, I always find myself grinning ear to ear at the fuzzed-out sounds that scream "music from a cave," a genre near and dear to my heart.
There were lots of new faces in the crowd and more dancers than usual, so word must begetting out that they're a band to experience.
Pshaw, how long have I been saying that?
Leader Matt had told me when I'd first arrived to expect a new cover, but declined to share what it would be, saying it would be obvious.
From the first seconds as Brandon's drums led off into the guitars and inevitable, "Show me, show me, show me," the crowd went wild.
Dancing began in earnest as a roomful of people who were probably being conceived or born when the song came out went crazy (perhaps that explains the instinctual response).
And, the fact is, if you can't go crazy over a good song by The Cure, when can you?
From there they went back to original music, finishing with "Could" and hearing the crowd calling for an encore.
Why, it was just like heaven.