Saturday, July 14, 2012

People Got a Lotta Nerve

I don't care if forever never comes
'Cause I'm holding out for that teenage feeling

And what teenager wouldn't want to eat at the food court?

Our food court of choice was the Virginia Historical Society's food court and it was mobbed.

I had a first-timer with me, so we walked the length of the parking lot first to consider all the choices.

I opted for Sustenance's southern salad, an enticing combination of mixed greens, donut peach slices, artichokes, hearts of palm and Asiago in a Vidalia onion vinaigrette.

I took it to a table and set up camp while my partner in crime went off to score his dinner from the Boka truck.

When he returned with a pork belly taco and a short rib taco (with white beans and red wine au jus), we were all set.

Favorite taco: the long-cooked short ribs.

Our table was conveniently located next to the King of Pop truck, so without even standing up, we scored a fresh peach pop so frozen I had to put it between my legs to bring it to edible temperature.

And boy, was it good then. The pop was clearly made from peach pulp and juice.

How do I know?

Three bites immediately set off my peach allergy, causing the roof of my mouth to itch and my tongue to swell.

Even so, it was well worth it.

Before we left, we spent some time listening to the music of Grant Hunnicutt and Allison Self and company, doing bluegrass and Americana under a canopy on the grass.

When we finally tore ourselves away, it was to head to the National to see Neko Case.

Happily, we immediately ran into friends with tales of their recent trip to Italy.

Summary: the food is always good, the people always friendly and I probably need to make a visit.

Opening was Kelly Hogan, aka Neko Case's back-up singer, with her own band.

She did a short but strong set, covering Vic Chesnutt and John Wesley Harding, among others, in between all kinds of humorous remarks and tambourine shaking.

And then the red-headed one took the stage and all was right in my world.

I've probably seen Neko Case five or six times (not including seeing her withe the New Pornographers) and I never fail to be overcome with the sound of her distinctive voice.

How will you know if you found me at last?
Cause I'll be the one, be the one, be the one
With my heart in my lap
I'm so tired
I wish I was the moon tonight

To me, her humor is icing on the cake (and I'm sure her looks are the same to males).

After yet another heartbreaking song, she observed, "How f**king lame is it to tear up over your own song?"

Hogan piped up, saying, "Puffs, brought to you by Neko Case."

The crowd was an adoring one, singing along, but also annoying her.

"Those of you recording this, I see you," she said. "Just because Apple gives you an app doesn't mean you should use it. It makes us nervous, so stop."

I was gratified to see Security come over and tell a couple people near me to stop filming since Neko had specifically dictated no recording.

Come out to meet me
Run out to meet me
Come into the light

They referred to guitar player John as "Gandalf on pedal steel," a worthy compliment for a guy whose playing added immeasurably to her sound.

"You're putting me into hyper-swoon," she raved about him. That made two of us.

When Hogan mentioned the mu-mu she was wearing ("You could have a party in this dress!"), Neko agreed, saying her loose-fitting top did the same job of covering up her body flaws.

"My hip bones and my ribs touch," she admitted, making her my hero since mine do the same.

Short-waisted women of the world unite!

I can't give up acting tough
It's all that I'm made of
Can't scrape together quite enough
To ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love

During "This Tornado Loves You," my friend turned to me to say how much she loved the song.

I do, too, but given the lyrics, you could replace "tornado" with "Gemini" and it would totally work, I pointed out.

But then she's a Gemini, so she knew exactly what I meant.

But I know that I'm your favorite'
And I said "Amen"

And to the gospel of Neko Case, I too say a heartfelt "amen."

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