Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This Charming Man

Sometimes you just need to have dinner with someone you've never had dinner with before.

As lovely as lunch can be, there just isn't as much time to hear restaurant gossip, talk to the staff and introduce me to a millionaire over a mid-day meal.

Obviously the gossip is unrepeatable, but I had to laugh about the staff chats.

Not once, but twice, my dinner companion guessed where the person went to high school based on the same information I heard and I had no idea where they'd been schooled.

To make it even more unbelievable, he knew people at both those schools.

And one of them wasn't even in central Virginia.

I don't even know where my own friends went to high school, much less guessing where strangers went.

But the staff was less interesting than the millionaire in shorts who came over to say hello to my companion.

It's not like I knew his financial status as we were being introduced and since I'm friendly to practically anybody (some would say overly friendly), I just smiled, shook hands and made witty banter.

But now I can say I've met a millionaire.

"And he's the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet," my friend told me when he left, as if he had to convince me that the charming man was indeed nice.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we walked up the block together before going our separate ways.

He's an early riser (like 5 early) so while I was going out, he wasn't.

When I got to the Nile, a crowd was already forming for the "86 Reality" premiere after party show.

The new cable series "86 Reality" had aired at 10 and afterwards, the bands who had been featured on the show were playing live.

I ran into some friends, talked for a while and, like the others there, patiently waited for the show to start.

Only it didn't.

Finally Michael of Canary, oh, Canary, tonight's headliner, told me that the opening band was waiting for P.A.

That band was Charlottesville's Manorlady, a band I'd seen and liked very much at Sprout back in March 2011.

"We could do our set a cappella," Manorlady's guitarist Aaron says. "We started that way."

But when your sound is based on synths, guitar and bass with two vocalists, microphones are helpful.

So there was an indefinite pause until the equipment arrived.

It didn't bother me.

I heard about a friend's Scandinavian vacation and how several seemingly unfortunate events had led to wonderful things happening to him.

From another friend, I got his take on friendship and how he thinks we are similar.

A girl I met tonight who'd just come from stuffing herself at Mama Zu explained how after a filling meal she likes to go home and lay on the floor before going out to a show.

Good to know because I hadn't.

When the mics finally arrived and were being set up, I noticed that we were going to have a light show with the music.

Except that instead of using a computer, this guy was kicking it old school.

He had an overhead projector, the kind I remember from school.

On the light table were four glass plates of varying sizes, between which he put oil and food coloring.

Then once the set started, he proceeded to lift and drop the plates, sometimes twirling them, sometimes twisting them in time to the music.

The effect on the wall behind Manorlady was very groovy and certainly more labor intensive than using technology.

Finally the band began, with Aaron saying, "This is very D.I.Y., so let us know if something doesn't sound good."

I would have put bass player Melissa's vocals a bit higher in the mix, but overall, their funky take on shoegaze, which segued from song to song in many cases without pause, was sounding just fine.

No surprise that having liked them a year and a half ago, I liked them still now.

They said they'd just come back from tour ("our best ever") and that they have a new CD coming out.

Because they'd started an hour late, their set seemed too short.

Because I was stuffed and hadn't laid on the floor before the show, I said my good nights knowing the other two bands were going to have to do even shorter sets to end by a legal time.

Sometimes you just need to hear a little shoegaze after meeting a millionaire.

That much I'd done.

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