I miss the sound of the ocean, but at least there was music.
After endless post-vacation chores (laundry and bills and plants, oh, my!), I took my first indoor shower in a week (missing the sky overhead as I wash already) to remove the last layer of sunscreen, sweat and sand from my person.
After wearing a bathing suit all day, every day for a week, I settled on the loosest dress I could find and made my way to Live at Ipanema.
I realized I'd been out of the loop when I heard live music as I approached Ips.
Since it was barely 9:45 and the music doesn't usually start until 10:30ish, I sensed I'd missed the memo about an early start time.
The crowd was already out the door.
Squeezing in behind the violinist who organizes Classical Incarnations, all I could see where the backs of people taller than me.
I heard a few songs by Night Idea, part math rock sounding, part progressive jazz sounding and then an announcement.
"Because we're recording this tonight and there was a glitch, the band is going to do the first and second song over again."
How very convenient for those of us late to the party as well as those who needed a smoke break.
After they repeated and absent the smokers, I made my way into the room to find friends.
After a week out of town, it was good to see the cute photographer, the filmmaker (tired of editing after an all-day session), a couple of musicians from a favorite band, the newly-appointed digital content director (I'm sure my reference sealed that deal), my favorite thrifter/cultural observer out late on a school night and the talented woman who taught me to drink (and brought me a documentary to watch).
It was a fine homecoming.
While the room had been mobbed during Night Idea, it was slightly less so for Floodwall, although they clearly had some rabid fans of their own.
Present for both sets was a woman with a large, pleather purse, clearly under the influence of god-knows-what but surely more than just alcohol, but eager to sing along to the band and sway uncontrollably as people nearby alternately looked aghast or giggled in amusement.
Floodwall had an interesting sound, although as one girlfriend noted, "I'd like them better if I were hearing them someplace besides around this crowd."
It was true; many of the people in attendance may have been friends or fans of the band, but that didn't stop them from bro-hugging, talking and flipping hair throughout their set.
Another friend complained that "the music doesn't go anywhere," but changed his tune late in their set when an urgent, more post-rock soundscape accompanied the interesting and emotive vocals.
The night's biggest laugh came courtesy of the bartender who, after the first few notes of a song, leaned in and said, "I thought they were going to do an Offspring cover and that would have been amazing."
When their effects-laden set ended, a friend looked at me and said, "Welcome to 1991. Now that was some shoegaze. I need to make a video for these guys."
Have at it, man. Hopefully you won't have to explain what shoegaze is to them.
I lived through it the first time, so I certainly know, despite having been carded at the door on the way in.
Damn, I guess hearing the ocean non-stop for a week works wonders on the complexion.
And the attitude.