Monday, February 10, 2014

What's Your Rush?

It was fifty years ago today, so there was that.

But first there was pre-gaming at Secco before facing the hordes of screaming fans.

The Sunday "secret stash" yielded up Durin Pigato, an oddball grape from Liguria, Italy recommended as a winter-worthy white.

True that, which made it almost, but not quite, as satisfying as it had been standing in front of an open fire hearth in the gardens of Colonial Williamsburg earlier this afternoon.

A nibble of almonds with za'atar and sea salt presented two distinct pleasures: biting into the thick, dense nuts and licking my fingers of the oily sheen of spice and salt left behind.

More food followed - fried calamari with squid ink aioli, fromager d'affinois, a double cream soft cow's cheese the consistency of fudge and every bit as obscene, thick-veined Rogue Creamery smokey blue and jamon serrano because what's a little cheese without some meat.

Conversation was courtesy of a nearby couple with all kinds of interesting things to share.

He's a poet on hiatus (I know a few of those) about to open Ardent (!) brewery in Scott's Addition, easily the best name I've seen for a suds-making operation.

But then, word use would be a strength of someone whose graduate degree is in creative writing.

We talked about the challenges of daily blogging, which he used to do, too, and the particular feeling you get when you reread your post the next morning and find yourself wondering how you ever wrote such a poor excuse for a sentence the night before.

I had to laugh when she politely inquired of him what he'd done about planning Valentine's Day, telling him, "that's all on you." He sheepishly admitted he hadn't done much yet but was working toward it.

It's funny how we abdicate the planning of a day of romance to the same sex that waits till Christmas eve to shop for presents.

Fortified as only obscure wine and small plates can, we made our way to the Camel for the three bands celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan.

When I was in college, the first question people asked you at a party was "Beatles or Stones?" and while I think it's like asking "apples or oranges?" I think that the Beatles are the bedrock of modern music whether I prefer the Stones' music or not. Honestly, at this point in my life, I've heard both too much.

Turns out we'd already missed the Girtles, although a friend said they'd played a very short set. Another friend greeted me, unexpectedly sporting a new mustache. A drummer gave me the hi sign from across the bar.

Fredericksburg's Blue Tips played next and I was surprised to see that their lead singer was the same as for the multi-talented High Steps. Small world.

They began with later Beatles' music and then jumped back to the short, sassy three-chord songs that had the teenyboppers screaming. I'm not ashamed to say I was bopping right along in my bar stool.

During the break, I chatted with organizer Prabir, curious if there had been any coordination to avoid repeating songs tonight and he assured me there had been.

Finally the band billed as "trained monkeys with voting rights" aka Goldrush took the stage and the one song I knew for sure they'd do was "Eleanor Rigby" because that's been in their repertoire for years and they didn't disappoint.

Where they won my heart was doing the inscrutable "Tomorrow Never Knows," an unlikely song off "Revolver," my favorite Beatles album and one that I would have never expected to hear tonight.

But with a catalog the size of the Beatles', I was foolish to have any expectations at all. The same could be said about living an ardent life.

Better to turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

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