Monday, March 13, 2006

Drop that zero and get with the hero

After clocking out on Tuesday Chuck said he had some bad news. "Dude, we're getting evicted". "What"?, I replied.
He explained how we were getting evicted.
The Of Montreal concert was a beacon of hope in the great depression. Unfortunately Chuck lost his and two other peoples' tickets and set about ransacking the house in a quest to find them. He never found them, but the venue, on the other side of the state, allegedly had 30 tickets in their possession and were to sell them at the door. This meant that in order to get a ticket, one must arrive very early and stand in line. So we did and of course, it was raining. We all got in alright, but I was tired as hell for work the next day, and after that we had a show to play.

Our band was set to play in a town too far away at a venue called "Blingerz". This was quite a dumb name for a venue but in comparison to the experience as a whole, the name could have been anything for all it mattered. When Mitch called the number provided for the person in charge of booking, a high school secretary answered the phone. He asked for the Man and was, I assume, put on hold until the person finally was on the line. Mitch took care of the business then asked the guy if he was a teacher. "No" he replied, "I'm a student. My mom works for the school and she forwards my calls".
After looking at Blingerz's website, I realized that we, a country/bluegrass band, were scheduled to play with numerous bands of conflicting genre. Instead of being nervous about the impending awkwardness, I was excited, as is the nature of the other band members and I. We were going to play in a strange place with emo/hardcore bands. Grand.

We embarked on the seventy mile drive to our intended destination and arrived to find that the destination was just as we had imagined it. The venue looked like the home of the old hippy couple in "Cool As Ice", the movie appropriately starring Vanilla Ice. There were fluorescent imitation-gang-tagging-style murals that glowed in the blacklights, backlit panels displaying the silhouettes of rotating fan blades, strobe lights, fog machines, tacky furniture, candy, canned soda, game cubes, ironic factory warning signs on the walls (not too entertaining when you actually are afraid of being run over by a forklift at work every day), non-rhyming folk music, no sound guy, no pay, no smoking, no drinking and a full hour of free-form blues. By the time we actually performed, I was contemplating suicide. After our set I lost my sunglasses. Andrew got on the microphone just to tell everybody "this place sucks". It was true. Lately, I've been finding out that I no longer react to problems the way I used to. At first I thought I was getting soft or losing my "edge", but I just may be getting smarter. I now realize that dealing with reality as if it were a joke is quite prudent because reality is a joke if you view it in the third person.

The same day I learned of our eviction, my "service engine soon" warning made itself visible on the dashboard. This added to the stress of the week, especially since the mechanic said it couldn't be fixed until the following Monday. Driving all over the damn state was made even more nervous. I leave for work early in the morning which meant I would have to drop the car off at the shop on Sunday night. I asked Andrew if I could borrow his bike so I could ride it back home. It's a pretty long trip on a bike, a BMX especially. I was offered a ride in a car, but I felt like doing something challenging. I bought a Sunday paper so I could find an apartment, pumped up the bike tires at the gas station, dropped the car off and started riding. I took a shortcut through the park, and took the pedestrian bridge over the river and through the woods. A dog was crossing the bridge in the opposite direction, obviously on its way to something important. We scared the hell out of eachother.