Friday morning began as all of my mornings begin, with me swearing loudly at my alarm clock as it blasts me into consciousness with it’s shrill siren call. After 25 years of existence I have come to this conclusion: I am not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. Even on days that I have to get up early for school I still stay up until 2 in the morning, simply out of habit.
After I hit the snooze button 4 or 5 times I finally dragged myself out of bed and into the shower, and then off to my statistics class, which is a pain in the butt, but a necessary class to take so that way I can finally graduate college and then…… Do stuff.
I had a hop in my step after class because I knew that in a few short hours I would be doing what I do best: eating food and talking about movies with my friends. As I arrived home around 10 a.m. I waved hello to my neighbor Kelly, and we chatted a bit about health care reform. After that I went to the gym, and worked out while flipping through The New Yorker. Yes, I know that sounds pretentious, and it really was. I’ve never been one to enjoy flipping through muscle magazine while I work out, they make me feel weak and flabby. Why would I want to do that to myself?
When lunchtime rolled around I hopped into my freshly washed and much beloved Ford Focus (2006 model, so the breaks work just fine, haha!) and speed off to Rita’s in Eureka to feast with my friends Tom and Oren (of Dreamgoatz fame) and their friend who was both bearded and friendly, so we got along just fine. While at lunch Tom casually mentioned that “Dreamgoatz” was going to play a house show in Eureka that night, and that I was invited. I pondered this for a minute.
“I would like that,” I said, gazing into my enchilada thoughtfully.
“Chill,” he said, and grabbed his phone. “I just texted you the address.”
“Nice, I’ll see you there!”
After lunch I went back to my place and fell into a “food coma” for a few hours. It was lovely.
As the sun set I listened to the Icelandic band “Sigur Ros” play softly in the background. I checked my watched. It was 7:45 p.m. “Well, time to hit the road,” I said to nobody in particular, grabbing my comfy brown sweater and hoping into my car, gunning the engine wildly and scaring the birds that were perched on the telephone poll.
I found the house without much difficulty, which was nothing less than a miracle, since I’ve been cursed with my father’s total lack of a sense of direction. It’s pretty sad sometimes. When I drive around big cities (i.e. San Francisco), it’s all I can do not to have a panic attack while I drive around like an idiot, trying to find my destination. Pulling over to the side of the road to consult my maps, as if the city were the ocean and I was the brave sailor traversing it’s dangerous waters. Or that’s how I view myself. To everybody else I just look like a tourist who has never seen a city in his life. “Poor little fellow,” they say to themselves. “How hard it must be to be in the big city for the first time.”
But I digress. Back to the subject at hand: the house show.
As I walked into the house I immediately ran into Tom, who was dressed in what appeared to be pajamas from the 1960s (“Groovy!”), and he gave me a big hug.
“Glad you came out, man!”
“Me too,” I said with a grin. “Has anybody played yet?”
“Nah, man, they’re just getting set up. I’ll introduce you to the other band,” and he turned to his left and pointed to two guys, one short and one tall. “This is Shark Sandwich.”
“Shark Sandwich, eh? Wow! I feel like I’m meeting minor celebrities. How is it going, fellas?”
We shook hands and laughed and I learned that they named their band after a fictitious “Spinal Tap” album, by the name of “Shark Sandwich.”
“You named your band after a Christopher Guest film?” I said. “That’s awesome!”
“Yeah, man, we love that movie!”
“Me too,” I said, hopping across the kitchen to grab a beer from the counter, “it’s such a cult classic!”
Just then the lights flickered in the other room, so the masses migrated into the living room, where a young black kid by the name of “Danny Blues” (his real name is Daniel, I learned later) picked up the mic and told us that he was going to share some hip-hop with us. Sweet, I thought to myself. I’ve been getting into a lot more hip-hop lately. The “good stuff” (i.e. Mos Def, Aesop Rock, MF Doom, The Grouch, among others).
He plugged his iPod into the speaker system, cranked up the beat and immediately launched into a song that was part autobiography, part political commentary, and I was hooked.
“This kid’s got skills,” somebody next to me said, and I agreed with her, nodding my head enthusiastically while bobbing along to the beat.
After about 20 minutes or so he put down the mic, and told us “Well, that’s all I have so far” and thanked us for being a wonderful audience. I immediately ran over to him like a fan boy and said “Wow, man! That was amazing!” He thanked me and the two of us went outside to take in the air and hang out with all the smokers. I learned that he was only 16 years old and I was amazed. “You remind me of the young Mos Def, if you don’t mind me saying. The way you rapped about growing up was really well thought out for a person your age.”
“You think so?” He asked, laughing a bit.
“Yeah, man! Keep it up, you’re really talented!”
“Thanks! I appreciate that.”
The two of us then migrated indoors to the kitchen, grabbed another beer and chatted about the shirt that he was wearing, featuring Mork from Ork with the word balloon “Shazbot!”, from “Mork and Mindy.”
“I got this shirt for free actually. It was just lying on the side of the road and I picked it up, washed it, and found out it worked perfectly. I get a lot of compliments on it from older people who like the show.”
“Older people, eh?” I said with a laugh. “I can imagine.”
Music began seeping into the kitchen from the living room and I followed it like a moth to the flame. It was a girl named Kelly (not to be confused with my neighbor of the same name), who was a mutual friend of Tom and Oren’s. I think she’s really cute. Just putting that out there. Oh yes, and she has a beautiful voice, which caused me to swoon like a teenage girl at a Beatles concert in the early 1960s. Besides having a lovely voice she is also a talented artist, and while she sang Tom and Oren took turns moving her artwork around on a projector. It was pretty cool.
After Kelly’s performance the band “Shark Sandwich” set up their equipment, which consisted of a whole lot of drums, and a keyboard. I was intrigued.
When the band began to play (pictured above, at the beginning of my tale) everybody started dancing. You couldn’t help yourself, the band was immensely danceable. The drums filled the room with energy, and then the girl of the band whipped out her trumpet and blasted us, causing people to cheer and dance with abandon. It was awesome. I love to dance. There. I said it. Deal with it.
After “Shark Sandwich” ended their highly energetic set, everyone flooded outside, gasping for air mightily. Dancing in small rooms gets pretty hot pretty quick. But it’s all part of the experience, really, when you stop and think about it.
The minutes passed easily as I chatted with the other people about how awesome that band was.
“Alright everybody,” someone screamed from the living room, “Dreamgoatz is about to begin and they’re going to blow your fucking mind!”
I smiled at this and walked happily back inside. I love “Dreamgoatz.” And it’s not just because I’m friends with the band, as some have accused me of (this whole “unbiased journalism” thing is for the birds, in my opinion). I’m being completely sincere when I say that their music is so unique and wonderful that the fact that I know them personally only adds to the enjoyment, if that makes sense. Even if I had never met the guys, I would have been charmed by their music.
“Dreamgoatz” began and immediately everyone started dancing in time with the music. Kelly even projected some of her art on the walls behind them while they played, which only added to the automosphere. The fun thing for me, besides the great music, is seeing Tom and Oren transform from being “Tom and Oren, humble and thoughtful college students,” to “Tom and Oren, rock stars.” It’s really quite something, and it never ceases to make me smile.
The band played for 45 minutes or so (my sense of time always fails me in house show setting, for some reason) and I danced for 44 minutes, stopping only to catch my breath for 58 seconds (give or take).
After their set was over they thanked everyone for coming out and enjoying their music, which caused people to cheer. Slowly people wandered into the crisp night air and went their separate ways. I moseyed on over to Tom and Oren, congratulated them on a good show and said my goodbyes. Hopping once again into my trusty car and speeding off into the night.
It was a good night.