I awoke at 7AM on Monday morning in a cold sweat, gripped by Fear and Panic. It was the first week back to school for HSU students, after all. I lied in bed for awhile until it dawned on me that I had graduated last semester and was thus free as a bird to do whatever I wanted to do. I promptly fell back to sleep and slept past noon. It was my first day off in 5 days and I promised myself that I would Rest and Recover.
When I finally dragged myself out of bed I flipped on my laptop and put on Dean Martin’s Italian Love Songs, which I hummed along to as I made coffee and fried up some eggs and toast. I’m a classy guy. My brother Matthew always gives me a hard time for sleeping in until noon, and then not eating anything until 1 or 2PM and having the audacity to call it “breakfast.” To which I respond: “Hey man, if it’s the first meal of the day it’s called breakfast, no matter what time it is. I win.”
I was on my third cup of coffee when I received a text from Tom Vidosh, who along with Oren Beckman and Patrick (no last name required), form the folktronic dance band Dreamgoatz, of which I am a huge fan. Tom’s text asked if I was busy that night, which I thankfully was not. He then invited me to see his band perform at The Barn in Fortuna, which was a venue that I had always wanted to check out. I said “hell yes” and that was that.
That put me in a rather jovial mood. I love the band Dreamgoatz with a passion. I feel that the music they are making is wholly unique, and the small fact that I am friends with the band only adds that little extra “something something” to my enjoyment of their music. I jokingly refer to myself as their sole “groupie,” much like Mel in “Flight of the Conchords.” And like Mel, I am completely adorable and in no way Creepy or Insane in my dedication to the band (or so I tell myself).
I spent most of the afternoon running errands, soaking up the sun like the delicate flower that I am. Living in Humboldt County has it’s advantages and disadvantages, as many people know. I try to live my life by a few simple rules, one of the first rules being: If it’s sunny out, go outside!
After my errands are over I sit outside of my apartment and flip through Hunter S. Thompson’s “Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the 80s.” Granted, I was born in ’84, so most of what he is talking about takes place before I became the handsome intellectual my friends and family know and love, but hey, the man’s a great writer. He could have been writing about the Civil War and I would have found it fascinating. Fun Fact: Before I switched to the dark path that is Journalism, I was a History Major. So now you know.
Being unsure of where exactly “The Barn in Fortuna” was located I called Tom and asked him for a ride there (for the record, I do own a care, in case you thought I was one of those hippies who walk everywhere because driving is “bad for the environment”). He graciously agreed and we met up in Eureka at the Co-Op, hugged and hopped into his car and sped off into the sunset.
We arrived at the venue around 6:30PM or so. The gig was scheduled to begin at 7PM, which of course means that the music did not begin until 9PM. Not that I’m complaining. When we arrived I didn’t see anyone I recognized right away so I hung out with Tom and let my bearded friend do most of the talking to the people that we met there. Tom, friendly fellow that he is, introduced me to everyone right away, and by 7PM I was BFFS with everyone there. Typical conversation:
Them: “Hey man, what’s your name?”
Them: “Are you in the band?”
Me: “Nope. I’m their groupie, some might say.”
Them: “That’s awesome.”
Them: “Hahaha! That’s funny. You’re hilarious. Let’s be best friends!”
Me: “If you say so…”
Yeah. That’s pretty much how I spent my time while waiting for the show to start.
As the sun set the crowd at the venue (which was an actual barn, by the way) had increased greatly. The last of the bands scheduled to perform had arrived and everything was set up and ready to go.
The first band was a funk band who got things off to a good start. Their high energy set even involved two guys rapping at one point, which came as a surprise to me because up until that point their set had been entirely instrumental. But hey, it worked for them.
As the crowd was dancing to the funky funk tunes that was being blasted at us at an impressive volume, Tom and Oren and Patrick worked like the busy little bees they are to set up their equipment in the adjoining barn, which was a genius idea.
As soon as the funk band’s set was over, a tall man by the name of Quentin shouted at the top his lungs: “Alright guys, Dreamgoatz in the next room! It’s going to be amazing!”
By this time of the night people had been dancing and drinking for a while, so everyone was feeling pretty loose when Dreamgoatz started their set. I danced along wildly to the music, and jumping up and down with joy. Sadly, no video footage exists of my sweet dance moves (there is a God), so you’re going to have to just take my word on this.
After the Dreamgoatz finished their set I was an exhausted, sweaty mess. I made my way outside for some fresh air and a nice cold beer, which tasted amazing after dancing for the better part of an hour.
I chatted a while with Quentin, who, I quickly learned, thought I was a “pretty cool guy.”
“Oh yes?” I asked with a smile. “What makes you say that?”
“Well,” he said, pondering for a moment, “I’ve seen you at shows around town and you always struck me as a friendly fellow.”
“Awww shucks,” I tell him with a wave of my hand. “Friendly is what I’m going for, actually. I get paid to be friendly, as a matter of fact. I work as a waiter at Lost Coast Brewery.”
Just then music began to seep out of the building and the two of us rushed inside to see a singer whose stage name is “Nicole Kidman,” strangely enough. I tried hard not to shout out “I loved you in Moulin Rouge!” at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t the same Nicole Kidman. For starters, this “Nicole Kidman” was a man in his twenties who had never actually seen “Moulin Rouge!,” ironically enough. His singing style reminded me of a young Daniel Johnston, with a little bit of Bright Eyes thrown in for good measure (and indie cred). His songs were about loneliness and lost love and were quite beautiful. After the show I bought two of his homemade CDs, which came with original art by the man himself. He was shy and modest when I told him that his music reminded me of Daniel Johnston in the best way possible.
“You really think so?” He practically whispered to me. “Wow. Thanks!”
“Of course, man. Keep up the good work!”
I shook his hand firmly and thanked him for sharing his music with us. Then I turned to Tom, who had somehow managed to sneak up on me, and said “well, time to hit the ol’ dusty trail?”
We packed up the last of his equipment in his van and drove off into the night with the windows down, cool breeze in our hair. It was a good night.
Good luck with school, kids!