Tuesday, January 29, 2008


On Friday, I decided to forego my usual Friday night ritual of staying in and simultaneously doing laundry while watching netflix to instead go out with some friends from work. We were going to see a band. (One of my co-workers is dating the lead singer). I went with the predisposed notion that they were not going to be all that good, but I'd be nice because of my friend's relationship with one of the band members.

The band was playing in the town I grew up in . Its a weird thing: even after 10 years away, you come back to your home town and no matter where you go, you know pretty much everyone there. Not on a first name basis. On a "I think I used to go to the gym with him", and "she used to work at the 7-11 near the beach" basis. So here I was, in a room full of I-almost-but-don't-quite-know-them people. All night, you see people with that look of recognition in their eyes, followed by that look of confusion, then the look away. I almost but didn't quite talk to every person in the bar.

Some observations about a bar full of guys on the east coast versus the west coast: west coast guys dress in Abercrombie, east coast guys in Red Sox caps and Patriots sweatshirts. (Or, I guess Yankees caps and Giants sweatshirts a little more south). If my car broke down, I would rather have the east coast guys; if my computer broke down, the west coast guys. If there were a giant fist-fight to the death between east and west, I'd put my money on the east coast guys. If there were a dance-off, however, the reverse is true.

When I was in my 20's, when I went out, I usually came home with something free. T-shirts, hats, CD's, bandanas, whatever the bar or the band happened to have handy that night. Not so much anymore. Its been YEARS since I came home with any free swag. Until Friday. After the first set, the band came over to say hello to K, my co-worker. I felt the need to point out to the guitarist that I believe I heard, in the middle of a Metallica song, a Duran Duran riff, of all things. This guy literally jumped up and down and hugged me! "I have been doing that for over a year and nobody has ever noticed!" He then gave me one of his CD's. SCORE!!! (Incidently, Duran Duran and Metallica are surprisingly compatible and the band was really good)

At some point in the evening, everyone has just enough alcohol in them to jump on the dance floor and have fun. Quickly thereafter, everyone has too much alcohol to have any business on the dance floor. After that, maybe we should just stuff the term "dance floor" and call it "the pit of desperation".

How come every time a band plays an extended and embellished version of " Sweet Home Alabama ", running through my head are the words to " Thunder Road " by Bruce Springsteen?

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