Last year I came to Seattle for a weekend adventure and was introduced to this band by an awesome cider-brewin’, gun-totin’ local named Mitchell. The music is sometimes funky, sometimes moody, and often bittersweet with great build up. They remind me a lot of Dr Dog and I even sense some Pink Floyd influence in there, too.
They played tonight at the Barboza, a cozy basement venue with a stocked bar (important) and lots of friendly people (extra important). Even though the place is small and underground, I always felt like I had ample space. I got a delicious manhattan from mr bartender and mosied on up right in front of the stage.
The drummer plays a beat, the keyboard lays down something funky, and the atmosphere starts to fizzle as every person’s energy focuses on the sound. The band is in perfect unison. The front section is dancing; mostly girls in flowing dresses. They remind me of Janis Joplin if she were a groupie instead of a music legend.
In this atmosphere I feel totally myself. I can dance and sing and smile and cry and think and soak in the energy like I won’t ever get enough of it- like I’ve been thirsty for so long and I don’t know when I’ll see water again.
It is almost impossible for me to understand why many people don’t enjoy live music. Not in a judgmental way- i just feel truly astonished. The feeling I get when listening to music- to me, it is like falling in love.
After the show I felt like I could just stay up all night and drink in the air around me. My friend Phil and I walked up and down Pike and Pine St and soon walked into a little crowd of people on a street corner. I saw three rag-tag musicians and a young woman holding some sheets of paper and laughing, looking around and asking people, “what should I sing?!” A white cardboard sign with black stencil letters in front of the musicians explained: STREET KARAOKE
AH! How wonderful. I am a sucker for karaoke. But, Street Karaoke? Live band? Curious passer-bys become street performers? I am instantly sold on this idea and find myself combing through the list of pre-selected songs.
In a few moments of complete bliss I belt out the Old Crow version with all my heart to the 20 something people standing, watching, smiling on the corner.
Rock me mama like a wagon wheel,
Rock me mama any way you feel,
Hey mama rock me..
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain,
Rock me mama like a south bound train,
Hey mama rock me..
Phil and I stay and watch until the crowd thins out and the band packs up to leave. So we keep walking.
We end up at Bauhaus, a coffee shop that sells Ding Dongs and Kool Aid in addition to staying open at all hours of the night. I get a latte, Phil gets a hot chocolate, and we sit outside on plastic chairs and decompress.
I don’t smoke anymore.. but I really want a cigarette. The night is beautiful and all I could ask for would be the ash in my mouth and the numb on my brain- a soothing nicotine blanket. It is nice to think about, anyway. The smell from the men smoking nearby is almost enough.