Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Greeting Fellow Wilco Gazers! Part 2: Resolution in the House of Wilco

I’ve spent most of my life avoiding these types of situations. Once in college I was punched over a girl. And the punch was kinda wimpy and the girl turned out not to be really worth all the fuss. However, on this night it became apparent that the possibility of fight no. 2 would commence in the midst of a strange turn of events. Boston Rob basically dared me to throw the first punch. Having assessed that he was taller, younger, and in much better shape than myself I doubt if any punch from me would’ve helped the situation. Also, the absurdity of the ordeal wasn’t worth taking it so seriously as to succumb to a violent resolution. Luckily, the doors opened, and as expected, Boston Rob and Short Round made it to the front row (as did we). Dude apologized again and again, not knowing when, as my father would say, to quit while ahead.

So, the show was off to a bad start, threatening to impact our enjoyment. The opening act sang of politics and cats but not alleviating the bad taste in our mouths. Could Wilco save us? The minutes passed as the roadies set the stage. Idle chatter grew louder and louder as the club filled to maximum capacity. The lights dimmed, the crowd cheered, and the sounds of Debussy filled the room. Debussy you ask? From the depths of childhood memory this little ditty re-emerged in an unexpected place. This familiar tune from childhood preceded Wilco’s appearance. It was the legendary opening theme for the Star Gazer (formerly known as the Star Huster, check out the FAQ for why the name was changed). I was hoping the band was going to glide out on a moonbeam and tell us about the stars. But they were, in a sense, to use a tired cliche mixed with bad writing, the stars. With the moment any bad mood was lifted and Wilco came out and took control for two hours, confirming again their status as a GREAT BAND.

In the end, no punches were thrown, by myself or that other Jeff onstage. The House of Wilco is a safe haven to enjoy the transcendent power of music. The evening will forever be etched in my consciousness.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Greetings Fellow Wilco-Gazers! Part I: Confrontation

Last Thursday I enjoyed a pleasant evening of standing and listening to the joyous noise that is Wilco at the 9:30 Club. Friends arrived early to stake their place in line (my wife being the first one there—at 12:30), and we gawked at the usual suspects who frequent these shows. Things were pleasant by the time I arrived by five to complete the quartet of friends clamoring to be in the front. (A fifth showed up perfectly content with hanging out by the bar.)

A few minutes prior to the doors opening a 6’4” lad clad in a Boston RedSox hat strolled up and began chatting with my wife. Most fans at a Wilco show are a gentle lot so this sight was not out of the ordinary. I was only half paying attention when the conversation turned a little heated. Boston Rob began pointing at us, angry that we had jumped ahead, thus depriving his 5’2” girlfriend a chance to see her favorite band in the front row. Somehow we had allowed at least 20 people to jump ahead in the line in a blatant effort to disrupt his and her viewing and listening pleasure. And for him, the main culprit was my wife.

Line jumping is a serious accusation, often-times resulting in ejection from amusement parks. Waiting in line at clubs prior to shows has its own set of rules, I believe, which require examination. One or two people arrive early to claim a spot in line. In my wife’s case she showed up nearly seven hours early to claim the top spot. She has the right to hold that spot for one other person prior to the doors opening. Person #2 showed up by around 3, over four hours before the doors opening. By this time another small group had formed. Our group informed this group that a couple more people would be arriving later. So things seemed to be ok. Two people were holding spots for two other people, maintaining the proper ratio. We were all operating in good faith and trust.

Or so we thought. Boston Rob didn’t see that. For him, we had broken that trust. The fifth person of our group who had no intention of joining us up front told BR to chill and not to worry. Then BR was demanding a place at the front of the line, saying that we had all shown up late. Things were getting a little surreal. In an attempt to diffuse the situation I even said fine, move up. But the guy still was not satisfied, stating that if he and his girlfriend didn’t have a spot up front, then he’d have a “problem” with us. A “problem?” This understandably kinda set my wife off a bit. Her personal space was being invaded by now (though he pointed out that he was at least two feet away.) She had been there since 12:30 and having a good time, looking forward to seeing her favorite band and this bloak was wreaking havoc on a peaceful evening. But, instead of yelling at dude, my wife stared at him, to which he asked something like “Why are you just standing there stonefaced?” in a very rude manner.

Normally I too am a gentle soul who operates to some degree under the mantra of live and let live. I am not a confrontational person, preferring the path of peace to resolve disputes. We had been reasonable with this guy. But then he called my wife “stonefaced.” Now, that is not so much an insult as it is an affront to respectful behavior. BR had chosen a path of confrontation when it wasn’t necessary. To some degree he dared us to create a “problem” for his girlfriend. He could have played the sympathy card because he had been there for a long time. But, since he chose a different way, I came to the defense of the one I loved….

To be continued…

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wilco Tonight and Other Stuff

Dear Fan(s):

Tonight is a Wilco night at 9:30 Club, which will be blogged about, hopefully, tomorrow.

Also, in the near future I'll be blogging about politics, The Departed, with some religion thrown in. So Stay Tuned!

For now, check this awesome YouTube out. It's one of the greatest covers of a great song ever, and also further proof that YouTube is the best thing on the internet (don't screw it up, Google).

Peace Out!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Apocalypse When? (Updated 10/10)

In Wichita, the Rolling Stones came and went without ringing in the Apocalypse. I think a more sure sign would be, say, the Tigers winning the World Series (especially after last night's not-so-stellar performance). Just as well. According to this article, we Americans are ill-prepared for the cataclysmic event, AKA the Second Coming, anyway. But, it got me to thinking, which band(s) would I want to ride out the Apocalypse with? (And since the dead will be raised, the previously deceased are now options.) If there is anyone still reading this blog, please let me know your thoughts. I’ll post mine later.

Additional Info:

After thoughtful consideration, here are the five bands I'd like to hear live.

1. The Beatles
2. Beck
3. Bob Dylan
4. Uncle Tupelo
5. Neil Young

And here are five albums, always subject to change depending on time and mood (should probably make this ten albums).

1. Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
3. Bruce Springsteen Nebraska
4. Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced?
5. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon