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  Last Dance

6 August 2001

3:46 AM: Roxy Music was So Good. It's almost a little hard to believe I saw them do all of those songs live in the same show - my brain keeps wanting to think it's remembering something else. I mean, my gosh - they did "Song For Europe"! and "Mother of Pearl"! and "Out of the Blue"! - with this brilliant violin solo at the end, which, yes, was pretty much note for note but still, many fine violinists do play songs as they're written - not everything has to be turned into an extemporaneous solo to be good.

And Bryan Ferry still looks killer in a leather suit. He came out in a black leather coat, leather pants, and white shirt, and all I could think or for a moment was when I had tried on the white shirt and leather coat at home this evening, and it just screamed "BEER BELLY". Oh well, I'm sure he's a much healthier fellow than I am these days. Too much cheesecake too soon, indeed.

Veronica made it to the show after all, too, just in time for their very first song as it turned out. So that was a nice coda.

Hmmm. It's Monday now, isn't it? Work and things. Right. Important. OK. I'll make a note of that.

6:32 PM: I have to say something more about the show at Bottom of the Hill on Friday.

The first band was The Minders. Really good, really well-written and well-played crunchy pop. The lead guitarist was great - he looked like the guy who comes up from the San Jose office to fix your router, and then he starts to play and suddenly he's possessed by Eddie Cochran! He sounded British, and maddeningly familiar. I couldn't think who his voice reminded me of, apart from Robert Pollard from Guided By Voices, which is really dumb because Pollard isn't even English. Other than him, there was a girl playing keyboard, including the bass lines - her birthday! that happens a lot lately, seemslike - and a drummer. Everybody was good.

Then came The Pernice Brothers, who most people were there to see, I guess. They'd gotten writeups in the SF Weekly and on SF Gate. I didn't think I knew who they were, but no, I hear their songs all the time on Alt.Now - er, excuse me, "New Indy My Friend", barf - on Spinner.com.

Somebody in some writeup made a vague Elvis Costello comparison. At first, I thought that was purely based on looks. The "brothers" - who may very well be, I dunno - were a tallish fellow playing bass, with I think glasses? and a beard or goatee or some other kind of facial hair thing? Then a more shortish fellow playing acoustic guitar next to him, big horn rim glasses, definite early Elvis thing going on there. He also did that strange body language when he sang. The final brother was Robert Ullrich on lead guitar, at stage right. He looked like Robert Ullrich to me. VEGA$!

After a few songs, you could see there was a bit more meat to the Elvis comparison than just looks. Their songs are great, high-craft, and if you just listen to them and ignore the words, they're generally bouncy and enjoyable and hey hey let's play this in the car. But the lyrics are another story. One song came right out with it, title & repeated chorus: "My Life Is Hell". So repeated listenings are rewarded. I liked 'em.

BotH was verrrrry crowded. I swapped places with this shorter girl who had been behind me, since I could see over her. I think she had a different conception of "body space" than I did. Spent a good part of the Pernice Bros' set trying to make myself two-dimensional, because it was either that or end up dry-humping. And we hadn't even been introduced!

So they finished and people left and we could breathe better. Then Mates of State came on. Yahoo! Yeaaaaaaaahhhhh! That's about the only reaction that seems sensible. They are So Fun. Yet another drum&keyboard combo, She on the keyboards and He on the drums in this case. She's about 4 feet tall and he's like 9 foot something. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. They're both avid believers of the Caithlin De Marrais School of singing: open wide and just GO! Her keyboard had such a strange cool sound. I can't quite place it, and I don't know enough to be able to say "Oh that was clearly a Roland ZX 3000 with a half twist" or whatever. Spooky. They sort of sounded like kids had broken into the skating rink with a drum set and started playing over the PA. You should just go buy their CD, My Solo Project, because then you will understand without these silly attempts at explanation. They were totally awesome, in a silly small-club kind of way.

Hey, Bottom of the Hill is having some good shows lately. I have to admit it. So now we just need about three more spaces like it, so they could be less trendy and less about touring bands. Oh, and I'd like a root beer float while you're up, please.

In other news, I did in fact get in to work Today, around 3 PM or so, and I managed to sleep about 8 hours last night. It says something that this feels like a Major Victory.

8:30 PM: I can't do it I just can't do it there's no fucking point how am I supposed to do a job that requires me to sit here and think of problems and solutions to problems when the minute that I stop moving around aimlessly just to keep awake and look at the screen and try to THINK I just fallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllfde7yuhjn

Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.

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