and with music no less.
last night I saw devotchka at la zona rosa and am now questioning my grip on reality.
let's start with the obligatory grump about mundane normal stuff, shall we?
la zona rosa now sucks ass for 3 reasons: 1. there are SO many beards there i can’t stand it. hipster, ironic beards that i just want to rip off all their faces. i’m ok with facial hair on the right face, but very few people can pull off a full fluffy beard without looking like a child molester. hop in your white window-less van and go to another show dammit. 2. getting into the venue is worse than going through airport security. you start at the bar entrance where they check your id, but not your ticket. then you get to the venue door and they check your bag, but not your id or your ticket. then you get to some random guy at a table who requests your ticket. i've put it away already you idiot! and 3. NO MORE LONE STAR. i officially don’t live in texas anymore when i’m there because they do not sell lone star at la zona rosa anymore. end gripe about venue.
now, onto the opener: Eric Bachmann and Crooked Fingers. i saw eric bachmann open for josh ritter about a year an a half ago and it was great, but it was just him and i was far away, so i didn't get to see as much as i did here. he had his trusty band with him this time and it made all the difference. this man has insanely large hands – i’m pretty sure he could palm my face – that look almost uncomfortable on the neck of the guitar as he plays. he’s a classically trained guitarist and he brings that to electric which adds an unexpected richness to the sounds that come out of that guitar. the songs are lovely and i can’t say anything disparaging about him or his band. they weren’t life changing, but they were good for what they were. i say give them a listen and see what you think, i’ll not try to sway you one way or another.
devotchka – the main attraction. i have no words for the awesomeness of this band. they come on stage, all in black, ready to take on whatever is before them, which, surprisingly, is pretty darn close to a full house (of beards). i’m transported on a lovely rockin’ cloud of strings and tubas, crunchy gypsy guitar and beautiful, effortless soaring vocals. nick urata’s like a magical merman with his voice. anything i say to try and describe the wonder and awe they inspire would only fall short, so you’ll just have to go see them live to see for yourself. all in all, it was a fabulous show. they are a feast for the senses – visually, aurally - every way a show can be. and all of them are fantastic show people. i was reading an article where they were described as “gypsy punk” and I can’t think of a more appropriate descriptor.
on to the people “watching” (more like forced people interaction for me): my beautiful merman - nick urata – oh daddy! - is not 10 feet from me rockin’ his little heart out in his sassy ¾ length velvet military coat when along comes this couple who has to stand right next to me so they can start molesting each other. i seriously think these 2 were on e. the sounds were enough to make me want to throw up on their shoes, let alone the display. and they were doing this make-out wild dance thing that cleared the nearest area – except for me, i can be pretty stubborn about my spot (remember this for later) – and i must say, it was the most physical contact I’ve had with any person in months. seriously, they kept bumping and rubbing me like I was a fifty-cent whore’s dance pole. i don’t know what’s sadder, that that’s the most consistent physical contact that i’ve had in months or that i just broadcast that on the internets. Hm. anyhoo, to demonstrate my point, it got to where they said they had to go to the bathroom and it took them 3 songs before they could stop fondling and eating each others faces enough to go. i was so close to telling them to just go together so they could fuck each others brains out, but i didn’t even though everyone else around me really wanted me to.
exit 1 half of disgustingly cute couple, enter drunk frat guys who don’t even know what band they’re seeing. this is where my grip on reality begins to loosen. these guys come up, directly in front of me, and start bouncing and dancing with elbows and spinning, obviously trying to start a mosh pit – and these were not small dudes. i’m talking 6’3” or 6’4” and at least a deuce a piece. uhm - HAVE YOU HEARD DEVOTCHKA? they are the LAST band in the world who would have a mosh pit. it pissed everyone off, but these were the kind of guys that respond to grumpiness with violence, so when the song ended, i took the most violently active one and told him that i really appreciated that he was having a good time, but i just wanted to let him know that if i got an elbow to the face, he was going to get a knee to the nuts. he understood and respected my boundaries for the rest of the encore, hitting me everywhere but above the neck. that was our deal. that's what i get for not being specific. then he offered to buy me a shot. then he forced me into the mosh pit because i really liked my spot (see “stubborn about my spot”) and i wasn’t going to give it up because of a couple of big drunk assholes. so i got in the mosh pit. i loosened up and let off some steam. i punched and shouldered large men in the chest. and i impressed people. my favorite part of it had to be at the end of the evening when i told the dude that started it all “thanks for not making me knee you in the nuts”.
Thus ends my first post.
ps - i want to be jeanie schroder when i grow up. she’s THE chick in the band, plays the tuba (with awesomely rad lights in it) and the cello and the stand up bass and the regular bass. and she looks positively thrilled every moment she’s on stage with this band. i am very jealous of her.