Friday, February 12, 2016

There’s No Telling What’s Outside

Woke up in my human costume again. With those tiny red dots that I assume are birth marks. With that scar on my leg from the propeller on Grandpa’s boat. A skeleton taller than Paul Simon’s and shorter than Peter Buck’s.

Jamal woke up in his cat suit again. His green eyes are fixed upon me as if to say, “I know you don’t know what you’re doing, but do it good.”

I rolled outta bed and into a wooden chair to record a song called “I Missed The Deadline (For The NPR Contest).” It’s not nearly as multi-level and metaphoric as it sounds. It’s also not as good as it would have been if I’d recorded it AFTER brewing some coffee in Dr. Nicky’s Mr. Coffee, but it was still an idea that got to roll out of bed, yawn, stretch its legs, and take a step outside, which is more than most ideas can say. There’s no telling what’s outside.

Turned out what was outside was a gorgeous faux-spring rain, unseasonable humidity that felt like a sweet hug from Earth. I smiled and launched back into the world, Willie, Merle, and clementines as my fuel. I went to the strip mall where Rainbow Records used to be and re-dreamed my dreams of buying my favorite band’s European CD maxi-singles in 1994. I wouldn’t have suspected that, one day, those dreams AND Rainbow Records would be dead, replaced by FLAC files and Wig Elegance.

Got home and stepped back into the time machine. GETdownSOULS, a band you probably joined at some point if you saw more than three of our gigs, is playing John & Peter’s Place for the first time. With its facade of bold colors and musical notes, I’d wanted to play a gig there since I was a kid walking around New Hope with Mom and Grandma. It looked like the sort of place I was supposed to be.

Being on-stage was terrifying back then, so I did it as often as possible. It’s 2008 and I’m a very young twenty-five. Back then, I hadn’t yet found the right guitar, and I was still singing like a guitar player rather than a singer, yet I’m surprised at how smoothly this 149-minute recording is going down. Between songs, I come off like some sly, easy-going trickster, but I remember it like I was a one big nerve ending with floppy brown hair. I am thankful that I didn’t know what Dean Ween looked like at the time; I can’t imagine how much more nervous I would’ve been knowing that a Certified Indie Rock Superstar was watching some of my very first gigs.

Back at Dollar Tree, there was music in the air; a lady walked into Dollar Tree performing a concert for herself. The checkout lady assures me she is ALWAYS performing that concert.