massive nights pt. 1

Water shot up my nose and into my brain in the shower twice this morning. Usually I have to concentrate to keep my sinus cavity dry when I am around water as I have a propensity to suck it straight up my nose. I believe the proper medical reasoning for this condition is that I am a dork. But my mind this morning was in other places so I had to excuse it when I was mini-drowning while was rinsing my hair.

The weekend was enough to keep my mind away from protecting my body at that moment, and strangely that seemed to be a reoccurring theme. I’m not talking about all out death and destruction, but starting out in the passenger seat of a Toyota Yaris going about 90mph up I35 toward Dallas-Ft. Worth might have been a good place for me to start. Don’t let the looks of the car fool you- it moves like a rocket tied to a roller skate. Watching David operate this vehicle took me back to Saturday mornings watching Wile E. Coyote deviously plot to intercept the Roadrunner… except I was tied to this doomed ACME contraption with him. It could have been worse. We made it to Dallas and the Lower Greenville dive just about 30 minutes before David’s set. A wrong turn in Albuquerque landed us way off of Pismo Beach (OK, no more Looney Tunes. Promise) but the audio navigation of my new GPS which sounds a lot like the voice of Dr. Davin Don Haley showed us a way to remedy our mistake. I believe David told his keyboardist that we took Lamar Blvd. all the way to DFW and it kind of felt like that.

If you are familiar with both Dallas and Austin, TX this next part might either turn you on or put you off depending on which city you champion or what activities occupy your nocturnal movements. If you are in bed by 9pm every night then the cities are the same. If you are out you will notice some interesting things about the two cities that might or might not be relative to their difference in size. First off, I am a champion of Austin. It is my city. Be prepared for that bias.

Dallas is a big city but as far as what I saw on Friday night in one of its more up and coming districts- nobody lives there. Sure, there were people, but there were also parking spaces and space to stand at the bar and order a drink at 10:30pm. The dive we happened to be in at that moment was pitched to me as “one of the more popular places” and probably for good reason. Split into two levels the Cavern offered live music on a minuscule stage downstairs and a free jukebox billed as a “do it yourself DJ” on the up. The patrons were older so I figured that most of them would be heading up the stairs for that type of entertainment, but as the night pulled on I didn’t notice any activity on the steps in the back of the room. As the warm up band played I counted two or three shoddy covers and a pretty decent cover of a Weezer song (it is hard not to win me over with Big Daddy C) and while I slowly sipped the Dog and allowed my surly snob to creep out in comments to the other Austinites the patrons from Dallas seemed to generally be enjoying the music. Clapping along and singing? Out loud? This wasn’t Austin.

Dr. Haley walked in after the warm up set and I moved on to a crown rocks and the front of the room with him. What I didn’t notice is that the whole bar (about 65 strong now) moved up behind me to form a sea-wall of patrons. What I did notice were folks still coming in the door and a big bold sign that said “MAX OCC 49“. The fire marshal would not be happy. Another thing I noticed is how hard it seemed some people were trying for that indie look. I think I saw Ducky from Pretty in Pink about 3 times. It has always been funny to me, but also made some kind of scientific sense, that the farther you spin from a cultural center the more intense people have to be to retain those cultural ties. Now, don’t read this as a knock on Dallas, but I am a firm believer that all things hip in Texas originate in Austin. Sure, some place else before Austin- but then Austin and from there outward. Want to argue with me about it? Leave a comment. I dare you.

I am glad Davin showed up when he did because David was already in what I like to think of as his pre-show trance and while I am known by the other people in the band I am also known as just “a big brother” to “the kid”. So just when I was reaching my quixotic and had nobody which to lament my Sancho Panza was there to take me home.

The Drawing Board was good. In my opinion better live than recorded at this point and they have reached that important balance where they can afford to be delicate and complex and not lose any of that while playing to a live crowd. Speaking of the crowd- and another difference between Dallas and Austin- I don’t think they were used to that type of polished live act in a venue such as this one. If there weren’t any fans in the joint that night they made about 70 new ones- and I knew there were fans as I watched the faces next to me lip the words to The Writer (kind of a fan favorite for some reason) and Every Moment (on my soundtrack right now, sadly). Both a testament to the quality of the band and my quality of life right now- if I didn’t care for the group so much they would have gone into that “Do Not Listen To Right Now” box that I keep right next to my PC. That or I would have removed the check next to their album in iTunes. So many memories are still intact. However, if you listen to Dr. Haley, memories are nothing but our mind trying to put moments together in the proper order often failing to do so with any kind of accuracy. The farther you get from the situation the further the degree of precision. I might as well just be lying to myself about any of these moments. As much as I love him, sometimes I think Davin is full of it.

After the show there was a brief fiasco trying to find the Dallas Renaissance Hotel. I don’t know why. It looks like a giant lighter. At about 2:30am we checked in and checked back out to hit up Cafe Brazil and their selections of omelettes, coffee and apparently women with fake breasts. The place was packed. Austin has Kerby Lane and Magnolia Cafe and a dozen other 24 hour digs to get your late night philosophical grub on- Dallas has Cafe Brazil. And the food was perfect. Yes, that perfect. The kind where I can just say perfect and refuse to elaborate and you have to agree with me because you have either been there or never been there. That does make sense- reread it if you have to.

Back in the hotel that night/morning I realized that when I slow down I get lonely.

I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere.

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~ by mlvassallo on August 20, 2007.

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