The first day of December explodes upon us with a ferocity of molten dawn. Our room faces South East, and the sun gets up early and wants to know how much we depend on it.
Today we made our way out to Arvada, Colorado – and I’m writing from some Interstate or another, hunting for fast food ambrosia. Starving – grumbling – but our moods are high.
Tonight we played probably one of the most variable open mics we’ve ever played. You know you’re in trouble when the first four slots are filled with “somethinsomethin middle school jazz ensemble”. The local middle and high schools had decided that rather than do their band ensemble performances in their auditoriums, they’d come and sign them up for an open mic.
Luckily, the D-Note actually has a stage big enough for this – and a room big enough to handle all of the parents and hanger-ons. It was a good idea. Just weird. After a while, I went and explored Arvada.
You can tell it’s December 1st. Thanksgiving has passed by the way and we’re suddenly in the midst of the Christmas season. Arvada was beautiful, decorated and lit – the block was surrounded by a circulating ring of horse buggies, picking people up, dropping people off. A woman selling popcorn out of an antique mobile popcorn popper wishes me a Merry Christmas.
I wasn’t prepared for that, and my “And a good night to you” is transmogrified into “Have a Merry too”. Poor confused rob head.
Such a beautiful night, with an half-hidden moon and the occassional neighs of a passing horse, pouring twin jets of steam into the crisp Colorado air.
And then there was the music… and the people.
To be honest with you, I’ve fallen in Love with the people in Colorado. Other states, I’ve often felt that we get a good response, people like us, they’re fascinated with us as aliens and outsiders, and are eager to include us because we’re something cool to look at, to listen to, to introduce.
But here, I’ve just felt like I’ve been included, over and over again. Good people who could be good friends if we stayed longer.
Singer/songwriter Sean Morse is an ideal example. We met him at an open mic, and since then, we’ve hit two others with him. We’ve gone mountain hiking with him and tomorrow we’ll just hang out and record with him. He’s just… good people.
The host of both last night’s Cricket on the Hill and tonight’s D-Note open mics, Tony Medina – has been just – so happy to see us, and so filled with enthusiasm and joy. Good natured and kind, I wish we could bottle him and bring him back East with us. I don’t know why he reminds me of an extremely genuine and Mexican (New Mexican, I found out today) Brian Gundersdorf. He reenacted a scene from Once Upon a Time in Mexico for me today. And he just makes me laugh.
There’s a difference in the humour out here. People can be funny out here with out insulting you. I can appreciate gentle teasing, but it seems that so much of the world’s humour nowadays is “Hey! You’re a piece of shit!” (insert laugh track)… There doesn’t seem to be that much of that sort of thing out here. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but it’s a welcomed assumption.
Joe and Oliver.
I can picture Joe flexing his arms and screaming “WHAT’RE YOU GONNA DO WHEN THESE 21″ PYTHONS COME FER YOOOOU!!!” Like, someone built the mold for him, and then, as opposed to pouring in the flesh and blood and bone and gristle that most of us get, they just poured Man in to it. A lot of man.
I get the impression Joe is an ex-marine. He’s been out of the military long enough to grow his black, curly hair half-way down his back, but he hasn’t lost the physique. It’s rare that I look at someone and just think “Damn”… but… I look at Joe (an appropriate name, too) and think… “Damn”… quickly followed by “what does ANYONE see in me?” All leather and denim and straps on the arms and … like his sticker proclaims, he’s too much metal for one hand.
The sticker makes that make more sense – and makes it not quite as dirty.
Anywho, he and Oliver create quite the double team of very hypnotic acoustic – well – they’re more acoustic grunge than we are. We’re too fast most of the time to be proper grunge. They’ve got a bit more of a grind to them, and … a good pulse.
If Valeri were more consistantly angry, it would make me think of them.
Songs of women and of Love and pain and an adapted march from the Corps. Great tunes, great voice – reminescent of Eddie Vedder on a day that he bothered with ennunciation.
Ok, enough of babble. My battery’s about to die, and I need to save some juice just in case we get lost. If I think about it, I’ll tell you of the beautiful blonde, Kelly – and the Breedlove guy, Mike – and maybe even Digitech man, Jeff.
But chances are, these brief mentions will just serve as triggers for my own memories, and I’ll go on to write about whatever happens the next night.
A feast from Wendy’s makes the night complete.