Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Well, I'm Not Gonna Stand Here LIKE A PERSON" (3)


SXSW Day 3

Slept in and woke up to find that it had rained in the night. I had felt the low pressure building up all week and was glad when it finally broke. Should take some of the maniacal edge off of 6th street too. Christine called to see if we wanted to go over to Leanne's for an impromptu cello concert. Leanne had been working on a piece and wanted to try it out on friends before she played it for her teacher. Also there would be drinks and snacks.
Uh, yeah.

When we arrived we could hear cello and when we peered in the window we could see a few people sitting in the living room listening attentively. We stood on the porch for a while before going in. Leanne took a break between movements to pass around chips and salsa and tequila shots. This was my kind of master class! She played beautifully and when it was over Awna piped up from where she was lying on the floor, digging the vibrations, and said, "Them are some loony tunes all right!"

We mingled with the other guests who were a mixed bag of architects, classical musicians, and marathon runners.

Then it was time to go and see Kelly Hogan sing at a Mexican restaurant called Jovita's. I was really excited for Christine to see Ms. Hogan sing. I thought she'd really dig it. I got to meet Kelly's mother Hilda and some of her friends from Atlanta. One of the ladies said she was a nurse so I asked her the question I ask all nurses, which I think may have somewhat horrified the rest of the table.

I always ask nurses about this thing I've heard about where they can rehydrate you with a saline drip to atone for the sins of the night before. This lady wouldn't bite and said, "The thing you should ask yourself is how you came to be so dehydrated in the first place..." Yes! Yes! We all know WHY! We were just hoping there was a way to have it all!"

Kelly took the stage and was looking foxy. She told me the night before that she lost all this weight from getting "lime oil poisoning" from making too many margaritas at a party one night. Ever since she told me that I've been fondling all the limes I can but so far no results. She played with a hot guitar picker and an awesome steel player and they sounded great and did a lot of jazzy songs. Man she's such a good singer, and the ladies all dug her like I knew they would.

Then it was off to The Mint Records Dinner. They had scored us a giant patio at some restaurant on Lamar where all thirty of us could sit together and there was good wine. Luke from Immaculate Machine discovered what Frito Pie is when he ordered it. It's corn chips covered in chili! A local delicacy apparently. It was really nice of them to take us out to dinner, and, just like Peggie says, "People are just much more manageable when they're fed"

Back to Sixth Street where I think Pink Mountaintops were playing. Christine borrowed me some broken badminton rackets and I played street badminton with one of the architects from the cello concert for an hour. A cop on a horse rode up and said, "Ma'am you can continue. Just don't hit anyone in the face". "You got yourself a deal Mister!" Christine acted as my coach feeding me bottled water and rubbing my shoulders between volleys. So fun. And the architect was as obsessed with the game as I was which is always nice.

Mandrew and I strolled over to The Dirty Dog to see Corby Lund and every Albertan I've ever met bought me a drink. Can't remember what happened next, but ran into our old friends from Norway, The Real Ones, somewhere on Sixth Street and led them to the final show: the much talked about Church "Hootenanny"- Billy Bragg, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Jolie Holland and a bunch of other people were allegedly playing.

Well whaddaya know? A huge line up. We stood in it for a while but The Real Ones are kind of superstars where they're from and Jergen, the guitar player, kind of snapped after ten minutes and said, "Well I'm not gonna stand here LIKE A PERSON!" and strode off into the night and the others followed him. I had to see. After a while the line-up thinned and they let me in.

I went to the front and sat on the floor by the stage. When my eyes adjusted to the dim light I saw my friend Leeroy Stagger from back home sitting on the floor a few feet over. I scootched over to join him and in doing so must have brushed against this woman's leg with my guitar case or something so she fucking kicked me! In a church! I think I blocked it out until the next morning but fuck man! What a c-u-n-t!

It was the end of the weekend at the end of the last night and the exhaustion in the room was palpable. It's like the air was viscous oil. I ate the Laura Freeman apology chocolate from my purse to stay awake and then all of a sudden Billy Bragg comes out flanked by Diona and Jon Rauhouse and they sing "Willin'" in perfect three part harmony! For some reason this blew my mind and there was no one there to delight in the bizarreness of the moment. The saddest I have ever been is when I've seen something so mind blowingly weird and had no one to share it with. That is the definition of loneliness. Then to make it even weirder, Marty Stewart popped out for a couple of numbers, and then Ramblin' Jack finished off the night with and extended version of "Me and Bobby McGee".

I guess none of it was that weird except that it was so normal. I've been wild for so long that it's so rare for me to be in the presence of Normal that it seems Weird. When it was over I found Diona and Jolie and some bottles of water.
"How are you getting home?"
"No freakin' idea"

So they drove me to The Woodward Hotel to the awaiting cot of Miss Yvette who had cued up a George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez heist movie for us and I was out like a light in seconds.

Fuck. Forgot my coat in the van and I'm heading North.




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