Monday, April 23, 2007

I had a dream too, Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 9:30am with a pounding head-ache and a monster case of cottonmouth. So I chugged a glass of water and fell back asleep for three hours.

I awoke again at 12:30pm: sweaty and dazed but no headache. My thirst still very very quenched.

I sat up and it all came rushing back to me...

I had had a Bruce Springsteen dream!!!!

Glory Glory Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went to go hear Bruce speak in this classroom of this high school (that looked an awful lot like Jefferson Elementary on Hennepin.) I got there really early (naturally), sat down in one of those little desks & Bruce entered the room.

"Hi Bruce," I said.
"Hi," he said.

I knew that I couldn't say anything else or I'd make a complete dumbass out of myself. In the dream, I thought of the Chuck Klosterman nightmare.

He then looked at me intensely and said, "You look really good in green."

My stomach dropped, in that wonderful way, and I blushed.

Then, Bruce set up this fort out of cardboard boxes and started shoveling pans of quiche into his mouth with his hands. All of sudden, Rainn Wilson from The Office appeared and the two men had a sit-up competition on either side of a cardboard box. Bruce won (he is 100% stallion, after all.)

It got crowded in the classroom. These two Abercrombie & Fitch bitches tried to make me move and then told me my make-up was garish. This embarrassed me and I tried to feverishly rub it off my eyelids. They finally left and this crazy lady came in looking for her apple.

That was it. That was the dream. It's surprising I didn't wake up with my pants off cause it had been about four years since my last Bruce Springsteen dream (one where I was photographing him doing these "sexy superhero poses" on a rooftop in the twilight) and Jonesie is feeling awwwwwwwfully frisky (springtime...WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!) Thank you Stook! for having your birthday and forcing me to obsess about the awesomeness of Bruce versus the less than but still awesomeness of Gary. Thank you Jim (forever) for the Hoot. Thank you The Department Store for forcing me to flee from the fire into the eternal sunshine of smoke filled cars, dance filled bars and new friends.

It was one hell of a dream.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Godbless the Neverending Hoot

Cheers to the eternal party. May the music never end.

Photo of the Obsessed! by Stacy Sandstrom

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Don't Like Mondays

The first time I heard that Boomtown Rats song (when it actually left an impression) was last summer during the preshow of Wonderland at the MN Fringe Festival. I remembered the lyrics and ran home and typed them into google and found it. I downloaded it. I listened to it over and over and over again for at least a month.

I was reminded today that I can hear a song a hundred times, thousands of times, and never understand what it actually means. Because maybe I only listen to certain phrases or the chorus or whatever. It's really hard for me to learn lyrics as it is and mostly I'm singing some distorted version of the song. Usually I just take bits and pieces of song and make it my own, connect with it how I need to for that phrase or line or word or instrumental climax. Of all the millions of times I've listened to most of (all of) Bruce Springsteen's repertoire, I really only know Born to Run like the back of my hand.

I had no idea I Don't Like Mondays was about a school shooting until today.

I listened to the song after work on my iTunes with that lump in my throat and the tears welling up in my eye. It was such a chipper, bouncy staccato song to me until I heard it for real today.

All the playing's stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with her toys a while.
And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
And the lesson today is how to die.
And then the bullhorn crackles,
And the captain crackles,
With the problems and the how's and why's.
And he can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die?

When I was checking my email and MySpace as per usual at the Apple Store today, announcement of the tragedy was smeared across the Yahoo homepage. It didn't seem real. It seemed far away. It seemed like it was the anniversary of something that happened 40 years ago or 8 years ago. Then, a split second later, I realized it was real. And I opened up the link and read the article and saw The Boomtown Rats reference. And that, no matter how trite it seems, is when it was real to me.

My heart breaks for the students, teachers, staff members, family members & friends of Virginia Tech.

I don't know that pain. I pray that I will never know that pain. Loss is inevitable but not in this way, at this time, at this place.

When I saw that, my body began to slightly react like it did on September 11th when I called my mom in the Student Center of my own college and started weeping. On that day of my junior year at St Olaf, some boy, who I never knew and whose face I barely saw, rubbed my back as I sobbed with my mom on the other line. Today, when I felt that same distress began to creep up, I thought "Oh Shit", got out of the Apple Store and breathed. My reaction today did not even come close. The mall, the Apple Store boys, The Department Store were spared my seemingly melodramatic tears. I walked back to my friends at the counter. I didn't even know how to say what had happened because I didn't want it to seem like I was spreading some insane gossip. Saying it out loud would also make it that much more real.

Then, when I went back, the numbers had grown and now it has become the worst shooting incident in US history.

I hate that this happened. I hate that tragedy of this magnitude happens all the time on the other side of the world. I hate that the mother of my Vietnamese boss often wishes she never came here because, right now, "life is just better over there."

I don't hate this country. I just don't understand it.

Right after September 11th, Bruce was walking down the street when someone shouted from their car "We need you Bruce." When I went to my first Springsteen show in August of 2002, I saw a man in the audience holding up an American flag and I started to cry because it was the most honest, decent, genuine form of patriotism I had seen in a really long time.

Bruce isn't god. I know that. I'm not THAT crazy. But his music has helped me at my most difficult times.

I hope that those families and friends at the University find what they need whether that be religion, another person, nature, a song, a phrase...whatever it may be, I hope they find it. I hope it brings them a bit of solace.

There's a moment in a song, that one second, where the entire tune opens up. The music or the phrase climaxes and it could be quiet or loud. Give me a song and I will find it. It is one of my favorite challenges. When that moment jumps out at me, I will look down and memorize the exact second. I will rewind it to that second and make sure I have the exact second. In the past, it has been:

3:31 of King Without a Crown from Matisyahu's Live at Stubb's
3:02 of This Way from Dilated Peoples featuring Kanye West
3:16 of Mr. November from The National's Alligator
1:21 of Your 8th Birthday from Cloud Cult's The Meaning of 8

Last month, my friend Kevin and I sat in his car in downtown St. Paul as we waited for the doors of the theatre to open. Giddy and relaxed from the brownies, listening to Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, we pass the time.

"I'm waiting for that moment where it opens," he says.
"It's right here," I say a second later.

1:16 of Neon Bible from Arcade Fire's Neon Bible

7:56 of Jungleland from Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run

And that song means something extraordinary and painful at this moment...

Beneath the city two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender in a bedroom locked
In whispers of soft refusal and then surrender in the tunnels uptown
The Rat's own dream guns him down as shots echo down them hallways in the night
No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light

Outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what's fantasy and the poets down here
Don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland

There is freedom for me in that second of all those songs. Where is that freedom for others? Where is that peace?

There is so much love in my life, sometimes I feel like I'm going to explode. I need to always remember that.

I am reminded about how much I need to embrace those who give me so much love in return. I need to not be so afraid to say I love you and to deal with the painful and wonderful repercussions of meaning it.

I took this picture on Thursday night. Ice Rod and ZibraZibra were opening for Leslie & the LY's at The Entry. It was a hilarious night with a great friend from my college. Though in a couple moments, Ice Rod aka Michael Gaughan would perform a kickass rap about the glories of the booty, this picture makes me sentimental. Cause right now, it means what I need it to mean.

Maybe we'll someday learn to turn the Mondays around.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I work at a mall. Ask me how I survive?

I've always hated malls. I love to shop but I've always hated malls. They are nasty and dirty and mallrats drive me insane and I would burn a place down based purely on the fact that Abercrombie & Fitch exists within it. I grew up in Kansas City where The Plaza is mecca. Beautiful, classic, interesting mecca. Most importantly, it's outdoors. And not in the strip mall Fashion Bug next to a nail salon that will eventually get busted for meth and a mexican restaurant that will eventually get busted for illegal immigration (both happened.) Now, after years of working behind a computer, I work at a mall (for the past year and a half.) And I still hate malls. I just love my coworkers and flexible schedule and the fact that I go to work to stare off into space, occasionally touch someones face, wander around, befriend the Apple Store dudes and look at the bright colors because that makes it worth all worth it (most of the time...for now.)

Yep, I graduated from St. Olaf College, a school that was not cheap, and did well at St. Olaf College, a school that was not easy. And now I work at a mall. I've said...and I still affords me my rock 'n' roll lifestyle. And that wherein lies the challenge and awesomeness of life. Yeah, The Department Store is a big place, with lots of shitheads, but the good outweighs the bad. And the good will always mock the bad with fierce intensity once the bad gets all the way up the escalator. Someday, I will write a book about the ridiculousness I've experienced working at a mall (oh god the mall hair, oh god the lack of genuine conversation, oh god the camel-toe and belly shirts I have seen...all from workers at The Department Store.) I've said...and I still believe...I have some seriously awesome coworkers.

In school, we probably wouldn't have been friends. Except work Danielle, who became one of my closest friends (then she moved to AZ,) we never do much socially (except that kickass time they all came to the Marah concert with me.) We don't have a ton in common. But we spend all day together and thus we have become family. And we bicker and laugh like sisters. And it surprises me when I come to the realization that they know me REALLY well.

We play games to pass the time...

For instance:

1) If you were a food, what would you be (work Danielle was not happy when I said she would be beef)?
2) Chuck, fuck or marry this hideous manager, this hideous manager or this hideous manager?
3) Where do you see yourself in five years?
4) What kind of guy do you see each other with? (To quote Radwa: "Alexa, you are gonna end up with a guy that is sexy...but in that homeless kind of way." I fell over in my chair that I wasn't supposed to be sitting in, laughing so hard that people walking by thought I was having a medical emergency)
5) Oh...and there was that time I asked my vegan/animal rights activist coworker if she would rather
1) Eat a huge McDonald's hamburger?
1) Kill her beloved pit-bull Ginger?

Uhhhh...she started tearing up at the idea of killing her pet and I realized that the games had gone a tad too far...but I don't think I really learned my lesson. I never do.

Last night, at the Son Volt show (where Jason Isbell, formerly of the DBT, opened), CoworkerKristin and I were sitting at a table as I was scarfing down some vegan banana bread that tasted like flavored toilet paper rolls. We were playing a game of "Do you see anyone in the vicinity who you are attracted to?" As we are both attracted to the same type of guys (and we are both extreme pussies with these type of guys...or any guys who we would eventually like to "know"...thus we have bonded), the answer seemed to always be...

yeah definitely not

Then I saw him walk by and I inhaled sharply. He looked at CoworkerKristin. And he looked at me. Right in the eyes. My hand clutching the vegan toilet paper crust was shaking a bit. It was Jason Isbell standing by our table and I was star struck. Under Bruce, the Drive-By Truckers are in my next tier of awesomeness (with a few others.) I've had a violet and soothing love affair with them the moment I heard Zip City for the first time. I have been rock 'n' rolled to the core with this band. And Jason is a huge part of that (or was...wahhh...sniff...wahhh.) He kept walking and I whispered...loudly...


It very much reminded me of the time Marah walked by in Chicago at my first show in 2005, before they knew me as "Minnesota!", and I had a mini heart-attack.

CoworkerKristin looked at me and said...

Oh My God! My first thought when he walked by was "No. Not him"

As in, she wasn't attracted to him either.


But then he started his set...

(Disclaimer...those shots are not from last night...they are from May 17, 2006 when the DBT played at First Ave the night before my last fancy schmancy camera isn't allowed in First Ave and I can't bear to go back to my point and shoot yet for these shows...It kills me every time I see some bad ass pose or facial expression or lighting effect that I cannot capture.)

With his boyish looks and wide Southern smile, you'd think he wouldn't be capable of rocking the shit out of song. How could someone that looks that young instill so much soul into his music? But he did. The songs of his new record blended well with old DBT songs. And while it is hard to come to terms with the fact that the force of nature that is the Drive-By Truckers are not around him, I am thrilled to see where Jason takes his solo career.

Plus, when he sat down to play the keyboard for his final song, I totally checked to see what side he sets his Southern charm on. This is a habit I blame on my college days when some of my profs wore really tight pants. And I was just a lonely girl from Missouri who only got drunk once her senior year of highschool and went to prom with her hairdresser's nephew.

After Jason's set, CoworkerKristin looked at me with eyes wide open.


Mission Accomplished. A fellow Jason lover was born.

See...the thing is...when I really think hard about last night...I just enjoyed Jason Isbell more than Son Volt.

I love Son Volt's records. Windfall is (almost) right up there with DBT's Outfit & Decoration Day. And I really enjoy his newest album "The Search." This was the first time I saw Son Volt in concert and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I've been schooled in the ways of Jay (and his extreme seriousness) before. But Jay Farrar just didn't seem to enjoy himself up there. Yes, he takes what he has written very seriously. Yes, he has written some killer tunes. But I literally turned to CoworkerKristin halfway through and made a bet with her that he wouldn't smile once during his show. I lost the bet because there were a couple slight smirks towards the end. And to quote CoWorker Kristin...

He hasn't changed his hair since 1994.

It was seriously the shaggy hair club up there on that stage.

I realize this is part of Jay, part of Son Volt, part of his persona but I have seen painful, serious music performed with so much soul that it makes my heart and tear ducts burst. I couldn't decide if he just seemed confident, like this was something so normal that he didn't need to put on any sort of production, or just arrogant. And I cannot stress enough how much I hate arrogance.

I am pretty sure, in the end, that Jay, though riding the fine line, ends up on the winning side with confident.

I didn't hate Son Volt by any means. Hearing Windfall live was awesome, as was Action (which is my current favorite song from the new album) and hearing the Uncle Tupelo song Life Worth Livin' kicked some ass. His set really picked up for me about halfway through when I became obsessed with the sneer on guitarist Chris Masterson's face and the way that bassist Andrew Duplantis just attacked those strings. I kept imagining the calluses peeling back from the tips of his fingers and the stringy muscle underneath that would just keep playing. Chris, with his sculpted Edward Scissorhands haircut, would just grimace, playing hard. Andrew, with his surfer dirty blond shag, would just smile, attacking those strings. It was like the devil and the angel on either side of some distant, stoic stranger.

In the end, though all extraordinarily talented, they only seemed to really mesh as one band a small handful of times. When they interacted with each other, gave to each other, they opened up to the audience and that's when I personally got those rock concert chills. When Jay would project that seriousness outwards, the music spilled over us and I really believed him.

I just really love Jason. Because I want my dirty rock music to have some infectious joy connected. And palpable ( favorite word) pain.

Oh and back on the subject of work...I will always love to poop on the clock. It's all part of my Southern charm.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Christ has "Risen." Holla.

Friday, I did the math and realized that, during the week, I had spent as much time shooting and editing pictures as I do at my full time job (37 hours.) This both intrigued, excited and scared the shit out of me (good thing because I ate Taco Bell at 3am on intestines, like Jesus when he saw those nails coming his way, were not pleased.) I love this. I don't want to get burnt out on it. And I needed to just be present in a world I constantly try to capture through obsessive thoughts, words or pictures. So I challenged myself to not take photos. I made it most of the night, soaking in the magic of the never ending Hoot, and only cheating a bit at the end.

Because I couldn't stop wondering how the fuck did I get here? I sat in the middle of Jim's floor, against Anna's leg, staring up at the giant newspaper article he did about Bruce, SIGNED by Bruce, trying to stop Zero the dog from eating my face/making out with me.

I listened to the musicians play round robin with their voices and instruments.

They poured their heart into a living room full of fifteen or so people.

Jim actuall sang "Alexa smiles like the sun." Which was true.

I left, sober cabbing it to Big V's and standing in the midst of rock 'n' roll devil horns and screaming guitar licks. It was culture shock after the six hour soulful singer/songwriter fest.

So I grabbed the lack of poop-licious Taco Bell with Jessica, drove her home to Uptown, and sat on her couch to watch an episode of Top Design. Got I love Chalupas. God I love reality television. God I love looking across a room to realize I am not alone as the Stook! song he dedicated to (almost Chicago bound) Andrea breaks my heart.

Saturday, I worked late, dreamt about that burly biker dude with the leather jacket and big moustache who walks down Lyndale with a wiener dog wearing a skirt (two of my friends have called with sightings of my dream man...I have yet to witness him in the flesh...though my hand has), and watched six episodes of Weeds (my new favorite show.)

I got drunk in the afternoon off of three very delicious, very fruity and very strong mimosas from brunch at Genna's house. Praise Jesus. I proceeded to nap on my couch for three hours and woke up with my Easter dress up around my waste and a monster headache. God bless the 6:30pm hangover. Three tylenol and a handful of almonds later, I am cured.

My heart is a little broken right now. Jason Isbell is leaving my beloved Drive-By Truckers. Not only did he write two of my favorite DBT songs/favorite songs of all time, Outfit & Decoration Day, he is some serious Southern eye candy. Poo. His solo work, while I am absolutely thrilled about, has some very big shoes to fill.

I've decided that the horrifically insipid acronym W.W.J.D ACTUALLY stands for "What Would Jonesie Do?" Balls out, Jonesie likes to rock n roll with potato sacks under her eyes and a caffeine headache the size of your daddy's wang.

Monday: work then Son Volt at First Ave
Tuesday: work then American Idol
Wednesday: work then Voltage: Fashion Amplified at First Ave
Thursday: sleep/laundry/haircut then Leslie & the LY's at First Ave's 7th St Entry
Friday: work then Hoot
Saturday: work then Low at First Ave (maybe...if I can switch my schedule so I don't close)
Sunday: work then rehearsal

I need to know the Bionic Man's secret. Luckily, I don't feel like Uncle Floyd's burning asshole like the last time my schedule was this insane. My (almost always) healthy diet allows me to push myself to the limits...much like marathon man...except without the toned muscles and ability to move my legs back and forth in what some might call "a run."

I will leave you with this glorious, awe inspired, party caught on film:

This is from the April 5th Bruce Springsteen Tribute at Carnegie Hall. Bruce invites Craig Finn of Hold Steady to sing first. I'd like to think this is one of the top five experiences of Craig's life. I love the shit eating grin and his spastic dancing. One cannot deny the fact that he absolutely loves sharing that stage with Bruce Springsteen. Look at his wacky gestures! Look at that face! It reminds me so much of when Bruce was jamming with Bob Dylan at Shea Stadium. Craig Finn's joy is palpable (my new favorite word.) We all have our idols.

Plus I love seeing my Marah boys (especially Kirk...who is a dwarf apparently...and Adam...who still manages to look really cool though he is moving like a Suburban mom in complete elation) up there clapping and dancing.

Though I'm coming to terms with the fact that I cannot please everyone and be everywhere all at once, I should have been there. I should have been at Carnegie Hall.

Life According to Bruce: Yay for the loud, crowded party!

Friday, April 6, 2007

My Saturday Night Alone

Saturday night, the weather was shit, cold and misty. Damp and dank. Dark and ominous. You know...just like the crotch of la mere de Buttplug. I ran home from a crabby day at work, ripped off my Department Store black and laid around in my underwear until Badonks and I decided just to get Mexican at the authentic, hole in the wall up the street. I put jeans on and changed into my favorite faux Western blue shirt, faux peppermint earrings and bright orange traffic controller rain jacket. We stepped outside, linked arms underneath the purple duck umbrella and walked up Hispanic row. I got fajitas. She got enchiladas. And, for once, it wasn't me who almost shat my pants on the walk home.

I grabbed my camera and got back into my car. I was alone. Driving downtown, getting quasi lost downtown, calling Badonks to get unlost downtown and parking in the cheap lot next to my venue downtown.

I chatted with a few people that I recognized from the Hoot, my orange jacket draped over my camera bag against my side. I hung towards the back during Stook!'s set, separate, against a column and let the little fajita shrimpies swim in my intestines. I love these tunes and look forward to Stook! opening for JoAnna James on April 26th, when the little shrimpies will be nothing but porcelain memories.

I ran out of the Fine Line as soon as Stook! had finished so I could book it to The Varsity. It was still damp out but I was calm. At peace. Even after some jackoff started trying to talk to me about working in the Wells Fargo building and its breathtaking view. Don't talk to me, jackoff. I am alone by choice tonight. And I'm having a night of rare independent peace.

I walked into the lot and have a SWEETMOTHERFUCKER! moment after I realized my car is not in the lot. Then I had a DUMBMOTHERFUCKER! moment when I realized I was standing in the wrong lot. I found my Honda, in tact, and get the hell out of downtown, naturally getting lost on my way to The Varsity for the Eclectone Records Showcase.

I found it eventually, like I always do, and walked into the venue. It was a little more empty than I had thought it would be but there was this relaxed vibe permeating the air. Everyone was mingling, standing with their drinks or draped over one of the mattresses or comfy chairs. The Mad Ripple started as I entered the theater and I plopped into a black rotating chair on the floor, turning slightly back and forth throughout the entire set. They were Hoot songs he sang. They are familiar to me.

Before Martin Devaney, I wandered around a bit, walking upstairs to stare out the windows by the bathroom. The night sky was now clear as I looked over Dinkytown.

I walked back down the stairs and my twirly chair was still open. I sat.

Martin Devaney's folksy music was heartbreaking. My independent little heart broke, especially as he sang Flowers on the Doorstep. And still rocks out a bit. It's a strong little heart. A few times, Martin REALLY reminded me of Bruce during his acoustic tour. The shrimpies did a dance of joy. Jim sat down next to me, looked up, saw me and he sort of shouted my name. We talked for a bit. I asked him about Martin's age. He said "maybe 27 or 28. He's just a baby." I thought about how this 27 or 28 year old breaks 25 year old hearts and owns his own record label. Stellar resume.

Another break. I climbed back up to the bathroom, just to run around a bit, and looked at myself in the mirror for a second. I never get sick of checking out the piercing. I love my navy bandana and red striped earrings. This time I walked slowly down the stairs, checking the concert posters that line the wall, almost tripping because I was staring at Regina Spektor's picture. I nade it down okay and found chair closer to the stage. JoAnna James sings next.

Aching, yearning tunes. Another broken heart. This white girl nailed the blues. There is hope for all of us. ( Y'know...except me.)

I did't leave my seat this time. Steve walked up to me. I stood. We chatted about my new lens. I am thrilled that I can even contribute to this conversation. God bless this lens. God bless. We chatted about getting lost downtown. I mentally thanked the Hoot for introducing me to these people.

Mark Stockert stood on the smaller stage set up opposite of the main stage. He was trashed. I was nervous. Regardless, he was composed. And then one of those live music experiences happened that can never be replicated or even described adequately enough.

Mark set down his guitar against a speaker and stood on the edge of the stage.

He started half singing, half wailing this phrase: "light me up and knock me down."

Then, I heard a guitar from the opposite side of the Varsity. Then, a voice from another end. Then, another voice, another end.

I looked into the middle of the Varsity and Martin was there and started singing along, too. Someone joined him. It was dark and I couldn't really tell who it was. Someone else joined the duo. They were together in a small clump, arms raised. Mark & Martin, with their arms raised, were commanding the audience to sing along.

The sound of instruments and voices were everywhere, layered one then the other then the other then everyone. It surrounded us, a wall of sound building up all around. The Varsity seemed vast at that moment.

He started and ended his short set with this. I sat my camera against my leg and just shot it. Alone, but entirely happy, singing along to a song that I had no idea what the words were. It was my version. Everyone was singing their version. I realized later what Mark was chanting was actually from a sign that hung behind him against the wall of The Varsity Theater.

Jim came up to me afterwards, amazed at the song. He introduced me to Mark. Mark was even more wasted, but this time he had a huge grin across his face. As he sort of wobbled back and forth, he told me he couldn't believe that had happened. I asked him if it was planned. He said "Sort of. But not really." It didn't matter. At that moment, I didn't want to dig too deep into that experience, I just wanted to revel in it a moment longer. Mark told me he wanted another drink. I told him he deserved it.

It probably meant something different to each attendee of that show, everything from Jim's ecstasy to nothing but a poster sing-a-long. I, alone that Friday night, won't forget that sensation of turning around in my chair, preening my neck to see where all that sound was coming from, what all that sound was, how far it would keep going, would it wail on forever?

I needed to rock.

Chris Perricelli of Little Man walked by and I thought "Man, he's short" and then, months after seeing pictures and reading articles, I had an extraordinary epiphany: "Ohhhhh...that's why his band is called Little Man." Nice, Jonesie. Real nice.

Someone yelled out "You're not little. YOU'RE BIG!" and I couldn't decide if that was annoying or endearing.

Little Man ripped it apart.

Rocked and leapt and sang and shredded

It felt like Little Man was looking directly at me. He did.

I was so intrigued by this fierce rocker.

That annoying/endearing guy from beginning was right.

Little Man is very very big.

I saw Stook! from across the way, flashed the mofo sign and he came over, through the dancing audience.

Stook! and I watched Jim Walsh worship at Little Man's feet.

Stook! and I watched/laughed as two seiz-tastic, older women "dance."

I shook back and forth, barely moving my feet but having my own mini seiz-tastic dance.

I snapped picture...

...after picture...

...after picture...

Little Man ended his set. We cheered. The audience was sort of thin but we had just experienced a night of tight, polished, wonderful music. Everyone was beaming. I stood still for a moment and then hugged Jim and Stook! good-bye.

As I passed the merch table, I bought two albums (Martin Devaney & Little Man.) I walked out of The Varsity, past all those drunk douchebags against the walls of The Library, clutching my new music in my fist. As soon as I got into my car, I stared at the albums, deciding on Martin for the car ride home. I needed something chill to sing me to sleep at 2am.

I was never really alone to begin with.

Over and over and over again.