Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Sebadoh post that isn't mostly about Sebadoh

Life is short. The New Jersey Turnpike on a Friday evening is long.

I'm glad that last night, in the end, my concern over the former won out over my fretting over the latter. I need to make sure to keep that in mind every time.

Hoboken is kind of a haul from my house. It's more of a haul if the trip begins at 5:45 p.m. on a Friday when the traffic report features up to 90 minute delays on the tunnels headed *inbound* to NYC. It's enough to make a man consider saying, "Fuck it."

But these days I really try to minimize how often I pass up opportunities to do cool things.

I'm pushing 50 years old, and as a similarly-situated friend and I recently pondered, in a mix of philosophy and simple mathematics that was, well, less complicated or stunning than the wine we were drinking at the time, but kinda whupped us both upside the head nevertheless: "So, this means, if we're really lucky, we get to be on the planet another 30-35 years or so. Any more than that and it doesn't sound like the pain-to-fun ratio is going to be a very low number; so, yeah, 30 to 35 more good best."

Sorry if I just became Captain Bringdown, but it's the truth.

So when I heard that Lou and Jake from Sebadoh -- no spring chickens themselves -- were saddling up the old warhorse to take it for another spin --this time through Maxwell's in Hoboken -- *and* that this particular tour was going to focus on what are, for me, their two best records by far (go here and here) *and* that (I'm yelling in frustration here) THE EFFING TOUR CAME THROUGH PHILLY LAST SPRING AND I LEARNED TOO LATE TO JUMP ON IT THEN, I got the tickets. I was Maxwell's-bound.

Simultaneously, I realized that some friends in the general NYC area who I just don't see often enough might be interested in this show, and even a few more might want to meet up for dinner beforehand, and so I started floating a plan called: "I don't *care* whether you want to see Sebadoh with me, but you really ought to get yer ass out to dinner because life is short and with kids and houses and dogs and jobs and the general state of the turgid miasma of existence and all.... see you at 8 p.m. at Maxwell's. I'll be at the bar."

So plans were made, tickets were bought by some, and others said they'd skip the show but still be at dinner.

And then kids and houses and dogs and, yup, that raised their ugly heads and, by game time, our numbers were greatly reduced in quantity, but still oh-so-high in quality.

Kyle hit "pause" on her busy life to come across two rivers from Brooklyn, and Amy and Bill and I *finally* ended up in the same place at the same time in New Jersey where we've all lived for over two years but seem to only see each other in *other* locations across the country, and Pete and I ended something like seven years of never quite getting our shit together to hang out and rekindle what our pal Dan once called something like "the Pete/Steve vortex of punk rock that I like just hanging around to be close by."

It was awesome. Stories were told. Laughs were had. The proverbial shit was shot. I was reminded, once again, that most of my friends are so much more politically lefty than me that they make my libertarian-ish take on things appear oh-so-much more Rand-ian than it ever really is. (Amy: "You're outnumbered here, Steve. Remember that.") I was also reminded that even though, of the four of them, only Bill and Pete had ever actually met before, funny smart people *always* have something to talk about, and I dig gathering them together in heretofore unknown combinations like that.

So, this is just a small shoutout to you peeps who were there, for the good times that make me appreciate life on this manic blue orb even more than I do already, and to those of you who couldn't make it 'cause life got in the way.... well, do your best next time. It's worth it. And chances to do this sort of thing seem to happen less than they ought to.

Oh right....there was a rock show too. Sebadoh were great, albeit a tad on the sloppy side. But the song selection was, as I expected, aces. And the set length (30 songs!) was epic. Last night I'll call them a speeding truck that was big and loud, powerful and strong at its best, but simultaneously throwing off shards of debris that make you think the driver(s) -- who, true to past form, kept alternating positions behind the wheel, by the way -- ought to tie that load down just a little bit tighter. Stir a few of these together in a blender and you'll get the idea.

We'll call it "one for the fans," and that includes me. Good one, boys.

Dinner, on the other hand, was "one for the record books." Even better one, boys and girls. Let's do it again sooner than later.

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