I was just on hold with our dentist's office, and the hold music was, bizarrely enough, Eric Clapton's "Cocaine." Which brought to mind a band story. I haven't done one of those in quite some time, and a search of the archives shows that I haven't written this one up before, so let's do it.
At the start of my senior year, someone asked us if we'd play during freshman orientation. They were having a big picnic out on Baker Campus, kind of the auxiliary athletic practice fields (which I'm sure now has more dorms or an apartment building on it). We may have even gotten paid fifty bucks or so for it. Of course we took the gig, despite there being absolutely no beer at this event.
Like a lot of bands, we made a habit of messing around with different cover songs during practice ("Enter Sandman" was a longtime favorite; I could eventually play it on all three instruments, aside from the guitar solo). Most of these never saw an actual performance, it was just something to warm up with. At this time, "Cocaine" was such a song. Out at the picnic, we were setting up while the froshies were still eating and doing some icebreaker activity, so we didn't have an opportunity to do a proper soundcheck. So when that time came, I got on the mic and said "This is a soundcheck. We aren't really playing yet. Please ignore this."
And rather foolishly, we did the first verse or so of "Cocaine." The new dudes and dudettes of F&M gravitated over to the stage. Many future Phi Tau brothers looked excited. "Dude! Classic rock cover band! Arright!" I'm afraid we gave them the wrong impression. Once we'd played long enough to verify the levels we right, we broke off "Cocaine," we introduced ourselves, and launched into our own material.
About two songs in, I was treated to the most disheartening sight I saw during our three-year career: the backs of about 400 college freshmen, in their matching white T-shirts, heading up over the hill away from Baker and back towards the main campus. Blah blah blah they'd already been there two hours and blah, but man, that was discouraging.
Exactly THREE kids stayed and watched the whole set. After we finished, we immediately came off the stage and introduced ourselves to them. "You guys are obviously cool. Come by the house and hang out later." (Rich Quinlan and Jon Vosmek; can't remember the third. Maybe Chris "Tex" Martinez?")
Another glorified rehearsal, much like the ill-fated geology department conference gig at Ben's. For every triumph like the CBGB's gig or a solid Chameleon show, there was one of these. Wouldn't trade it, though, it's all part of my rock & roll experience.
One last note: did you know you can now download Incoherents tracks from iTunes? This can mean only one thing: Wettig needs some new hobbies.
Boy howdy, it would be nice to jumpstart the economy AND provide jobs AND get some badly needed infrastructure work done. Too bad our politicians are too short-sighted to pull it off.
Good video for alienated liberals who don't feel like voting.
Much talk of late about the bullying problem. Here is a deeply honest and personal take that is worth reading. I already try to tell my kids they're awesome with frequency, but have made it a definite daily event since reading this.
Speaking of bullying, here's a good piece on the values exhibited by American corporations. I have long wished that public companies could spend a little more time trying to do some good in the world or give more back to their communities, but it's sadly rare.
Sports: I missed the Simpsons sabremetrics episode, but Pos has a good recap.
Local: I haven't been to the Brickskeller in years, but it remains one of my favorite joints, warts and all. So it's unfortunate to read that it's likely coming to an end, or at least drastic changes, one way or another.
Finally: I too have this dream.
Just a few today. Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone piece on the Tea Party is about as mind-boggling as you'd expect.
This piece on Americans' inability to recognize just how badly wealth is distributed in this country is an eye-opener.
And if you think the lottery is going to get you in that upper income slice, think again. Try the Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator!