Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The 40 Watt


Tonight I went to the famous 40 Watt, where bands such as R.E.M., Pylon, Pavement, Run DMC, Flaming Lips, Elf Power, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Sebadoh, and Bright Eyes have all earned their wings. There's usually a cover due to the fact that there are bands playing here almost every night of the week. For some shows you can even buy tickets ahead of time.

The venue has a decent range of beers at decent prices, especially if you're from the NYC area. It's nice to spend $3 on a beer that isn't PBR. As for well drinks...stick to the beer. That's what the locals seem to do, and that's what I should have done. I ordered a rum and coke and I got a coke with some sort of alcoholic floor cleaner. Not good.

Tonight's band is actually a conglomerate of two Athens locals, Dark Meat and Ceramic Duck. Neither wins for best band name, clearly. With the combined bands there are somewhere between 10 and 15 members. There are 2 drummers, 2 electric guitars, one acoustic thrown in for good measure. There is also a horn section, which makes me automatically love the band a little more. The horn section is made up of 2 trumpets, a clarinet (not actually a horn), saxophone, and a trombone. That's right, a trombone. There are three attractive female back up singers, who play the tambourine, marracas, the citar, and an obie. Yes, this band(s) has an obie AND a trombone. Amazing, I know. The lead vocalist, a mostly incoherent male, is entertaining to say the least.

As far as appearances and cultural genres, Dark Meat is a mix of hipster meets hippie, which also forms the majority of the general population here in Athens. The band is high energy and creative and incorporates lots of spontaneous dancing; they take their music seriously but not themselves. Dark Meat also know how to do more than play a list of songs, they offer an all-round show with dancing, costumes, and projection screens. The lyrical abilities of the band's members are really the only thing in question, due mainly to the fact that most of the lyrics were incomprehensible. But still, I did do the white girl shuffle and wear a goofy grin. That's a sure sign of musical talent. Overall, the band left a pretty favorable impression. The members clearly spend a lot of time working on the songs, it can't possibly be easy coordinating that many members and so many instruments. Plus, every single last one of those members seemed genuinely excited to be on stage performing, something you don't find much of on the NYC music circuit. Even without the talent that they clearly do possess, the band's energy, enthusiasm, and character make them a band worth hopping on a Greyhound all the way to Georgia.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Okay, I'm in Athens, Georgia, and I don't know what the fuck I'm doing! I have no where to stay. The hostel I found online apparently doesn't exist. The next bus to Atlanta doesn't leave until 10:25 tomorrow morning. I'm laughing at myself but really I'm just a huge asshole! So, I don't know if I'm going to wander the streets all night or get a hotel room (they're probably really expensive) or what!? Right now I'm oddly calm about it but at some point I'm sure I'll start freaking. What the fuck am I doing?

Right now it's 6pm and the streets are pretty quiet. It looks like all of the bars and restaraunts don't really get going until later tonight. This place reminds me of a Hoboken/Nashville combo with some young hip college kids thrown in for good measure. It's not bad but I'd have more fun if I were clean and knew I had a place to sleep tonight.


There's a bus that goes to an all night Waffle House, but I don't know what bus to take or where to take it to.

The University of Georgia is right here and there are tons of people around my age. Alas, I think my magical people meeting charm only works when I'm in combination with one of my friends. (The love of my life walked into this cafe, he has close cropped dark hair and a beard and I love him!)

Really I'm just sad. I feel like I'm just floating around here aimlessly and it's the sad truth. I am. There's no reason for me to be here alone other than my stupid urge to just go. Maybe as it gets later I'll cheer up, wander around with no purpose and be depressed as well.

On my way here I had an hour lay over in Baltimore at 4am. Let me just say, the freak out began there. There was this crazy looking young soldier who kept walking back and forth across the bus terminal for the entire layover. He ended up taking the bus with me all the way and getting off in Athens.

He stood out for more than his fatigues. He really did look deranged. He has one lazy eye or maybe he's cross-eyed. And he has an under bite that's pretty severe. When we got on the bus he sat a few ros in front of me. I passed out immediately. When we got to our next stop I woke up with this older Mexican man calling me.

"Hey do you know that guy? The soldier?"
And I said, "No."
"Well you might want to sit back here and take my seat to go to sleep." He had the back row of seats to himself. "You could come back there and actually sleep decently. That guy's been sitting here staring at you the whole time. Getting out of his seat to get a closer look at you and everything."

Yeah, that's not creepy. Apparently, soldier boy had moved all of his stuff to the seat next to mine and was sitting across from me the whole time I was sleeping. So I moved to the last row, laid down and went back to sleep. Crazy soldier boy came back and immediately began talking to me - twitchy and cross eyed talking - he could freak anmyone out walking around in those fatigues. I felt kind of bad for him despite his creepy sleep watching. Eventually, I bought him some chicken. I don't think he had any money. He asked my Mexican friend for a dollar to buy a soda. My Mexican friend's name was Jose. He's a fifty-six year old Pisces. He became my informal guardian for the duration of the bus ride. I begrudgingly appreciated it.

There came an obvious unspoken power play between Jose and soldier boy that really ticked me off. As if either one had more "right" to me, to talk to me, sit by me, whatever. Granted Jose did do me a favor, but he still wasn't guardian and I hadn't asked for his help. But for the rest of the trip whether I wanted it or not, Jose was constantly at my side, offering to buy me lunch, a soda, intercede when soldier boy started becoming bothersome again.

Plus, Jose kept getting conveniently onto the topic of sex. His wife has not wanted to have sex for four years now, ever since she started this bible studies class. But he's still a self proclaimed "horn dog." Then he explained why an orgasm really is the best thing in the world besides a woman. You see, it's like an all over massage. After being electrocuted for that one second every muscle in your body is completely relaxed. He became a little too flattering as well. Offering to hold my "little waist" so I wouldn't fall over on the bus. Telling me I had the nicest little body he'd seen in a long time. I told him he must not see many people.

After lunch I went to bed on the seat behind him and didn't really speak to him until I said goodbye and got off the bus in Athens.

Soldier boy got off with me. I was nervous about staying in Athens since I didn't know where I'd sleep. I asked soldier boy if the bus tickets could be used at any time and he said yes. I got a schedule for tomorrow and realized I'd have to sleep here. Then soldier boy, whose name is William, showed me where the main drag was and asked me for my phone number. I gave it to him, out of pity really. For a second I planned to give him the wrong number, but I couldn't. Ridiculous, I know. He's home because he was shot.

Now here I sit writing this, not really sure of what to do next. I need to eat, so I think that will be my next move. That and calling the Holiday Inn about their rates. I really hate to pay for the night but it's too cold to sleep outside now. Onward - to food and lodgings - and a shower. A long and hot one.

Later tonight I'll write that poem that came to me between sleep and waking this morning. It's a terrible poem but it needs to be written.

Waffle House


I leave civilization for the wilds of the Greyhound bus system. And I just realized how tragically comedic it would be to die in a bus accident. So terribly funny.

I can't see in here at all. Tomorrow or later on, with light, I need to write a poem about two people who are in love - one is a puddle and one is a brick wall. Together they're mud and weaker than apart.

doodle of a bus flower. i can't actually doodle on here, can i.