January 23rd, 2004


the bomb will keep us together

Major activities of the day: Sending off a draft of my proposal from Victrola while lunching. Buying tickets for the Shins on February 1. Watching the debate at the Dean Headquarters between calling people and entering data.


Chris picked me up from the office and we drove to Belltown to meet Lindsay and Gib at Viceroy. I completely fell under the spell of this bar. It's kind of unlabled on the outside, but inside it is like the Ice Storm. The attention to detail in furnishing and decorating was fantastic. Though I wasn't alive then, it feels like stepping into someone's idea of suburban angsty mid-to-early nineteen seventies: Metallic wall sculpture, a stone wall behind the bar, encyclopedias and a stereo system on the back wall, the fortress of solitude chandelier and boar's head on the wall, and so many other details. The whole atmosphere of stepping into someone's rec room party made me forget about the price of my drinks. Or maybe the drinks made me forget. Causality is often difficult to assign.

We met Jeff at the Crocodile, but he and Chris were hungry. We missed most of Low Flying Owls to get a burrito at Taco del Mar and discuss Bowling For Columbine (which was related to the debate). They both tried to convince me that I was wrong about why it might have been good (the futility of explanations) and that it was good for its own sake. I don't know.

The Decemberists were good, even though I feel like I've seen them a hundred times. There is something great about the familiar. Standing in a crowd of attentive people who are happy to be there listening to music they know by heart. Watching the band: the idiot savant expression1 of the woman who plays the keyboard and the accordion, and the nonchalance of the bass player, and the drummer who is the most drunk and who wears a pink headband. The behind the head duelling guitar show. And thinking about how it's been less than a year since I first saw them. For at least a few moments, especially with the cloudlike rain, not liking the world just seems kind of frivolous.

Oh, and for those of you keeping score at home, apparently they've retired "I was meant for the stage" as the closing number.


(1) I know this might sound unfair or mean, but it really isn't meant to be at all.
  • Current Mood
    misquoting probably

what I meant, written by someone else

This, from Chapter 27 of The Pharmacist's Mate in which Amy Fusselman describes attending an AC/DC concert in Madison Square Garden, is what I often think about while going to shows:

And did I say this already? That music is the best theeater? That it's so ridiculous it doesn't even make any sense? That there should be these people onstage, standing there, wiggling little strings on blocks of wood slung around their necks? Jumping up and down and wiggling the strings? Jumping up and down and hopping back and forth and dancing on tippy-toes, wiggling strings? And how if you were deaf and just saw them doing that, you would think, what the hell? What is that? And if you were never on earth before and someone had to explain it to you they would have to say there's this thing called music, and it's invisible. And if floats around in the air and it fills up whole rooms, and more than rooms, whole homes, whole football fields, whole stadiums. And we know it's there, because we can hear it through these little holes on either sides of our heads. And if we turn it up really loud we can feel it, we can feel it in our bodies, vibrating. But we can't see it. The only thing we can see it people jumping and wiggling.

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The Pharmacist's Mate is available from McSweeney's for the very low price of $10 [McSweeney's Purchasing Harangue]. Though not exactly about electrical engineering on boats, the slim volume is remarkable and well worth your time and money.