3/19/09 Bloomington, IN @ Sweet Hickory and Rachel’s Cafe
Letters To The Moon (me and Lisa D.)
Bloomington, IN when the sun is out feels like a town I could live in. It has this small town charm like a John Cougar Melloncamp song. We arrived at Sweet Hickory- A record/zine store, art space, and venue- to close friends who had hugs for us. There was a pot full of food for us and a bowl of only green M & M’s… we aren’t rock stars, Ryan’s (Defiance, Ohio / Pink Houses) mom sent him the leftovers from her St. Patty’s day party.
Matt Tobey started the evening with a set split between accordion and key board. He played selections from the movie Amelie. I would have felt like I was in France, but I couldn’t displace myself from my discomfort, sitting on the hard wood floor after a long day of shelving books.
I got to see Saint Seneca play their first ever show on their first ever tour! They were sending beams of excitement and energy through the room. They played very well. Everyone in the band can sing. It is a beautiful mix of guitar, violin, dulcimer, banjo, stomping, and a trash bin stolen from a dorm at OSU for their songs with rhythmic pulsing. I’d say they have an indie and folk influence; crafted songs that draw a listener in. They play with feeling too. AND they sing about GOD and JESUS. That’s daring in a scene that can be so reactionary towards Christianity. BUT their music is not limited in the audience it can reach. I can relate to their songs although I have different personal beliefs and that comes from their smart lyrics. It should be interesting to see what they encounter on this trip.
Our set went very well for our first night. I admitted to not having the accomplished musicianship that Saint Seneca had. I said we could make up for it with the awesome faces we make. We look like we are good.
Another show began just as ours ended across the street at Rachel’s Café.
Eric Ayotte, the rolling stone now living in B Town, was mid set when I walked in. He plays up beat folk with an edge on his voice. He sings about the world we live in. He sings to unload our heavy collective conscience full of American social issues and politics. He also sings of family and love. To me, his music is very real and accessible. I met Eric on the first ever Delay tour in 04’. I value our lasting friendship.
I got to see Still Hidden’s, now called Universe, first ever show. It was awesome! They played so well. A band’s first show is supposed to be a disaster. I saw the Tiger and he described their music perfectly. “It was haunting,” he said. I picked up something that reminded me of a 1905 song I have on a mix tape. It had an intensity. Nate Powell was yelling and singing while Mike Harpring kept things together on drums. If you are a metal or hardcore fan, you could pick up some influence from those genres too. Not to mention other cool bands / things Universe members are / were involved in… Ghost Mice / Soophie Nun Squad / Good Luck / Amazing comics.
A touring band from MA called Sinaloa played next. Two guitarists, which I was into. They were loud with a post punk sound, shouted vocals- Beards and glasses. I felt left out, having neither. I am 24 and still can’t grow a beard. I like my chin so I will keep showing it off.
Bloomington’s Pink Houses closed the show. They are a 3 piece that channels the grungy riffs of Kurt and the intensity and moving bass and guitar, rhythmic and almost jazzy, of Fugazi.
After the show, I had a walk and talk with a friend about life and love, romance and the complications of it all, waiting like wild horses at a starting gate.
I ended the night with Kater, happily, drinking giant mugs of beer that her friends couldn’t finish. Kater is my kind of person. Energetic. She laughs with no restraint, a joyous yell that would startle you the first time it jumps out. I stayed at the punk house Guilty Pleasures. I was lucky to spoon and be spooned by Jimmy the dog, that face licking pup.