3/22/09 @ The Rock Creek Church St. House, Washington D.C
Letters To The Moon
Laura Stevens and the Cans
The Bepstein Show
The morning met us with Zach locking the keys in the trunk again while looking for his toothbrush. Triple A unlocked the car and Brenden took out his seat, remembering how because Triple A West Virginia did it just yesterday to retrieve the keys from the trunk. Things worked out with in an hour of the repeated incident. When you get on I-95, you have to toss 35 cents into a toll machine basket. With a history of sports, I threw it right in. Luke saw my skills and in an attempt to smoothly do the same from Brendan’s car, he completely missed, feeding the roadside grass 3 dimes and a nickel.
Grace grew up in Dale City, about 30 miles from D.C. We made a stop. When we walked in, we were welcomed with hugs from her Grandmother and with hospitality from her Dad. I saw the kitchen table right away. There was basically a buffet of authentic homemade Chinese food. It was my first time having a few foods. Steamed bread, sweet red bean and tapioca, and a pastry stuffed w/ chick peas and made sweet. We were basically waited on by the sweetest little lady. She let us know with a funny charm that she could only talk to us in her combination of Chinese and English. We didn’t mind at all. We all ate until it was hard to stand up. I felt lucky to have been treated so kindly and to have had a glimpse of someone else’s family life.
In D.C we played at The Rock Creek Church St. House. It was the house of four lovely ladies. Art hung all over the walls- Bright colors of expression. They made us delicious food, chip dip themed, and gave us the benefit of conversation. I felt comfortable and happy to be there. The show had an outstanding turn out.
Saint Seneca played like they have been doing it for years. I love their confidence and the feeling they exude.
We played second. Apparently, I shuffle when we play and Lisa bounces. I bet we look goofy and I know we are. I was told I was doing the white man with an acoustic guitar, Dave Matthews Band dance. We both felt good belting it out. My close friend Spoonboy was there and I always enjoy his company.
Laura Stevens and the Cans from LI and Brooklyn played next. She plays poetic and soft indie folk. Acoustic guitar times two, violin, accordion. They had a had a full, warm sound when they played all at once.
The Bepstein Show was the headliner. I was inspired and moved into wearing a huge grin for the whole set. His set was a multi-media experience. He stood between 2 computer monitors strumming an acoustic guitar. He had pre-recorded footage playing on the monitors. He also had background music blasting out of a stereo synching up perfectly and hilariously with what he was doing live. The beauty in it to me was within the simple and quirky honesty of the whole presentation. With Atom and His Package pop sense and pop punk roots, the songs were lively and fun. The content was not trying to fool anyone. The songs were about exactly what he sang about. Even though the songs and lyrics were so simple, they were important. Bepstein, along with his sidekick Alex, managed to cast a critical eye on our society and ourselves in a light hearted and accessible way. Yea, so one song was about eggrolls, but who doesn’t like a little nonsense thrown in there? I don’t ever want to be too serious. My favorite song came with an explanation:
“We say, we are going to watch TV as if it is this all engrossing thing. And it is. A lot of TV, by the nature of the industry, is manipulative and bad.”
Then he talked about how we can “Watch a program on TV” with a more critical eye and the realization that a program is a program… programmed to suck us in and control us with the rest of the revolting blob known as TV. We can break out! Or we can at least see what can potentially be negative on TV. The exchange of thoughtful presentation from performer to audience occurred and it managed to stay fun the whole way through. Bepstein’s set was a thoughtful and valuable challenge to societal norms. He ended his set with a song about a dream date to Chuck-E-Cheese. Sounds perfect to me. Meet me in the ball pit.
After the show we had an adventure led by legendary D.C punks, Al Acosta (former delay roadie, aka stinky spice) and Dru Baby (founder of get wired on coffee and kick the 4-square ball as high as you can in the park game) and new D.C friend Sara spice. We shuffled on dead leaves through the woods to “The Ruins.” Piles of dirt and old stone stacked up provided a jungle gym of danger. We slid on our butts across giant empty plastic containers. I climbed through a plastic pipe like Shawshank Redemption but without the poop or incarceration period. Al was worried I was being far too “Brazen.” We hiked home with dirt in our shoes. Fil (Give Me Back! Zine) stopped by the Crittenden house and we had some catching up and laughs. The night ended with all of us frantically checking for ticks and arguing about who ate all of Grace’s Girl Scout cookies from her Mom.