8/11/09 Portsmouth, NH @ Zach’s 17th Birthday
In the morning, I walked the tracks with xRyanx to go get a whoopee pie in town. Whoever decided to stuff tons of cream between two cookie cake fluff shields is brilliant. I walked with him and Ariel and two other friends. They were prepping for a big DIY all lady burlesque show they had planned to perform in a public space downtown. Sounded provocative and fun and it would feature an accordion playing “Carnival” by Bikini Kill. I bet while sword swallowing and fire blowing happened… maybe.
In the afternoon we went along with the guys of Dylan Bredeau and Dead Uncles to see what the waters of the Atlantic Ocean held for us. On the coast there were abandoned Army Barracks like dream club houses. Further down, a touristy light house sat waiting for photo ops we didn’t take. We walked on a shore of coarse mountainous rocks. Gulls gently rose and fell in the water below us and in the distant misty haze, slow freighters and sail boats moved along. Luke (DB) went in the water. He looked moderately comfortable treading in the dark blue in his boy undies. Austin and I were drawn in. To everyone’s dismay, we both leaped off the jagged rocks, barely clearing them and splashing in. It was a shocking, surrounding cold. My breath was gone to the fingers of the frigid. But then I was alive and between rocks, looking out to water that might not ever end. It was a north-east feeling. I wanted to swim and then sit balled up in a hoodie, eating a fluffer nutter with bits of sand in it and someone special.
Soon after, we left for Portsmouth, NH. It was Zak’s 17th birthday! I consider playing a birthday a privilege. You literally become an instrumental part of a landmark day. Hope we didn’t ruin it. 17! God, I was an idiot then. Zak is way ahead, playing in a better than decent catchy pop-punk band (Billy Ray Gun) with a fucking vinyl record. Seems like a good kid.
The show was meant to be outside of his friend’s parent’s house but rain moved it indoors. There was pop and chips and pizza and we destroyed it all as a collective group of hungry mooches. I feel bad in retrospect. Our sets were both quick. We played for mostly younger kids who watched intently and standing still. It can be uncomfortable; mostly because it can make you self-conscious. Austin theorized that we are just used to playing for people who are used to small spaces and watching bands in a very personal, face to face way. As a younger person who has maybe only been to bigger venues, watching bands in this way can mak you feel self-conscious. It takes a lot to break down the social fears many of us have in interacting with music or art in the way we really want too. Most things we consume sit at a distance. T.V. A movie. The internet. When the art and music become personal though, it changes you. It includes you. It connects you to the performers and those watching along side you. Inclusiveness is a sense of belonging and contentment. Possibilities arise. Hope breaths. Loneliness is conquered. It actually feels like you are holding something important.