Monday, November 06, 2006

Nov 5

posted by Majestic Ape at 2:30 PM

Nov 5

Erick, Breck, and I left NYC around 10 pm Saturday night. We got back to Jeff’s just before 2 am and were in DC by 3 am. Of course, Erick had to stop by his mother’s house in the middle of the night to get some money. Lily, the wonder mom, also gave us her special life-saving brew of 2nd chance Tea.

When I got home, my roommate Matt and his friend Paulie, were awake and hanging out. I was thrilled to see them for 2 reasons. I get totally bummed when I go home in the middle of the night and no one is around. Additionally, I really like these guys. We sat up for a while, talking turkey. I go to sleep around 4:30 am.


I got up late. It was really nice outside and I walked up to Mt. Pleasant Street for coffee. I sat in the little square there, drinking coffee and reading the City Paper. I watched people for a while and pondered what the hell I was going to do for the day. I called my friend, Kelly. I was hoping I could visit her and her children but the most amazing thing happened. The kids were napping and her husband was home. She was coming over! We were going for a walk!

Now this may seem an over reaction, but Kelly and I have been friends forever. Back in the day, before she was a ‘super mom’ (she really is a super mom), we used to go for epic walks together all over DC-- in the woods, on the streets, by the river. I have memories of us laughing so hard, and almost shitting our pants, over and over again. I wish I could remember what was so damn funny. But that’s not the point. The point is the present, and my friend and I were going for a walk. I think we wandered around the neighborhood, in the woods, and in the park for a good two hours and then came back to my house, and had tea on the back porch. After being in NYC for five days, it was fantastic to be in the woods and amongst green, yellow, orange, red, and earthy brown things.

The afternoon disappeared and Erick was calling to arrange a meeting time to depart for the Black Cat. Tonight was our DC show with the Slits. We got there about 6:30 and Jeff had just arrived with the van. We loaded- in and got a decent sound check. The staff was being extremely helpful and friendly. There was plenty of time for dinner and relaxing before our set. Our friends, Eyes of the Killer Robot, were opening the show tonight. They had to play pretty early but I was totally impressed by their set. These guys are pretty damn good. One of the members, Brenden, has been a close Ape friend for a long time. In fact, he is one of the few people who have done extended tours with us. He would sit on the floor of the van for days and always got hit in the head by flying merch boxes that would fall from the top of the box, every time our old vocalist, Paul, would slam on the breaks of the van. This happened frequently. Brendan took it very well and appears to be just as intelligent now, despite the repeated blows to the head.

We took our time setting up and changing into costumes. I was really hoping for a packed house but the room was more than half empty. I also had a secret fantasy that maybe one of my family members would be there. I have a mom, a dad, two adult brothers, and a sister-in-law, alive and well, in the DC Metro area. Not one of them was present. I had spoken to my youngest brother the day before and he mostly tried to advise me to import sleeping pills from India.

When I went on stage to speak to the audience, the microphone was silent. I hadn’t a clue that Breck’s effect pedal was simply on low volume. I stood there for a few minutes mouthing things. As soon as Breck realized what was happening, he came up and turned the gain up on the pedal. I’m an idiot.

After we played, I have to admit that I felt great about our set. I felt like we were getting more and more solid performances and the new songs are starting to feel like real songs.

This morning I got up early to move my car and just found myself driving out of my neighborhood. I went to Cleveland Park to get coffee and be amongst people. I should have gone to the gym and instead, I went to a coffee shop and sat outside for a long time. At some point, I realized I looked like total shit. My jeans have a huge tear in the knee and it’s not a cool rip. The tear is four gaping flaps, letting in the wind. My coat is filthy. My hair is a mess. I think I am still wearing my pajama shirt.

Instead of dwelling on the pathetic state of my outside self, I start thinking about how music is my higher power. I know this is cheesy but every time we make a record, I connect the record with some spirituality that I usually ignore. These are not original thoughts but I think how many people take comfort in some sort of god, and what gives me the most comfort is music. When I’m sad, I listen to ACDC. When I’m lonely, I listen to Rush. When I’m angry, I listen to Bad Brains, Black Flag, the CroMags. Music gives me strength. It puts me to sleep. It stays with me on long drives. It goes with me on long walks. When the band becomes a real source of pain and frustration, I sometimes stop listening to music. As soon as I get my head together, I realize how much I miss it.

When we made Baba’s Mountain, I was on the freaking mountain. I was with the animals and the zookeepers. I was on the bus and I was climbing the trees. Now with the new record, I am amongst the spirits.

I can assure you, tonight I will be in urine. Its been a few days and I suspect that the cycle of pee socks versus no pee socks is about to begin again.

Today we head South.


Blogger schtaple said...

i was at the sunday black cat show, and although the room wasn't full, your set filled it. loved it.

10:53 PM  

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