Monday, January 7, 2013

dead trees and dirty riffs

The relative thaw that leaves the streets less icy and yours truly fighting cabin fever had me out at the art studio glazing old projects and working on new ones, driving out to see some live local free tuneage and ended up hanging out with some of my favorite Clevelandian metalheads who I don't get to see nearly enough. Conversations involving Dave Mustaine, general fundieism, and yours truly suggesting road trips to the Ernest Angley Wax Museum south of Heaven Cleveland and making the distinction between televangelist/political dumbassery and That Jesus Guy's words.

Anyways, Megachurch for the uninitiated is mostly instrumental low-end riffage that would be called sludge or stoner rock by some but a little more anthemic, two basses and a drummer who are technically excellent and super-tight without resorting to Dream Theater wankery. The added dash of sampled audio of faith healers and televangelists works without being too overwrought.

One of my homies is an excellent bass player and loved this song in particular, though we're all oldsters now and hang out in the back and watch The Kids do their moshing thing. Most of them cleared off by the time Keelhaul hit the stage and we felt like the crowd was actually our age for a change even though I don't stand for hours nearly as comfortably as I once did, but I loved the complicated riffery and time signatures and whatnot.

Drove home, slept in late, woke up for a text from a friend asking me if I could make a run out to grab a Christmas gift for their daughter at Justice, which I've heard about and never been to and I think I went a little bit into shock with the candy-colored glitter sequin feather Bieber general aesthetic, having rolled out of bed to drive over in all black concertgoing clothes from the night before, still bleary eyed and the caffeine having not kicked in. A gift card and a pink fiber optic lamp later (because I'm not going to buy this kid anything that says DIVA or PRINCESS or a tweeny Victoria's Secret-stylee lacy bra), the salesgirl says "you probably don't need to be on our mailing list, do you?"

A quick stop at the sister's to hang out with nephew, check email at the bibliotheque, a wander down to the lake with the neighbors and a drive out to the suburban wasteland of the whiteflighted eastern lands for bar food and catching up with old friends, avoiding politics for absurdity. I don't eat out much, don't go to chain restaurants hardly ever, and so generalized American culture always seems vaguely absurd and that sense was reprised the next afternoon with some others. It's more about the conversation than the food as it is. I got a text from the Queen of the Bondo that our beloved Half Price Books is closing (this particular branch lost its lease) so we heard the laments of Clevelandia readers as we trawled through the dollar paperbacks looking for gems.

Came home with a bagful of goodness that won't fit on the bookshelf, Czech magic realism, possibly Azeri love story, sundry fantasy I loved as a child that I wanted to re-read and share with the nephew who already wants me to read him books, Ursula Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander's Westmark trilogy that probably influenced the way I look at the world now more than I ever knew, other bits and pieces.

There's already a pile from the public library and a pile from the academic at home. Books piled up in front of the TV I haven't turned on in over a year, books on the dining room table, books in the kitchen, books in the bathroom. Not in a messy way, just that the eternally curious brain has a certain level of comfort here, and I end the weekend wrapped in blankets, drinking herbal tea with the cat on the lap, thumbing through paperbacks about the Middle East and Central Asia. It makes coming back to the daily grind infinitely easier to have a trove of paperbacks for the wheelie bus, and a semester of learning to look forward to.