Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Replacements Tickets

  I missed a couple of shows this week I should have gone to see.  Todd Snider, who is a miraculously entertaining performer and deceptively great songwriter played at the Beachland, as did Alejandro Escovado.  I live just far away enough from the venue that I have to be motivated and maintain that motivation up until showtime to attend shows during the weekday.  I have made attempts and failed to see Snider in the past, which is ridiculous as I have probably have had over a dozen attempts to see the man play.  Is there any real reason why you would own most of someone's recordings, yet can't make a show 45 minutes away?  It is not like these shows are being staged on The Moon.  It's really lame on my part.

  Escovedo, always a critic's darling, I have seen play before when the Cowslingers played on a bill with him.  I believed then, as I do now, that he regarded us as untalented overexcited pests that he had to endure before he could trot out his well crafted songs.  Then again, he was singing about his family struggling to build a life after leaving Mexico and other "adult" problems while we were singing about dog tracks and trucker speed.  He may have had a valid point of view.  I always wind up buying his releases, and I have a similar experience each time.  There will be six songs I will immediately forget and just don't connect with me.  Then there will also be four songs that nail me right between the eyes and become indelibly etched in my head.  How many artists can you say that about?  Once again, I should have gone.

  In the past, the only way I would miss a good show was if I was bleeding from my eyes.  I recall missing a Replacements show that even now I regret not going to despite having the worst case of food poisoning in recent documented medical history.  I remember driving that afternoon in my roommate's car, which was a "Fox".  Wasn't that an entry level VW?  I started to feel a little "off".  I had been driving back from a follow up visit to see the surgeon that had ripped my tonsils out while I was in my twenties.  If you ever want to lose some weight, get your tonsils taken out as an adult.  Your interest in eating any morsel of food drops significantly when you realize it is like a grenade going off in your throat when you swallow.  Want a slice of pizza?  No thanks!  I'll just suck on these ice chips thanks!  Watch the pounds slip away...  Imagine me minus 40 pounds.  It was a helluva look.  I looked like Andy Garcia set adrift on a lifeboat for three weeks.

  I digress.

  The Replacements were/are one of my favorite bands of all time.  There was that period of time between "Hootenanny" and "Pleased To Meet Me" when they were the best band on the planet.  If there was any justice in the world, the general population would regard "Let It Be"/"Tim"/"Pleased To Meet Me" the same way as "Beggar's Banquet"/"Let It Bleed"/"Sticky Fingers" are regarded.  Those Replacements guys just shot themselves in the foot too many times to cash in like the Stones.  Let's be honest, Paul Westerberg is not much of a businessman.  He was a hell of a songwriter though.

  So there I was with Replacements tickets on their "Pleased To Meet Me" tour.  I started to feel weird in the afternoon.  You know that off kilter feeling that comes before a massive fever is rolling in?  You don't feel bad yet, but you know something is coming.  It is like a medical storm front you can sense like old time lobstermen note incoming thunderstorms.  "Batten down the hatches.  We got some barfing rolling in."  Oh yes, and barf I did.  Every 20 minutes for hours on end.  I prayed for someone to come up to my attic bedroom and shoot me in the head to end the horror.  There was no cure in sight.  I was out of commission.  I would not get my heart strings ripped out by "Answering Machine" that night.  Oh no.  I would barf instead.  (How do you say "goodnight" to an answering machine?  How do you say "I miss you" to an answering machine?  Damn that's good.  Love+distance=heartache.  On any 251 mile drive, that song is key on any mix tape.  Yet another loss to technology... the mix tape.)  While I knew then as I know now that I could not have physically made it out that night, I still regret it.  Especially when I hear "Answering Machine" roll across my car stereo like it did today.  That song still strikes true.  It kills me every single time.

  It is very easy to lay around the house and not go out and experience real life.  It takes work not to be one of the masses that let interesting things pass them by like phantoms.  I'll tell you this, every single time I have gone out to a concert, game, art exhibition, or whatever, I am glad I did so.  I never look back two weeks later and think, "Man, Roky Erickson was good, but if I had slept another hour or two I bet work would have been easier."  I need to get it together.  I need to stay focused and get back on track.  Sorry Alejandro and Todd.  I failed you this week.  Come back.  I won't miss you next time.  I promise.        


At April 15, 2013 at 5:47:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

This is the truest statement ever! Not saying rock and roll all night and party every day, but do live a life worth living.


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