I like knowing set times so I can minimize the downtime. You can also avoid the bands you don't want to see. But, of course, one consequence is that you miss some acts that you should have seen if you only knew better. Ignorance may be bliss, but last night at the Mountain Bar I lucked out that the music wasn't exactly on schedule. There's nothing like getting your mind fucked with on a Wednesday night. I had no idea who the second act was. I saw her go into the bathroom and come out a changed woman, her dreads now down with a metallic dress that went just past her knees. I went upstairs to find her about to start up, all alone, just a guitar, some pedals, surrounded by a string of lights on the floor, and a growl that belies her tiny stature. What follows are my thoughts as she performed:
Is this a joke? Alice in Chains acoustic ripoff guy that was just out of sync with his cohort all too frequently and wears a Cannibal Corpse shirt isn't sure, and neither am I. Kawabata Makato is taking shots to my right. A guy on the floor starts up the video. Effects galore with no obvious guitar talent but whatever is happening still helps explains why I'm here. Unexpectation. Dreads down beneath her ass but otherwise a wholesome looking girl, sporting ballet slippers and fishnets. What the fuck is that on her knee? She comes forward without instrumentation save the noisemakers in her dreads. Now I'm convinced she's mocking us all. No one cares as her dreads sway and bells ring. Is that a bandage? Wait, did she escape from that Phish festival? No, she's just an Italian, and I think I was completely wrong - I just don't recognize this kind of sincerity. And as it goes quiet, when all the chanting and dread sweeping is over, all you're left hearing is "Don't Fear the Reaper" from the DJ playing downstairs. I hold back the laughter. This is why I go out.
I later learn her name is Stefania and she plays in oVo. The rest of the night grew off that experience. Makato my have damaged my hearing from the high end (which is rare, usually its the down low) as he played the rim of some can-like device over his guitar strings at a volume that even the man responsible for the show, Martin of OVRCAST, declared was loud as fuck. I finally got to see NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW who rewarded those who stuck it out past the midnight hour and were ready for a percussive onslaught after a night of relative ambience. I bailed after that, knowing my ears would need some time to ring out before I could get some sleep for the long day ahead, and ended up missing EXHAUSTED PRAYER. Yeah, it was weak, I admit it.