Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A trip to see Grizzly Bear

After their fantastic performance during SXSW, I couldn't miss seeing Grizzly Bear again when they came to Austin on Tuesday night. Thirty minutes outside Austin, I realized that I'd left my wallet in Houston. Slightly troubling as I had no cash, ATM card, credit card, or ID to get into the show. Counting on the good graces of my credit union, the venue staff, and my own earned music karma, I wasn't overly concerned. First, I went to my beloved credit union, who helpfully explained that they could give me $100 after asking some security questions. So pleasant.

Then I called Joolie to set up dinner plans and then was off to trade in some CDs. Waterloo Records was staunch in their no-Texas-ID-no-trading-in-IDs policy, so I headed to End of an Ear which was second on my list only due to geography. Having no ID policy and by virtue of the owners knowing me, I traded in some unwanted music for the new Vaselines compilation (Remastered! Live versions! Naïve, superfun pop!), Baby Loves a Funny Bunny by Fuck (in a wonderfully designed matchbook package), and classic album that will end up as a gift for a friend and therefore will not be mentioned by name here. And I still have an $ 0.80 credit! While at the store, I happened into an in-store for Here We Are Magic, who were opening for Grizzly Bear that night. I liked them well enough.

A call to a Walgreen's in Houston confirmed that I hadn't left my wallet on their counter which meant it was probably sitting in my apartment. "No worries! Everything will work out fine!" he fervently said out loud to no one.

Arrived at House Pizzeria to find a pleasantly designed restaurant with a nicely stocked jukebox. The music's a mix of classic country and whatever we're calling Elvis Costello-Wire-Lou Reed-The Pixies-etc. and I passed the time waiting for Joolie and Mr. Joolie thinking of a setlist that would drive out the abrasively loud and demanding children over there in the corner, not the sweet little thing that eventually sat next to us. Between us we ordered Potato & Goat Cheese, Pepperoni, and Olives & Capers pizzas. Another friend and boyfriend showed up to my delight, and we gorged on yummy pizza while chatting amiably.

I realize now that when Joolie asked me about work and I shrugged it off with a "same old thing, nothing interesting" that I was being a bit too dismissive. Of course interesting stuff happens at work, I guess I just wanted to talk about something else. Sorry Joolie! I'll work on some stories for you.

From there I was off to a quick hello to my poker buddies who had just started the regular Tuesday game (it's been so long since I played, sigh) before heading down to The Parish for the show. I barely started my woeful shpiel about the forgotten ID, when the list guy said, "Yeah he's here," and the ID guy looked at me for about 10 seconds before slapping the drink band on my wrist. It's good not to look anywhere close to 21 sometimes. Oftentimes.

I have excellent music karma which has aided me in the past and will likely continue to do so (does citing music karma cause one to lose some?). I recall one extreme example at my only time seeing New Order. My friends and I had lawn seats at whatever their calling Starplex in Dallas these days, but having laid in a surfeit of good relations with the security staff, we were able to slip up to the front section for the openers (808 State, Stereo MCs) and then neglected to leave. When New Order hit the stage, we had managed to worm our way up to 3rd row from which seats we were never kicked (silly non-showing up ticket holders). After a pretty good show, which ended slightly early in that Bernard Sumner stalked off stage before the (according to the setlist we snatched from the stage) final song of the encore "Blue Monday" (my heart breaks), we were too hopped up to just leave. So I and one friend ran around the back of the venue, crawled under a gate, and insinuated ourselves with a group of lucky people escorted backstage to meet the band.

This was back in the days when I'd pursue autographs, so we got Gillian and had joined the throng around Bernard when my friend was discovered not sporting the required sticker and was rudely propelled out the gate. I had thought to drape a shirt over the spot where the sticker should have been and so went undiscovered. Sure Bernard sometimes is a jerk to his bandmates, but kudus to him for standing there for 30 minutes politely asking each fan their name so he could personalize the autographs. Nice guy.

Blah, blah, blah. The Grizzly Bear show was very good. I'd write a review, but just read this as I completely agree.

From there I dropped by some night owl friends' place to chat for a bit that turned into a couple hours, before heading over to the Joolie and Mr. Joolie house for some leftover pizza and a much needed nap. I crept out again at 6 AM to hit the road back to Houston where I found my wallet right next to my computer.

So happy ending all around.


  1. Well if I'd known you wanted that Fuck CD I would have just given it to you. It was mine on consignment. So thanks for the credit!

  2. My gift to you. It was practically free for me because I traded in for it. I loved Fuck in college and had most of the songs on it, but not the nifty packaging. Well now End of an Ear benefited from our exchange, we'll have to let them know of our largesse.