I originally attributed the the jumble to the caffeine. We’ve discovered through reckless experimentation that every drink they make at Saxbys is at least twice as caffeinated as what you’d find at any other coffee shop.
That said, I’ve also been beset by fall allergies, and earlier took an allergy medication with pseudoephedrine for the first time in years. I had forgotten until just now that for the first few days it makes me feel hollow, anorexic, and on speed. (Indeed, it is a precursor in the illicit synthesis of methamphetamine.)
So, yes, clearly a jumble.
Foremost in the jumble is that we had the privilege to share a bill with Becca Marlee, a hyper-talented 13-year-old who writes amazing pop hooks and dishes them out effortlessly on her gorgeous Larrivee guitar. Even though we played the longer sets Becca was really headlining – she absolutely packed the shop with her friends and kept everyone (including us and our guests) riveted. We told her we’d be happy to open for her any time, and we really meant it!
Second is that, despite some fumbles on my part due to my jumble of speediness, we felt really good about our performance. It used to be that we’d leave a show armed with a withering critique of every song, but tonight we were confident and in fine voice. We only repeated three originals across 100+ minutes of playing, and debuted three songs – our totally new covers of “Video Killed the Radio Star” (awesome) and “Hunger Strike” (needs some fine-tuning), as well as the first-ever Arcati Crisis performance of my “Love Me Love Me Not.”
The latter was the best feeling in the world. Gina is not only my best friend and best lady, but the person who taught me to love playing guitar. Whenever I write a song that I’m really obsessed with my number one ambition is to hear what Gina would bring to it, and now that Arcati Crisis is a real band I’ve experienced that four times over. Even after hearing a single rough-around-the-edges version of “Love Me Not” I’d say it’s the best result yet, especially since the song is so meaningful to me personally. I’m trembling with excitement to play it again.
Or, actually, that’s probably the speed talking. Still, a feeling I’ll never forget.
In addition to Becca’s attentive crowd we brought a trio of ever-dedicated local fans and two friends from high school we’ve recently reconnected with. Plus our core Saxbys crowd of three young girls who keep coming back, mostly because at our first outing we promised to learn a Jonas Brothers song for them and delivered mightily upon our return.
I had since forgotten the song – “Australia” – which they were upset about. One of them asked me point-blank – “do you like the Jonas Brothers?,” and I responded with a lengthy monologue about the subtle subversiveness of repackaging the Beatles and Elvis Costello as a teen pop phenomenon. To which she replied, “but, you like them, right?”
Later I managed to medley “Australia” into “Under My Skin,” which Gina and I thought was hilarious. The girls were not as impressed, and were generally displeased that I hadn’t brought fiancee with me (they adore her).
“Where is she?”
“At work, I think.”
“This late? What does she do?”
Collectively: “Oooooo. Cool.”
(Apparently I made a misstep by telling one of them that she looks like Lindsay Lohan. “Eww. She’s weird,” was the response. Apparently I am so three years ago, and should have said Hanna Montana instead? I think she’s weird.)
There was also table of older teenagers who had solid taste in music. As the night progressed they shouted over a dozen great requests, including classic folk from Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan to Donovan, the latter of which Gina merrily provided. They also danced around to “Galileo,” let me play an Ani song, and totally dug our verbatim cover of “Space Oddity,” which too often goes unappreciated.
We were so impressed with them that we took down their emails so we could quiz them at length for new covers.
That’s about all I have to say about the show at the moment. As I’ve been unjumbling I opened our MySpace to find an intriguing invite to play a show later this month that I need to follow up on ASAP.
More news as it breaks…