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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In Which I Am My Own Arch Enemy In Regards To Sleep Deprivation

Okay, so you know what sucks? Extended recovery time, that's what. I'm proud (or foolish) to say I can still stay up and run with the big dogs, but G-DAMMIT it takes me days to find my equilibrium again.

That is just all kinds of WRONG!!!

I am addicted to activities that keep me up until the god forsaken time I normally am violently kicked awake by a ruthless alarm clock, only to do a complete reversal once my off days come to a close. It's brutal. And yet, I repeat the same behavior over and over. Clearly, I am a masochist. But truth be told, I enjoy being out, staying up and pushing my limits. There is no doubt in my mind I will continue in this fashion until I crumple into a disintegrating heap of oozing flesh, because basically I'm a ginormous neb-shit who insists on cramming as much as possible into her life and can't bare the thought of missing something.

Case in point, last week's vacation. You already know about the incredible kick-ass Old 97's road trips. Well, when I got home from Cleveland Friday, I went downtown to the Arts Festival to see Jeff Tweedy perform for FREE.

a mere sliver of the crowd in attendance

It was a tough call for me… a third night of Old 97's fueling my gas tank in Columbus, or Jeff Tweedy solo (who I've never seen live before) on a big grassy field along with thousands of people on a gorgeous night in Pittsburgh. My impression of Tweedy was he's not very dynamic. I like a handful of Wilco songs, but I'm not big into excessive jamming or a somber, sad-sack stage presence.

And c'mon, let's face it, he had a tough act to follow after the super-charged, dynamic performances my imaginary husband and his Texas buddies put out the two nights prior. In Tweedy's favor, I had seen this hilarious video of him covering the Black Eyed Peas inane song, I Gotta Feeling, and was hopeful he would be at least somewhat entertaining. And also, the aforementioned FREE part.

I just watched this again while writing. The dichotomy made me laugh out loud. That's some funny shit right there.


The added bonus was watching the free concert (did I mention it was FREE) with one of my favorite families, the K-Schnikes.

his wife is a saint
i kid … i kid

Bobbo is a HUGE fan. Tweedy is his Rhett Miller, so it was fun to see him get all excited with each song played.

And guess what…he was really good. I know. I know. Everyone on earth who loves Wilco knew that already, but I was surprised at how funny he was. Tweedy played about five songs from his newest solo effort with a band that included his 19 year old son on drums (such a proud poppa), before they left him alone on stage to play his hits for the rest of the evening.

cajoled into reuniting his fictional band
Land Ho! from parks and rec by audience members 

future heartbreaker
secretly wants to be a heavy metal drummer

He played California Stars, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Jesus and my favorite, Heavy Metal Drummer along with a fair amount of other songs I recognized, but could not name. Between songs Tweedy would quip and banter with the more vocal audience members stationed up front. He was hilarious. I wish I would have recorded more of his interactions. As it is I recorded this bit leading up to what is ironically my favorite song. (you'll understand that once you watch the video)

The concert ended around 9:30, but when I got home I spent some quality time with my ever-lovin', recounting the epic road trip and catching up in general until around 1am. Much like the nights before, I slept far less than I needed, only logging a handful of hours. Stupid, STUPID menopause clock. No rockstar I, sleeping until two on a warm afternoon. (Old 97's fans will totally get that)

BUT WAIT! The vacation of excess wasn't over yet. After running around all day, volunteering at the WYEP radio booth at the festival and working in the yard, I embarked on the final musical outing of the week, a 9pm show of Quiet Company at the Smiling Moose.

A little background about these gents. They are an Austin-based pop/rock band who primarily play the Texas circuit, but have travelled north over the last several years for a couple of tours. I became aware of them via my friend, Cindy who has known and supported them for years. They don't have label backing so when they travel outside their state, they try to find a host to put them up for the night. Last time through, they stayed with my Steel Drum buddies. This time my friend, Lizzie's mom generously agreed to let them crash at her house. She's super cool and she makes AMAZING cookies, so they scored big on this trip.

from the left
tommy, matt and taylor

Before their set, Taylor, Matt and Tommy came over to say hello and meet Lizzie. Even though they've been together for a number of years and give an energetic performance, the band are not well known here and drew a small crowd for their 30 minute set. But they are professionals and gave it their all. I know in other cities like Cincinnati, Chicago, and New York they have a much larger fan base to chat up and sell merch to after the show. Being relative unknowns left them with time to actually hang out and explore the South Side for a bit.

We lead them out of the chaotic fray of the teen blocks of E. Carson to a calmer pub with happy hour drinks, a pool table and darts. It was really cool to talk at length with these sweet musicians about family, old jobs (turns out the lead singer, Taylor worked the morning shift at a television station early on), tour life, label negotiations, guilty pleasure TV shows (specifically American Ninja Warrior) and what's next for them. Much like Spring Standards, they are trying to figure out how to get to the next level and if it's worth the time away from their wives and kids.

We had a really nice time with the five of them. Before you knew it, it was nearing 1:30am. They headed off with Lizzie and I dragged my tired, old arse home praying I could turn my self-imposed sleep deprivation pattern around the next night in preparation for my hours-before-the-buttcrack-of-dawn return to the Special K.

I AM my own arch enemy.

Up until 3am Wednesday, 2am Thursday, 1:00am Friday and 1:30am Saturday… you best believe that 2:30am wake up Monday morning stung like a Muthafucka, but you know what? Even though I am tired as SHIT and still feel like the walking dead, the prolonged exhaustion was worth it. If I had to do it again, I'd totally put that bad boy on repeat.


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