26 November 2006

Reality Bites

I took a break from reality for the last ten days … and it was wonderful. I danced and sang along to great live music. I ate and drank and shopped like a trust-fund baby. And tomorrow I rejoin the world of grown-ups. I hope you hear the sad, resigned sigh in that sentence.

Quick rundown of my recent adventures:

Death Cab for Cutie with Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (11.17.06)

The night before I bolted to Baltimore, Dan and I hit the fabulous Fox Theater to see Death Cab for Cutie, with opening act Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (hence the subhead above).

And, yes, Grant Miller, you may call me An Anonymous Hipster.

The show itself was great. Ted and the boys kicked ass on stage. Ted’s just damn cool, and his set was my fave of the night. Death Cab for Cutie were quite good, too. But. It was The Place to Be for the pretty twenties; every time I went to the lobby for a beer or a trip to the powder room (the best in Atlanta, by the way), I felt as it I were stepping onto the set of “The OC”; scads of beautifully clad twentysomethings mingled and ogled, seeing and being seen, forgetting they were there for a concert. Those who went to their seats cheered loudly only during the recognizables riffs. The kids didn’t ruin the show; their being there to be there and not to enjoy the music just took away some of the atmosphere that should have been there (did you count my use of “there” there?).

I Was Charmed by the Charm City

I’m too tired tonight (tryptophan + red wine = tired chick), so the travelogue will come later this week, after I’m back in the swing of reality. But I’ll say this much: Baltimore has the friendliest guys I’ve been around in ages. Everywhere we went, we ran into wonderful people to chat up, to give us great restaurant recommendations, to shoot the breeze as we downed beers. And I got to say “Homicide” (from the opening credits of the greatest show ever) at least fifteen times a day; I love running a joke into the ground … especially when French laughs every time.

Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3 (11.20.06)

One of the reasons for our trip to Baltimore was to see Robyn Hitchcock with The Venus 3 — the V3 being the beloved Peter Buck of R.E.M., the adorable Scott McCaughey (Minus 5; Paul Westerberg’s faves Young Fresh Fellows; the second R.E.M. guitarist), and Bill Reiflin (formerly of Ministry, now drummer for R.E.M. and Minus 5). I haven’t seen Robyn Hitchcock since maybe 1992 and Georgia wasn’t on the schedule, so French and I decided to catch the Balm’er show.

And what a show it was. Robyn sounds wonderful, and you can tell he has fun playing with his pals. They played my fave, “Madonna of the Wasps” … but the encore may be my favorite in five years. They started with “Not Dark Yet,” one of my very favorite Dylan tunes. Robyn’s voice is lovelier than Dylan’s, which brought a different feel to the song. The next song still sends shivers down my spine: a cover of The Beatles’ “She Said She Said.” W.O.W. The song is perfect for Robyn’s voice and Peter’s guitar style. I was jumping and squealing and singing and dancing with joy during those three minutes, kids. Robyn told me after the show (yes, read those words again, kids: Robyn told me after the show) that they decided just that afternoon to play “She Said She Said” and learned it that day. Brilliant, magical, sublime. They closed the show, of course, with the Soft Boys’ “I Wanna Destroy You.”

Robyn Hitchcock has been inducted into the Cup Hall of Hair Fame, along with the illustrious, lustrous manes of Emmylou Harris and Oliver Platt. His hair is perfect.
French and I hung around after the show, waiting on our personal taxi (French makes friends with all the right people) and just enjoying that post-show high. I made a tactical error during the show. My general rule is I don’t drink during concerts so that I can fully enjoy the music and keep the giggly fangirl at bay. Well … we had a bit to drink at dinner (thanks, in part, to our favorite bartender evah, but that’s a story for another day) … and I sucked down three Bass Ales during the show. Multiple six cocktails with my concert high … and Giggly Fangirl joined the night.

Peter Buck was working the merch table, selling CDs and signing autographs for fans. Well, Fangirl jumped out of her hiding place … grabbed her passport … and asked Mr. Buck to sign in. “But won’t that invalidate your passport?” I told him I didn’t care, that it was the only thing I had for him to sign. I felt like a dork as soon as I did it … but then I get to show y’all:

After that bit o’ embarrassment, we got to talk to Scott McCaughey for a bit. Scott may be the coolest, happiest musician I’ve ever met. You can tell he gets such joy from playing and touring. He always takes the time to chat with his fans. I think he’s replaced Peter Buck as the musician I most want to be friends with.

Before we left Ottobar, Robyn came out and chatted with us for a couple of minutes. Yes, Giggly Fangirl had quite the night.

A Thankful Thanksgiving

Our family’s Thanksgiving holiday was casual and happy, spent at the Lake Burton house.

The entire Coffey clan was there, and it was a wonderful day. Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays, I think, because it’s all about being with family and friends, just enjoying each other’s company and retelling our favorite family tales.

A Blog Brag

I met Gizmorox from My Head Is a Box Filled with Nothing this weekend! She was visiting friends for the holiday, so we met for brunch. She’s a very cool woman … and she’s quite the cutie, guys.

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At 11/27/2006 07:53:00 AM, Blogger Old Lady said...

I can see you snoring at your desk! You must be pooped!

At 11/27/2006 08:16:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Did you say former drummer of Ministry playing with REMers? I know it's early monday morning, but that just doesn't make sense. If ever there were a sign to go back to bed . . . or possibly to continue li'l Allister's musical education by blasting Ministry on today's running around Marietta.

At 11/27/2006 08:33:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Aw hell, you had a way better week than me. I'll chronicle my pit of despair later. Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock, She Said She Said, turkey, shopping. You bitch! I'm jealous. *stomps off in a huff*

At 11/27/2006 08:57:00 AM, Blogger gizmorox said...

Aw, you make a girl blush! It was fantabulous to meet you this weekend, and I'm glad your trip to Baltimore was such fun.

And you could always just tear out the passport page if it becomes necessary. Frame it, or something ;)

At 11/27/2006 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Lucky girl, seeing all of those shows!

Robyn Hitchcock had one of my all-time favorite lines in a song-- in Ballon Man:

"And it rained/Like a slow divorce."

At 11/27/2006 02:03:00 PM, Blogger landru said...

My best friend was at the show and said it was really good.

At 11/27/2006 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

Sounds like you've had some fun recently. I can't believe you actually met a real, live blogger. I thought all bloggers had hooved feet in real life. I know I do.

At 11/27/2006 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

i can't believe you had peter invalidate your passport. you are my favorite dork ever!!

glad you had a good time...

At 11/27/2006 08:50:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

You meet all the best people!! Gizmorox?! Excellent!

Scott's replaced Peter because he didn't invalidate your passport. Sounds like a great time in all Beth. Welcome home.

At 11/27/2006 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous glassmeow said...

You're lucky that they send your old passport back to you when you renew it. Hee!

btw (and only for the sake of authenticity - not trying to get on your case) it's "I Wanna Destroy You" - you can see everything here:


You're right - Robyn does have great hair! And shoes. He had on some great black suede boots and his trademark white on black polkadots (at least some of the time).

Was bummed that the mini glass Rics aren't ready yet. Hafta mail Peter one. I'll bet the Croc would know how to get it to him...

At 11/28/2006 08:41:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

You could always say you "lost" your passport. That way there's no sending it anywhere to renew it. No risking the loss of your Peter.

At 11/28/2006 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

OLD LADY: Thank God for extra shots of espresso in my lattes. I don't think I'm going to get a good night's sleep until next Sunday.

JEREMY: Yep, Ministried Bill has been playing with R.E.M. for a while now. Nice guy; takes his drumming job very seriously. He also plays with Minus 5, with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey. Our music lives are beginning to intersect, my friend.

TENACIOUS S: I'll stomp over to your blog tonight to read and commisserate. Does it help to know I'm broke right now, thanks to all the funnin'?

GIZMOROX: I have so many Peter Buck signatures (because I've been a dork for years), that I can spare to lose one -- but I hope not. I plan to get down to Savannah sometime after the first of the year; we'll have to get together.

JOHNNY YEN: I have always loved that line. Robyn's a great, funny, quirky lyricist, isn't he? And he has some of the most interesting on-stage banter I've heard in eons.

At 11/28/2006 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

LANDRU: I wonder if I bumped into your friend during my frenzied dancing moments? I wish you could have made it to the show ... but Robyn said he might tour here again in the spring.

GRANT MILLER: I've met four bloggers so far. One had two heads ... one had quite an impressive tail ... the third yelped when sunlight hit ... but Gizmorox was just damn cute and cool.

M: I'm glad I'm your favorite dork; I feel special.

DALE: You're next on my list of meetables; any good concerts headed Toronto's way?

GLASSMEOW: I have a major collection of Peter Buck'ed items, so I'm not too worried.

JEREMY: You're so smart! I just might do that.

At 11/28/2006 05:55:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Haha, I love the term meetable, I'll keep my eyes on the skies and my ear to the ground.

At 11/28/2006 06:04:00 PM, Blogger justacoolcat said...

I have two CD's of Ted Leo and Company and have often wondered how they would sound live.

At 11/29/2006 07:29:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DALE: "Meetable" sounds like one of those lunch things you can get in your store freezer, doesn't it?

JUSTACOOLCAT: Ted kicked ass on stage. I'd never seen him, either, and I was more excited about seeing him than I was seeing Death Cab for Cutie.


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