Well, yesterday went about as well as I could have dreamed. Door to door, the trip took ten painless hours. I only stopped once for gas and there was no traffic (as well as no roadside chats with an officer of the law). Carol and I had actually decided to skip the B&S show, as it was $28.50 and that was out of our lowly league. But I reached into the deepest crevice of my ass at the final hour and the world magically came through. My heroic childhood friend Ben Crum (www.myspace.com/greatlakesband) emailed B&S's lovely Sarah Martin, and that's all it took. Pretty soon, we were walking into the historic Ryman Auditorium with free seats in the fifth row, dead center. We were right next to Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, which only added to the Nashvillian flavor.
B&S were, quite simply, an absolute delight. Stuart was in great spirits, joking with the crowd and dancing his tiny little ass off. At one point, he called an audience member's friend who was unable to attend the show to tell him that they were about to play his favorite song. And he brought a timid girl on stage to dance, who, predictably, turned out not to be so timid. All I can say is, thanks bunches Ben, and thanks buncheser, Sarah! It pays to know people in this life.
Afterward, Carol and Matty and I accompanied the one and only Bob Nastanovich to some random downtown bar that was like walking into a grunge-era frat party. Bob regaled us with stories of being a bus driver in New York City in his early-twenties while David Berman worked as a security guard at the Whitney. It's crazy to think that these guys were all college buddies at UVa before they went on to become major voices in music/poetry/etc. Bob's tour managing the Silver Jews' upcoming jaunt through the States, and he promised me a plus-20 in Baltimore, since they don't know anyone there (ha). That means I have to do some serious driving to get back to Maryland by the 22nd, but I can't pass up this slightly historic moment.
After watching Maryland tonight, we're hitting the road by midnight and hopefully driving through the darkness into Austin's glorious sunlight. If you don't hear from me in a day or so, I guess one of us fell asleep at the wheel and drove us into an early death. Ciao for now...