Winter Vacation - Day Twelve

Up at ten this morning to fresh snow that kept falling most of the day. We puttered around the house in the morning. Then, when we realized how late it was we burst into a flurry of activity. Everyone showered and dressed, packed up all the gear in two cars, the merch, the extra gear, the cams, everything.

We rushed up the 495 to the Pike, for a quick pit stop in Natick, MA to load up at Guitar Center. We needed a high E-string for Carl's guitar that I am borrowing. Should I guy one set of strings or two? Two, I think. Micah picked up some new sticks. Guitar Center's are few and far between here, you have to take advantage.

For there we went to the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA to check out Becky Kinkead's new exhibition that was just installed on Monday. Amazing stuff and the first time I have seen her newer pieces up close. They are amazing, and so organic, it's hard to believe someone actually created them, that they didn't simply grow on the canvas.

We jetted off to the North End of Boston via the Pike again, and for the first time ever found plentiful parking on Hanover Street. It pays to get in early on a weeknight. Ristorante Villa Francesca was the destination, a big expensive dinner to thank Angie, Micah, and JAG for putting up with my demands all this time. The dish of choice was Pollo Abruzzese, a butterflied chicken breast with a broth, garlic, and oil reduction glaze with aromatic herbs and spices and hot red peppers, with roasted potatoes. It's a pleasure to smell and a pleasure to eat. So good, the price tag doesn't even come into play.

After that we jumped on the expressway North in hopes of getting to Cambridge, but there was no Cambridge exit. Instead we get dumped off in Somerville, and I started to backtrack, though I had no idea which way I was heading. A turn here and a turn there, and bam, we're magically dumped off on Cambridge Street a few blocks from the venue. We spent no less than twenty minutes trying to find parking (only to find out later that there was an alley behind the venue we could have used), then lugged all of our gear a few blocks.

Zeitgeist Gallery is long-running project that has jumped around locations but stayed true to its mission. It's pretty avant garde stuff, very cool. A nice space for us. I felt quite comfortable. When I went in, there was no one there at first. After a few loads from the car, there was a very unassuming man there, who ended up being the owner. Basically he said he had to go, and we had the run of the place. Cool.

We set up and Angie restrung the guitar. Yet another high E bit the dust during the process, and that second set of strings I bought paid off. I don't want to think about what would have happened if we didn't have a backup. Carl's band Ship High In Transit wasn't there at 7:00pm when the show was supposed to start. They did get in shortly after, delayed because their drummer and transport for all their gear had three, count them, three flat tires. So, TMINM went on first, again. We always end up going on first.

We felt really good. There was a great, receptive crowd, nearly forty people. We were much more comfortable than on Monday night, and I was more confident in the material. We were very loose, actually. Really feeling it. We learned our lesson from the other show, and really talked up the crowd, told some jokes. They really responded to most of the songs,including many that were thought of as too undeveloped by Jeremy, such as Saucy Lovelessness and Standard Issue, and some that I felt were too underdeveloped, such as Business. Lots of fun, and totally let us put Monday night behind us and go out on a good note. Who knows, TMINM may never play again. If so, I can live with our live music legacy.

While Ship High setup, Micah jumped in and played three songs solo on the guitar, two originals and Radiohead's "Nice Dream." He really impressed. I think a lot of people were caught off guard that the insane drummer they just saw came out and blew them away on guitar and with amazing singing.

Ship High really rocked the crowd. Their songs have more of a refined pop edge, while still being very indie and creative. All four players really stand out at different times, and the songs are such that they all interplay well with each other. They rocked so much, they rocked right out of our time slot, that was supposed to be packed up and moved out by 9:00pm. The jazz band coming up after us was gracious, though, and it was no problem. We broke everything down, packed it up, and were on our way. We didn't really collect at the door like we should have. If we had, we would have collected nearly $250 at six bucks a head. Instead we put up a donation jar on the way out, and got a little over seventy, which we split up. Hey, at least we can say we're paid musicians!

I came within two feet of running over some jaywalking pedestrians on the way out of Cambridge. We all followed back to Franklin, got a snack and drinks at UNO's and now we're chilled out and ready for some sleep. I feel like the pressure is off and I can finally enjoy my vacation, all two and half days of it that are left. Oh, wait, I have to finish out the Chinese Movie on Friday night. OK, back to panic mode.

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