How do we make things light again?
Yours truly with the man behind the madness, Kevin Barnes
How do I say this without sounding like a gushing fan...? "I met Of Montreal last night OMG!!!" ok, that's totally out of my system now. The really great part of the experience was that I felt like I was just talking to nice people..I guess because I was.
I have to say the show last night was a little surreal. I got to On @ Off (a terrible name for a club...shouldn't it be "On & Off?" or "On or Off?"--I like the second one better) I was the only gaijin (non Japanese person) there at first. I sat at the bar next to a sweet Japanese girl. We wrote notes to eachother since she couldn't speak much English and I couldn't speak much Japanese not to mention the music was too loud for conversation. I can only imagine what it would be like to find random pieces of paper that say, "I liked to watch the swimmers" and "Sometimes I smoke, cigarrettes are BAD!!!" This went on for a while until I spotted Dan, the sound guy who tours with Of Montreal. We spoke for a while about overalls vs. coveralls and how terrible the opening band at the North 6 (Brooklyn) show in April was. Later on, I met Matt, the bassist for Of Montreal. It was great to not only be talking to someone who I respect musically but to also be speaking in English. Matt reminds me of a friend from home..that's another bonus I guess. I went outside to escape the sensory overload I was experiencing inside the club. The place is wall to wall movie screens..flashing lights..loud music...
It was raining outside..make that 'pouring' Luckily there was an awning to hang out under. Most of the evening was spent under this awning talking with the members of 'Of Montreal' and their friends. My friend, Lindsay, showed up a while later with her friend and roomie Sarah (with an 'h'). They were soon to find out why I have such love for this band...
The set was acoustic. Kevin played some brand spankin new songs solo style and was joined later on by the other members of the band. It was great to hear some of my favorite songs stripped down like that. Actually, "stripped down" may not be a good description considering that the songs still sounded so full and pure. Kevin Barnes really has a way with words that so few people do. I got to stand so close to the band and I could hear every single line thanks to the skill of my new friend, Dan the overalled sound man.
Eventually, I couldn't overcome my urge to have my picture taken with Kevin...I don't deny that I am a fan. I said, "Would it be really cheesy if I asked to take a picture with you?" and he said, "Is it going to involve cheese?" and I said "Probably." (See my myspace pics).
After we said our goodbyes (the band had to fly back to Georgia this morning), Lindsay, Sarah and I walked to the Ruby Room to hang out until the trains started up again (5am yikes!). Lindsday's bartender friend bought us a round which we drank while avoiding eye contact with a guy Lindsay dubbed, "Radiohead boy" (he had a Radiohead tee-shirt on). Then our stomachs got the better of us and we headed back out into the misty Shibuya streets to search out some late night Japanese cuisine. We sure found it and some drunken American airforce guys too. I could have done without the airforce guys personally. I've been pretty good at avoiding culture shock up til now. Two of the men were extremely loud and obnoxious, trying to impress us with stories of their drunken escapades and cursing up a storm. The other two guys weren't so bad. I kept my eyes downcast and tried to place my full concentration on my rice and miso. Sarah kept up conversation with the guys which was just as well for me and Lindsay who couldn't help but notice that the Japanese patrons didn't stick around too long. It's times like that where there is no wonder that Americans get the reputation they do. Think about it, I'm not dissing people in the military but they travel all over the world and represent the American people more than anyone else wherever they go. I know some guys in the military who are great people but the two loud guys didn't seem very bright and they certainly weren't interested in respecting Japanese culture. To be fair, they did pay for our food... nice southern hospitality. Also, the two quiter guys did respectfully apologize for their obnoxious drunken friends.
The train ride home at 5:30am was a long and drawn out one. Last weekend I ended up falling asleep and going around the Yamanote line 1 or 2 times before catching my stop. This time, I struggled to stay awake. Finally I heard the sweet twinkling notes of the Kaihimmakuhari stop...never did that song sound sweeter...got off the train, unlocked my bicycle, wiped off the rain spattered seat and biked myself home to bed.
I can't help but wonder if my magnificent luck was do to my "favorite cute Laura Ingles Wilder" dress.