Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Night Out

I'd spent the afternoon with Roger, watching him edit his latest film. I return home to find that no one had made a reservation for my yoga class that night. This was bizarre. A band I'd long wanted to see--Asakusa Jinta--was playing at Taku Taku in little over an hour. (Why are the gigs I hope to see always on Thursday night?) I hadn't wanted to cancel my class, but I suppose that I had put out a negative vibe which everyone picked up on, hence the free evening. I dress for the cold wet night and get on my Vespa. Not surprisingly, it won't start, since I haven't ridden it in four or five months. Just as I'm about to give up, it starts, and I'm off through the rainy streets.

I enter Taku Taku to find the opening band is still on, wrapping up their set. They're a local band, young and handsome and obviously popular with ladies. I find I'm one of the few guys in here. The girls are standing mostly, swaying back and forth to the beat. The way they move is like seagrass, immobile at the roots. On stage the trio is still rockin' on. They've been well honed on their craft, busting out all the classic rock 'n' roll poses and facial expressions. They're dressed like the early Who, the guitarist whaling away on Angus Young's Gibson SG guitar, the bass player keeping time on a loaner from Paul McCartney. For their encore, an older, seemingly more seasoned musician joins them, blatently ignoring the dancing co-eds as he strums his massive bodied ES335. It was like a display of the instruments of 1970s rock gods.

Asakusa Jinta kept up the theme, their guitarist on his double necked Jimmy Page special. He and the rest of the band really ripped, living well up to their hype. Jinta music is a post WWII version of chindon, which musicians played as a means to advertise local shops. In addition to Jimmy Page, the band had a loco tuba player, a hot girl on soprano sax, and a hipster trumpeter, plus what seemed like Les Claypool on bass, furiously slapping and smacking his clear-bodied, stand-up bass. The drummer though was the true engine of the band, keeping a frenetic pace for this ska-punk-klezmer madness. Brilliant!

The show over, I stepped outside, smiling to find the rain had stopped. And so had my Vespa...

(There is a second part to this story, for with the ending of the gig, the night truly began. And I attempted to write it, but a straight narrative can't capture the surrealistic magic feel of the city streets on that cold autumn night. So, I rework it and rework it, thinking it now as a short story. Will post it later if I can get it into a satisfactory form.)

On the turntable: "Celtic Christmas"

On the reel table: "There Will Be Blood" (Andersen, 2008)

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