City Museum, STL, 2006

City Museum, St. Louis, MO – 2006

I’m currently in the process of packing for a trip to visit some friends in St. Louis, MO. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot of fun, but there’s a slight chance it could turn into Hell Vacation. We shall see.

My rad boss told me to have a good time and keep an eye out for Beatle Bob. BB was one of the first topics we really connected on and we update each other when we see him. Interestingly, one of the friends I’m going to see in the STL loathes BB (as do many local live music lovers) for his negligence of courtesy and his sense of entitlement. But he also does a funny dance and some people like that. His stamina, dedication, and seemingly endless supply of sport coats are also inspirational. And he likes to pose for photos with people (I think he’s one of the only people I’ve gotten a photo with all tourist-style like that). Search “Beatle Bob” on Flickr if you don’t believe me. Or see below.

me-n-beetle bob, SXSW 1998

Me & Beatle Bob @ SXSW – 1998

Also while I’m Midwesterly, I hope to be lunching with a long lost acquaintance. He used to be a dude in a band I liked. He and his (male) band mates were much older than me and my (female) companion in rock. This was particularly problematic since we were in our teens at the time. They were in their late 20s (early 30s?). We hung out after shows sometimes. It all seemed very innocent to me, although in retrospect, I can imagine how fraught it likely actually was. But they were always perfect gentlemen — when we were present, at least. The dude is now an academic, as, arguably, am I. We’re both married & he’s bringing his toddler along to lunch. Ah, the times they do change. Oh, and he’s also the person who first explained to me who Beatle Bob was. At SXSW, um, 1995? 96?

The rest of the trip will involve daytime sightseeing which I am uncharacteristically playing by ear (botanical garden? transportation museum? arch again? H&M? thrift shopping? bowling? pool party? microbrew festival?), and nightly attendance at Twangfest. I’m not particularly hyped about any of the bands, really, but last year, my friend discovered a really amazing band there. And I’m interested in checking out some folks I’ve never seen (Old 97s, The Gourds), and curious about a couple more (Ha Ha Tonka, Miles of Wire, Hayes Carll). I’d like to see Centro-Matic, but they are playing, um, right now, so that ain’t gonna happen. And the Waco Brothers top it all off, which is their specialty. I’m totally excited to see them every single time. Helps that I’m usually in my cups by that hour. The front of the stage at a Waco Brothers show is my favorite place to be when I’ve had more than three drinks in an evening.

Waco Brothers @ an early Bloodshot Records party @ Yard Dog Art Gallery, SoCo, ATX – SXSW 1998 (notice Fred Armisen on drums)

Oh, and man! I have been waiting for this Obama shit to take off for soooooo long. Here’s a photo from his appearance at Garry Mauro’s house when he was raising $$ for his Senate bid (Mauro’s been working hard to promote Hillary in the primaries). That was the first of many $25 donations I’ve given him. He was amazing. He called us Progressives. I got to shake his hand. Hott!

Barack Obama fund-raising for his 2004 Senate bid @ Garry Mauro’s joint – August 2004