There was the slightest trace of anxiety in the band that we wouldn’t sell out the Bowery, which after years and years of being this prized jewel of a venue in the New York local indie community, remains some sort of litmus test of our success. But, lucky us, we filled the place to capacity, second time in a row, and had a grand old time. Larry “Ratso” Sloman was finally was in town and got to watch us play (see band’s obsession with Scar Tissue in the blog last October). Cole at last fulfilled his oft-thwarted fantasy of playing the Bowery Ballroom. Our friend Vin, the brain of Caged Animals (Lucky Number’s newest signee) put on a beautiful emotive passionate performance. And Stephen and Michael, the guys from our label, were in town to watch the whole thing and I could see that they were mighty pleased. We ate celebratory vegan chicken nuggets at Kate’s Joint in the East Village.
Last night we played Boston. When we arrived, all these dudes and dudettes were marching around the streets in yellow T-shirts and viking hats, doing a college-style bar crawl. Classic Boston crust punks were on the scene, reminding me of my Boston crust punk experiences from the days of yore. This girl Aoife came to our show (how Gaelic can you get?). She was indeed from Ireland and had seen our band’s show in Cork last November.
The show itself, well, it was by no means the biggest, and nothing new or unpredictable happened, but it was nonetheless a pretty damn good performance. And that was that. I knew it was the last time I would be playing these songs for a good while, likely a year. I knew a nightly tradition that I had become immersed in was finally concluding. I knew that I would have to cease existing 24/7 with this group of best friends the way I’ve been doing. But I couldn’t feel sentimental or sad or dramatic. Dancing the Miike Snow Dance finale. Returning for the Constellations encore. Packing up. Even the drive home. I felt eerily normal, chill. It’s always hard to know things are really over until they are months and months behind you, and you realize how difficult it may be to bring them back in exactly that way that you had loved. Or maybe even impossible.
Playing in this band for the last year was a trip. Made me think a lot about fame, and made me think a lot about promiscuity. I hope it made me wiser and more kind and more appreciative. I hope it did not fill me with pride or arrogance, or make me bratty and difficult to please, or make me a superficial irresponsible party boy. It was a real blessing. It was true fun, true love.
I was struck by an uncommon craving during the journey back to New York from Boston, and Darwin indulged me with a detour to Dairy Queen. We also allowed ourselves a little time at a classic, cheap, non-picked-over hunt in the goodwill. And soon enough, Darwin was dropping me off in Brooklyn.
Greg is going to keep living in this city with me, but we are on opposite sides of town, and to be honest, we don’t see each other that much when we aren’t touring. Michelle lives here, too, but we see each other even less. Miles is in LA. And my best bud, Darwin, is heading down south to North Carolina to buy a trailer in Asheville where he can live for cheap and make as much noise as he wants. With any luck, we’ll have a new Darwin album on our hands for 2012. Fingers crossed, everyone.