So after a day of gardening we headed to see X at the Newport.
Backtrack: it's Friday afternoon and I had the car, so I'm running a few errands on the east side of town, when I hear on the radio that X is playing at the Newport Sunday night. So I freak out and text JG, but he's in a meeting, so I call ticketmaster while driving (I try not to talk & drive in the city), and when that fails, go back to the office & breach ever security code to get tickets. I FEEL LUCKY AS I ASSUME THEY OF COURSE WOULD BE CLOSE TO SELLING OUT.
This band holds a special place in my heart. We danced to them most of senior year of college, and when I graduated and left Pgh more than a few gifted mix CDs has "Los Angeles" on it. It's my ringtone and I've woken up to it for the last few years as I never expected to stay in Cbus- or at least keep traveling alot for work. My brother and I walked out of the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA after seeing an amazing Mark Ryden show (my first time seeing a REAL MARK RYDEN) and they were playing as free street show. We had to head back to Orange county so didn't see them, but they sounded amazing. Then JG had a story of sitting down-bar from John Doe @ Surly, and the geologist/ex-surfer I did alot of fieldwork with was a huge fan and had seen them dozens of times/hung out with them.
Forward to the present: So we get to the Newport. At the table they are pawning some zines with the tshirts and I have the dreaded "I am the oldest one here" feeling coming on, but then we step inside.
MY JUDGMENT WAS TOTALLY OFF. The tickets were not close to sold out and we were about the youngest ones there. Or at least about the only ones there in the our age bracket without their 6 yr old kid that they were taking to their first show. The other folks could easily have been my parents. I think I may have seen a few engineers from work there, and the suitjacket/t-shirt/jeans look was the rage.
Then there was THE BAND. Dang. Exene, the singer- at first I exclaimed "She looks like my grandma!"- but that wasn't trulooked like an old Magenta from Rocky Horror. The guitar & bass players looked good and seemed to be enjoying themselves. They set started really tight although the vocals were low, but by the end, they were totally dragging her along. It felt like a cross between Magenta, X and Edie Beale from Grey Gardens, and I was leaning towards Edie especially when the drum beat was just pulling her along so hard, she had her hands in her hair, & gawdy brooches, when JG noticed that Billy Zoom look like a Chuck-E-Cheese anamatronic character (check the first 2 seconds of this clip.) and at he saw at one point Exene arranged her bangles so she could glance at her watch...
Here's a video of Los Angeles from SXSW, they were a tad better musically at the Newport, but she had the same dress on. Here's Johnny hit and Run Paulene too... I have an analogy to make with this experience, but it's probably not appropriate to say and made references to many aspects of life, so I'll leave you with a dim bit of advice: If you're going to see a band that's older, drink heavily or stay far back. It'll be great in that context.