Monday, September 27, 2004

solo road trip

Instead of risking a potential disaster by driving my shitty car for a grand total of about 400 miles i was able to use my dad's new Escape to drive down to Columbus for Ghost. Very nice stereo system. So with Tom Waits, Television, Ride, The Waxwings, and B&S for sonic support i took off for Columbus. Since it was a Saturday night in a big ten college town it was full of college type dudes standing in the front yards of their homes drinking from a keg of some sort of horrid domestic swill with lite or ice as a suffix and trying to date rape girls in tight black pants and those shirts with only one shoulder on them. It reminded me of why i hated living in East Lansing. And of course since it was a Saturday night and the place was right on the edge of campus there were no parking spots and I wasted almost a half hour looking for one. Once I got in I was very pleased with the place. It's perfect for that type of show. No smoking, and there was no bar so the ringing of cash registers and people shouting drink orders wouldn't conflict with the quiet kind of music being played. It was a pretty small room too, I dont think it could've held more than 500 people, and only about 300 were there. It was really nice to be in a quiet, attentive crowd too, no yahoos there talking during the music. Six Organs had already played most of his set by the time i got there. I got to see about 3 and a half of his songs though, and it was pretty amazing to hear all those sounds coming out of just one guitar. The way Ben got a really cool drone by hitting the open top string with his thumb while picking out notes on the lower strings was pretty amazing. It was as if he was playing lead and rhythm parts simultaneously. After his set I asked if Comets On Fire would be touring anytime soon for the new album and he wasn't sure exactly when or where they would be playing but there would be some shows coming up. By this time I was really excited for the main event. Ghost took the stage to a Tibetan monk chant and tuned up while that faded away and started to gradually play their own stuff. Masaki was wearing this really bizarre crushed purple velvet get up with a sunburst pattern on the shirt and pants that were far too tight. He looked like a Japanese version of Bowie from Labyrinth. He had a very mystical stage presence, almost like that of a shaman. You can tell he has done a lot of psychedelic drugs but they haven't taken a toll on him like they have some people. Definitely looked pretty spaced out but still hasn't lost the cognitive ability. Musically speaking, Michio impressed me most. His lead guitar playing on the albums really impressed me but seeing him live took it to a whole new level. At times he was motionless, hunched over his Gibson playing slide notes, but when he was into it he was thrashing around, looking like he was fighting with a wolverine in a closet. He made sounds that I didn't think were possible to coerce out of an electric guitar. After the show I of course had to stop by the merch table I had been trying to avoid since I walked in. I bought Snuffbox Immanence and the Masaki Batoh solo collection on vinyl, then cds of Michio's side project Stars (which I havent been able to find anywhere since it was a pretty limited japanese import) and Six Organs' Dark Noontide. Of course I put the 10 dollars my dad gave me for food (since he felt bad about not taking me out to dinner lately) towards my music but I had pretty much planned that it would happen like that. On the walk back to my car I was accused of being a homosexual by a car full of the OSU students, no doubt in the honors program and ambassadors of goodwill. I wasn't offended, I rather took it as a compliment to the fact that I had dressed well that night. I had to drive home fast since I was hungry and getting sleepy. I could've eaten at the Waffle House on the way home but it felt wrong, seeing as how I was north of the mason/dixon line. It was cool driving solo that far. I kinda wish Jeff had went with me to the show, but he couldnt make it. He is my favorite traveling partner, due in no small part to that fact that I don't think anyone else shares the same indifference to the Beatles and for the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" album as I do. The Six Organs cd made for an interesting ride home on the weird Ohio backroads leading from Columbus back to I-75, as did the new Tom Waits record. Like I said before, it's perfect for the fall, but even more so when you're driving on creepy, empty, moonlit midwestern roads. No one really captures the weirder side of this part of the country quite like Tom does. I hate to break it to the rest of the country but people living in Illinois, Wisconson, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana just get Tom more than people who don't. You can listen to Tom, but you can't really HEAR him, dig? I'm not saying that to be snooty, it's just how it is. Like how the Proclaimers make more sense if you're from Scotland.

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