Monday, November 12, 2007

924 Gilman Spectacular As Ever

Got to see one of my very favorite punk rock bands from yesteryear, MDC. They played with Citizen Fish at 924 Gilman in Berzerkeley the Sunday before last. Many a show I have seen at Gilman, but not for several years now, don't know what I was thinking, the place serves up fun like it ain't against the law (which it isn't, technically, yet). Siobahn steered me right by doling out the clue to expect dancing, that's right, slam dancing, right there in good old Alameda County. One of the best things about Gilman remains their all-ages policy, nobody slams quite like a 15-year old, which makes sense, new blood; that's about when I started getting my neck stepped on. A guy in the pit asked if anyone knew acupressure or massage; I looked down and noticed he wore only a dirty pair of white socks that were starting to come off, ouch. It was a beautifully co-educational pit, with one ~13 year old boy in an over-sized white t-shirt, weighing about 65 pounds. Massive power & healing to them; I survived with a fat lower lip, a bloody right knee that still hurts every time I bend down, about as many bruises as Evil Kneivel had broken bones, and a much looser fitting pair of eyeglasses. Gilman does not officially allow stage-diving but MDC said that the rule was suspended for their show, so I got to witness one ebullient young man fall from head height to the concrete floor with a resounding and sickening smack of a whack heard clearly over the music. He hopped up displaying two thumbs up and a shit-eating grin while doing a little hot dog dance; had to wonder how he felt the next day.

Ween at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium the following Friday did not hold a generic butane lighter to the Gilman show. Sold out show, no pit, and although one lovely "E"nhanced young lady did compliment the wife and I on our dancing, which was funny because the wife wan't dancing at all, the crowd was generally uptight like wealthy arthritic caucasians at a members-only ski resort. My friend Evan's mom had passed away the day prior, and he accordingly danced a wee wild, bounding into the other attendees from impossible angles. The group to our right sent forth a thin-lipped spokesman, a tall blond roll-playing game type from Harry Potter's generation. He tried to mellow us out without appreciable effect, if you don't count the drunken laughter. We had fun all in all, but will stick to shows with more funner dancing closer to home from now on.

Dylan's "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" started pumping harmonica from the corner of my family room last night. The boy asked me and Gumba "Can you feel the song?" I told him I could, she did a little dance. He replied, "I feel it in my back, [pause] and in my belly. It tickles." I recall washing dishes at Negri's at the age of 16, belting out the lyrics to that song almost every night for a time, and listening to my mother do the same while battling endless chores around our old Occidental homestead. Had to wonder what of those soulful renditions the boy could feel, or what he felt at all, since the volume was pretty low. Maybe he just felt the same thing my mom and I felt, "I Dreamed I Saw..."

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