Here’s another thing I hate about being a grown-up: Coming home from G/BF’s Monday night, my throat was bothering me again, so much so that I couldn’t move my tongue without wincing, right? I get home and head to the linen/medicine cabinet for some Tylenol only to discover my Tylenol had an expiration of 02/06, and I thought to myself, “Wait, it really couldn’t have been THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS** since I’ve bought Tylenol, and am I going to die if I take it? And when did I have to start paying attention to OTC med expiration dates, anyway? If I barely pay attention to the expiration of milk—when I even have it in the house—how can I be expected to pay attention to something with a longer date? Deh.” I ended up taking a shot of lemon juice and throwing back some ibuprofen, of which I’m (pretty) sure was bought more recently than ‘06 because it all but quelled the tongue/gland pain and didn’t kill me. I do have strep, though, so you know, that might.
Two words for this past weekend:
Freek’s a local jazz quartet whose rhythm section is comprised of 2/3 of The Unit, and they played their first gig in awhile Saturday night. Yeah, I keep pimping out the guys as if I’m getting rich off doing it, and some of y’all are probably, “Jesus, whatever already” (I’ll tell you what’s “Jesus, whatever already”: The hillbillies at the end of the block who were neither drinking responsibly nor, more important, QUIETLY this morning at 2 a.m. This isn’t open acreage, you Cheech-sounding motherfucker, so how about taking the hootenannies inside!?), but ... unreal, people. Outside of a brief flirtation with Scofield when I dated the One-Eyed Wonder in high school, I know nothing about jazz other than it’s like a song that starts out as the skeleton, and it’s up to the musicians to weave the organs and muscles and skin and nerves and stuff around it, and it doesn’t always come out the same way twice. It was good, then, that I had no real musical reference on which to get stuck, because then I would’ve totally missed the sheer joy and artistry emanating from every pore as they played. The drummer, for example (yeah yeah yeah, it’s always the drummer, I know): I’ve seen him play just about every weekend since the end of January-start of February, and he’s always really good—hardly breaks a sweat, looks like he can do it in his sleep and probably does. Watching him play what he loves Saturday, though? “Visceral” comes close to describing it in that it felt as if someone just set him loose, and yet there was such control in everything he did. Just gorgeous to behold.
But here’s where the high drops kinda: As I was heading down 12 (which is one of my favorite drives in the whole world, but oddly just the heading-back part, not going toward) and flipping through the iPod looking for an even remotely challenging drumline, there wasn’t a one, and it reinforced the notion that playing in NWI really is a suckfest. Not that the guys don’t love playing, because they do, and they’re grateful to be as popular as they are. But like Cheeks and I were talking about earlier that evening, there’s a million other things they COULD play that would make THEM happy but would confound or completely turn off their audience, so what do you do? Still, just hearing how elementary the drum parts were in my playlist compared with what I now know he’s capable of was almost heartbreaking.
[*BFE = Brooklyn Funk Essentials]
[**See, I KNEW I’d bought Tylenol recently, because there’s a whole new bottle of it that I completely overlooked the other night. But I got good drugs now, so it doesn’t matter.]