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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hideout Block Party

It's amazing what a few hours will do for your disposition. I got up this morning feeling really down (basically like I've been feeling for the past few weeks, for the most part). I went grocery shopping and then got ready to go to The Hideout because I was volunteering to work the gate. I was supposed to work 2-4 PM at the rear gate and 6-8 PM at the side gate. As the show was supposed to start at 2, and I wanted to see the last band, I knew that I was going to be there all day. As droopy as I was feeling, I wasn't sure that I wanted to go but, because I said that I would be there, I went and am now glad I did. I got there a little early, was quickly trained how to run the door, and was told that I was going to be working with a girl named Alisa. I know a girl named Elissa so I wondered. Alisa arrived and she was not the girl that I knew. She's another girl of Irish descent who is involved in the arts. I seem to have a knack for finding them. She has a Master's Degree in Arts Management and works for the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Chicago Sinfonietta. We had a good conversation about work and art and music while the first couple of bands were playing in the background; Manischevitz and Kelly Hogan and The Wooden Leg. After we were relieved, we had two hours to kill before we had to go to our respective locations, I was working the side gate and she was working the front. We went our separate ways. I went to watch Andrew Bird who I had seen once and thought he was totally cool. I guess he teaches at the Old Town School and opens for everyone there so Alisa was a bit tired of seeing him. In general, I can understand that but, I have to say that the amount of sound he can produce with just a guitar, a violin, and a bunch of pedals is amazing. After he finished, I went to get something to eat before I had to work again. Kevin Tihista's Red Terror was playing and I have to say that I was not impressed. Alisa had wanted to see them but I happened to meet up with her again when I was in search of food and she wasn't impressed either. They were very mellow which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. The problem was that there just wasn't anything about them that would really distinguish them from any other band. So we hung around and talked until it was time to go our separate ways. Archer Prewitt was next on the lineup. I was afraid, because I was going to be off in the corner in the kid's section, that I wasn't going to be able to hear them. By the time I was starting however, everything on the side that I was on was winding down so I was able to here it fairly well. Not too bad. I worked over there with a girl named Tracy. She was a therapist who worked for CAUSES, one of the charities that the block party benefited (the others being Tuesday's Child and Literacy Works). She was married to a Chicago cop, was originally from Cleveland, OH, and went to OU for her undergrad work. While we didn't get directly into politics, her POV (from my POV) seemed a little skewed. Her therapist job gave her a socially liberal point of view but her point of view seemed to be much more Law and Order than most progressives seem to be but, I have to imagine that is do to being married to a police officer. The other band that played while we were working together was Baby Teeth, a definite throwback to 70's glam and not too good. When we finished, I walked over to the back gate where Alisa had parked her bike. I was wondering if she had stuck around after her shift. Her bike was gone so I assumed logically, that she had left. This bummed me out a little but, since I had just met her and we hadn't agreed to meet again I wasn't terribly worried about it. I went to the stage area and watched Macha, the next band on the schedule. I was listening to the first song and was was really impressed. They are much more than the standard guitar, bass, drums, keyboard rock group. They also emlpoy the zither, hammered dulcimer, steel drum, xylophone, and several other instruments that I was unsure of. I was standing there watching them when I noticed in front of me a girl holding a bike, it was Alisa. I said Hi and we enjoyed the set together. Next on the schedule was Mocco Pazza Redmoon Marching Band. It was a marching band that came in from the Elston side of the block (the front) and as it was Redmoon Theatre it was a bit bizarre. Despite being bizarre though, the music was very cool. Alisa left after the band made it to the front of the stage and started playing because she had a sinus infection and the cold air was bothering her. I am going to see her again on October 19th during the volunteer recognition party. There were two more bands and Spooky Toesies Puppet Show after Alisa left. Mouse on Mars who were very cool after starting a little slow and Mahjonng, who, while they had some interesting elements (like their nice looking lead singer), were not that interesting. They reminded me of a cross between David Bowie, The B-52's, and Erase Errata. They were the last performers and I left before they ended. I wanted to like them, they just didn't hold my interest. It was very unfair to put them after Mouse on Mars.

And that was today, September 25th, 2004.

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