I was in St. Paul, at the office, when the email came into my laptop. It was from Kyle who lives down the street from me. "Hey" he said, "I realize this is really short notice but we are having a house show, a couple of bands in our living room", hmmm, this could be interesting. Then he went on to say "I thought maybe I would open up for them. Love for you to make it." Kyle has six pianos in his house, whatta ya know my schedule just opened up. This wasn't a show I was going to miss.
I am in the big city once again tonight. This night, I had a desire to hear some music after a long, long day. It was a three hour and twenty minute drive to St. Paul this morning through copious amounts of snow and drifting and ice and all the stuff that seems to make up the normal Wisconsin-Minnesota winter. That drive set the mood for the day and by quitting time was in need of some musical relaxation. I caught a repeat show for me, some bluegrass courtesy of The Dead Pigeons at a local taproom.
One of the simply most beautiful venues in town, tonight hosted one time local girl, now Duluth resident, Sarah Krueger on their stage. The Volume One Jingle Jams are going on. I love their new downtown store. The christmas lights on the outside of the building were sparkling. And, even though over the years, particularly since motorcycles came back into my life, I am liking winter less and less. Even past that, I have to say walking down the sidewalk seeing the fresh snow, the pretty lights, and knowing I was in for some good music, it was good to be out for a night on the town.
For lots of reasons, and reasons other than the usual one, we were late arriving at Pizza Plus tonight. As we were walking in the door I saw the lights were up and there seemed to be people just milling around. "Huh, the show is over", I am thinking. But yet the music is still fairly loud. I walked in the door, down the hallway and turned to go into the bar only to realize the sound was behind me. I guess I was quite surprised. I have been to Pizza Plus a few times for a band but they have always been setup at the end of the bar, next to the main door. I had never been to the back ro
So today started out with the death of a classmate. He was what I remember from high school, an ok guy. Schools were different back in those days. Harsher. The bullies ran free. Mike, personally, never made it harsher for me. But he was a terrible jokester, and hung out regularly with an even worse one. Though I tried to stay under their radar, I graduated in a class of about 50. I was destined to catch their attention from time to time.
For those of you just tuning in, I have been sick. My turn at the family cold that has been traveling in our house. Came down with it Sunday morning. Five days stuck in the house sorting out the whole living(?) dying(?) battle. Today was my first real day to feel human again. Tonight, I *had* to get out of the house. Had to. So that is part of the reason, but I have to say there was one other.
Tonight was a final sendoff to The James Sheeley House. After years of being the idea stage for budding musicians it has come to an end. Dubbed the end of an Era show, this is the last night of performances on the stage where so many local musicians got their start. I really hope this venue doesn't stay closed long.