YPSILANTI + DETROIT MICHIGAN
Eric drove us on 94 east toward Canada to watch Waxahatchee play at El Club in Detroit. We were late. There was a line of slender young women in sleeveless thrift store dresses on the sidewalk when we arrived. Their tattoos were well drawn. The bouncer was very tall, wore his hair in thick corn rows, had sad, sleepy eyes, and spoke softly.
We missed the first band which was the Outer Spaces. The band that was on when we arrived was called Palehound. They were a trio with a bassist who was a natural performer. She moved like she had watched a smartly curated version of the nineties while still in diapers and mastered all the moves. The drummer hit hard but didn't hit too much. Also he sat stock still with his head bowed respectfully for the song he sat out on. That song was sung with a capo high up the neck of the guitarist / singer's guitar. It was a song about looking for vegetables in the winter grocery store while heart broken. She sang strong and unaffected and played the guitar well for the whole set. I told her by the merchandise table later that I really liked her show but I think I sounded like a problem child.
I found Eric and Erica and ordered a round of drinks while Waxahatchee was setting up. Eric had a beer and Erica had a dark and stormy. The bar tender was weary of his work and the dark and stormy wasn't dark or stormy. Erica made a face when the plastic cup was handed to her which she reflexively apologized for. I didn't care though. I wasn't expecting it to be clear liquid either even though I don't know what a dark and stormy is. We discussed how we liked Palehound's set and how good the bass player was at relaxed performing. Eric then did a very funny impersonation of a musician who failed to demonstrate that flair with subtlety. It looked like a giant rooster playing a guitar vertically while watching pornography through VR goggles and riding a roller coaster.
Through the corner of my eye I watched a lithe woman testing microphones on stage. Her clothing for the evening was draped neatly over a stoic baring that seemed to indicate she'd once mugged the ghost of a coney island pirate. It suited her, but I suspect most clothes would. This was of interest to me, the microphone testing that is, because I'd felt that though the Palehound band was very good, the music was difficult to enjoy fully due to how loudly it was mixed. I don't care for how some people assume it's a good idea to have music so loud that it necessitates those stupid, foamy ear plugs that fall out of your ears and make the music sound worse. We should just have the music at a level so you don't need ear plugs. Now I'm the old whiner on the television program Sixty Minutes. Anyway, it appeared Waxahatchee was traveling with their own sound person. Good choice.
After having a discussion about an audience member who was a much more kindly and younger Glen Danzig, and played in a band I misheard as being "Media Corpse," Eric said our band should be called "Media Corpse." I said ok. Then we went and watched Waxahatchee. The singer came on stage wearing a prim red dress. Her posture was the mixture of conscientious and relaxed that dancers have. Her bandmates were dressed in variations on a black and white coat and tie ensemble. It was both classic and cheeky, as if lifted one hundred years ago from the dusty broom closet of a boarding school for British vampire children. I was very impressed. This sounds like a teenage fashion blog. I don't care.
The Waxahatchee first song was droney and sparely rendered. Meaning, that's how it sounded. That's not what it's called. It's one of my favorites from their record I listened to when I lived in a wooden room on a Swedish vineyard in Forestville last year. During the second song the singer did a precise dance move where she turned herself in profile to the audience and made the motion of throwing a hatchet into the skull of a mortal enemy resting on a head high tree stump some twenty five feet away off stage. She did the motion only four times or so to correspond with an important drum hit. It was not too cute because it was violent, and it was not too violent because it was cute. I realized that my dance moves like the wounded cobra, and the pensive mummy, were due for an overhaul.
Waxahatchee was confident, energetic, and resolute. I liked it best when the lights were blue and spooky. The set ended with even handed wickedness. I admired the self discipline and talent it takes to get that show on the road. How many hours have I lost already by pacing in the dark, and drinking beer with humorous ne'er-do-wells? This paragraph sounds in my mind how seventh graders write.
We drove home as soon as the show was over because Eric needed to get up early for work. His old man driving glasses reflected the light from the dash as he spoke and drove languidly. I texted with my sister about her child in the backseat. We were home by midnight. We we went from the garage to the back yard so John Boehner the dog could be outside. Eric played with John Boehner in the grass. Erica made fun of me for creepily taking a picture of the sound person at the concert. I drank a bottle of beer and plotted my revenge for this insult. I decided I could execute two vendettas in one motion by putting John Boehner on the bench again. This evening she'd illegally entered my chambers, and elected to bite Jools the penguin. I would, effective immediately, return to my policy of being very icey to the dog, which Erica does not like at all. (I'd recently began to give the dog a pet on the head now and again, after initially being very cold so as to teach it to never to enter my chambers.)
Erica looked up the sound person on instagram. In the sound person's bio she refers to herself as a "sound gremlin." I stayed up a while pacing around the picnic table. Eric and Erica went to bed. There were lots of cicadas and frogs making a comforting sound. It was past midnight now, and there was nothing left to do.