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Playing rockstar

March 1, 2008

The Good Graces @ Flicker Bar

Last night I did something I haven’t done in several years, I drove out of town to play a show on a school night. The destination was Flicker Bar in Athens. I had never played there, and in fact it was actually my first show out of town with The Good Graces. I had contacted the venue sort of on a whim; John had suggested that I try to book a show there and at first I wondered “why would they want to book little ol’ me?” but then a month or so later I thought, why not, I’ll shoot them an email and see what happens.

Turns out they were incredibly sweet and receptive to the idea of my putting a bill together. So fast forward a month or so and I’m cursing the Atlanta traffic on 85-N and heading towards Athens with Michelle and Jenn (who were so cool to accompany me), hoping that I can make it to the gig on time.

I rolled in a little after 8 and instantly was greeted by Samuel and Matthew, aka Owlbear and Pony Bones. A pear cider and bag of popcorn later, Owlbear was playing a sweet set of quirky folk/pop that reminded me of a cross between The Mountain Goats and Neutral Milk Hotel. Michelle even went as far as to suggest that maybe he was actually Jeff Mangum (he wasn’t, but he did sound a good bit like him).

After Owlbear it was time for John and I to take the stage. Maybe it was the fact that I was playing out of town, in front of a very small crowd comprised mostly of strangers (rather than to a roomful of people I know), or maybe it was the pear cider (likely), but I was surprisingly very relaxed. I’m usually crazy nervous for the first few songs and then manage to finally calm down at the very end of my set, but I felt really comfortable from the very beginning.

Pony Bones went on after me and played a short but intense set of tunes that defy classification so I’m going to call it anti-psych-folk. He played some sort of guitar/banjo hybrid through a vox amp and it sounded really awesome.

Finally Jeremy Wheatley went on with some great mellow pop tunes a bit reminiscent of Elliott Smith with very cool drum machine programming.

After the show I met Jenn and Michelle over at the Grill for some late-night grub. Enjoyed a very tasty grilled cheese sandwich and then headed back to the ATL. I made it home around 2, to bed around 2:30. So needless to say I was ridiculously tired today, but I was able to push through because, quite frankly, I felt like a rockstar.

And when I say rockstar I don’t mean in the traditional sense. I think my feelings of rock stardom are slightly due to my trek up to Athens reminding me of the glory days when I was in a band in NC and we’d travel around whenever we had the opportunity, always looking for any new faces who appreciated indie music. Sometimes I feel a little too old to be doing that sort of thing now, but once every so often it’s pretty fun. But more than that, I’ve been thinking about my little project and just how much I’ve accomplished with it already. When I started The Good Graces I didn’t really have any plans other than to hopefully write a few pretty songs, play them on my porch in front of my dogs and maybe put them up on myspace. So everything that’s happened since then is just a bonus. When I played my first show and my friend John played right after me, and stood there on stage saying his set was to serve as his Good Graces audition, he may have been half joking. But the fact that he did agree to add his brilliance to my little songs, that’s just another bonus. Playing a couple of weeks ago in front of a group of close friends at my new favorite coffeeshop… yep, another bonus. Making plans to record with the legendary (he’ll be humble and say he’s not, but really, he is) Jerry Kee, big bonus. And finally, having the opportunity to go play in a really great little bar in a wonderful little town that’s known for having one of the music scenes ever, you got it, just another bonus. These things don’t add up to much but they’ve made me feel like a rockstar today. And that’s enough for me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. citified permalink
    March 1, 2008 12:47 am

    looking forward to seeing the good graces in greensboro soon, how about may 23?

  2. March 6, 2008 2:19 pm

    Hey, you seem to have been doing this for a while. I have a lot of catching up to do.

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