i'm not sure if this makes me feel better about flying or not. reading the New York Times recently, i tripped over an article discussing the pros and cons of arming pilots on commercial airlines. one of the people interviewed is a pilot, and he doesn't want a gun. why, you ask? his answer, and i quote:
I was a fighter pilot for 16 years. I can bounce them off the ceiling like a yo-yo.
on the one hand, it's nice to know that there are pilots who know the plane inside and out, and feel confident at the controls. it's good to hear that they will choose to use alternate means to protect the plane and passengers.
on the other hand, while it doesn't involve guns, it's hardly nonviolent. the image of drink carts and passengers caroming off the walls and ceiling of a plane is hardly comforting.
and no, i don't have a better alternative to suggest. perhaps that's why this bothers me so much. it seems that there is little short of invasion of privacy and violence answering violence to make us feel safer these days. but i don't have a better answer.
so i threw all that right out the window and went out tonight. one of the bands i heard this summer, opening for Susan Tedeschi, played at the Paradise last night. man, i have so been looking forward to some full on Robert Randolph Family Experience. these guys are amazing. lap steel guitar, bass, drums and Hammond B3. loud and funky and good.
i scooted out of the office a bit early and headed over to Casa Bs to kick start the weekend. talked to my bartender, and he was very envious that i was getting to go, as he had to work. hung out and chatted with him for a while, and then my compatriot in musical adventures showed up. chatted a little longer, then headed over to the club.
at this point, i was really hungry. i don't know why i didn't eat at Casa Bs. i pretty much know the menu there by heart now, and there's always something good. instead, we ducked into the Micky Ds by the club. hey, there's haute cuisine for you.
picked up our comp tix at the front door (after getting searched by the security guy - another recent change in ClubLand), and headed in to the club. why i thought we should get there around 8, i don't know. (apparently, there's a lot i didn't know tonight.) i mean, it's a rock club, and they're licensed to be open until 1 or 2. so the opening act wasn't about to come out at 8. we snagged a spot up by the stage, and then i wandered around the club a bit.
doesn't take much to do that. it's a small club. i like smaller clubs, because you can see from anywhere. the furthest you are from the stage there is maybe 50 feet. okay, if you're up in the balcony, it's probably further than that. but it's still small scale. and the club is pretty much the same as it ever was, despite changing hands a few times in the last few years.
Topaz opened for RRFE. i think they're from New York; and they were pretty good. not a 'gee, i have to get the CD' kind of good, but as opening bands go, they went.
we managed to hang on to our spots by the edge of the stage. i could see the security guy eyeing us, not in a bad way, just sort of checking out the crowd to see who might be a problem later in the evening. and it was hot in there. so i did my usual - went to the bar for a beer, and got a bottle of water for him. he waved it away at first, saying i didn't need to do that, but he took it anyway. if you're gonna get stuck sitting on the edge of the stage behind the amp, people should be nice to you.
i never did see drew's friend. he had told me to keep an eye out for a tall drunk guy. :) like there aren't a few of *those* in the club.
i did see, however, the whitest white guy on the face of the earth. he stood right in front of the lap steel, and didn't move. didn't smile, didn't clap, didn't dance. just kept his arms crossed and stared at the band. didn't even stomp and sing when the band had the whole club doing just that. damn, boy! i was tempted to go over and ask him if he was enjoying the show. he didn't look as if he was with anyone who might have dragged him there against his will. so why was he there?
because, see, i think that music is a visceral experience. it doesn't just go in one ear and out the other. it touches your heart, your mind, your soul, it makes you happy and bouncy and dance-y. even if you aren't crazy about the music, don't you at least hum along or tap your foot? i can't for the life of me understand why you would go out to a club if music doesn't touch you.
oh, and in a nod to the security people, whom i'm sure were trying to do their jobs - i tripped over an empty fifth of JD at some point during the night. nice. empty glass bottle on the club floor, and it's not as if it could have come from the bar. eh.
anyway - Robert Randolph rocked, long and loud and hard. they put on a fantabulous show, and it got me out of my head for a couple of hours. it was good to hang out with a friend, hear a great show, dance around like a fool, and leave with my ears buzzing.