Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Story of Levon Helm, Howard Johnson and others.

Last night was a surprising night, and today is one fucked up morning. My original plan for last night was a pretty simple pattern...

Leave work

Pay my father

Play World of Warcraft


...but shortly after completing my first two objectives, things went awry, and my night ended up looking something more like this...

Leave work

Pay Dad

Go to The Electric Factory

Watch Dr. Dog Ollabell and the Levon Helm Band

Drink five beers and a fistfull of Gin

Note the total lack of relaxation in that night, yet all in all it was a fantastic night. I, in all honesty, had no idea who Levon Helm was. My father asked me if I wanted to go, and I said yes. I wasn't aware that this was going to be a DadRock concert. I don't think I've ever seen more salt and pepper goatees in my life. I guess I just don't get the whole goatee thing. I mean, what's the concept? "You know, I'd like some facial hair, but only in a place where it can be really inconvenient." Further convincing me that I was out of place, was the venue. The Electric Factory, in my mind, is a place to see Gwar; a place to see loud acts with rowy fans that spit on stage and leave drenched in a mix of sweat and somebody else's blood, but when Levon Helm comes to town for his fortieth year of performance, The Factory changes completely. The bouncers don't stick their hands between your ass cheeks, they say things like, "please," and, "thank you," and they don't even card you to go up to the beer balcony!

The show was fantastic. I was easily able to look past my company and really enjoy the show. Levon is up there, as far as I am concerned, with Ringo. He's one of the few drummers who's really able to find the right beat for a song and be happy not playing anything more or less. I don't know The Band beyond 'Weight,' and I know even less Levon Helm band music, but I must say I was impressed.

His lead guitarist, Larry Campbell, whom my father pointed out as Emmylou Harris' band leader, made me lose my mind after playing his first guitar solo. The guy could obviously make the guitar do what ever he wanted, and what he ended up asking it to do was quite pleasing and interesting. Then the man picked up a mandolin, and I think I came in my pants a little bit. At this point, I passed this comment to my father; "He's got more country in his right hand than all of [pop country radio station] 92.5 XTU!" So, yeah...the guy's got skill, and he's got my respect, then he picks up a fiddle, and I totally lose controll. I'd fuck him.

The other guitarist was non other than Jimmy Vivino of the Max Weinberg Seven. He was good too, but he didn't kill the fiddle like Larry Campbell.

I guess all I can say about this whole experience is that it's not wonder why Levon won a Grammy.

Levon Helm

Jimmy Vivino

Larry Campbell

Dirt Farmer (Levon's new record)

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