Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rebel Without A Clue (2/3)

The night was as adolescent as it was going to get in my schedule- 7pm. I had set my sights on leaving my night class and heading straight to a house party with some friends. Usually, these Thursday night classes would get out, and everybody would meet outside Fraser hall. Smoking, chatting, meandering would commence and we’d usually end up walking to a bar or someone’s house to kick it. Before I could I get to the weekly strum, I received a text from a friend. “Yo! The Movement is putting on an open mic at The Whole. You should go.” Probably the worst direction I could’ve been given at that moment, because my current state of mind was so far in the gutter with Minneapolis, Hip-Hop, and Minneapolis Hip-Hop that I was destined to go to this open mic and say all the wrong things. Yes, even at an “open” mic there are things the mic may not be “open” to.

Just a week ago, I had stepped to the Voices Merging open mic and set the flames so high, that I might as well make a sprint between classes in case someone tracks me down in public just to lay a furious ass-whoopin’ off of general principle.

Background: Voices Merging is an open mic based on the University of MN’s Twin Cities’ campus. It’s run by a majority of African-American students, and attracts a majority audience of color.

Having been ostrasized most my childhood by black peers (except Idrissen), I had always been reserved  around black people I haven’t gotten to know yet. At Riverside Plaza, in the daycare my mother placed my sister and I in, we we’re totally unreserved with each other. Bi-racial, East African, African-American, not a shred of animosity separated us. We were all in the same building, on the same page, and somewhat from the same low-income background. However, at school, at bars, at parties, anywhere impromptu… there still remained a good amount of bridging the social gap for me, between myself and the black community on campus. So, why not give it a try at Voices Merging.

I’d made the national slam team several times at this point, and was curious to see how the crowd would take to me. It was a success. My name began to get publicity, pop-up in unannounced press, and carry somewhat of a weight around the Twin Cities’ poetry scene (if one existed at the moment). As cued, after the laughter then came the tears. I found that some of the people attending the Voices Merging Open mic were ex-communicated or rule ridden for the content of their rap, poetry, or spoken word piece. Yea yea, if a guy gets up on the mic and starts off with “Kill Whitey”, then there’s an obvious problem, but some of these cats were simply parlaying their language. May it be misogynist, N-word ridden, or profane, you have to understand the grid of an open mic before you start calling your event an “open mic”.

Watching this go down, I went into young militant mode and decided to take it upon myself to write a poem about how f-----d up Voices Merging was for limiting the language of people at their open mic… at the Voices Merging open mic.

Yes, I went in gang busters on Voices Merging. Dropped the poem like the biggest fucking deal on earth, and walked out to a half&half reaction of cheers and boos. The crowd was separated between “who the hell is this asshole” and “Tell it brother! Tell that shit!” This would be the “masturbatory exhibition” side of all things art… at least in my tenure.

I walked out on a high. I could dismantle anything and tell anyone what the f---- was what. I owed no one anything, and belonged to no one’s rules. “Shiiiiiit, I’m Toussaint Morrison- I do what I want!”

Couldn’t’ve been a recipe for a worst mentality in my life, well except for that stint at the end of high school when I had Lyme Disease, or maybe that one time I took the kids from the youth group to go TP this girl’s house, or maybe that other time when… Ahem, in short, this was a shitty state of mind. Reckless, crazy, ego-driven, I’d thrown off the gauntlet and taken it to the alley with Minneapolis.

Now, a week later after the Voices Merging debacle, here I was getting a text about Yo! The Movement’s open mic. I’d had it in my system for one more grenade. 151 and a few poems in my backpack, meh- why not stop by and give it to The Movement as well.  Sidenote: Even if you have a gripe, grienvance, or question with someone else’s handling of artistic business, taking it to their sanctioned event or even your own sanctioned event is probably the most classless way of going about it. So yeah, about me taking a grievance to someone else’s sanctioned event…

Rewind, again, to a year or so back. Things between Yo! The Movement and myself were kosher as could be. They’d set up The Blend with their first ever show at a teen talent contest and booked us for numerous all-ages events around the city to kickstart our live show. We clicked. However, later on, when things began to get going for myself and spoken word, Yo! had reached out to me to perform at their annual Hip-Hop Festival… not for The Blend, but for spoken word. The offer was nice, but it had rubbed me the wrong way. “What, they only want what’s buzzing the most? They don’t want to deal with a young band down on its luck and in no position to sell out a single venue in the city? Who the fuck do they think they are telling everyone what hip-hop is and isn’t!?!?” , the ideas of what to say to the offer kept ousting anything nice I wanted to say. Etiquette, manners, meh- weren’t necessary at this point.

I can’t quite remember if I took the offer or not, but I can say I held the chip on my shoulder- a big ass chip.

Back to me going into Yo!’s open mic to lay down the warpath, I didn’t hesitate. I’d gone in to an attendance of 7 in the Whole. This wasn’t for the audience, it was to simply take a gash for my own self-resolve. After detonation, I left the stage to the host yelling for my return. “Shouldn’t call it an open mic if you’re not “open” to what I have to say buddy”, I thought to myself. Grinning like a magnificent bastard, the supreme douche of the city, reaching for the 151 in my backpack to take another swig…. that’s where I was at: buzzed, selfish, and holding the entire city in contempt for the fact it didn’t think I was the coolest m---f-----r in this m----f------r.

The rest of the weekend ensued as usual:  bad decisions recorded into your phone log by how many numbers you don’t recognize from last night, not remembering the gal you made out with the night before and more, writing about it all at Espresso  Expose, and studying for midterms. Thought it was all good… nah brah, just getting’ started. Monday rolled around per usual and my phone received a call from an unusual.

Within a week’s timespan I’d offended a good 90% of the people you don’t want to offend in a small music community like Minneapolis, how could I not expect a call. I forget the kid’s name, but he was hell bent on me attending the Black Student Union to talk about the past week. Christ- I totally forgot, throughout all this group bashing and event abomination, I’d completely gone ignorant to the fact I’d included a name in that ridiculous rant poem of mine. The kid was calling to set up a meeting between myself and this “name”.

Again, welcome to 2004, year of idiocy and public flame by Toussaint Morrison. What I was about to walk into would turn into a definitive disaster…


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rebel Without A Clue (1/3)

I was thinking it’d be bad suit to speak about this before the show, but the more I think about it… well- the more I think about it. An afternoon hasn’t passed in the past month that it hasn’t struck me at random. As if something were urging me to confront the damn thing, or simply find a way with it. I don’t think I’ve ever found a means of rationalizing it, seeing it’s in the deep past and such things can sit without guilt or moral application. As Matt Damon says in The Departed, “I’m Irish, I can live with somethin’ being wrong my whole life”. I say the same, but perhaps only half the time. I’ve done my fair share of setting fire and aborting ethics, however rarely do we evade our moral jumpships without paying for them. Even if we escape, we still pay.

I’m a firm believer that we all have a moral compass. Whether it be cops, the law, gravity, confines of the universe, or karma that catch up with you, there is an innate sense of morality in each of us that can feel when we’re in the wrong. Now, this is an extremely ideal belief, but I factor in the stipulations of mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia), drugs, and absence of consciousness. However, there is a definite “gut feeling” we all have when watching someone else go through struggle or success. We can empathize along side, as if we’re able to say “Hey, I feel your pain” or “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you”.

To understand the situation, you have to understand the environment. Welcome to 2004- wait or was it 2005… shite, it could’ve been 2003- was it that long ago?- Either way, welcome to 2004-ish. I lived with good friend Tesch, couldn’t not like the guy; Shane, all-around cool kid; and Devon, badass kid, made a habit of walking around the house… naked. Twas a swell group of guys rounding the final lap of their undergrad tenures, meanwhile I was just beginning to mentally check out of college.

Things were looking up. Student loan checks rolled in, The Blend was finally making money, and it felt like I was getting somewhere with theatre. Fresh from writing my first play, receiving local acclaim as a playwright, I felt a sense of infallibility. I’ll admit it’s a dangerous thing to write and direct the same project.  You walk a line bordering the heights of masturbatory exhibition and artistic self-preservation. Problem was I didn’t know the difference. I was coming off my 2nd year on the MN National Slam Team... and had just discovered I didn’t need a live band, DJ, or stage to do what I wanted. Artistically, you could say I was blooming, but mentally, I don’t think I’ve ever been more naïve.

We didn’t think, back then. We’d drink first and ask questions later, blackout and not care to figure it out, wake up and do it again if the consequences from last night weren’t immediate. Absolutely short-sighted to the fact that we’d have to “do” something when we graduated… or at least when all the bad decisions finally caught up with us. I could be disserving Tesch, Devon, and Shane by lumping them in the same category as myself… or not. Devon and Shane had put the master plan into action to grow marijuana in the basement for the past year and hadn’t been caught… ever. If you’re not privey to the psychology of it all, the more we get away with something, the more we do it. It’s simple: no consequence, no problem. Yet again, we still pay. .. one way or another.

I didn’t care much for the basement garden, however I did contemplate the connotations of being a young black male and getting caught with drugs in your household. Naively, I figured because I didn’t smoke... anything, that I wasn’t in the wrong. This goes to show, again, how young-minded I was. If we were to be caught, at that moment, with the amount of “stuff” that was in the basement, we all would’ve been thrown behind bars, permanent record-stained, and destined for a career working with temp agencies… perhaps I’m already there;) Na, I kid. Maybe just the latter…

So here we are, money-woes non-existent, doing what we love without care, and house-party ridden ‘til the nearest Sunday morning. Once more, the infallibility set in like the plague. I’d smile through class, writing lyrics and poems, pseudo-acing the test later, and promoting shows between it all. I must’ve thought I was the coolest thing on the fucking earth… Na, I’ve always been the self-conscious type. My ego and I are like distant brothers separated at birth. I can fake the bravado as long as I can act it… but really (drum roll please)… I’m shy. However, during this particular time, I strived to aim for confident, outgoing, and brave beyond means.

Shite, it’s 5pm. Still gotta take this dog for a run, meet with Joel and the gang for rehearsal at 7, and run to Cause for a show with Kristoff Krane… We’ll have to slap a TO BE CONTINUED on this one.

But what should we call it… Almost Infamous? Pseudo-Cool? Minneapolis Go F--- Yourself?... Na, too dramatic. This diary/blog crap gets so emo and personal that the exact action of it (for me at least) is to de-personalize the story and put it out into the universe with hopes that others can maybe learn something from it, while perhaps I learn just as much from typing it.

Ahh… yes, that’ll work. K, we’ll make this one of three- and before I drop the “to be continued”, watch this -à


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Iowa Make Easy

I want you to sit in a chair, legs in front, simple. Now, take your right leg and move it to your right… now move that same right leg back a lil bit passed the front-right leg of the chair. Last move: bend over and touch your chin to your left knee… that’s me… for 3 hours in a car from Pine Island, MN to Iowa City, IA, sitting on top of Linden’s keyboard. In an effort to save gas, we’ve “safely” fit four grown men and a piano into a Honda Civic. Once we met Spence in Iowa City, we’re golden. I can ride… normal… in the passenger seat.

We make it to what looks like an English Pub. Loud, voluminous, and people drinking from boots. We partake in the Iowa festivities, begin drinking from boots, talking loud, and making conversation with perfect strangers. There’s something restful and natural about Iowa. The night never gets crazy enough to really “wow” anyone. However, in Wisconsin, things get violent, cops get involved, hard liquor seems to be the catalyst, some dude's always grabbin' my sleeve askin' me whent the next tour is, some chick's always yellin' about her current fix (ex-boyfriend, birthday, Packers, etc)-but… back to Iowa, it’s restful. Makes you emote, “yea, we chill”, when my mom asks “how is it”. Mom seems to have some kind of ESP and calls right on time whenever we land at a venue. “Na, can’t talk, we’re loading in” or “Yeah, it’s fine, just landed, how’s the dog?”, 50/50 response when Jane makes the call. In short, “we chill”.

The show rounds up, a slim crowd of 30+ applaud our set, a few folks buy shirts, take the free mixtape; all seeds in the making. Iowa City is essential in for any Chicago-based band’s livelihood. Right now, it’s essential to our social livelihood- it’s either high-time to make friends and find a place to crash or get the hell out of dodge.

Doug, just met’em online- kid wrote “can’t wait for the show in Iowa City” on The Blend’s facebook wall. Sought him out of the crowd, he extended his place (20 miles away) for us to crash. Situations like these, I extend the offer to the mates first. They take it and glide off with Doug towards the armpit of America… Cedar Rapids. Never seen more barfights and cops in my life than in Cedar Rapids. Played a show there once at a now closed down club, Volume, and watched 5+ bloody fist fights throwdown outside… before we finished the first set. Mates taken care of, time to take care of myself.

Spence and I roll out on the town with nothin’ to lose… “Dignity, you say… never heard of it”. Connie, local friend, texts me to stop by a bar called the Union. We drop by, place reminded me of Cancun. Small-ish club, in the beginning, a stage off to the right jam-packed with black folk. The DJ, absolutely on point, went from classic to contemporary in a blur. Could maybe make out half-a-chorus before the kid cut to the next hook. And there she was… Connie. Illegitimate descendant of Athena, boots more expensive than my car, tall as ever, and an infectious smile to override any current bad mood or shitty day you might’ve been having.  When Connie smiles, it’s not just with the lower half of her face- her eyes somehow join in on the positive gesture. The Packers could win the Super Bowl twice and Hip-Hop could be outlawed by the U.S. gov’t, I’d see Connie smile- boom I’m an optimist again. Her stature stands solid as a brick wall, an ex-athlete on the post-undergrad hustle (GRE, grad applications, qualifications, resumes, blah blah blah), Connie’s good peoples. She introduces Spence and I to her crew and we dance the night ‘til bar close. Chelsea, hairstylist from Coralville, passes me a shot and all of a sudden I have friends in a city I didn’t two hours ago.

Perry, and some drunk beat boxer from Chicago, walk with us while eating gyros. Perry drove 2 hours from West Des Moines to see our show, and is driving several more hours to check our Ames show today. What a f----ng guy. Has a daughter, full-time job, and a baby-mama he’d rather text than deal with in real-time… and he makes it out to both shows. Perhaps we’re doing more a disservice for him than I think. Numerous significant others, wives, friends go into instant eye-roll when they hear we’re performing in town, for fear that their better half is going to ditch’em for the show… or drag’em to the show. Perry ditched it all… good or bad? I’ll let the baby-mama decide.

The night’s called. Check into our hotel at 5am, wake up and do it all over again.

Now, sitting at Café B, typing, and listening to RJD2 reign over the house speakers (note: that Aceyalone & RJD2 record gets hella play… the instrumentals more than the actual songs. Sorry Acey, but RJ absolutely killed it so hard, people dig it more without the lyrics) I can’t say I’m not an optimist. The fact we have a hotel tonight... translates: shit’s working out.

Maybe see you at the show:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In The End On The Bed

Doc would sit me down, like an old friend, and go over the basics. He’d teach me how to release the spit valve, purse your lips into the mouthpiece, and blow into the trombone with your diaphragm… not your throat. I remember him being all about it… and then sometimes referencing my playing as to that of a dying cow. What else do you tell a 9 yr. old just learning a brass instrument for the first time- any instrument for the first time. He wasn’t obligated to pat me on the back, tell me “great job”, and split with his hourly teaching rate. The guy was my grandfather. I look absolutely nothing like him, and dragging me out in public could’ve possibly gotten him arrested- seriously, silver-haired old white guy dressed like Arnie Palmer, walking around with a brown kid dressed in Kmart special-everything. You’d think he abducted me with a ransom agenda before you’d ever guess we were related. I was new in town, didn’t know any better, what’d I know…

Either way, Windom Open Middle School ran out of trumpets and I was forced to take up the trombone… like my grandfather. Donald Washington bent over backwards to teach us the basics of major scales, jazz, improvise, Hot Cross Buns, etc. He sweat every practice, and most times snapped at a moment’s disrespect from the 4th and 5th grade audience of students. Again, like Doc, this guy was a pro- he didn’t have time to smile, congratulate you, speculate on the inches progress you made… na, either you get it or you don’t, and Mr. Washington had damn little time for you to tinker with the training wheels before you could play along with the rest of the Windom Open Middle School Wind Ensemble, without him having to write the slide positions on your music chart. Swim or get the hell out is how I took it.

These old guys- I had no clue why they latched on so hard to their music principles, laws of progress, lack of patience. Spencer Austin, by no means an old guy, would always lean in to me when auditioning a new member for our band, and say, “Hey, we’ll check’em out, but if he can’t hang… he can’t hang.” From the first day I understood what that meant, but could never prospect it in middle school with Washington or Doc. Basically, if the musician can’t run at our pace… let’em go.

Donald Washington and my grandfather were in positions to have to get everyone up to speed. Looking at it now, making money from music, you have to say, “wow, what a selfish pack’a assholes we are”. To that I say, “Agreed. “… with a smile. Money is money at this point, and as long as a group has a long term goal in mind, nothing should come in-between them and the goal. Compromise is always human, but not so much that you have to kill the momentum and give a tutorial. Tis what it tis…

Over a decade later… I haven’t heard from Donald Washington since I left high school. I heard his son is an amazing drummer, Donald played on a local hip-hop artists album, and that’s it. As for Doc, well he’s passed. And the reason why I started typing this is because I’ve been thinking about his exit more than his time with me as a kid. This’ll tie back, I promise, but Doc passed away from ALS (also know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It’s a degeneration of the muscle… a slow degeneration. The best a doctor can do for you, when diagnosed with ALS, is put a clock on the table and give you the amount of time you have left.

… and I was thinking, could you say Doc was lucky to have that clock- to have the opportunity to lay on his death bed and know what was to come? Or would it be more comforting to leave this earth in an untimely instance? Whatever the answer may be, it was the way Doc went out that intrigues the hell out of me more than anything. I remember him being somewhat of a grouch, a little out of sorts, kind of forgetful (brain muscles degenerate as well with ALS). It didn’t disturb me in the slightest. By this time, I’d visited numerous patients in bed, death bed, temporary hospital bedding, or what have you. My mother’s been a clinical oncology cancer nurse since I’ve been able to read, and being a single parent sometimes required to bring along my sister and I to her work (Hennepin County Medical Center)… so in short, the smell of the room, the look of life leaving his body, and tick of the tubes and machines exiting and entering his skin… didn’t bug me. Again, it was his attitude… the way he was before he left his body.

What he obsessed more than anything, more than food, more than television, was his trombone mouth piece. He’d gripe for it from my grandmother and demand he be able to blow into it, just give it a buzz. To the untrained, a mouth-piece is a mouth-piece you blow into, whereas a musician knows if you blow correctly… the mouth piece buzzes. He obsessed to make the piece buzz… until his last breath.

As irrational and ridiculous it may seem for someone to take stake in making sounds with an object apart from themselves, could quite be what makes the most sense to them than anything else in the world. Doc spoke through the trombone, he made story through the trombone, he translated his soul through that thing and when it came time to let go- when he found that he could no longer make the piece buzz like he used to… he turned to my grandmother.

From what Carol, my grandmother, tells me; Doc would profess his love for her, hold her hand tight and thank her for how much she’s helped him through everything (no need to quantify that, we take on the weight of the world everyday, part of that whole being human deal.)

He was apologetic, thankful, grateful, and most of all loving. It’s not to say everything was Dinsey-picture-perfect with f’ng butterflies fluttering in the background. My grandfather lead a hell of a party filled with it’s share of broken glass, spilled beer, epic arguments, and dysfunction… seriously, who’s family hasn’t;) I’m simply saying that on the bed, the man didn’t repress anything. He emoted everything- let the words flow through him, no filter.

Uhh, it’s so a-typical to preach it, but that’s what I’ve been thinking lately, living by- walking with lately. These kind of shpiels aren’t manhood-builders or emasculating in any sense of the word… but I’ve submitted, jus a lil bit;) I’ve gotten absolutely no where in life wandering away from the place Doc was in on his death bed, and have gained a luxury of knowledge by simply surrendering.

… and I’m still thinking about it- haven’t generated a concrete opinion about the whole thing.

It makes me smile though. I’m proud of that guy. I’d be lucky to live up to half the greatness Doc accomplished while he was around. However, in the end, I'll be living up to myself... I'd just like to think that he'd be proud of me too. Well, this is me... getting there...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down

Imagine an abandoned bowling alley from the 20’s, let it sit for a few decades, rot under the gravity of time, and open it as a bar. Voila, and you have the Turf Club, just off of Snelling and University. It opens up- well, it less opens up, it more reveals its shabby space with each step you trail into the abyss. Dark, red-lighting, reminds me of every bar in Oakland, CA, except we’re in St. Paul underneath February snowfall.

I’d be nervous if I wasn’t so tired. Writing bonus tracks, staring at photoshop like it’s going to pop off the screen and dance on my keyboard, and fliering like no today, I can feel the look on my face falling to the floor. This is my first visit to the Turf Club. The night held by the talents of Charlie Parr, a blue-grass folk kicker with a knack for making people dance, I’m at an ignorant disadvantage of showing up simply to see someone, not the show.

I submit my 5 bucks to the door guy (we’ll talk money after this weekend’s tour to Iowa, not now please), and step in. Again, here to see a friend, not PBR or Charlie Parr. However, I’m curious about this Charlie Parr. After several years of Folk Dance Summer Camp, by way of an ex-girlfriend from high school, I haven’t shit-kicked a good ol’ two-step to folk music in a damn long while. We’ll see if this Charlie Parr is what they say he is. If not… well, we can say the 5 bucks will have to be worth finding out.

The Turf Club would be an excellent place to get plowed. I think I began to feel drunk just from the look of it. The smell just screams hard liquor and bad decisions- Can’t, this week’s important, damn important. Keep your head on a swivel, man. This is no time for wandering. I meet my company and we sit. We sit through what seems to be hours of a man talking on a mic before he even begins his first song. Parr’s opener spoke for literally twenty minutes before performing his first song. No hate, maybe this is something these people do at folk shows before each song- kinda like a country concert: you tell the origin, place, and time the song was written before actually playing it- y’know, a little background story as to erase any doubt that you might think I’m sensitive to writing music for a living;)

The opener performs, finishes. I believe his musical performance was actually shorter than the duration of time he talked before hitting his first note. Again, no hate, perhaps speaking before playing is cultural and/or particular to folk concerts. In the absence of music on stage, an withering old-white man creeps from the far side of the bar and begins placing objects on the stage. A wooden box, a guitar case, cords, an assemblance of his instruments.

This is Charlie Parr, long-white beard, graying pony-tail bunned in the back of his head, balding somewhat, but tall. His neck arches, but the man looks to be able to touch the ceiling if he felt it. His constituents, of a younger middle-age look, meet on the stage. They brand a washboard and harmonica for the evening hoe down. The three are seemingly perfect strangers, an all-star of sorts derived from different corners of the church quire.

Unlike his opener, Charlie says very little and begins strumming an upbeat on the more-expensive-then-I-want-to-know acoustic guitar. And there it is- The It-Factor to Charlie Parr resonates immediately. You don’t need a bio, myspace, or taste to understand why 200+ people have packed into the Turf Club on the saddest Sunday night in lieu of the Packers’ championship victory. Charlie Parr strums that m-----f-----r like it is his sole calling. He has absolutely submitted himself to his craft and looks to care for less outside of it. No talk, no intro, just Charlie… and his middle-aged gang of elite talents.

The mic far from his face, still captures the blast of vowel and consonant from his diaphragm. A straight up G. And when I say “straight up G”, I mean to say I dare anyone in the game to hold their CD release show on a Sunday… during the Super Bowl… acoustic… and get the joint jumpin’ like a jumpin’ jack (ref: Lil Wayne).

I begin to sweat, while watching Mr. Parr. Not due to anything climate wise, or potential closet feelings for men with long beards, but because the idea has stricken my mind more than twice now to get up and start dancing. To start stomping ravenously, clapping to the beat, and pretending to murmur the chorus like I’ve heard it before. Parr’s rhythm and time could get a senior citizen home & a graveyard to move.

The man resides his two-hour set…  puts down his guitar and speaks softly into the mic, “We’re gonna do one more and then you all have a nice night”. Charlie wraps his left arm around his torso, grabbing underneath the right side of his rib cage. Thought the man was going to keel over, and begin weezing for life… he didn’t . He belts, “Ain’t no grave gonna hold me down…”. I couldn’t make out the rest, but possibly that was all that I was supposed to hear. Sans guitar, sans harmonica, sans washboard, just stomping on his stomping board… and singing like it’s the only option he has, Charlie looked to be in physical pain. Forgot to mention, at this point, myself and company (entire bar included) is up on their feet, and have been dancing for some time now. I’m sweatin’ like Mubarak anywhere in Egypt, clappin’, stompin’, whistlin’… lovely. However, Charlie Parr is eeking out this song with his bandmates, looking to be in physical pain, but nonetheless at the utter mercy of his work and continuing to belt the song.

The Turf Club’s foundation must’ve budged a centimeter that night. Can’t say I’ve had that much fun on a Sunday since… well, the last time I was in NYC. New York pays no regard to the day of the week.

If I’m lucky, I’ll somehow, someway be able to work with Parr down the road. The guy’s a tall tale, rumor, and Greek myth somehow come to life, in my eyes. Him and Evan Christianson, from Milwaukee, have absolutely floored me in the past month.

Hmm, the next show: