Cloud Nothings (Live Action Report)

There is a part of me that would love to say that the reason that I was backstage to take this photo was because the band knew who I am, but reality differs. I just happened to be drunk enough to open a door that hid a few stairs that led to a little corner of the backstage.

I’m grateful for friends that endure my folly. The Dr. wears a crown when it comes to this and he beautifully refuses the thorns. A king he is. Truly he is.

I received a text from the Dr. earlier this month asking me if I would like to go see Cloud Nothings. I answered yes then asked if he would like for me to get tickets. He said yes, and a week or so later I sent him a pic of the tickets when they arrived through the mail. That was all that we communicated til a couple of days before the show and he asked if we should score a place to stay after the show. I answered that it was probably a good idea. A day later he texts me that he scored us a place. That was all the planning it took until the day of the show. I didn’t worry bout anything. If I had to drive that was fine, and if I didn’t it was fine. I knew to get two Gatorades, smokes, beer and some liquor. And to pack some clothes. That was it. We talked on the phone about 6 hours before the show and The Dr. picked me up and we drove to our lodging for the evening.

The lodging blew me away. The entrance is gated. The Dr. has a friend that hooked us up with a night at a yacht club. The hosts there were wonderful as the amenities there. Just a wonderful experience for a blue collar guy as myself.

As we got adjusted to our lodging, we discussed using Uber to get us to and from the show, that way we both could drink and not worry about driving drunk. The Dr. told me that his friend that set up the lodging would like to meet us for drinks before we go to the show. I thought nothing of it and said,”sure”.  Any friend of the Dr. has to be top shelf so it was a no-brainer.  After talking to his friend, the Dr. informed that his friend would like to drive us to the show. From then on his friend became St Francis to me.

We met for drinks at the bar in the club and St Francis was a pleasure to be around from the start. He was completely comfortable to be in company with. I drank to much scotch here. The rest of the evening is somewhat a blur. I did recall St. Francis telling me about Eric Hoffer.  Erick Hoffer was a longshoreman that wrote very well. He is now an important part of my own self-education.

We stopped at the pizza joint across the street from The Beachland Ballroom. I remember eating a slice of pie that made me cherish the clammy dough and cold cheese from a Steubenville Pizza.  To be fair to the pizza chefs at this establishment, the scotch may have fogged my taste buds and memory.

Now on to the show. The Beachland Ballroom is like a much larger version of The Grog Shop. I was impressed. There are two bar areas and the area to watch acts perform holds about the size of a regulation basketball court of standing room only. The show was sold out, but it wasn’t crazy packed. I watched one of the opening acts and it was the kind of music that would be played at a rave. It was energetic and conducive to moderate moshing. I didn’t spend much time watching the act. There was plenty of room at the bar, so I spent more time drinking there, and enjoying the company.

When Cloud Nothings came on, I was wasted. Not proud or ashamed, it is just a fact. They rocked the house and I moshed in the pit. I remember that much. I remember St Francis showing up to give us a ride back to our lodging for the night.

I don’t think that I will be drinking scotch anytime soon.

If you get a chance to see Cloud Nothings as they are currently touring the US and Europe than I encourage you to do so. Jason Gerycz is one of the best drummers alive right now.

Cloud Nothings tour info

“It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.”
― Eric Hoffer




Utah Phillips (Folk)

While looking through my Facebook feed today, Utah came to mind. A well-headed friend described the violent street protesters as Anarchists. It is not uncommon for violent protesters that riot against the state to be labeled as Anarchists. It does bother me when I see the label used this way, but accept that it is just another example of how the use of language can chisel perspective. I see them as pissed off people that are at the end of their wits and have gone temporarily mad. Others see them as anarchists, and I reckon they are free to do so, as I am free to see them as not. Utah Phillips is probably the best teacher that I have run into through art on the purist form of the idea that is labeled anarchy. It doesn’t mean that he is right, nor that I am right, nor that we are wrong, but the idea minus the label seems very attractive to me personally, although I don’t think that the current environment of my own local economy to the world economy makes it all feasible, unless I were to become a hermit among hermits. No matter to my reality of present existence, I enjoy listening to his art and his practical wisdom. I do think some aspects of Anarchy go against humans’ natural inclination to compete. The idea of living without a boss is extremely provocative, but in reality bosses aren’t going away anytime soon. We are reliant on hierarchies in almost every process of our living within this society.  Those that take the time to see will see authority everywhere that is adapted to and the adaptation is mostly unconcious.

In a world not fucked

Music would not exist

Divided we are most truly free to be ourselves. Conquered, yet freer, because conquered is all we have ever known.