Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coffee shop show

Sunday night. I'm sitting at a coffee shop determined to inject some culture into my life. My sister V. and I find seats near the window on the corner of wooden table. On the other side of the shop a band is setting up to play.

While V. gets coffee for her and soda for me I examine three pieces of art, pages of newspaper with the Virgin Mary painted over them. Through the paint a headline is visible: "3 slain in Juárez." In one frame the section title of the page, "Borderland," has been modified with paint so it is now "Murderland." Art from a newspaper, hmm...

The bands start to play. We listen and don't actually see the bands since we don't want to surrender our seats. The first is high energy and pleasant, the second is totally forgettable. We actually get out of our seats for the third. The band is arty with jangling guitars that put me in a trance and lyrics that I can't really make out but seem esoteric. The lead singer looks about 20 and has red hair. After the set he mingles with the crowd. He points out to me and my sister that we have the same shoes (they're not the same, but both pairs are black flats).

This place is hipster central. Skinny jeans and carefully sloppy hair. I'd say average age is 21. It seems like a lot of people here know each other. Everyone's drinking beers in short rounded brown bottles.

The last band starts up. The band is called Women and when I first saw the show advertised I thought it was an all-female band. That would have been cool, but no, it's four guys from Canada. Like the band before they also start with the jangling guitars but every once in a while they whip out some amazing Beach Boys-style harmonies. Ooh, nice. I don't know crap about music but V. later points out that they sound a lot like My Morning Jacket.

It's late and my sister and I get going only partway through the set. She's heard enough and I've put in a full day at work and am really tired. We flee Hipsterville and drive home in Mom's car. Do I feel more cultured? Slightly. A few more of these and I might know something about it.

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