I'd like to start this post by saying, People! Please start going to good shows again. I was willing to forgive you for not going to see Will Hoge last week, because Southern California was almost entirely under water with all that rain, but you had no excuse this week for your lack of attendance at what I think may easily have been The Best Show Ever.
I was actually on the fence about whether or not I wanted to see Mark Olson (of the Jayhawks - I'm not sure if I should say "formerly" of the Jayhawks or not - are they getting back together? Are they not? I don't have a clue anymore) and Mary Gauthier, only because the responsible voice inside my head kept saying I should really throw that money at some bills instead of the $20 it would cost for the ticket, plus the $2 service fee, plus parking, plus beer...Then again, I had another voice inside my head (and this one MUCH more obnoxious and whiny) saying, "But you stayed home last night! Can't you go out tonight?" And then of course, it's the end of the month, and when I saw that my paycheck was more - much more - than I thought it was going to be - well, that obnoxious whiny voice won big time.
Mary Gauthier was clearly the draw of the evening - sonically, she's a lot like Lucinda Williams, but for as pissed off as Lucinda Williams is, Mary Gauthier is just sad and depressed. I almost want to tell her that the world isn't that fucked up - but then again, I don't, 'cause then her music wouldn't be as good. No backing band for Ms. Gauthier, just a guitar and harmonica, and she kicked ass.
Unfortunately, I think about a quarter of the audience had left by the time Mark Olson had finished - which totally sucked, because he was really great! I think of him as what I would think of Bob Dylan, if I liked Bob Dylan. But I don't. I hate Bob Dylan. I hear other people sing his songs, and I think it's the greatest thing ever. Then I hear Bob Dylan sing his songs, and I find myself praying to a god I don't even believe in for some sort of very loud explosion to happen nearby, permanently damaging my ears so that I never have to hear Bob Dylan again. But Mark Olson was phenomenal - and with only his guitar, fiddle player (who's name I can't remember, but I know he was from Italy and he was awesome - I'm a sucker for fiddle players), and percussionist who sometimes played the piano - it made for a very intimate show.
Perhaps I should mention that I was drinking at this show - no shock to anyone, I suppose. However, my drink of choice is Shiner Bock, which I've only seen sold in Texas, at Alex's Bar, and at some sports bar in Santa Monica (and sold in the bottle at Ralph's, Howe's, and Whole Foods). So it's not a huge surprise to me to find that the Troubadour doesn't carry it. My second choice drink (a distant second) is a good ole Bud Light, which the Troubadour also does not sell. So I have to order an MGD. Six dollars for one MGD! I nursed that first MGD through Mary's set, giving me a fairly good buzz. Now, the Troubadour is usually a standing-room-only venue, but they'd laid out the folding chairs for this show, which I thought was hot. That was EXACTLY how I wanted to spend my night - just a little drunk, watching good live music. However, the place was packed enough that I wasn't able to get the ideal aisle seat that's also close enough to the center of the stage. So I was stuck in the middle, and as I frequently do at "sit down" concerts, I budget that if the opening act played about 45 minutes, the closing act would play about an hour and a half, so I'd need two more drinks. During the interval between acts, I got up to get two more MGDs - that way, I wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the set. Genius, isn't it?! I can't help it - I'm a thinker. However, I'd just - and I mean, just started my third MGD - only 50 minutes in! - when Mark Olson announced his last song. So I had to chug, because I'd paid $6 for that beer alone, and as much as I'd tried, I couldn't forget that I'd spent over $20 on beer, and easily could have bought a 12-pack for less than that at my local market. "This is what I get for trying to be responsible," I thought.
All in all, it turned out well, except for the fact that I'm really pissed off that YOU didn't go. Please don't make me even madder by not showing up to the Hot Club of Cowtown show at Safari Sam's on Saturday. Unless you want to be lame like Wanda and go to the Stevie Nicks show instead.