I've been pretty hard on boys lately.
Hey, I can't help it if the bulk of the male gender has been scientifically proven to have an intelligence lower than yogurt culture. But recently I found myself in a crowd of boystwo bands called Holiday and the Lilyswho happen to be the nicest people I've ever met.
Now Holiday and me, we go way back. Picture it: last year's blizzard of the century. Four young lads recently matriculated from Yale in town to play an in-store at Go! Compact Discs, as part of the first-ever D.C. Tweefest. Only the band and about six other out-of-towners got snowed in here and couldn't leave for a week. So we all wore the same clothes and stayed up late drinking beer. As one of the house guests said, he'd never thought it was possible to fall in love with 20 complete strangers.
This time, Holiday was on a real live actual tour as the support band for the Lilys, who as it turned out, stayed at the house, too. The main Lily is a guy called Kurt, who used to be known in these parts of town as Wally. He's a very tall, skinny boy who looks exactly like Emo Phillips when he sings and plays his guitar. One of the wackiest people I've ever met. He calls Steve Albini "Steve Al Bundy."
Turns out that Kurt used to live with my best friend Shoe. A long time ago. Kurt holds Shoe in the highest regard, since without him the Lilys probably wouldn't exist. He said, "If there was no Shoe, there would be no Matt, and if there was no Matt, there would be no Alex. Without Shoe, there'd be nothing."
So after the show, we all ended up back in my next-door neighbor's house eating Rotel * and chips and a pizza, and drinking the loveliest of margueritas. At about five in the a.m., we all started to get a little sleepy and retired to my house. The whole load of us. There was the fab four known as Holiday, there was Kurt, the other four Lilys, plus the sound guy.
Me, in a house with 10 boys.
So after I genuflected in my realization that yes, indeed, someone up there likes me, I got the boys settled on their respective couches and went to bed. And now, I know what it's like to be on tour. We all slept until noon, got ourselves together, and then went to breakfast. We all ate luscious omelettes, and drank fresh-squeezed orange juice. When we got back, Kurt thanked me because he would have walked right past the place since it didn't look brunchy enough.
And it turns out, these guys pay attention. Now, for some people this might not be a big deal, but it meant a whole lot to me. I'd left a note upon the bands' arrival that said this: "Hey gang, I'm out at Trish's house doing some recording/mixing, but I'll be back this afternoonwith food!" Now any ordinary boy would look at the latter part of that sentence and salivate. But not these guys. In fact, the bass player for the Lilys even specifically asked me about my musical projects. I'd known him less than 18 hours and already he knows more about me than some people I've known for my whole life.
And then they left to play a show in Baltimore. Packed up the vans and were gone. That's the nature of being on tour, I guess. Walking the streets with a six string on your back can get pretty tough, so you might as well be nice to people. After all, hating people all the time can really take a lot of energy out of you.
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