[NOTE: This is the second post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series. Instead of trying to remember what I did last summer, I have once again copied the handwritten journal entry I wrote on the day of the show. I didn’t edit anything out, so you’ll get to read the mundane things I did both before and after the concert in question. This post was published on January 20th, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.]
For the second morning in a row, I was not awakened by a roach crawling up my arm. This time I was awakened by sunlight and the sound of Matthew mowing his lawn far too damn early. I got up, took a shower, and then went downstairs to have a cup of coffee and set up a load of laundry. I took my coffee out on the front porch where I wrote in here and listened to the Velvet Crush coming through the front room window. It’s quite nice out but I’ve heard it’s supposed to get into the 90s pretty soon…possibly as early as this afternoon. It’s 10:35.
I hung around the house and talked with Beth on the phone for a bit. Then I packed my things and walked up to the Oakley Pub to see Ric from Everybody’s Records perform a duo set with Bam Powell as an outfit called Smidgeon. He’d given me the details last Wednesday when I was in the store. They were playing out on the back porch. I picked a shady spot and ordered a burger and a Rhinegeist Bubbles (rosé ale). I ended up getting two of the Bubbles.
I hung around the pub for a couple hours drinking, eating a (decent) burger and (amazing) fries, and listening to the guy who’s given me dozens of Eydie Gormé records and Sub Pop promos over the years play guitar and sing. I’d always heard he was good live, and I’m happy to say it’s true. It wasn’t all Ric, though. Bam sang half the songs and had a surprisingly soulful voice. I say “surprisingly”, but that’s just because I’d never heard of him until last Wednesday. It turns out he was the singing drummer in the Raisins, a legendary power pop-ish sort of band that was top-of-the-heap on the Cincinnati scene back in the 80s.
[NOTE: I have since tracked down a copy of the self-titled Raisins record from 1983 (picked up used at Everybody’s, of course). It’s quite good, and I’m a little ashamed it took me this long to get to it. Look up “the raisins” and “fear is never boring” on YouTube to check out the slightly demented video they made for one of their best songs. It’s the purple one.]
I kept a setlist. I wasn’t planning on doing anything with it, but now that I’m writing this, I think I should go ahead and write down the titles. At least the ones I recognize. Here they are:
Smidgeon’s first set (that I saw): …”toe to toe” (Bam Powell) / Little Sister (Elvis Presley) / Reminds Me of You (Van Morrison) / Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young) / Ain’t No Free (NRBQ) / Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (Willie Nelson) / “special teams” (mystery song sung by Bam) / Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac)
Ric invited me over to his table between sets and I met his friend and later his girlfriend. Greg and Michelle, I believe. I was partially drunk on Bubbles, so I was a bit more social than I normally would’ve been.
Smidgeon’s second set: Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash) / Movin’ Again (the Raisins) / “we’re going public with our love” (Ric Hickey) / I Like Skin (Bam Powell) / I’m Comin’ Home (Robert Earl Keen) / Walk Away (Tom Waits) / Trust Your Papa (Sparrow Bellows) / Big Bone Lick (Bucket) / Move It on Over (Hank Williams) / Home Sweet Home (Bam Powell)
I eventually decided it was time to go home. Had I stuck around much longer, I would’ve felt obligated to order a third Bubbles (and that would’ve led me astray, of course). I shook hands with Bam, said my goodbyes, and headed off. It was quite hot by the time I got back, so I closed the windows and turned on the A/C. I took a cold shower and then settled in to revisit parts of the Endeavour episode I watched last night.
After that, I watched the second Thor movie. I’ve put the entire Marvel Comics series on reserve at the library, but they’ve been coming in out of order. I’ve been watching them that way. It’s only slightly confusing.