If I needed a reminder that times neither the times or I have changed, last night's big show at Alley Katz might have been it. Action Patrol, those orange jumpsuit-festooned punk heroes of yesteryear, hosted a reunion show that drew hundreds of local scenesters of all ages (though mostly the under 30 set).
I guess one change is that I found out about the show via the Internet, and was reminded of it by email early yesterday evening. Back in the day, the Internet was a magical, exclusive club; I used to carry a 30-pound Mac SE home from my office at VCU just to play online text-based games on a 9300 baud modem.
But the similarities between 1994 and 2007 are eerie. My plans were to spend a cold evening being lazy, curled up with some hot chocolate and the latest Star Wars novel. Exactly like 1994, except that now I live in a house with heat and don't have to choose between groceries and a geeky science fiction novel. (My wife would probably argue otherwise.)
And then the punk rock gets in the way of my evening.
Because Action Patrol was so crazy, and they threw crowds in a frenzy like few others, I felt some odd obligation to pull a stocking cap around my ears and head downtown. I am so happy I didn't have to bike to the show -- ah, those were the days.
There is nothing like standing on a concrete floor in a smoke-filled nightclub by myself, swigging overpriced beer and scanning the crowd for familiar faces, to remind my introspective inner rocker just how much he hates going to shows. (My inner rocker has a similar experience seeing GWAR last winter.) I bumped into my old dance pal Laura Grace at the door; she made me feel significantly older when she exclaimed, "We've loved Action Patrol since almost before middle school!" She was in town for the weekend from her New York haunt, apparently just to rock out.
I didn't see too many other familiar faces -- Taylor Steele from Four Walls Falling, a waitress from Perly's, the sublime Becky, aka Becky Badass, and a few others. But I did get some rock in my blood -- the thunderous Brooklyn two-piece, Unipigeon, opened the show, followed by Richmond's anthem-esque Pink Razors. Action Patrol rocked the veritable roof off. (Check out Digital Defection's flickr set too see how hard they rocked.)
Then I came home and Nikole refused to come near me until I took a shower and put my smoke-contaminated clothes outside. I finished the Star Wars novel this morning.
The rest of the week was a bit less rock, a bit more work.
Monday: Did not leave work to see the presentation of the new Downtown Plan to the city's Planning Commission, but did print out the entire 187-page report. Came home. Fixed dinner. Read the Downtown Plan draft report and wrote way too much about it. (Here and here and here, in particular.)
Tuesday: I have no idea what I did on Tuesday.
Wednesday: Planning meeting for the Greater Richmond Challenge III, followed by a recruitment discussion for the Challenge with Stephanie Kirksey, followed by an impromptu chat with the Chamber's Jim Dunn about the Crupi Report. When I got home, Nikole wanted baked ziti. I figured Joe's Inn would have some. They didn't, which meant Nikole had chicken parmigiana and I had spaghetti. Basic, but good.
Thursday: Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. Drove to Greene County to chat with two participants in the monthly leadership development program I'm facilitating. Raced back to go to the Art 180 fundraiser, Art Karma, with Nikole (who just joined the Art 180 board). It was a splashy, but not flashy, event -- lots of art, lots of food, lots of familiar faces.
Friday: More meetings. A quick, but exciting, doctor's appointment with Nikole -- week 16 and everything is looking good. Guess who wanted baked ziti again? We made our own this time. We were supposed to go see the premiere of our friend Ed Tillet's documentary on Cuba, but my head was about to explode from a cold and I went to bed at 8:30.
Saturday: A day that my sinuses will remember forever -- first, we stopped by my mom's house in the morning only to discover that it was being repainted inside and almost asphyxiated us both. But the fun didn't stop there, because our next stop was a two-year-old's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese on Midlothian Turnpike. Could we get any closer to a germ factory than that? We came home and started cleaning, stirring up more dust and pet hair than we deserve. I ran errands -- Pet Smart, Barnes and Noble, the library, Fin and Feather. And then there was the smoke-filled night of rock.
Sunday: More cleaning. Dragged Rilo to the tub and scrubbed her good. Went into the office for a few hours, and then met Nikole at Costco which I now hate more than life itself. Or, as much.