Truman Show (Death Cab for Cutie at Fabulous Fox)

He has a mohawk, this dog. Truman is half UGA English Bulldawg and half Shih Tzu – a “Bullshit” – and his daddy had just moved him to Midtown ATL and was taking him for a walk near the Fabulous Fox.

Financial snafus had recently resulted in his daddy, my apartment sub-leaser in Atlanta, missing a Death Cab for Cutie show in which he had tickets, waiting in vain at will call, in New Orleans, while he was stuck in Mobile, where he was relocating from. And Truman is the biggest pimp on Bourbon Street, but that is another story.

Picture this. Today Truman and his daddy are on a walk, side of The Fox. And Death Cab’s lead guitarist, Chris Walla pops up near his bus to meet the four-legged mohawked star.

Ensuing went like this: ATL, Fox, Free Tickets, 5th row, great show. I was there too, man. How many cuties filled the place in body, with their lilting voices, as Ben Gibbard encouraged them to sing the chorus for him? Oh, those Southern Belles. They would follow their men through the dark, to the afterlife.

Romantic love expressed in big thoughtful words, carried by palatable punchy chord structures that are all about moments. Big, powerful drum moments, bass boom tricks, winding guitar riffs. Of Seattle, Death Cab is more child of REM, the Smith’s, the Replacements than of Nirvana and the legion of always predictable 1990’s grunge negativists that were of that ilk. They aren’t afraid to be fun and it shows.

This night the band emanated a sense of big show comprehension. It was a blossoming performance full of momentum and harmonic energy.

The Fox is just plain gorgeous, y’all. And the light show indicated money, the ultimate sign of big record label trust and hope. Death Cab gave the guys in the suits behind them a huge reason to smile with the ultimate success of this show. Large engaged audience, delighting to an “on” band. They were really on…and it was spring in The ATL, so y’all know we were “on.”

The lovely, artsy couple next to us were also guests of Chris Walla; he had met the her of the two that morning at the bank in which she works. America can be cool sometimes.

Transcendent Funk

Thinking about the transcendent nature of art a lot lately. I contemplate the re-write of my manuscript-that-will-be-masterpiece novel while in the friendly skies; I stare at an otherworldly sculpture garden in the swelter of Mid-City New Orleans; I trip on the surrealistic paintings of Matthew Peck in his gallery in the French Quarter; I marvel at rocket ships of ATL architecture from a rooftop in the sky. And my hips sway to the sounds when I hear them.

My sexy girlfriend danced in front of me. We’d had a bit of a bad day before ENTROPY took to the stage at the 420fest in Candler Park of Atlanta. This was before the flight, before New Orleans. It was a spring festival in the capital of the south – nothing new to me about that. Heck, it was our second festival in two days. It was a writer’s work day, and I was not in the mood. My sublease had suddenly dissolved, and I was stuck in a financial muck causing me to question.

Then frontman Rod had a suggestion: Dance your troubles away. ENTROPY is black and white and modern and classic. They represent the funk in America now. And we still want the funk.

Rod fired us up, shook us from our winter slumber. And then Slappy took over – he as charismatic a guitar instigator as exists. And the stage was full with up to ten total people at a time…all with one cause: To get you out of your funk. And suddenly we were drunk on the sounds, the excitement. It worked, man, it works.

Rob Robinson is more pounding drum machine than human being. Steve Boyd from Parliament joined to add an undeniable credibility. Rod’s daughter did not let being on crutches stop her from making the show a family affair.

And we were one again. My girl and I moved together to the beat. The crowd moved together to the beat. One nation under a groove.

W. 34th and 8th

West 34th and 8th, Turning

Around to See the Empire

Her Pinnacle Shrouded in Clouds

As I Cross the Street

Already with My Cake to Eat

Fat Free Banana and Chocolate

From the Juice Bar, Two Bucks

I Love New York

Street Food

Now, I Stare at Madison Square Garden

And Spew

To You

Here ‘Cause

I’m Just

Passing Through

My Career Now Goes

To the Other Side

My New York State of Mind

The Q33, through Queens, Queens Boulevard

And Calle Columbia which was thick

Entourage none, solo Han convention

Did I forget to mention my intention

Sell book soon, agent and sell book and

I really love this story, it’s the story of my life and

NYC from The ATL to sell a book about LA and SF and the rest of Cali

Free plane tickets for volunteering to bump with Buck in The Big Easy

Free couch surf but first, it was Jackson Heights-Roosevelt, then train

Downtown to NoLita, Houston and Mott, via Grand Central

Changing trains at Grand Central Station, rush hour, the sensation

the crush, the pulse, the beat of life – City Life – the beat of life

Like the Chrysler spike spiring and awe inspiring in the afternoon sun

I had fun. A good convention. I had schwagger. I walked a lot, saw a lot

Met the agents and pitched and it was well received

And it was The City – Manhattan – the center of the known universe

I was working in New York City for the first time

And that is what New York’s about:

try and hustle and heart and try and pizza and people and art and life

I’m Here to Work

Stoop of NoLita House

Houston Street, Near Lafayette

Then The Puck Building

And Its Pluckish Sprite of A Figure

Puck Is Ready For Action

This Is NYC, So Alarm Clock

Prep, Prep, Step

Big Industry Day, Today

For Me

Convention Center

Subway Soon

After Coffee Completion

Contemplation Of Grand Central Yesterday:

Tourists, Locals, Mets Fans,

People Here To Work

I’m Here To Work