Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 2: Fun and gAmes

I awoke to find a Moses-like man grabbing a bundle of floor tiles beside the couch where I was sleeping. We had crashed at the house of our friend Michael Hackerott in Blair, Nebraska. Once everyone was awake, Michael's parents kindly served us breakfast. We were nearly full after pancakes and eggs were brought out; then, we were served polish sausage (which Hackerott's dad really dug), followed by a heaping plate of steaks. I sipped from a Spock glass when Hackerott's uncle, the bearded man seen earlier, joined us at the table.

"Are you related to anyone famous?" Ryan asked him randomly.
Uncle Dan proceeded to explain at length how his family was distantly related to Benjamin Franklin. We left shortly thereafter.


Ames was deserted when we arrived. We found a coffee shop that had fascistly bolted shut all of their outlets to prevent lingering. Inside, we spotted a ground squirrel edging along the wall, apparently searching for outlets. Ryan chased him out while we ordered coffees and found seats.

After looking for a place to buy some beer while Ryan pooped at the conspicuously named "Kum and Go" quick-shop, we headed to "The Space." We were booked to play between sections of an open-mic night. For a Sunday night, an open mic at least guaranteed a crowd on what could otherwise be a dead night.

A young man in a Blink 182 shirt let us in the building, where we unloaded while other acts and listeners arrived. Nate, the guy who booked us for the night, arrived a little later to set up sound. Once the mics and PA were ready, he started things off with a beautiful song that we later learned he wrote himself.

After we played, Kristin joined Nate (who also plays trumpet), a drummer, and a bearded man operating a synth setup, and played a dynamic, improvised jam without any particular key. Nate leapt around the stage like a wilder/cooler Peter Pan, alternatively blasting his trumpet, banging a drum, or slapping some wind-chimes.

When I stepped out to load in the last of our gear, a large man with John Lennon spectacles and a tie-dye shirt approached me. He bought two CDs and we made conversation.

"We're part of the burgeoning Pagan folk seen. I'm also in a sci-fi band that plays exclusively at comic book conventions. I would have stepped inside to hear y'all, but my ears ring. I had to listen from the doorway."

Ryan and I went on a brief walk before returning to hear a guitarist shred over funky beats and loops.

We left with the young man in the Blink 182 shirt and crashed at his apartment, where we lied in a row on his floor in near Lincoln-log style.

Dan/ the low end

Thanks to both David and the Hackerotts for housing us. Also, thanks to Nate of the Ames Progressive for letting us play.

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