Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hello, old friend.

I've recently been spending a lot of time on the east coast visiting my nieces and nephew. The little monkeys are 6.5, 4.5, and 0.15 years old. Thankfully, I was never charged with changing diapers, but I quickly became an expert in retrieving pacifiers and quelling the shrilling cries of a newborn. Most of my time was spent entertaining the two older monkeys. Between soccer games, T-ball practice, karate lessons, horseback riding sessions, going to the zoo, the pumpkin patch, the air and space museum, carousels, watching 'High School Musical' AND 'High School Musical 2' I was a bit overwhelmed by suburban life. San Franciscans, after all, have more dogs than children under 18.

Now, my brother always was a big role model in my life, and I always viewed him as a 'do-no-wrong' type of guy. Yet, he was the one that kept me in check when I tried to slip through lies and tom-foolery. What a prick.

So when he started investing some time and interest in my social life, I started to view him a bit differently. My earliest memories of live music involve my brother. He brought me to his university when I was 15 years old and showed me how to rock. Yes... he took me to Fishbone and before I knew it, he was crowd surfing. The guy I looked up to all my life, who I believed to be stodgy, condescending prick, showed me that he was actually pretty fucking awesome.

Fast forward (20-ish years) to wife, house in the burbs, three kids, killer career and he's got little choice but to be somewhat on the fringe of (sub)popular culture. Although, he DOES know all the words to the popular songs of 'High School Musical' 1 & 2. Bless his heart, he has set aside the selfish whims of youthful irresponsibility and lives in a near-story-book life. Anyway, Since my brain was about to explode from the parade of midgets and mini-vans, I figured I needed to force-feed the father some old-fashioned fun. I scoured the local club websites.. and lo-and-behold.. Rodrigo y Gabriela making good at the 9:30 Club for a show they had previously cancelled a while back!

The show was sold out, so he tried to use that as an excuse not to go. Granted, he had a point... the 9:30 Club in DC is about a 40 minute drive from the burbs, so there was a risk of not getting in.. but for me, it was the journey that I was looking forward to, not the destination. We rolled up to the 9:30 Club, I hopped out while he looked for parking, and by the time he walked up to the door, I had two tickets in my hand for face value.

The 9:30 Club is an amazing venue. As you walk through the narrow hallway there are small dungeon-like concrete openings that allow access into the main hall (there are real doors too). The main floor is about the size of the Independent... and they REALLY pack it in. The mezzanine level had several risers so it doesn't require you having to lean on the rail to see the show (like at Great American or 12 Galaxies). All told, the venue holds about 1200... but if there is a fire in there, you're fucked.

The stage setup had a couple of small cameras on the microphone stands which looked right on to Rodrigo and Gabriela's guitars. They projected the close up image of the fast-fingering-phenoms up on the giant screen behind them as if to say, 'if you don't believe it is possible to actually play this music the way we do, here's a close-up.' It was a great touch and mesmerizing to say the least.

My big-bro never missed a beat and was rocking it out with the DC crowd and assumed wing-man duties which was a nice surprise. How could I have ever thought my idol and mentor had lost his touch? The only thing that could have made the night better is if we ordered pizza and passed out before the delivery guy arrived.


  1. Wow! Your brother sounds like an amazing guy! You're lucky to have such a role model in your life.

  2. And by role model, you mean 'anonymous' role model.

  3. It's too bad he's married - he sounds hot!