Saturday, September 06, 2008

My Black Postcards Cameo

I am apparently old enough now to start showing up in other people's memoirs, albeit in this case as one of the "kids." From Black Postcards, by Dean Wareham (pp. 62-63):

We (Galaxie 500) did better at the Sonic Temple in Pittsburgh, where we had at least eleven in the audience, maybe fifteen. Pittsburgh--City of Bridges--is a beautiful city, not what I was expecting at all. After a seven-hour drive in the rain, we drove through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, which delivers you right to a spectacular view of the Fort Pitt Bridge and the city across the river. They have three rivers there--the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela. They must have fifteen or twenty bridges, too, all different colors.

The Sonic Temple was located on the top floor of the old Masonic temple, which had fallen on hard times. Some kids from Carnegie Mellon had been putting on rock shows there. Unfortunately they didn't have a liquor license, and that discourages people from attending rock shows.

The small crowd lay down on the carpeted floor while we played for them. It felt intimate, despite the large and mostly empty room. We spent the night on another floor--this time in the apartment fo the kids who had booked the show. They had their own fanzine--Cubist Pop Manifesto--and interviewed us that night while we drank Iron City beer in tall cans. It was odd playing to an audience of eleven, and then being interviewed as if anyone cared what we had to say about anything. Such is the world of indie rock.

That was one of the most memorable nights of that period of my life, actually. It was also the first club performance of my first band, Hat, with Brian Welcker and Frank Boscoe -- also the team behind Cubist Pop Manifesto. Frank and I, in particular, could barely play at all, but since Brian was one of the guys who created The Sonic Temple, we took the indulgence of giving ourselves the opening slot on a weeknight before one of our favorite bands. I was incredibly, paralyzingly nervous. The only song I remember was one I created called "How to Play the Ukulele," which was derived from the text and chords in the first lesson in a book by the same name. It was conceptual.

Anyhow, here's my description from Cubist Pop Manifesto issue 7 (May 1989) of the evening's conversation:

Laughter was a big part of this interview, like Damon's interjection of mock cynicism "It (the record industry) is a dirty business, get out when you can," followed by Dean's "You're making us seem cynical, we're not. We're young. We're fresh. We're like the flowers. We're like the meadows..." Naomi chimed in "Skinned knees, pistachio ice cream." There were lots of playfully rude comments followed by giggles and Naomi's cautious "Oh, please don't print that..." and Frank's pious reassurances.

No comments: