No-nudity-Nancy and the bathtub boys.
When I was 15 I probably saw an average of three shows a week. Punk bands, ska bands, hardcore bands: all of my friends were in bands. And that made them very, very cool, or at least I thought it did. Back then, I couldn't get enough of my seeing my friends on stage.
But a lot has changed since I cancelled my subscription to Alternative Press and stopped squishing my legs into ladies jeans. My friends moved on to indie rock, office jobs and other inevitabilities. As a consequence, I don't see many live bands. But there are certain shows I won't miss, like Friday's The Ghost is Dancing CD release.
Watching The Ghost is Dancing play is like watching a house party run its course. The band starts earnest and unassuming, glancing towards the audience with their small-town smiles. Then the dancing begins. The party escalates. Suddenly everyone is dancing. Your drinking more than you had planned. You're dancing. You're drinking. Your dancing. You're drunk, and you don't care.
Then, Odie takes his clothes off.
Odie is the reason I am here. The friend, if you will. Odie Ouderkirk is tall and slim, but not gangly or awkward, curating a hard-to-hate mix of grunge and good looks. He plays the keyboard like a melodramatic madman, then gyrates around the stage to the music of his band mates. At this point we loose a t-shirt. If you've seen the show, you know how this goes. Odie ends up in his knickers, a pair of black briefs with ODIE printed in silver across the bottom--a gift from his girlfriend.
On some nights, the entire band partakes in Odie's debauchery. Tonight though, they're a little more collected, a little more serious. The show is spot-on. There's a record to sell, an American tour to start. The band is on the cover of EYE weekly, the show is packed wall-to-wall, an MTV producer is even spotted in attendance. The band seems poised for success, or as much success as indie rock outfits and Canadian dancing darlings ever acquire (We'll try to end this without dropping the words Tokyo Police Clu...).
Collected, yes. But the party still rages on. Or Battles On, if you will. And when its over the stage is strewen with Odie's left-behinds, my plate has no more nachos, and I've consumed a few too many 50s. Before the cabs take off for their later-than-last-call destinations, I decline a gracious invite to an after-party.
After all, I'm not 15 anymore. I like my sleep.