TV Girl and The Center of the Universe

“Hey. Hey. Dude. Dude! This guy? Is a CHODE. But I like it.” – RF

TV Girl’s French Exit was one of my favorite albums of 2014. And their Wednesday night Noise Pop gig at Brick & Mortar Music Hall is now one of my favorite live musical experiences of the new year.

Granted, it’s only the second time I’ve been to a show in twenty-fifteen, and that last one was less than memorable, but still. This one will stand out.

And it wasn’t really because of the band.

"Brad, of that one band."
“that one guy, of that one band.”

The three fellas plus Charlene, the mannequin, put on a good show. The frontman is a goofball, fer sure, with some interesting pent-up resentment and maybe a touch much LA headsmog, but they turned up the production in the studio on that little jewel of an album, and they turned out the party for a little clutch of folks still hanging around past midnight in the middle of the week.

But now I’m going to let this all be about me.

Last year was my first full year in The Turnaround, and it was special. I accomplished quite a bit, and despite an expected series of ups and downs, I felt pretty good from start to finish. One of my goals during that year was to rediscover some of the things I loved, and frame them in the light of my new start and new self.

So it made sense, in many ways, to imagine a show that was more party than performance. Where the people who have mattered, do matter, and will matter in my life are all involved.

RF was there, God bless ‘im. And we two decided, along with our old compatriat WH, to revitalize The List from those halcyon days of Idle Time mania. He’s doing amazing things, by the way. So much determination, so many resolutions. “This is our year for sure.”

LDG was there, along with J-Boogie. I hadn’t been to a show with that girl since The Promise Ring almost three years ago. And I’d never seen JB tower above audience members. I didn’t this time, either. He was obligingly standing behind me. She’s doing great things, too. And I couldn’t be prouder of that kid. Her Noise Pop fun continued into Friday with a Cathedrals show that I would have liked to have attended. But a kid needs some space now and again, right?

DP came out too, despite having serious work obligations in the morning. We’re all so damned growed up, right? We all made immediate references to Music With Words, which turned out to be hilariously prophetic when the odd vocalizations of RZN8R opened the evening. Nobody in the world enjoyed that guy’s music as much as he did. And that alone made his set so very worthwhile.

MH was there. And MH and I simultaneously remarked at how much the deft knob-twiddler of Monster Rally looks like a skinnier Matt Cain. We’re doing some things this year, thanks to the jumpstart inspiration from the most creative guy I know, DH. It’s not music-related (at least not yet), but it’s been a blast to work on. Stay tuned.

MDDG joined the party, and did fantastic reconnaissance, as only he can, in regards to the best places to eat and drink in the vicinity. I didn’t make it in time to join him, but come Saturday’s return to B&M, I’d like to check out this food truck court that he was raving about. He is bearded now, and newly committed to the ’15 edition of The Giants Race. I’d like to think he’s excited about his new year as well.

I was coming to the show from North Beach. RF and LDG were Uber-ing over from my place, and they waited there for MMJ so that they could share a car. According to RF, “As soon as she walked in your door, man, she started giggling. And hasn’t really stopped.” I love her enthusiasm and I love how much of my year has been affected and enhanced by her courage and energy. I’ve been turning things around these last fourteen months, most definitely. But that woman has taken the Power of Change and Self Determination to a whole new level. And her typically emoji-filled text in the morning categorized the evening, definitively, as “a fiesta.”

I’m going to look back on this show, as the weeks progress. Lost in the spontaneity and the revelry is a real symbolic sense of achievement. Not really for me, maybe. But for the people in my past, present, and future that matter so most. Whose achievements matter so much.

Maybe this wasn’t all about me.

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