Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In which Birdmonster discovers the Hideout, sunburns at Lake Michigan, and plumps up like a Christmas hen

You know, I used to think San Francisco was
windy. After spending an afternoon getting sand
blown into my eyeballs on the lakefront in
Chicago, I understand all we've got are light
breezes. I can't see how umbrellas would be worth
a damn there. They'd all end up doing that
insideout, martini-glass thing. Either that or
pedestrians fly around like Julie Andrews. I'd like
to see that, actually.

So, first off: the Hideout. With all due respect to
the Great Scott & the Black Cat, this was by far
the best club we've played this tour. Legend has it
that, decades ago, some drunkard there asked for
his final drink of the evening and the bartendress
responded "go ahead; it won't kill you," but, then
of course, it did. I realize this might be apocryphal,
but, like most mythistory, it's fun to believe.
Most of New Orleans is that way: either incredible
shit went down there or incredibly creative people
made it all up, and I'd rather not know the

The Hideout is definately well-named. It's tucked
away on some street I couldn't pronounce and
from the exterior, has a secluded cabin vibe going.
Not a Texas Chainsaw Massacre seclusion, but a
special urban sort of seclusion: everybody's little
secret. Taxidermied fish, knotty-pine walls, old
stand-up piano in the corner, cramped, floor-rug
adorned stage, and a trully great sound system:
just a fabulous club. If I lived in Chicago, I'd live
at the Hideout.

The crowd for our set was odd; a mishmosh of
twenty-somethings, regulars, and my grandfolks
and their rather sizeable crew of AARPers. My
folks flew out as well, for an uncle's wedding
party and fathers day and because, well, they
enjoy the monster. It was just the Talk and us
(as it will be in St. Louis tonight too) and the show
went off smashingly. No weird sound issues (ahem,
ahem Cleveland), a hospitable club, family,
friends, free Pabst: euphoric shit, my friends.

In no way torn between free beds and skanky
hotel rooms, we stayed a couple nights at my
grandparents house, which involved all the things
grandparents's houses always bring. Namely early
dinners, 9 a.m. breakfasts, endearing, rambly
stories, pampering, and leaving 12 pounds heavier
than when you came. I was two plates of gnocchi
away from having jowls.

We spent our day off yesterday at Lake Michigan
and I have an oddly shaped sunburn and the sandy
underwears to prove it. We did nothing there. We
defined sloth. It was great.

Now? Back in the Whaleship Essex, listening to
Archers of Loaf, nearing the 100 degree
swelterfest which is St. Louis. Pass me some


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

take a pic of ur sunburn!

snookies said...

take a pic of your sandy underwears!

okaylulu said...

The Hideout show was a total smash, and your grandparents & their AARP-er friends were quite wonderful. We suggested ear plugs and they took direction very well! We can't wait for your return visit to Chicago. BTW - the Hideout IS the best! You're right.