My official word of the week is "wistful." Webster's defines wistful as "full of thought; eagerly attentive; meditative; musing; pensive; contemplative" (and it also defines cliched as "repeated regularly without thought or originality," but I digress). From whence comes all this wistfulness, you ask. From the inevitable change of seasons, and the leaves of the summer of my youth losing their pigment and littering the sidewalks of my autumn years.
So I found out that my sister's going to be a grandmother. Yesterday (according to my brain meats), my sister told me she was pregnant and all of a sudden, that baby is expecting a baby. I've always considered myself an "awesome" uncle, but great? It seems an adjective too far. I'm not necessarily ready for the transition, to say nothing of the lack of preparedness of my niece, who I still see in diapers every time I look at her.
So I'm left grasping for times gone by and the warm memories they fill my mind with. And then MCA fucking dies of cancer. I mean, c'mon. Can I stop getting older for, like, a second?
It was with this wistfulness and nostalgia that I walked into the final Flesh Hungry Dog Show at Jackhammer. Rocking out (and I was rocking pretty vigorously for a man of my advanced age and waistband) to The Joans, Jinx Titanic, The Handcuffs and all the rest transported me instantly to the late '90s/early '00s. This was pre-FHDS times. I remembered the first time I ever met John "Jinx Titanic" Kamys, when I was emceeing a show at Nevin's in Evanston and as I introduced him, he crammed his tongue in my ear. I remembered the days of Grinder (that's with an E), Scott Free's groundbreaking weekly music/poetry series that eventually morphed into Homolatte, and was the ultimate precursor to his AltQ Music Festival (now in its 12th year, May 19 at Old Town School). I remembered the night David Cerda told me his idea of starting a Joan Crawford-themed punk band, and how I saw a chorus of angels singing from on high about what an amazing fucking idea that was. Just like that, all these musical memories jammed my brain radio and I just hung with them, swaying along to the tune of joyful memory.
And it's worth noting that almost every single Nightspots columnist was on hand for the event (sorry we missed you, Pubert!). These guys helped me reminisce and are currently providing the memories of the future when I write this column again in May 2023. Keep reading!