PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Lazy Boys

You’ve never seen the band Antibalas, but that’s because you’re not managing your rock show life carefully enough. A less generous person might even say that you’re being lazy. Just because you’re in your 50s, it’s a weeknight, and you have two elementary school kids, what, you can’t see a band? Sorry to hear that you’re “tired.” The rest of us are tired as well, but we’re willing to go the extra mile to see a multicultural Afro-beat group with a great vibe and not a little bit of “pay back Africa” attitude.

The way you apparently can’t go to rock shows these days reminds me of how you “can’t ride a bike to work” because you don’t want to arrive at the office sweaty. Hey, I arrive at the office sweaty all the time, and by the looks I get I can tell you that my office colleagues love it! Similarly, I see bands all the time (i.e. 3 times a year), and do you know the kind of Twitter traffic I get?

Let me put it to you this way: I have no idea. Because I don’t tweet. But, as I stated in a previous post, in the future I’m going to tweet the living daylights out of you and everyone else in the world. Kim Jong Trump and I are going to battle for tweeting supremacy, and I’m going to kick their butts.

One thing I learned from the Antibalas show: there are many more of you tired/lazy middle aged guys out there than there are of me and my friend Mark, such that Antibalas didn’t sell out the Paradise Rock Club. If I had to guess (or, rather, since I have to guess), they could have fit another 400 people into the little venue. I’m not complaining; Mark was late and the sparse attendance meant that he could slip right up front to where I was without anyone stressing out, and midway through the show I could make a beer run. Not that I drink beer.

My friend Steve wrote a dissertation (and by that I don’t mean just a long and boring ax-grinding diatribe, but an actual Ph.D. dissertation) in which he observed that racial integration in the workplace existed in the form of jazz and other bands, where there was a long history of blacks and whites working together. Antibalas is an excellent example of that kind of interracial cooperation.

Come to think of it, the racial makeup of Antibalas reminds me a little of the band Defunkt, which I saw a few times back in the day. On the very unlikely chance that you never had a chance to see Defunkt, here they playing a concert in Germany in 1984.

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Backup Plan

 

If you’re like me, you’ve never lost a password in your life. Or a critical file. Because you backup everything several times a week, just in case. And when the IT people at work offer to upgrade your computer to a more recent operating system, you know not to panic, even though it means that everything on that computer will be erased.

Anyway, it’s not like you don’t know the password of your very own website. Like, if you wanted to go into your website and post a blog, you would be able to do so from anywhere in the world on any computer because your password is stored in your own physical memory up there in your powerful brain.

Or is it? Heh, heh. What’s that password again? And isn’t it true that you have not posted a blog entry for quite some time? Maybe if you try to log in and admit that you forgot your password, you’ll get an email with a temporary password, unless the software robot on the other side of the world sends email to an account you rarely check, such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., which you don’t even know how to access. Anyway, you’ve forgotten the password for that account.

The above cautionary tale will help you understand why I’m so relieved that mhp multimedia developed and supports my website. Because Stephen Wilcox, founder of mhp multimedia and all-around great guy, quickly fixed my headaches and had me logging into my site, which allowed me to post this blog entry.

I’m sure you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog to compete with mine (good luck with that!), but I’m so confident my blog will kick your blog’s butt that I challenge you to a “blog off.” But first, you probably should contact Steve to see what he can do to get you set up.

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Spoonerism

I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve seen the band Spoon, and if my mind isn’t playing tricks on me, it’s about 100 times. OK, more like 7. Although Tim, with whom I’ve seen almost every show, claims to remember about 4, which means he is wrong. What about the Esplanade? What about Northampton?

Not to mention the Roxy, where they sold the place out and yet somehow it remained sparsely crowded. Even Britt Daniel scratched his head about that one, noting aloud, “this is sold out?!” I heard afterward that the owners of the Roxy and the city were in some kind of battle, and the city was punishing the club by seriously curtailing the number of tickets that could be sold. I’m almost certainly misinformed about that, but something was up that limited the gate (not demand.)

Here’s the thing about Spoon: they became popular with Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but my two favorite albums are their first and second. (Agreed, that’s not something about Spoon as much as it is something about me.) And unfortunately, they never play songs from those records anymore. Their second album is called A Series of Sneaks, and I have half a mind (or three quarters or maybe even 19/20ths of a mind) to message Britt Daniel and say, “You should do a few shows where you play A Series of Sneaks from beginning to end.” (In my town).

And he’ll laugh with great gusto!

He wouldn’t even play “Quincy Punk Episode” when I saw them at the House of Blues, despite his having heard me yell out for him to do so. I want to see this performed live before I leave this planet:

 

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The Dental Nazi

The meanest person I’ve ever met in my life was the dental hygienist who visited my grammar school once a year back in the 1970s.

She looked nice enough on the surface, smiled when she came in and unpacked her educational toolkit of toothbrush and model teeth, but then she’d ask a question and the answer from one of my half asleep classmates would cause her to snap: “Didn’t I just tell you that teeth are stronger than bone? So how can you tell me teeth are made of bone!?”

There may be no stupid questions, but she was here to let us know that there were plenty of stupid answers. And frankly, she thought our questions were pretty stupid as well. This may be the only thing that she and I ever agreed on: there are stupid questions aplenty, and we kids were famous for asking them.

As the grammar school years wore on, I learned to brace myself for each yearly visit by our ornery dental hygienist, brushing carefully that morning in case my mouth was to be inspected, and reminding myself not to ask a question or answer one unless forced to do so.

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