As Allison mentioned, my birthday was Saturday. And what a whirlwind of activity ensued! Never a stranger to procrastination, I waited until the last possible date to renew my auto tag without fear of late fees. Plus, I had the added bonus of renewing my drivers license this year. So I spent most of Saturday morning in various lines. The lesson to be learned: when the state sends you multiple letters encouraging the use of their online renewal services, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM! I barely got back home in time to change for the wedding we attended at noon.
That evening, we caught the late show at Eddie's Attic. As a search of our archives will reveal, Team Redd absolutely loves heading down to Decatur to visit this great little music venue. Saturday evening was no exception, as Eddie's had Glen Phillips and Bill Mallonee in an amazing double bill. The opener, Craig Cardiff, was not bad either, but he did a very brief set to make way for the onslaught of amazing acoustic music.
I really love Toad the Wet Sprocket, and I've also enjoyed Glen's post-Toad endeavors, but this was the first time I've actually seen him in concert. I was actually a little worried about being able to see him, since there were some tall people standing in front of us (we were sitting at the bar), and Glen is somewhat of a wee man (prior to adopting the Toad moniker, the band played under the name "Three Young Studs and Glen."). Fortunately, our view was not terribly obstructed and fun was had by all. Glen threw a few Toad songs ("Dam Would Break," "All I Want," "Walk on the Ocean") into the mix for his set. With his solo stuff, he ran the gamut from political ("Gather") to lighthearted ("Drive By") to hopeful ("Darkest Hour"). And of course, the satirical "Fred Meyers" is, as Glen explains, his own contribution to the very narrow genre of post-apocalyptic folk music. He also played one or two cover songs as well as a work in progress (he tried out an alternate chorus on us). Glen is a funny guy, as evidenced by his between-song quips and stories, although he might have pressed his political commentary and Buddhist sympathies a bit too far at times. Nevertheless, it was a great set, and after the show I picked up a copy of his latest CD, Winters Pays for Summer, which is a fine album and worthy of its own review. Someday.
How do I even begin to describe Bill Mallonee? To my shame, I actually have a couple of Vigilantes of Love CDs, but I just never got into them or Bill's solo work. Certainly to my loss, as well, because Bill is such a terrific performer. He seemed pretty tired, which I understand is common for him these days, but I'm sure playing two back-to-back shows on Saturday didn't help. Despite his fatigue, he delivered a captivating set, pausing between songs to switch guitars and harmonicas, as well as share stories about the songs. I'm not well-acquainted with his work, so I didn't know all the songs he played. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can acknowledge that he played "Solar System," "Flowers," "Friendly Fire," "High...and Lonesome," "The Kidz on Drugz (or Life), "Welcome to Struggleville," "America" and a Dylan cover/sing-a-long. Despite my lack of familiarity, I was enthralled by Bill's set from start to finish.
And that was just Saturday! After church on Sunday, we drove to Alabama to spend the day with family on both sides. There was fun, food and presents for me. I won't give a complete rundown, but I have to mention the awesome clock that my sisters got me. Woo hoo! And it talks, too!