Down and Back Again

So last night was the big Hanslick Rebellion reunion show at CBGB. The crew for the road trip swelled to six, necessitating a two-car caravan, that really didn’t end up being much of a caravan at all, since my C-RV (and my driving nerves) couldn’t keep up with Mario Sevayega‘s zippy, radar-detector armed roadster: I lost Mario and Bryan Thomas somewhere just past Exit 23.

In my car, Russell (a friend from our days at a certain little school that shall remain nameless), Chris, Jason (two RPI seniors who work for me at the C+CC) and I made great time until we got into traffic on the Palisades Parkway north of the George Washington Bridge. Russell’s cell phone rang soon thereafter, and we started get sage advice on negotiating the backup from Mario and Bryan. We followed it, and got through the snag, over the Bridge and onto the Henry Hudson Parkway pretty quickly. Thing was . . . we thought Bryan and Mario were in front of us, though in reality they had stopped for Greek Food in New Paltz and were now behind us. Their advice somehow worked fine for us through some miracle of fate, but it didn’t work for them, and they ended up having to do a turnaround and North Jersey road race, eventually hitting Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.

We ended up getting to CBGB about five minutes before the Rebellion took the stage at 9 PM (having left Latham at 4:45 or so), which was also probably around the time that Mario and Bryan emerged from the Holland Tunnel and turned Loisaida-wards. Jed Davis, Mikes Keaney and Kearns and Alex Dubovoy proceeded to rip through a super set of ’90s Hanslick classics, with a couple of choice new cuts tossed in for good measure. It was great to hear some of the songs I’ve been listening to on cassette for years played live and in your face. It was also great to be in CBGB for what’s likely to be one last time, if their current lease situation doesn’t resolve itself in some miraculous satisfactory fashion. And it was great to take a couple of my students to see this musical landmark while they still can, and to see an excellent band making smart, fun music while doing it. They (and Russell) had a great time, as did I.

About three songs into the set, I felt a tap on my arm and looked over to see Lisa of Brown 25 smiling up at me. We’ve swapped electrons and blog links, but never actually breathed the same air in the same room before. It was very nice to meet her in the flesh. Mario and Bryan rolled in soon thereafter, Mario working the room as only Mario can (the cool dance moves, the charm with the ladies), Bryan ably capturing the moments at hand with the Brycam for posterity’s sake. (I look forward to seeing some of his snaps . . . no pressure, though, Bryan . . . ).

Show over, I sent the students to the awe-inspiring and horrific CBGB men’s room, which is almost as legendary as the CBGB stage itself (if that crapper could talk, ai yi yi!), and popped backstage to chat briefly with Jed and congratulate him on a super show. We’d had an blog snark between us a year or so ago, since resolved, but I hadn’t seen him in person since then, so it felt very good to me to shake his hand and say “hi” and “thanks” and “well done” and “nice to see you again.” A similar quick visit with Mister Keaney by the front door, and it was back into the C-RV at 10:45 for the return trip.

One missed exit in North Jersey and one pitstop at a New York Thruway rest area later, and we were back at Chateau Tetragrammaton at 2:15 AM. No calls from Mario and Bryan on the way, so hopefully they didn’t encounter any unexpected traffic disasters either. I was in bed at 2:30, then got up at 6:15 to take Katelin to school, and headed to the office, where I sit now. My brain is active enough to blog, but not quite caffeinated enough to work. It’s time, though . . . the day awaits. I have a concert here tonight, so will be here until 11:15 PM or so. Then back here at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning. Then the weekend . . . ahhh . . .

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