For a long time I had a favorite saying, one that I often pulled out to sound irreverent and iconoclastic while at the same time posturing in the guise of the wisdom that might come from decades of practicing domestic relations law. “I have two pieces of advice for people: Don’t get married and don’t have children.” As I delivered this pithy aphorism, I would always add dramatic visual emphasis by counting it out with one finger and then a second. It always made people smile because they knew that while it made sense as a strategy for avoiding all sorts of complications, heartache and financial distress, it was the kind of advice that no one takes seriously. Nevertheless, I delivered this cold calculation for achieving and maintaining happiness with the solemn conviction of a redeemed sinner who was born again after having married and had a child in my wayward youth. While there is an obvious irony in advice that would render you unable to give it if your mother took it, there is something to be said for the selfish simplicity of being able to focus all your resources on yourself and the mate of your choosing. I still believe that if you want someone to be your mate, live with them and stay with them. You don’t need a legal contract to sanctify your love. Marriage is proof of commitment only in a world that does not permit divorce. Commitment can only be measured a day at a time. But now I have two close girl friends getting married soon (not to each other), I just helped bring a baby into the world and my signature slogan is ringing pretty hollow. I’m happy for my friends and I’m happy for me. I may need to change my stock maxim to “Find one or more to love and make a family of.” On second thought, maybe I should just keep that catchy little banality to myself.
Thursday, tonight, Dan Dougan's Listening Hour at Gateway hosts the pre-reunion of Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers, Woodlands Tavern has a Grateful Dead Tribute with 10 bands including the Salty Caramels who I saw at a house party this week and was impressed by their superfine, supergroup line-up of Bree Frick, Angela Pearly and Molly Winters. The show starts at 6 PM and the girls go on around 9 PM. Lohio and The Alwood Sisters are at Rumba and Descendre is at Dick's.
Friday, the actual reunion show for Hank McCoy & the Dead Ringers is at Ravari with The Mooncussers. Rumba features the fabulous Justin Townes Earl with Jessica Lee Mayfield. El Jesus de Magico is at Carabar and there is an Andy Davis Memorial Fund Benefit at Circus with, among others, The Wet Darlings. Jim Maneri claims that Brave Combo will be at Oktoberfest Friday and Saturday night. Not a better polka band in the world for my money! Van Dyke Parks performs at The Wexner with Clare and the Reasons.
Saturday, Carabar has Shin Tower Music, Two Cow Garage has a CD release at Rumba with Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Ghost Shirt. The Lost Revival, Monolithic Cloud Parade and The George Elliot Underground are at Skully's.
Sunday, The Strange Boys show at The Summit sounds interesting.
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
“Nature Boy” Music and lyrics by eden ahbez