Watching friends play music always serves as an attitude adjustment. When they are also terrific musicians, the adjustment can take you all the way to joy.
Saturday came around cold, damp, and grey. The kind of morning it seems like the devil himself knows you are home. I had a pain in my shoulder that had kept me up all night and a pain in my heart that didn’t want to go away. Maybe all the gratitude in the air this week before Thanksgiving was combining with all the advertisements for “Black Friday” starting even earlier than usual and creating noxious ions in the atmosphere. I don’t know, but whatever it was, it sorely tempted me to continue my hibernation into the late evening, instead of going to Prosody here in Ellensburg to see my friends in Avolition play.
I’ve written about Avolition before; for the first time, I actually have a set list in front of me (thank you Andy Cleman), so I could finally write a real review of their show. But hey. If you were there, you know how great they sounded – Dan Leavitt’s powerful lead guitar and sweet harp, Rob Fraser’s simple-yet-brilliant drum lines, Andy’s killer bass, Mike Nelson’s fine voice and Mike Hougardy’s amazing songwriting. And you know how much energy they create, enough to lift a friends-and-family crowd well beyond friends-and-family support into true rock/pop/Ellensburg funk participation.
And if you weren’t there, all I can say is, I’m sorry for you. Next time, go.
Instead, I’m just going to remind us all of one line from Hougardy’s Acceptance: “no one gets out of here alive.” Whether we spend our time hibernating or succumbing to the worst commercialism of this season, or listening to live music and enjoying family and friends, we all wind up with the same result. No one gets out of here alive.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m immersed in this new novel about forgiveness; and I’m giving thanks for the reminder of life’s constraints and joys that my Avolition pals sent me once again.
(Oh, and look for Hell Hole as a new Avolition encore, but only if Andy can find amps that go to eleven.)