Monday, May 8, 2006

Mad Town

"Remember when I revealed myself to you in the car/Listening to 'Rock 'n Roll Animal' as the night got dark/Your mother called up and said/'Go ahead girl and get yourself free...'"
-Ike Reilly

I've learned to live my life via the George Costenza method. I like my life circles to remain separate. I don't like my circles colliding. I see life as a great big snowman where the three big body parts represent different life cycles and one is placed on top of the next. There of course is some leakage as things get too hot and one's form starts to melt and dissolve. But no matter how it ends up, spiritually the parts are meant to be separate and distinct because that's the way we are built.

The last time I stayed in Madison, Wisconsin was the summer between my junior and senior years of college. I remember walking around Lake Michigan late one evening, near the student union (the only student union in the country that sells beer to its patrons). I was slowly/rapidly inevitably falling in love having just gone to my first Bob Dylan show, the one where the songs were nearly indistinguishable as the echoes bounced around inside the Metrodome. I also was falling into a sea of trouble with the girl who according to a daily Google search may have been swept away lost in the Tsunami.

This time, the trip to Madison (Scootertown, USA) wasn't in any way meant to recapture or re-experience anything that's gone before. Who remembers all that? This time it was truly an excursion in getting out of here, getting away to somewhere/anywhere if only temporarily. Despite a four hour delay caused initially by a flat tire and ultimately by a full four tire replacement and brake repair to the tune of over $1000, believe me (if you can) by the time we reached Madison I was glad to be there again and quite looking forward to the weekend.

"Trample on your yesterdays/But never on your tomorrows..."
-Ike Reilly (again)

My soon to be graduated graduate school friend and I spent Friday night finding a place to stay (and eat). We planned on dining at an Ethiopian restaurant her friend had recommended but ended up next door through a confusing door alignment at an impressive Afghani restaurant instead.

The next day began with a continental breakfast served at the converted dorm/meeting center that fell into our price range. We overheard the conversation of a table of people who were in town to celebrate their 50th anniversary of some moment of life, either a high school graduation or a college reunion.

I don't really have a lot of time these days for the marking of time. I could never have even a ten year plan because after all that has gone down (and wrong) I never figured I'd live this long.

We spent all of Saturday doing a lot of walking- around the Farmer's Market and the lovely university campus. Originally when this trip was planned the reason we gave was I had heard from an up and comer/two timer that Iron Chef Morimoto had a restaurant in Madison. That was enough reason to drop and run. Our end goal then was to find his restaurant even though it was a rumor stirring the fumes we were driving on. We ended up spending our last meal at an impressive Japanese restaurant named "Restaurant Muramoto" that was so well designed (and the food so great, especially a duck based sushi roll) that it just had to be connected to an Iron Chef despite the spelling discrepancy.

We returned home, me thankfully with a new be-bop hat on head (dispelling my Dad's notion that I never wear hats anymore) and a hand made clay clock that features the many positions of a black cat (who resembles Diego-san's shadowy self) spaced out across the face to count down the time that passes away each and every day.

None of this would have made any sense whatsoever of course if not the thankful appearance of a newly released Ike Reilly EP, The Last Demonstration. The six song mix is a combination of demos of already released songs and songs that weren't included on Ike's last CD. What is learned upon this latest release of our most underrated (God why aren't people listening to him) artist? Only that it's wonderful to hear sketches of songs that Ike has since more fully developed.

Another what the hell does this mean question that comes to mind is how Ike's last two CDs (Sparkle in the Finish and Junkie Faithful) have been named from lyrics to songs that were ultimately left off the full length CDs in favor of subsequent EPs. Not all may agree but I love the rawness, and the weariness, and the unpolished vocals Ike gives us on The Last Demonstration. This is a naked soul creating something new from something that's soon to be rather than what ever was. And that's exactly what a scooter riding Mini Cooper owner blindly sees as the route to take, the way to go, even if he has no clue as to what a ten year plan may or can look like ever again.

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