The Shrubbloggers



Thanks for checking out our blog. Don't forget to browse the archives.


What kind of a stupid name is "The Shrubbloggers"?    |    Why is there a "2.0" next to the crappy logo?    |    You could well starve if you feed on our RSS.

Concerts & Coincidences
October 14, 2004 — 4:52 pm

It just so happens that six shows I want to see have all lined up in a row. I’ve already been to the 9:30 Club for the past two nights, seeing Camper Van Beethoven and Critters Buggin; tonight it’s Tuck & Patti at Blues Alley, tomorrow night it’s the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players at Iota, then back to the 9:30 Club on Saturday for Living Colour, and Tower of Power at the Birchmere on Sunday (I figure I should see them at least once in my life).

I know that coincidences are just that — meaningless collisions of events that seem improbable but happen to coincide anyway (I Huckabees notwithstanding). I know all about statistics and selective memory, but none of that changes the awed feeling of incredulity I get when something seems far too unlikely to be without design. Like the time I saw two unrelated movies in a row on the same night, which both happened to give a shout out to the same scene from a Fellini film. And although I never mentioned it in this blog, a couple of other double-feature coincidences happened earlier this year. In early February I went to see The Big Bounce, a middling Elmore Leonard adaptation, and minutes after that movie ended I went to see You Got Served, in which the climactic dance contest happened to be called . . . you guessed it . . . The Big Bounce. The following weekend, I went to see The Butterfly Effect, which starred Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart. Minutes later, I headed to see Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, which had a cameo by Amy Smart and a couple of passing pop-culture references to Ashton Kutcher. I’ve also mentioned a few other meaningless, superficial coincidences in this blog, like one linking Jesus and John Galt, another linking Elvis Costello and Jim Henley, one about Scotch Broth soup, and a little bit of Popeye synchronicity.

But none of that stuff compares to an interlocking set of coincidences from Tuesday. Justin happened to send me an instant message at about 5:45 p.m., while I was still at the office. I boasted a little about seeing Camper Van Beethoven later that night (we’re both huge fans, and that band was practically the soundtrack for our last two years of high school), and briefly looked around to find a link to send him about that night’s show, suddenly finding out that they would be performing a brief set at 6:00 . . . at a bookstore about seven blocks away from my office. So I got the hell out of the office pretty quickly, made my way to the bookstore, enjoyed the set, bought a couple copies of their new CD, and got both copies signed by all five band members. While I was in the checkout line paying for the CDs, I noticed a display of Beeman’s, Blackjack, and Clove gum, and with the Twin Peaks line “That gum you like is going to come back in style” running through my mind, I picked up a pack of each. I think I tried those flavors back in the early 1990s, but I wasn’t sure. At the very least, it was time for another go.

So anyway, the evening dragged on and I made it to the club for the show. Decent opening band (I missed the first of two openers), and then Camper Van Beethoven kicked off their set with stunning renditions of two songs from their masterpiece 1989 album, Key Lime Pie. A few songs into the show I started fishing in my pocket for some gum, sadly realizing I left it in the car with the CDs. But the thought of the gum made me think of Twin Peaks once again, and at the very same moment Michael J. Anderson was dancing through the Black Lodge in my mind, Camper Van Beethoven started playing a song I hadn’t heard before. The opening line and refrain? “That gum you like is back in style.” Chills. This also turned out to be the title of the song. I don’t know for sure that the band meant it as a nod to the TV show, but it’s probably just a case of someone appropriating a line that catches their interest, using it as a jumping-off point to build something entirely new and unrelated. Like I’ve always wanted to write a song called “Big Dogs Landing on My Face” . . .

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)

 « Previous Entry

Next Entry »  


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Eric D. Dixon

Places I Go: