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I found a pea under my mattress last night...


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OK. Friday night. Long week. Ready to relax. Have some fun. Get in some quality time with friends.

Chillin' at my place. Drinking some VQA. Listening to GoodMix #1-20. Nice lawyer man comes over with something he picked up in BC. Fine way to start a Friday night. Some word play ensues. Checking the chronometer, realizing that the Opera House is way the heck over on the other side of the Don, we climb into the fossil fueled transport...

The Opera House is in an interesting neighborhood. Across the street is a building advertising women, food, and room for rent. Why, all you'd ever want... why ever leave that corner?

Standing in line at the Opera House, I wonder, are we in the right place? Frat boys and clubbers in line... Security is tight. Worst pat-down I've ever experienced since going into Irving Plaza in early 2002 for Robert Randolph, after 9/11 put the fear of Mohammad into the Yanks and the conglomerate ClearChannel had purchased the venue. Who let the goddamn fascists into Canada? Inside, the place is hoppin'... A nice vibe going on. Some good energies. I've never seen or heard BNB before. I was expecting a Caution Jam at Healey's kind of crowd. But damn, this crowd is diverse. Hippies, hipsters, frat boys, clubbers, BMW drivers (err, but no TTC riders), digital camera owners, people wearing black. And everybody is good looking. Like David Byrne talked about about in 'Heaven'. Even the bearded folk are freshly bathed and trimmed. AHHH, now I remember why I haven't gone to a Dave Matthews concert since 1993: too many guys and girls splashing on too much bad perfume.

Music is nice. It's got a beat, and I can dance to it. Set break comes. Smiley man is on the stage, throwing sharp objects into the audience at random. Man, I want whatever drug he is on that makes him smile so much. For some reason, I feel like I'm at a wedding. Who caught the bouquet?

(Alright, a rant inside the rant, WTF can't Toronto have a music venue that serves a good beer, such as Sierra Nevada? WTF !?!?! Beer in 'metal bottles'? F that!)

I feel an urgent need to leave this place. I need to go where the ugly people are beautiful, and the beautiful people are humble. Yes, time for Jon Rae and the River at Lee's Palace, where the rye will be flowing like water, the audience sweaty and dirty, and the music pounding through your head so as to sock you in the gut and knock you on your ass. Songs about sex, booze, love, religion, sex, rye, women, love, and life. After all, I told Jon Rae when I bought coffee from him at I Deal that I would see him at the show... So, one cab ride later, and I'm waiting in line. Ahhh, the Dance Cave is above Lee's Palace. What fun waiting in line. The guy checking IDs spends way too much time looking at mine, since I'm 31 and have facial hair. This is still Toronto on Bloor, right? OH, but this is all OK! I'm still in quite good spirits. Jon Rae has already started. I can hear the beautiful melodies blaring through the walls out onto Bloor. A member of the band told me earlier that day that tickets would be available at the door, NO DOUBT. After getting inside, past the ID checker, there is the money man. The money man. SOLD OUT. Excuse me? SOLD OUT. I'm dumbfounded. And now I must admit that I'm completely sober. The three glasses of wine were three hours ago, and nothing at the Opera House suited my palette. The BC HG had worn me down into a quite mellow state.

I think for a few minutes. I try calling friends at the Opera House. I consider the cab time back there, and how late will BNB play? The uncertainties confound me. I approach the man again. I relate to him my observations. People are streaming out of the room. I can see the band on stage, and there is plenty of open space inside. And, I had been told, plenty of tickets available at the door. The man stands in front of me. I told him I left friends and music behind, and came from way far away, just to be here. I see gaping holes in the audience behind him. SOLD OUT. I look into his eyes. I finally see that steroids and money have addled his brain. He is no longer human. Those f'ers at Tickmaster have gotten to him. SOLD OUT. END OF CONVERSATION. He says this so as to make the impression that further conversation would result in loss of my teeth. And while his peanut is nothing compared to my cranial capacity, and his pretzel nothing compared to my phallus, I do not feel like dealing with any broken bones, and so I leave. This is the biggest f'in a-hole that I have EVER met in my two years of living in Toronto, and I want to wash my mind of him. My simple-minded telling of the story most likely fails at relaying this simple truth. I am more than bitter. Pea-brain man has RUINED my evening of musical rapture. I retreat to my local pub, Whelan's Gate, for some Tankhouse and unheard of Irish whiskey.

Oh my buddha, I am glad to be getting a change of scenery in the new year!


Now, if I can only determine the appropriate tweakings necessary to make my TI-84 transport me back on space-time to see Maceo Parker in Cologne or Dave Chapelle's Block Party.

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