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The Next Chapter

Saturday
April 1, 2006

"Let your mind unravel
Down that road you're travellin'
Got to find that freeway
Till you're finally free of it..."
-Helicopter Girl "Angel City"

A surprising amount of my stuff is still in boxes. My bank account situation is in flux, as SunTrust doesn't have any branches in Alabaster -- or in Birmingham for that matter. Funny though, that's how the new chapters of my life seem to begin, more or less. It's how they go from there that becomes hard to chart, but then again, that's what makes the next set of adventures and experiences new and unique.

I finally had a chance to do something on the social scene last night, as I met a friend-of-a-friend at a pizza place/bar called the Mellow Mushroom in Birmingham. Getting there was a pain, though, as it started raining literally right as I left work at about 4:45 yesterday afternoon... and didn't stop by the time I hit the highway by about 6:30. At one point, I passed an overpass where a gutter had apparently broken, and a virtual waterfall was spouting down into the leftmost lane of I-65 North. Not exactly prime travel conditions.

Fortunately, the trip there proved worthwhile, as the girl I met up with, Leigh (a friend of L1) and I had a fun time. Going into a situation like that, I really had no idea what to expect, but it went very well. The Mellow Mushroom has really good pizza, by the way. Not quite Market on 7th/Ray's Pizza "Hall of Fame" level, but probably the best I'll be able to find here in the Birmingham area. The crust was really good, which made it particularly stand out to me.

The drive home was a musical landmark; the programmers over at Sirius put on a five-star performance last night. I heard what could easily become a huge breakout pop song in 2006, the one dropquoted at the top ("Angel City" by Helicopter Girl), on Sirius Hits 1. This morning I heard it again on the Sirius Hits 1 weekend countdown, and it sounded even better the second time around. Sadly, I'm to the point in my life where pop music is resonating less and less with me, but that song has huge potential, I tell you.

Kori from Mates of State
Kori Gardner from Mates of State is amazing to see in action on that unusual keyboard of hers.

On top of that, I heard not one, but *two* bands that I knew from way back when on different channels. First it was Damone, who I think I heard about on the old Carligula site (I had a couple of their songs on my computer), which was on Alt Nation. That was really cool, but what I dug the most was hearing a track by Mates of State on Left of Center. They immediately went into my "Favorite Artist" save section on my Starmate unit, and I was thrilled to hear them get airplay on Sirius. You might recall that I wrote about them on here in November 2003 after seeing them open for Death Cab For Cutie. Now, 2 years later, they're getting airplay. Good for them, and good for Sirius for giving them a shot.

It turns out that Mates of State are playing in Nashville tomorrow night. Why couldn't they be playing there on Wednesday night, when I'd be there and be able to go see them? Oh well, so it goes...

Incidentally, you could never listen to Howard Stern or Bubba or any of that and still get a thrill out of hearing all of the great music on Sirius. It was funny today when I went over to the shopping center on the other side of US 31 and decided to sample the local radio choices... it was commercial, commercial, commercial as I went through the dial... just brutal. And I've already explained how, besides WRAX, the terrestrial radio selections here in the Birmingham area are terrible. Well, unless you like country music and gospel music, I guess. Sirius really needs to put up a couple of billboards here; this city is prime territory for potential satellite radio subscribers.

I mentioned that I went to the other side of 31 (which was surprisingly busy today, even for a Saturday.) I signed up at Blockbuster Video, and I went a little overboard and rented A History Of Violence, Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Hustle and Flow. The first three are due back by Monday night, but I'm about to pop in A History Of Violence, so hopefully I can have a mini-marathon and get through them by tomorrow night...


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