Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wet Carpet Blues

Last Thursday, just as I was mentally confirming my decision to move (dramatic rent increase on the horizon), the skies over Boulder opened wide for more than an hour. I stood looking out my sliding glass doors at my partially enclosed terrace, noticing quickly rising water. The deluge was too much for the drain to handle.

It only took about fifteen minutes for the edge of the carpet to feel damp. Within half an hour, about 100 square feet of my living carpet was soaked. Half my living room was primed for seeding. Management showed up with an industrial sized shop vac (a good plan since my neighbor across the hall suffered the same wet fate), and after rearranging my living room furniture, spent over an hour vacuuming rain water out of the carpet, along with my dream of an indoor vegetable garden.

The following afternoon fans arrived. Big, loud, vibrating carpet-drying fans. I was told they needed to run at least 24 hours. Fair enough. I have plenty of CDs to drown out a couple of fans. And so I passed the rest of Friday and much of Saturday rotating CDs (I’m old school; I still have a CD player), while I cleaned up and sorted for the move.

I said “much” of Saturday. Around 2:30ish, just as I was preparing to silence the fans for a few hours (the carpet was almost dry), the skies opened up again. Do I need to go on with this tale of woe, or can you figure out what happened next? I’ll give you clue: Think deja vu: Management, neighbor, rain water again sucked up with my garden dream. Just add a fan. I had three loud fans. So the remainder of Saturday, and all of Sunday and Monday were passed with the loud din of drying being covered by some loud Blues.

I started out with Zac Harmon, From the Root. The entire CD is great for packing boxes, but my particular favorite is his great original “Honey Bee.” Go figure. Next up came a little Jimmy Thackery. I’m still getting to know his latest CD, Feel the Heat, so it was as good an opportunity as any to become further acquainted. As a city girl and long-time pedestrian, his song “Hang Up and Drive,” is a personal favorite. I nearly get hit a couple of times a week, and 98% of the time the driver is on the phone. I identify with this song. And I love the record.

I learned something very interesting this past February: any time I’m feeling less than happy, the Lionel Young Band’s On Our Way to Memphis does the trick every time. If I’m in a hurry, I need merely listen to “Bring it on Home” to find myself filled with joy. Not to mention back at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis. I was with them all the way to Memphis and back (anyone who’s not read THAT adventure, sit back, buckle your seatbelt, and have at it here).

It was when they guys hit the last note of that song that the rest of the audience found out what I had known for six months: the Lionel Young Band was to be the 2011 IBC winners. When I listen to that song, I can close my eyes and hear, see, smell, and feel that moment with a couple of thousand people on their feet, riotously applauding the band. The day I was informed of the upcoming rent increase, I must have played that song a dozen times.

Trampled Under Foot’s new one, Wrong Side of the Blues, is a favorite as well, and I typically put that one on repeat for a couple of go arounds. Although, as I’m trying to be upbeat and energetic, I have to skip “Goodbye.” Can’t handle it. I plan on adding that to TUF’s contractual obligations (along with “I’d Rather Go Blind”) when I book them at the Outlook, but when I’m trying to sort through and get rid of stuff, that’s the LAST song I need to hear.

The now defunct Insomniacs’ (hang on, I need a tissue) At Least I’m Not With You, can get a house cleaned! It’s one of my go-to’s when I need to get moving. Before the end of “Lonesome,” my alter ego, Doris Domestic, steps in and takes over. “She Can Talk” is only 3:14, but by the end of it, the toilets will be surgically clean. Oh, and fun little game: listen to the title cut, and then make a list of all former romantic partners to whom you’d like to send that song. It’s fun!

I close this fun, packing-avoiding little diatribe with a favorite CD of mine. I bought it about four years ago, shortly after I began my tenure at the Boulder Outlook. The Colorado Blues Society had decided to send a band and solo/duo to the following IBC, and held some preliminary rounds at the Outlook. Each band only had 25 minutes, and that was all I needed. I approached the young man on guitar and vocals to purchase a CD. Because of my position at the venue, he tried to give it to me, but I insisted on paying. That was the best ten bucks I’ve ever spent. I fell in love with that CD. Then, about three years ago, it disappeared. I couldn’t remember if I’d loaned it to someone, but I kept looking. I see said guitarist (who’s now in another great band) frequently, but he doesn’t have any copies. I ran into his former bandmate the other night and asked him. He said he’d send me an electronic copy.

Now here’s the nice thing about seemingly bad news. I really love this apartment. I got very lucky a few years ago in a sublease at an almost rent controlled price in downtown Boulder. I knew this day would probably come, but wasn’t prepared for it last Wednesday, and I was not a happy girl. Resigned to my fate, yes; happy, no. So, as I began cleaning out a file cabinet, what did I find? That CD had slipped into a file. So, yes I have to move, but I also have one of my favorite CDs back. Produced by Chicago’s great Nick Moss, Chicago Sessions with the former Shuffletones’ Ronnie Shellist and Jeremy Vasquez (who wrote all songs), is one wonderful record, and I’m so happy to have it back that I don’t care that I have to move.

Although I'm still pissed about the indoor garden.

~Honey Bee Sepeda~

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