It’s not hard to baffle your neighbours in suburbia. Last night the woman next door seemed perplexed that I was leaving the house after 8pm, just as she was coming home with her kids. In suburbia, people only leave the house to go to work, take the kids to school, go to their kids’ sports games, or head out for brunch on Mother’s Day. None of these activities happen after 8pm.
“I’m going to see Her Space Holiday at the Rock and Roll Hotel,” I explained. She didn’t understand what that meant, so I repeated it. This time she politely pretended to understand, but pointed out that this would mean I’d miss the final of American Idol. Still I endeavoured to wrench myself away from our leafy lane.
I’ve never caught it myself, but I’ve heard there’s a bus that transports sloping white middle-aged indie saddos in to town to see bands like Her Space Holiday. Once there we stand with a glass of safety beer, not talking to each other, and wondering inside for the fiftieth time if we’re getting too old for this kind of thing. Last night the bus must have broken down, or my contemporaries have ascended to unchartered plains of mid-life enlightenment. The Rock and Roll Hotel -- DC’s best, but least known, music venue -- was teeming with young people.
Wahay, I accidentally like a band that young people like! I wondered if this was the same Her Space Holiday that for years consisted of speccy nerd Marc Bianchi making wonderful lo-fi electro records with titles like ‘Home Is Where You Hang Yourself.’ In person, yes, but in spirit, no. Now HSH is a six-piece band with two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist and a sole synth. They play peppy, self-referential rock and roll, get drunk, and enjoy themselves. I’m glad for Bianchi that he no longer wants to hang himself. Unfortunately, his songs are only half as good as they used to be, but that’s the price of happiness in indie-world.
After 40 minutes I abandon my spot on a side wall and slip out of the club, away from all these young people getting drunk and dancing. This week my eldest daughter becomes a teenager. Next time I’ll send her down instead.