As I was driving to Oakland, this is what was going down with my fish:
[21:26] <Sass> this zombie story needs more zombies
[21:26] <Sass> also, this romance needs more romance
[21:26] <Sass> I think I have found the problem with my zombie romance - nothing happens
Ahh, the joys of writing!
So why was I headed to Oakland when I was still a zombie myself? Meet the Bucharest Drinking Team. This is a band that my little sister (my baby sister, who just recently turned 29) is occasionally attached to. Thus I was totally attending.
Nov. 12 @ Oakland, Cal. 10:00 p.m.
Bay Area Triple Header
At the Mysterious Creatures Art Collective
6610 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland (that's California)
Drink-off at 10:00 p.m.
Bucharest Drinking Team (Romanian party music from Seattle)
Inspector Gadje (Balkan Brass Big Band)
Fanfare Zambaleta -- (Traditional Balkan Brass Band, led by Greg Jenkins)
Black Hats (Eastern-European songs from Russia to the Balkans)
+Very Special Guests TBA
Doors at 9, Show at 10ish.
Official divisional tournament pitting the loudest, craziest, and grooviest nomadic Eastern European warriors of song against one another in an epic musical battle for the title of champion of the west.
In the wake of the skirmish, we will declare an final heat and test the endurance and ability of each man and woman using
various games and rituals of revelry; Including, but not limited to:
-Drinking games (featuring bacon whiskey shots? Really??)
-Bellydance (Rose Thorn)
-Brass battalions & accordion revolts
Final rounds to extend into the wee hours of the morning
I showed up during the sound check. My aunts (Aunt-Fayoumis came up from San Diego) and uncle were already there. Tay bounced when she saw me come in, but continued playing violin seamlessly. It was very good that the rest of the family got there in time for the sound check (which was good in its own right) because the band was on at midnight, well past their bedtime. There were introductions and general fun.
I had written 0 words Friday, and 0 during the previous bits of Saturday, so I had brought a notebook and got right down to it, getting about 500 words (hand-written, hand-counted, and finishing the Awkward Conversation) down before midnight, at which point my phone was threatening to run out of battery so I stopped making it try to load the NaNo site.
The recordings of these brass-heavy bands do not really do them justice. Mere computer speakers tuned to a reasonable volume do not match the experience of five (minimum; there were more, but I didn't count past that point) brass players blaring away, in some cases literally in your lap. I was holding up the wall in a folding chair at what was the back of the room in orientation to the proper stage, but while the BDT was setting up to go on at midnight-ish, one of the all brass and percussion bands relocated to a relatively vacant corner of the room to keep the music going. I scooted backward so I did not actually get a literal faceful of brass ass, but he stepped on my cane tip a few times. It was awesome. It's loud enough that some people were wearing earplugs, and that's before you get the amplifiers involved. The music is punctuated with the stunning silence that held a critical mass of horns a split-second ago, louder than any mere noise could be.
The Bucharest Drinking Team's band uniform consists of at least one item that could be identified as at least inspired by traditional Eastern European clothing (my sister had a lovely embroidered shirt under a tightly laced vest) and at least one item of sports clothing or gear (my sister had elbow pads). Their logo is the infamous "Drunk Locals" graphic, with the crawling human figure clutching a bottle. Later in the evening I added this sign to the hands of several band members with my trusty stainless-steel Sharpie.
Mindful of all of the ow that my body possessed, I did not dance as much as I would have liked to. I did get up for part of Dragostea din Tei. Let me tell you, you have not experienced that song properly until you have heard it performed by a full band with the requisite complement of brass, percussion, and strings. Likewise, Rasputin. To add to the fun, the icicle lights that lit the dancing section kept going off because of people kicking the cord by accident, so one guy took it upon himself to turn them into a hand-done noise-responsive strobe by manually jiggling the plug. He was good at it.
After the bands had all gone, a jam session ensued. I am really going to have to get some sort of proper drum of my own, because I inevitably end up banging on things. This time I was using my pen to beat on my clipboard. When my hand got sore I switched on the LED glowstick I had brought along. This was also awesome. I left while the jam was still going on, and had switched to Klezmer.
I didn't get to bed until way too late. Woops.
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