JANUARY 28, 2011 by Jesse Selengut
Only a few days left of this tour. We had last night’s show at the Cave and tonight’s show up in FLoyd, VA. We fly back home to our beloved NYC on Saturday.
Yesterday did have some highlights. After a lunch at the best BBQ in Greensboro – Stameys – we sat in as guest presenters at a world music class at University of North Carolina Greensboro. Remember Crystal Bright that we met at the flat iron a few days back. She was the professor. There were about 60 kids in the class scattered throughout this 200 seat auditorium. We came in and did our thing. Walking on chairs and singing greasy songs. They loved it. The most interesting question was about the song writing process. All the usual things but boredom came up as a big motivator for creativity. When we get bored with the was we are doing things we’ll come up with something new or a new song entirely. I like that as a human impulse: when things get stale, just change it up. Blow away what was previously decided upon as a restriction or limitation.
In the evening we drove down to Chapel Hill. We all liked the cave a lot. It was located 452 ½ on Franklin street. The half is important. It’s a narrow stairway between a fancy restaurant and a chi-chi boutique. Down the stairs it is full-on dive bar. A hold out against the gentrification, mall-ification, (Boston-ification?) of that stretch of Chapel Hill’s college town. The Cave has a blasted, irregular floors, lumpy ceilings strung with cheesy lights, a pin ball machine in the back and a sweet old payphone. A crappy sound system that wound up being almost the best sound we’ve had the whole trip. The place was full but with room for dancing. Tony at the bar was super friendly and fun. An old drunk at the bar paid for every single round of beers and then put a big bill in the collection hat. It reminded my of the Nines or the Chariot in good old Ithaca. Rooms like that are like gravy on a plate for Tin Pan. It was fun and we met a whole bunch of cool folks.
The baby hands fun fact of the day: Thanksgiving Morning, 1993. Baby Hands’ mom was really into primitive living skills: skinning animals, tee-pees, purifying water, weaving, making tools, etc… One day in his teens, Baby Hands was driving around with his older brother. About eighty feet up ahead, a squirrel was trying to cross the street and did that super fast squirrel-tail, triple-fake and wound up getting clipped in the head by the car in front of Hands and his bro. In brotherly unison, they decided to call mom on her bluff and bring her this squirrel as a gift for the kitchen table. MBF (Mom of Baby Hands) was not at all freaked out, to her credit. She raised the ante. For Thanksgiving that year she served the squirrel along with a salad. Thanks, Mom!