How’s everyone doing out there?  Staying hydrated?  Limiting outdoor activity?  Cursing like a sailor in a heat-induced rage  Gracefully embracing the heat wave like a good southerner should?  Summer will one day end, friends.  We will prevail.  There will be crisp fall breezes, and piercing blue October skies, and sweaters and mittens and Irish coffees in our futures.

I am reminding myself of all that is cool and refreshing, while recovering from a sweltering evening at Cat’s Cradle last night.  There was bad audience behavior.  There was a lack of personal space.  There was almost a fist fight.  The heat didn’t do anyone any favors.  It was miserable enough that I am breaking my no-snark-about-well-meaning-performers rule.  Because if you get up on stage in a room that’s a thousand degrees and ask me to howl at the moon, then throw out a line like “am I singing all the right grooves” at me,  I will roll my eyes and say:

Dude.  Seriously?

But it’s gotten me thinking about bands, and expectations, and how I’ve been blown away lately by some bands I’d never heard before, and let down by others that I thought I’d love.  In the “blown away” category, shout out to both Small Ponds and Stillhouse from last week.  Last Thursday was Small Ponds at City Market; hats off to them for getting up there and keeping their senses of humor, while delivering two full sets in the 100+ degree evening weather.  And Saturday night was Stillhouse at Berkeley Cafe.  I think I’d heard everyone in the band play before, one way or the other, but not together as Stillhouse.  They were so good that I felt bad for the headliner, because who wants to be the guy who has to follow a set like that?

Lots of good music coming up, people.  I expect to be blown away by Bon Iver tomorrow.  But it may be someone else who surprises me.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, I am going to go sit in a chilly, dark movie theater and eat popcorn for dinner.  Cooling thoughts, y’all.  Cooling thoughts.

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