“Springfield, Illinois I left you standing by the state house stairs. A little bit annoyed, but completely unaware.” – Slobberbone, “Springfield, IL”

So I went to Springfield, IL last weekend.  The SOHO Music Festival was going on and my friend Amanda (of whom I’ve written a number of times) invited me to come up to check it out.  It was a lot of fun.  I said several times throughout the weekend that Springfield reminds me of what it was like to live in St. Louis in the 90s, when it was clean and fun.  And when it had a local music scene that was more than just cover bands.  And when you didn’t have to be scared of the cops.  And when there was economic growth.  And a shopping district.  And nice places to live.  And you could walk places.  And…


It was a good weekend.  Got there on Friday night and met up with Amanda and her friend Amy, who was around for most of the weekend as well.  First time meeting Amy, so I was a little quiet, as is my way…but she seems nice and very fun.  (I’m always afraid that the shyness reads as not being invested…but I very much enjoyed Amy’s company…I just clam up around people I don’t know well.)  Also got to (albeit briefly) say hello to Amanda’s son Tobias, who she was pregnant with when I first met her.  He’ll be 17 soon.  Wow.  He had a friend in town as well–I think his name was Will?  Didn’t see too much of him, so I might be getting his name wrong, because I’m a jerk.

Friday night at the festival was fun.  The first band I saw was a Queen cover band with a black guy as the lead-singer, that called themselves Black Queen.  That was a lot of fun.  Saw a country act that played Jason Isbell’s “Super 8” as soon as we walked over (so they immediately had my attention).  There was an Irish band, too, that I enjoyed for several reasons, not least of which was the bagpiper in a Thin Lizzy t-shirt.

The best band I saw all weekend was The Station (also on Friday), which I kind of knew would be the case, going in.  Amanda and I had seen them in St. Louis on Halloween (I think I wrote about that previously) and I really liked them there, but after the set they did on Friday, I adore them…  They did a nice healthy dose of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” at the end of the set.  They’re a mostly original band, so I didn’t see it coming at all…but they hit at least “Empty Spaces,” “Young Lust,” “Run Like Hell,” and touches of “Brick in the Wall.”  It was mesmerizing.

Friday night, Amanda and I went to a place called La Bamba’s, which boasts “burritos as big as your head.”  It was great…and indeed as big as my head.  And I think I’m still full.  And this is going to sound sappy…but that was actually kind of my favorite part of the weekend, because we were just hanging out and chatting.  I dig the music-festival thing, but Amanda’s long-since been one of my favorite people, and it’s always good for my soul to talk with her about absolutely nothing at all.  I know how it probably sounds for a guy to write something like that…but that’s not even what I’m getting at…  You find a handful of kindred-spirits in your life if you’re lucky, and Amanda’s one of mine, is all…

Saturday was fun too.  Lots of walking around the city and seeing stuff.  More good food…  More music.  Heard a pretty solid blues band.  There was a band that closed out the festival called “Chicago Loud 9” (or C-Loud-9, if you will) that normally wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but was really, really good.  Kind of a rapping meets soul meets funk meets rock meets whatever-the-hell…  Lots of fun.

And Sunday was nice…  Good brunch around 10:00 or so…  Might’ve been the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had.  And there was an acoustic duo playing that I could’ve listened to all day…they did a cover of Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up” that was really good.  (Although that song in general makes me think a little too heavy…but that’s Jason’s fault, not theirs!)  Left for home in the early afternoon to give Amanda some time to do all the stuff she didn’t get to do with the rest of her weekend.  (Like, y’know…shop for food and get some sleep…)  Got home and went to my dad’s place for dinner, but was still stuffed from that fucking burrito and everything I’d poured on top of it.  🙂

…oh, and I met Amanda’s dog, Thom Yorkie.  (10 points for the name.  *Points not redeemable for anything…)  He’s very small and didn’t know what to do with me.  Kind of had the “you’re not a threat…but why are you here?” vibe when I got too close.  But that’s fine.  I’ll win him over next time.  Cute little fuzzball.

I think there’s stuff I’m forgetting…of course there is…  It was a good weekend.

And then on Monday, I got to sit for four hours with another of my kindred spirits, Bruce, and talk about…everything, I guess.  We covered being sober, what we’ve been up to, the Beatles, etc…  I could use more stuff like that.  I’m short-changing Bruce in writing so little about Monday…but to go from a great weekend to a great Monday night did my heart a lot of good.

And now it’s the following Thursday–nearly Friday…in fact PROBABLY Friday, by the time I re-read and actually publish this…and I’m exhausted.  This weekend, I plan on sleeping.  🙂


And on a different note…it would be remiss not to say Rest in Peace to both Christopher Lee and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes, both of whom passed away today.  They both meant a lot to me in very different ways.  Saddened by those losses.


Current Listening: Neil Young – Harvest, Jason Isbell – Southeastern


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