Umphrey’s McGee and Ray’s Music Exchange at the Odeon

Wednes­day evening was the annu­al com­pa­ny ‘event.’ Since no one real­ly knows if it is a Christ­mas din­ner or a fall par­ty or what, it is just known as the ‘event.’ It was at the Craw­ford Auto Muse­um, so I pret­ty much only went to see the antique cars. I saw an elec­tric car from 1906 and a mag­net­ic car from 1912. Had a cou­ple of vod­ka mar­ti­nis and played about ten min­utes worth of black­jack before leav­ing. It was alright.

Last evening I saw Ray’s Music Exchange [out of Cincin­nati, got anoth­er free stick­er!] and Umphrey’s McGee, a band that formed at Notre Dame. I seri­ous­ly don’t know what WBWC is going to do with all of its free con­cert tick­ets once Liam moves to NYC.

In any case, both bands are jam bands, which isn’t my thing. Jer­ry­town was in full effect, flowy dress­es, bare feet [in down­town Cleve­land, when it is about 30 degrees out!], shagged beards, dreds and caps to keep the dreds in. I real­ized retroac­tive­ly that I own a shape­less hat that would have fit in just fine. I was tempt­ed to take a poll and see how many folks had wal­lets made from duct tape, but did not do so.

Ray’s Music Exchange was tech­ni­cal­ly pro­fi­cient but lacked the vir­tu­os­i­ty and fun that Umphrey’s McGee brought to the stage. It seemed like they were real­ly con­cen­trat­ing on play­ing more than enter­tain­ing. Umphrey’s was much bet­ter on the enter­tain­ment scale. Their songs actu­al­ly had words every once in awhile and Phil Lesh, the gui­tarist, can real­ly wail. Even­tu­al­ly Ray’s Music Exchange joined Umphrey’s on stage and the last song before they took a break actu­al­ly got me into the show. Adding extra gui­tars and keys made it sound more sol­id to me.

We left once they took a break, our eyes were burn­ing from all the cig­a­rette smoke. On our way back to the car we passed a booty-bounc­ing dance club and a cou­ple of girls who were obvi­ous­ly going there were attempt­ing to par­al­lel park and fail­ing mis­er­ably time and again. One of the hoes [and I say this unabashed­ly for rea­sons that will become, erm, vis­i­ble in a moment] was out of the car and try­ing to give direc­tions to the girl who was try­ing to not suck at park­ing and fail­ing at not suck­ing. This girl was wear­ing just about noth­ing, in 30+ degree weath­er. In fact, as we passed her and got our schaden­freude on, the light cot­ton ‘skirt’ she was wear­ing, which appeared to be meant for some­one sev­er­al sizes less anorex­ic, fell down past her ass, reveal­ing her thong, which, as we all know, means reveal­ing her whole sort-of-sag­gy back­side. Liam missed it, but his wife Anne and I were both unfor­tu­nate­ly exposed. She [she being not Anne] non­cha­lant­ly pulled ‘em up again, as if she is used to that hap­pen­ing. Con­sid­er­ing to wrung look of the ‘skirt’ it is quite pos­si­ble that it has been through one too many nights ground up against some face­less dude.

In any case, we got into our car and mar­velled as the girls attempt­ed to par­al­lel park one more time. As we passed them they noticed us laugh­ing at them and Liam honked in deri­sion. He then not­ed that it wasn’t the quick ‘beep-beep’ of a ‘you’re hot’ nature but more of the ‘honk honnk honnnk’ that is meant to draw people’s atten­tion. Then we went to our respec­tive homes.