The Indianapolis 500 (minutes of torture)
In the night, the plains slide by without you noticing them. One might blow by miles of highway without noticing. Only Chicago broke the monotony while we drove through the night to Indianapolis. Stars speckled the sky, and near dawn, a series of red lights rotated against the sky, showing the outline of giant rotors slowly turning on a wind farm.
Blythe took over the driving at a truck stop, and pulled us into a shady and green campsite. After some quick business in the office, we were in our site, pitching the tent, then crashing for several hours. The heat woke us around noon, and we fixed a quick lunch on the picnic table while we figured out the details of the night’s show.
Indianapolis, as far as I could tell, is a collection of closed, two story shops, and torn streets. The Melody Inn, our venue for the evening, is in a strip of empty stores on an otherwise abandoned street. We waited outside, meeting the members of Jeff Randall and The Sunday Best, until someone arrived to open the place. Melody Inn is awesome inside. The walls are covered with all sorts of crazy bits of punky Americana. There was a low stage just inside the door, and a long bar on the opposite wall. Also there was a lounge in the back, and through a door, a large garden.
Dave, owner and the evening’s bartender, gave us a few beers while we watched Cootie Crabtree set up. Cootie is the guy who set up the evening. He put together an impromptu band, and did a hot set of country originals, and rootsy covers. Everyone sat in very well, and the music was good. Cootie very kindly announced us before handing over the stage.
We set up fast and launched into our tunes. There wasn’t really anyone there, so we didn’t get much of a reaction. The guys in Sunday Best had mostly stepped out, and the 2 people at the bar were talking together about something else. Cootie clapped loud for us and tried to get the small crowd to be engaged a bit. Still, we went through our set just the same, and came to a close. Dave, owner, and Mike, sound guy, seemed to like us alright. As did a friend of Cootie’s and the girlfriend of the bass player in Sunday Best.
Jeff Randall and The Sunday Best got up next, and played a classic rock styled, southern flavored set. The night was over in no time. Cootie kept apologizing about the small turnout, but we explained that we were tired from the overnight drive, and that it was a Sunday anyway, and that it was our first time in Indy.
On our way back, we hit Wal-Mart for some breakfast for the next day, as well as some $3 wine. In no time we were laying in the tent, reading a copy of The Onion that Blythe picked up in Chicago.
Tomorrow… Pancakes, bacon, coffee, wine, laundry, and work.