Sunday, May 30, 2010

Richmond and ROMA

Got into DC later than expected, due to the previous post. Decided to go try and find a bakery I'd heard about in Georgetown. I failed, but Georgetown itself is beautiful - full of canals and bridges and trendy shops (all much too expensive but it's fun to look at the menus). And DC is a nice city to walk around. Well, the touristy parts at least.

Hopped on the bus to Richmond the next morning to meet up with Matt, aka Stiggen. He is an extremely awesome guy. We went for lunch and spent a few hours trying and failing to find Poe's grave, then wandering this huge rambling park, complete with aviary and koi pond. Richmond is a much bigger city than I'd expected.

His band, ROMA, was playing the last set at a bowling alley that night, so we headed to their practice space to get the instruments and start setting up. The practice space is in a huge three-story warehouse, the top two floors of which are slowly being partitioned to rent out to various bands and artists. Getting between the floors is accomplished by a narrow staircase with pipe railings, or this enormous rickety freight elevator, the kind with a gate and top/bottom doors, exactly the kind of elevator that people get trapped in in horror movies while something claws through the roof. I enjoyed it. The space itself is surprisingly nice - the size of a small apartment, with actual windows. Across from them is a death metal band whose primary strength, like Spinal Tap, is volume. We dismantled the drum kit and mic stands and hauled it all downstairs where the band miraculously crammed it all into two cars in some kind of complicated instrument tetris.

The turnout for the show was slightly disappointing - there were more musicians there than actual bowlers. This wasn't helped by the fact that no one thought to text anyone about the show until we'd unloaded, or that it turned out they wouldn't be playing their set until ten. Which was too bad since the show itself was fantastic - the first band two bands were pretty decent (the highlight was a love ballad about Facebook), and ROMA rocked out much harder than the apathetic, sullen bowling alley owner deserved. I still can't figure out how to describe their music. Alt folk rock? There's kind of a Nick Cave/Tom Waits/garage band vibe to them, they're pretty popular in Richmond but they definitely deserve to be better known.

Packed up and headed to someone's house to drink. Things get a little fuzzy at that point. Fell asleep on the couch watching Waiting (if you work at a restaurant, see this movie. If you enjoy eating at restaurants, don't.) Made pb and banana french toast the next morning, listening to Matt fiddle with the guitar. It was a pretty good way to spend a birthday.

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