Hats off to the Grog Shop for delivering a great Valentines' Day show. I've been listening to Sea And Cake since the late '90s when I picked up their EP 'Two Gentlemen' at Flat Black & Circular. I stood stageside, about ten feet from Sam Prekop, and was surprised at what a wild man John McEntire is on the drums (considering that his other band Tortoise has such a laid-back rep).
The opening act, Brian Straw, didn't disappoint. He stood alone in the sound booth with his acoustic guitar, but his CD (Bleeding Sun, dated 2006) lists a number of collaborators. His set really took me back to the guitar-based music I used to chase - guys like Hayden and William Ackerman and even Michael Hedges.
It was a great night. At some point, after demolishing chicken wings at the Winking Lizard, washing it down with good beer and a show where I could actually see the musicians' hands and recognize the songs, I thought to myself: I'm finally 20. It took me 40 years to do it, but here I am.