Imagine you're in one of two bands touring together. The van you’re sharing to get from city to city got vandalized and broken into. You had to drive from Philly to Norfolk without a muffler cause burglars took it -- presumably to mine for precious metals. The money you had in the van from your last concert in New York? They took that too. So you drive your recently impoverished selves in a shitty, ridiculously loud-ass van to play your gig. Because this is what musicians do. They get to the next gig. The show went great, but you're tired and more than a bit worn out. Through the grace of some supporters of the scene, you've landed free beds for the night and a hot meal. You're pulling up to their house but you get the spot wrong and overshoot it by two street numbers. Your host's wife is walking up to the van to let you know where to park. And then all hell breaks loose.
There's a bright light being shone into your face without warning so you can't see shit. Gunshots ring out. People are screaming. Bullets are ricocheting. Your driver slams on the accelerator to get out of there while you're desperately trying to find cover.
From out of Nashville by way of Utah, the members of Desert Noises and Morning Teleportation don't have to imagine this. It was their reality last Saturday. And this happened here. In the 757.
Read that again. "The police were called but nothing could be done." Because apparently if you're a white property owner in the city of Chesapeake it's perfectly okay to start unloading shells pell-mell into the street in the middle of the night because you're a paranoid gun nut who is positive that any random people who park in front of your house for a minute must be there to rob you.
It will forever be a part of these bands’ history. It will be what they associate us with for the rest of their lives. And there's nothing to be done about that.
The shooter is reportedly the co-owner of a local gun shop. This man is allowed to sell guns to others -- a fact which should be vigorously examined in light of reports that his shop is a hot-spot for the sales of guns that later come up in crime reports. A recent report from the Washington Post highlights the speed with which the guns this shop sells end up being used in the commission of a crime.
We will be ridiculed all over the country because of this man's actions on this night. He is a stain on the community. He should be stripped of his licenses to own or trade in firearms. He should be run out of town on a rail.
Instead? Crickets from the police.
Do you hear me, Chesapeake city government? You are falling down on the job here.
This should be a music review. I should be writing about the music here. And instead I have to write about an asshole with a gun..
. . .
Bowling Green's Morning Teleportation was in fine form as headliner. Fusing an overt influence from groups like Pavement and Modest Mouse, while turning up the unpredictability of an Animal Collective or Flaming Lips makes for an engaging pulse. This is a band that is good at what it knows, and obviously enjoys that.
I sat and chatted with Desert Noises' front-man after the show before all this fuckery happened and found him to be impressive. The group has overcome no end of obstacles. At the end of the day, I found their music to be thrilling and full of surprises. One part Neil Young on the vocals. Bits of Mike Mccready from Pearl Jam in the guitar parts, with harmonies that recall the Jayhawks to my ear -- though if you're under 35 you apparently don't know what that sounds like. Their vibe carries an intense emotionalism that made me deeply care about this band. I know they had a terrible no good very bad day, but I hope they keep on keeping on. We need music like this desperately in the here and now.
Virginia Beach's Starcost provided opening duties -- this is a group has mostly escaped my radar till now, to my detriment. As a 4 piece, they're lock tight, and hard at work promotion an EP released back in May. The music is expansive, with vocals that occasionally channel Jeff Buckley to my ear, but you know.. Happier.
. . .
That's it for this go-round kids. Stay safe, try not to get shot before the weekend. And if anyone from Desert Noises or Morning Teleportation is reading this? Thanks for getting our Lady M into the van before anything bad could happen to her. She's special to us and we owe you one. Bigtime.
And if you're the crazy man with the gun, reading this? Fuck you.
Bowling Green, KY. Indie Rock.
Nashville. Indie Rock.
Va Beach. Indie Rock.