Because I believe my little girl should be free to have her own life, and write about it someday, I mention her less here than I might be inclined to. But it seems noteworthy to mark milestones when they come along, and we had one this weekend.
Around Christmas, Kate and two of her friends formed a band. They call themselves the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, a reference you Quentin Tarantino fans should pick up on. Their vision was clear from the beginning: All girls, playing their own brand of psychedelic punk, not just a cover band. They worked hard through the long winter, practicing at one’s house (not ours, but the one whose guitar-playing father had already turned the garage into a studio). The search for a singer took a while, but eventually they found someone, and through this connection and that connection, they had their first gig Saturday.
It was a venue that appears in no Google searches, probably because it barely exists. It’s a brick building with one room and a boarded-up storefront, probably a former mom-and-pop grocery or barbershop or what-have-you. The neighborhood is terrible, as in your-car’s-safety-is-in-God’s-hands terrible, and there was enough light in the sky to see just how terrible as we drove up. These are the neighborhoods in Detroit that freak me out — the ones where the blight is well-entrenched and mostly still standing, but there are still many occupied houses. Imagine living next to a standing burned shell, or between two of them, for years on end. It might leave a person with a bad attitude.
“If only we had a film crew to capture this milestone in your early career,” I mused as we drove past a house with a collapsed front porch roof. Well, at least it’s pretty damn punk.
But we found the guy who runs the place, and with many, many misgivings, left the girls to do their own setup and sound check while we went to the Northern Lights Lounge for a drink and some hummus. We returned as the DVAS were just about ready to take the — well, it wasn’t quite a stage. More like a clearing in the corner.
The place was so murky inside even my flash pictures couldn’t penetrate it. We’re going to have to go with arty here:
With all due respect to the venue, I hope they don’t play there anymore. They’re already good enough that they shouldn’t have to.
It was a busy Saturday. I drove to Lansing to meet with one of the Bridge columnists I edit, who was signing copies of an Upper Peninsula literary collection called “The Way North,” which I can recommend to any Yoopers looking for a taste of home. I’m still in the poetry section, but I’m liking it quite a lot.
Sunday? A 14-mile bike ride into the teeth of a chilly wind. WHERE IS WARMTH? WARMTH I REQUIRE.
I’ve really become a fan of Neil Steinberg, who puts a lot more effort into his blog than I do. This one in particular.
As long as we’re talking Bridge, one of my faves of the weekend — a Vietnam-era vet objects to the word-inflation of “hero.” I totally agree.
Living paycheck-to-paycheck on $90K a year? You bet. Another great deep dive from the WashPost.
Hello, Monday. I’ve heard you can’t be trusted. But I hope everyone’s week is fine.