Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Get Him to the Greek

I stick loneliness,
Your lips,
And the two coins
Of your eyes
Into my pockets.

Sometimes
When I’m riding high,
Feeling fine,
You know there’s something
Troubling my mind.

So I reach into my pocket
For some small change.

— “Two Coins” by Dispatch

Dispatch played at the Greek last night, but my path to see them was a bit circuitous.

The detour started a couple nights ago when I decided to join in a Saturday morning bike ride with a couple of friends in the Oakland area. The ride started at 10 am and would take us through the Berkeley and Oakland hills, through Tilden Park, over to Orinda, and finally down Claremont, for a total of about 40 miles. For interested parties, it was a variation of the following route: Oakland-Orinda loop.

I made sure to stretch before starting the ride, but arriving to meet my fellow bike riders in Rockridge, I noticed I was otherwise a bit underprepared when it came to the journey: no tubes, air pumps, arm warmers, bike shoes, and the like. I also felt a bit out of shape: no matter how hard I tried peddling, changing gears, etc. I was biking a lot more slowly than my friends. As we went up one of our first climbs, they slowly made their way out of sight. Then I heard the sound: POP! I tried peddling, but couldn’t will myself forward. We were only four miles in, and I seemed to have lost my energy. Then I checked my wheels: flat tire.

My first call ahead went straight to voicemail, as was a text. Then, a response! They’d be on their way, and I could hang tight. When they did return, switch out my tube, and inspected it, they noticed the problem didn’t come from a piercing of the tire, but a lack of enough pressure in the tube, causing it to tear when enough pressure fell upon it. They checked the air in my other tire and noted it was an accident waiting to happen. When we finally started biking again, I found that with air in the tires and a little more effort, I was now able to keep pace with my friends. The ride took us through some pretty cool sights, and I was glad I went.

When I got back, I stretched a lot more, hoping to avoid any serious cramps or other problems due to the long ride, and a day later, I am happy to say I feel pretty good. Then it was off to meet with ON for dinner and the concert. ON had just gotten married, so there was a lot to share over our Cheeseboard dinner aside from bonus slices.

Then it was time to head up to the concert. For those who haven’t been, the Greek Theatre is located at the top of a slope, and the stone steps separating the aisles are large. At least they felt that way, as I realized I had maxed out my legs from the bike ride, and it was a bigger challenge than usual in getting up there. Rather than go straight up Hearst, we took a more scenic route through Virginia, and before long, we had made it to the Greek!

Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers were the opening act and started with their version of “Wagon Wheel”, a variation of a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan.

The Sixers played a few more songs, but as their act wound down, the crowd started to fill out and become a bit rowdier. Dispatch made it to the stage soon thereafter and with a set that started with “Here We Go”, they didn’t disappoint.

Two encores! The first started with the band playing hide and seek among the audience while singing Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”. They then continued with a few songs, ending on “The General”. The second encore started with a rhyming couplet (“If you’re going to stay, / We’ll continue to play.”), the song “Elias”, and a bit of dancing.

It continued with “Two Coins” and ended with “Out Loud”, in which they created a musical morph by switching into the chorus of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”, which I then discovered had the same chord progression as the chorus of “Out Loud”.

And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.

Do you suppose that I would come running?
Do you suppose I’d come at all?

Well, I’m resting up my legs today, but I suppose I would.

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