AFTER THE PARTY, BORDEAUX BLEW UP

It was more and more. And then we got down on the floor.

I don’t know much about partying, really. I mean, I got a late start on it all. I went to twelve years of Catholic school, you see, and there are a few approaches that you can take when you grow up like that. You can,

a) Feel the fire build up inside of you, like what you saw in the pictures of hell, and rock and roll your way through the weekends- hell yeah- you know, turn the whole proper god thing upside down.

b) Be real good and never party because somehow the “careful now” ethic really worked itself into you from the straight lines in the green plaid jumper that you wore every single day for eight years. (Yes, I really did. Though at 5th grade you get to trade the jumper for a skirt, because you are becoming a woman.) Or,

c) Be a hell raiser in terms of how you conduct yourself in class, like, get in a lot of fights, spit in boys’ hair, get suspended for arguing with the teacher, always get set in the “bad row” of kids (which they actually did have at my school one year), but then simulatneously be a goody goody who is too afraid to go out and party and feels like drinking a beer would create some kind of huge afterschool special situation that would need to be processed for a very long time, and which might result in the loss of some friendships. So you don’t party– but really, let’s be honest, the reason that you’re not hanging out at the canal in the night, with the kids and the keg isn’t because you are a “goody goody”, you don’t really care about being good. It isn’t all that interesting to you. The real reason you’re not out there is that you are just too much of a spaz to be able to figure out how to do it, socially, how to talk to all those people, and make sense of what you are doing there, in the night, with the keg, and the kids whom you don’t actually know, and maybe don’t even really like.

A spaz, seriously. A spaz. That’s why you spit in the boy’s hair, and got put in the bad row. Spastic energy, can’t hold it together and just keep it cool. But then, dudes, everything worked out because in rolled the 90’s, and I got myself checked in to The Evergreen State College, and found that there are parties even for nerds like me. YES! I had it fucking made.
The thing is: there are parties for everybody. We had a French one.

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It was the BORDEAUX/PACIFIC NORTHWEST FRIENDSHIP ALLIANCE, Mtg #2, in case you didn’t already hear. And we threw the party in Portland, and in Olympia.

Up above is Garrison Rocks, which is Melanie Valera from Bordeaux, and Stephanie Garrison from Sebastopol, CA. I wrote about them back in the summer after I played in Bordeaux. Melanie and Stephanie have a band with each other from across the ocean. Like, they record across the waves and continents. Get that. This was like the third time they had ever played a show together, starting just a few days before, when Melanie come to the US for the first time ever. They met in Bordeaux about a year ago, a day before Stephanie was supposed to fly home. They met, and realized instantly that they were best friends, and then talked on the phone everyday, and started an internet band.

They make beautiful songs and sing them together all perfect, and Melanie is just one of those people who can play any instrument that she picks up, and people either get jealous and hate her for it, or go crazy and writhe on the floor with the thrill. Unh. I can only speak for myself with that “unh”, but I saw some other writhers. Shrieks! She did a cover of Mirah’s “La Familia”, and we were all going crazy because it really had the feeling. Yeah the French girls taught us a thing or two. Like when Squeeze Me I Squeak played. Holy shit?

It’s her, singing along with all of these terrifically French R & B style layers of her own voice, singing weird things that are more like just sounds than actual words. The solo band is Bordeaux native, philosopher smarty pants Valerie Hernandez, and her band name is the perfect four words to describe how the singing feels. It feels SO good. All the smartness that she winds together in that foreign noodle of her’s comes squeezing out of her in the most delicious combinations. I’m telling you, it’s really hot.

Yeah it was a party. Everybody played, and everybody came, and everybody danced at the shows.
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And then everybody left. I’m just gonna lay here on the floor for a while. It’ll be just that kind of a party.

October 22, 2004

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