Observations spurred on by my attendance at the Channels 3X4 gig at the Columbia tonight:
1. Many young people apparently enjoy venturing into the downtown eastside for gigs these days. I dunno what it's about, but it seems to be a scene. The Columbia was packed -- the gig sold out, at $9 a head. The crowd was so youthful that I, balding, bearded, and looking very much like a man in his late 30s, which I am, still had to have a conversation about ID at the door. The kids inside did NOT appear to be downtown eastside residents.
2. Nothing brings home how middle class and well-socialized you are like seeing one of the kids in the line you're in unselfconsciously turn, undo his pants, and piss unceremoniously onto the wall, so that streams of his urine trickle down past his friend's shoes... a friend who either didn't notice or care that his sneakers were getting pee on them. The pisser seemed well-groomed and well-dressed, enough for his freedom with his cock and his fluid to befuddle me. I do not understand. I stood well back from the piss, and was careful to step over it when the line moved forward.
3. The youthful punk scene in Vancouver is pretty vibrant. I don't exactly know who the band was onstage when I got on -- some blonde who reminded me of this girl in grade 2 I had a crush on (Tammy Lynne Badke, where are you?) was enthusiastically shouting incomprehensible lyrics and striking poses onstage, while lots of 20somethings danced. It was odd to see, since the music, really, was of a variety that has been done many, many times before. It surely can no longer seem like any sort of rebellious statement, or like something that occupies any particularly elite or exceptional niche, but this didn't seem to put a damper on things for anyone. Maybe I'm Just Getting Old.
4. That said, I quite liked what Channels 3X4 were doing -- check out some of their songs at the Myspace page linked above. The lineup was keyboard, female singer, and drums; all three members sang at different times. I'd really gone to the gig to get my Derek Bailey book back off the keyboardist, Jesse, but he forgot to bring it. He got me in for free, by way of apology. The band is going to tour Europe in a few days. They have potential -- lots of energy to burn.
But I really didn't feel like getting my feet stepped on in a mosh pit tonight, and so I decided to go home after a few songs. The piss-patch was still dark on the sidewalk and my bus transfer was still valid.
Here's something interesting: whenever I end up in East Vancouver, I see rats. I saw two tonight, big grey ones socializing under a dumpster. Returning home to the west end, where I have never yet seen a rat, I encountered a skunk; I see a fair number of those. The question is: are skunks somehow more attracted to reasonably affluent neighborhoods than rats? Why do we get the skunks?
Do people in West Van have rabbits, is that how it works?