The best show I never saw - Page 2

Even nap time can't keep the will to rock alive — when you're five

We made sure she caught a nap after dinner, but it was a little shorter than planned, as she was superexcited to see the show. Halfway through the Black Furies, however, her eyelids started drooping, and she leaned into Pops, sleeping right through the Furies' continuing flurry of fucks. I asked her if she wanted to go home, but she didn't want to leave without accomplishing the mission.
She had a slight rally between sets. We did a little call-and-response in the bathroom:
"Are you ready?" I asked.
"Yeah!" she shouted.
"Ready to what?"
"Ready to rock!"
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We walked around the floor for a bit, which kind of freaked her out because it was dark and there were a bunch of punker types dressed in black. Plus, when you're five, your eyes are level with most people's butts, which has to be a drag. Then we went outside, where we spotted another kid with shotgun earmuffs. Went back upstairs to the lighting loft. My friend Heather stopped by and tried to chat with Dolly, who looked at me and said, "I want to go home now."
I'm not going to lie to you: I was disappointed. But not all that much, strangely enough. I mean, if it'd been a date and my date was, like, "I'm not feeling this," I'd have said, "Here's a 20. Catch a cab." But I've seen a lot of rock bands, and none of them are as cool as my kid. I'm sure Radio Birdman will come around again in the next 30 years. We'll see them then — and I'll be the one to fall asleep.
It's not about me anymore, and I find that comforting. During the first six months of Dolly's life, I found it terrifying, depressing, and just plain weird. I no longer played the lead role in my own life. I went through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's five stages of death over that fact: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And that's where I am now: acceptance. Not a grudging but a welcoming acceptance. Hertz may have you believe that "when you're number two, you try harder," but the fact of the matter is, when you're number two, you can finally relax. SFBG
• Radio Birdman (sort of) with Dolly, Great American Music Hall, Aug. 31
• The Melvins and Big Business, Great American Music Hall, Nov. 29. The Melvins killed rock. Rock is now dead, and all the other bands can unplug, go home, and stop pretending.
• Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Rykarda Parasol, 12 Galaxies, Oct. 20
• Hot Mute, Hot Mute (Hot Mute)
• Easy Action, Triclops!, and Red Fang, Parkside, Nov. 10
• Viva Voce, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out (Barsuk)
• Bronx, Priestess, and Riverboat Gamblers, Independent, Jun. 24
• Bronx, The Bronx (Island)
• Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City)
• Rykarda Parasol, Our Hearts First Meet (Three Ring)
• Rocky Votolato, Makers (Barsuk)
• Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti-)
• Islands, Return to the Sea (Equator)
• Favourite Sons, Down Beside Your Beauty (Vice)
• Heartless Bastards, All This Time (Fat Possum)

Also from this author

  • Jam econo

    The black-and-white DIY of the Farfisa-laced Love Me Nots

  • Pride 2008 events

    The Queer Issue: A Planet Unicorn full of performances, events, clubs, and parties

  • Rise above

    Skateboarders were once outlaws. Now they're the establishment -- and they're trying to drive BMX bikers out of public parks. Can't we all just get along?

  • Also in this section

  • Good things, small packages

    33 1/3, the ultimate record collector's novella series, turns 10

  • No thanks, Bono

    Three new albums that should magically appear on your iPod in place of Songs of Innocence

  • A show a day: Your fall music calendar

    FALL ARTS 2014 Like a daily multivitamin, your recommended dose of live shows through November