Saturday, September 1, 2012

Two Out Rally - Digging For Highs



Just when I thought I got rid of Jack there was a knock on the door. Foolishly, I opened it and there he was just when I thought our visit was over.

I looked him in the eyes and said, "Forget something?"

He wobbled to his left.  "You know, all the wine you so politely served me" (actually he served himself) "has left me a wee bit unsteady.  I think I need to sit down awhile before I can get on me bike." 

I could tell just by looking at him that he would be roadkill if he didn't sober up before mounting his Harley.  Against my better judgment I said, “Come on in.  I'll put on some coffee."

He beelined it for my recliner, the one that looks like an egg and has a built-in 7.1 surround sound system. He hit the chair before I could make it to the kitchen door.

I filled the carafe with cold filtered water and started measuring out the beans in the grinder.  From the egg a commotion erupted.  I stopped and quickly asked Jack. "What's up?  Something I can help you with?"

He slurred, "I'm just trying to get these damn speakers to work."

"Here, I'll take care of it," I responded and took command so my audio system wasn't hi-jacked.

Before I could set it up Jack bellowed, “You got anymore of that Letterman band or something else kind of late 60's-70's  - you know,  good."  I grabbed the first thing off my "Yet To Be Heard" review pile; replied, "Here, try this";  looked at the cover and saw it was some EP called Digging For Highs by a band called Two Out Rally; pressed play; and quickly made my way back to the grinder and coffeemaker.

I heard emanate from the recliner, as I placed ground coffee in the gold mesh filter, the utterance of "Oh man. Wow, Oh shit!"  Thinking Jack had had one too many, and not wanting to wash vomit from my chair or Jack's hair, I ran into the next room, stopped the music and asked ,"What's wrong? Can I help you?"

Jack looked at me and over-pronunciated, "This stuff is killer vintage rock."  What's the name of that first track?"  This was followed by a hiccup and an " Eww, excuse me."

I went over to the pile of "Yet To Be Heard"  CD's and shuffled around until I found the empty cover, "Music and Cities".  I said, and threw it behind me.  Jack replied, "Th-Thanks, could you start the music up again."  I pressed play and hurried back to the coffee.  I figured the faster I got him sober the quicker he would be gone.

As I placed the water into the coffeemaker I heard a howl and the words, "Warped, plain warped."  I immediately thought, "What did Jack do to my seat?"  I quickly finished pouring, placed the carafe on the hot plate and double-timed it back to the recliner.

"Man, this dude and slide guitar sound like Chris Isaak.  What's the name of the band?  Who's the guitarist?"  I sighed and went running for the cover. Nothing.  It had just disappeared between the kitchen and the egg.  I pulled up Reverbnation on my smartphone and read aloud to Jack,

"'Two Out Rally is a New York based rock band consisting of Gabriel Zucker on guitar/bass and vocals, Zane Smith on guitar/bass and vocals, and Taylor Gruenwald on the drums' (although their Facebook page says the drummer is Zach Simao and doesn’t mention Gruenwald) 'with original material by Zucker and Smith. The band performs regularly in New York—most frequently at the Sidewalk Café—and finished its first EP, Digging For Highs, available for download at www.twooutrally.bandcamp.com.'”  I added, “That second track has the same name as the album."

Jack's mouth was open and his eyes were closed.  He slowly snored in rhythm to the third track, "Couldn't Be Home."  It also perked my interest and I sat next to him as it played, and he sleeped, just so I could hear it.

As the third song finished the coffee maker beeped that the coffee was ready. Jack, stirred by the alarm as the fourth track commenced, yelled, "And Venus was her name", and fell back to sleep.  I couldn't help but laugh as there is a repeating guitar part to the song "Know Tomorrow” that clearly mimics  the 1960's Shocking Blue single.

I returned to the kitchen, poured coffee, and added a huge amount of sugar to Jack's cup with the hope caffeine and sugar highs would sufficiently awaken him to get him back in the saddle and out of my private space.  As I filled the cup I smelled something burning.  I dumped the carafe into the cups, spilling a third into the sink, put down the cups and ran back into the rec room.  There was Jack, awake, lighting a joint the size of the Goodyear blimp.  When he saw me he gave me the pothead's ultimate rejoinder.  He held the honkin’ doobie in his outstretched hand and, as he tried not to exhale, said, "ear. . . ."   I responded, “No thanks”, and resigned myself to the fact that Jack was going to be staying for the duration.  I sat down and said, "What did you think of the last song?"  I reached for the CD cover which I picked up off the seat cushion of the chair before I sat down.

Jack replied, "Why do you think I’m smokin' this? What is the name of the last one?" I didn't want to discuss the first question and read to him, "Layers Off The Moon".

Jack said "That explains it.  Do you mind if I crash here?"  I held up two fingers and ran into the kitchen and grabbed the coffee mugs.  It was then I realized there was no amount of java that would permit me to allow Jack to drive that night.  I let out an audible deep sigh, put down the coffee cups, handed him a pillow and said, "ear.  .  . I reckon there will be no Two Out Rally tonight."

By the way, the EP is free. Download it here.

- Old School



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