Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where Everybody Knows Your...

Wednesday is my weekend.

It all began last June, when my cousin Jessica sent me a text in the middle of the day, asking if I would meet her for drinks that night at the Junkyard. I started going to this bar way back when I wasn't legally allowed in, plus Matt and I had spent many nights there years before, following a couple of local cover bands that we really liked. Of course, Jess is a few years younger than me, and we hadn't really gone out together much, so she didn't know that. I'm still not sure why she picked a bar that wasn't anywhere near either one of our houses.

Anyway, I recruited Matt to come with me, and we went down to meet her, knowing that the cover bands there are always pretty good, even if you're not into the style of music that they play. It turns out, Wednesday nights are always the same band, Lifespeed, and have been for quite a while. Our first night there was a blast; rocking out to the music and drinking on a random weeknight with people we didn't normally hang out with. We also ran into an old car buddy, Tom, that I hadn't seen in years and who just happened to work there. We were quite impressed with the band, as well. From the start, we were having a good time with what they played, but once Matt heard Linkin Park's "What I've Done," he was hooked. And once I'd heard Bobby (bass) sing, I knew I'd be back to see them many, many times. I can't remember what else they played that first night, but I do recall deciding on the way home that this was our new weekly tradition.

We returned the following Wednesday, and ran into a couple of other car friends who were regulars there. And the band was just as good. I'm one of those people who does extensive Internet searches on everything, so at some point over the next few weeks I pulled up their website. Their song list included one of my all-time favorites, "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies, so I dropped them an email saying that I loved that song and hadn't heard it from them yet. The following week, they played it, and commented that it was by request. Afterwards, we smoked a cigarette and chatted with James (guitar), and he was really nice to us. That night made me a die-hard Lifespeed Wednesdays fan.

By the end of last summer, we were regulars there. The band always kept us entertained, Mikey the bartender had my Blackhaus and Cranberry waiting on the bar by the time I got to it, and we were making friends with the other Wednesday night junkies. Lifespeed mixed it up with everything from Fall Out Boy and Panic At the Disco to Tool and Pantera, then threw in some New Jersey standard Bon Jovi (ugh) and some other random '80s rock. They joked and yelled and made fun of the crowd and each other. Substituted lyrics, pick fights, and random shots with the drummer, T, became the norm. I had no problem going to work on Thursday after 4-5 hours sleep, and I was finally making my way back into the music scene. Since we started going, I think we've both missed maybe 2 Wednesdays, and I've even gone down there by myself a few times.

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