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Music Outside My Bedroom

September 15 2004 01:44 AM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

Something cool happened this past weekend. A friend of mine invited a whole bunch of fellow Ultimate players out to his house for an end-of-summer pool party. I thought I was going to be out of town at a tournament, but our plans were (finally and fortunately) cancelled on Friday, and I was glad to be able to make it.

Anyway, after a couple of afternoon Ultimate games, I headed over to his place for the festivities. The pool was surprisingly cool (but nice), I suppose because of the relatively mild weather we had last week. Rather than fire up the grill, he decided to pick up some barbecue from a place nearby, and it was awesome. Good food, good folks, good times.

9:30pm rolls around, and it seems like things are winding down. Suddenly, one of the host friend's brings out an acoustic guitar, and she "encourages" some performances. A second guitar appears a couple of minutes later, and somehow ends up in my hands. I start noodling (innocently, sans pick), and he inquires if I play. I respond in the affirmative, and he and I share the surprise that even though we played on the same team all summer, neither of us had any idea that the other one played guitar.

We set up two chairs and everyone sits around, nursing beers, etc. I start playing R.E.M.'s "Driver 8", he joins in, and it turns into a modest sing-along. Between the two of us and another of his friends, we end up spending about two and a half hours playing random covers. Some I know, many I don't. I even play along for songs like "Amie" and "Sweet Home Alabama". I did not know that I could play "Sweet Home Alabama", but it happens to only have three chords.

The night ends with the host performing a really cool version of "American Pie" (I try to follow, but there are way too many weird chord changes), and I take a stab at R.E.M.'s "So. Central Rain". He breaks a string, and we figure that's a good stopping place.

Seriously, I haven't played outside of my home in three years (with the exception of two songs at my cousin's wedding last October). And, good grief, this was fun. No pressure, no expectations, flubs a-plenty. The three of us were even able to pull off some cool three-part harmonies occasionally. (I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed harmonizing with other people, not just me and a couple of other tape versions of me.) And it seemed like everyone was enjoying it, too.

Thought: I need to learn more covers. The entire Nirvana catalog only comes in handy with a particular group of people.

Having a fun night of music like that has actually started pushing me to finish some stuff that's been lurking on my hard drive or on CD-R for months. Well, but I have to get past this 7-day / 60 hour work week that I'm now through day two of. Ugh, sleep.

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