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I never fail to be surprised by the role music has had in my life, and how I can tie in so many memories to certain songs, certain bands, certain kinds of music. 

So last weekend I took advantage of the going-out-of business sale at Tower Records to start rebuilding my CD collection that was stolen with my car back in May. Two hours, 16 CD's, and just over $215 later, I finally managed to escape. Too much longer, and I probably would've done something I REALLY regretted. 

So I uploaded most of the CD's immediately to iTunes here on my computer, grabbing a few to listen to in the car during the week while I'm making the VERY long commute every day. One of the last ones I grabbed at Tower (just for the hell of it, and because I hadn't been able to find the CD in YEARS) was Menace to Sobriety, by OPM. Now, this album's been out of print for a very long time, partially because OPM left Atlantic for Suburban Noize (the same label that brought us The Kottonmouth Kings) in 2004 because of disagreements on the direction of the second album. So needless to say, it was a huge find- I've always loved "Heaven is a Halfpipe", and I remember that they put on a hell of a show when I saw them years ago. 

I'd pretty much forgotten about the fact that I'd tossed OPM into my car until a few days ago, driving home from work, and on a whim, I tossed it into my CD player. Almost immediately, I was transported back to the fall of 2000....

I'd been in Charleston for a little over 6 months, and was starting to make more friends with the locals. This was almost a full year before I met you, Mandy. Power school was still about a month away, and while I knew Nick, I didn't really know him all that well- we'd gone to Myrtle Beach a couple of times while we were working together on T-track, but back in those days I was still pretty tame and mostly innocent. 

If I remember right, it was Dan Beckerman (before he went crazy) who invited me to the Eve 6 show at The Music Farm  that night in downtown Charleston. My memory is a bit fuzzy on exactly when it was, and I can't find anything on the exact date on the internet yet, but I'll look more later. I don't even remember who all was there at the show with me- there were several of us there, including at least a couple of my classmates- and some people I knew from CofC. Back in those days, you could get your tickets off Etix for $5 a pop- back when there were only 4 venues listed on the site- Cat's Cradle, Music Farm, and Windjammer. 

Eve 6 had just released their second album, Horrorscope the summer before, so this tour was to play a lot of the newer stuff, as I remember. I'd never heard of the band that was opening for them that night, a little hip-hop/ raggae/ ska/ punk group out of Southern California, but they sure knew how to put on a hell of a concert....

Just listening to the first several tracks of the CD have brought back a flood of memories from that night 6 years ago:

Stash Up: The show started with this one. I remember a lot of my friends were really into it, mostly because they used the word "fuck" probably a dozen times in about 15 seconds. Ah, it's amazing what appeals to 19 and 20 year old guys...

Heaven Is a Halfpipe:
This one was the big single of 2000- 96 Wave played it fairly often, and in the lazy afternoons we spent hanging out at the beach or cruising around we heard this one a lot. 

El Capitan:
This one will always hold a special memory- although at the time I was too innocent to really know what was going on. Before they played this song, lead singer Shakey Lo the Kreation Kid told the audience that he needed a volunteer onstage, and my friend Rich Stackhouse jumped right up, already drunk off his ass. Shakey Lo announced to us that he was going to do an experiment, pulling out a styrofoam bowl, a plastic spoon, a cereal box, and a bottle. 
"I want to introduce a couple of the band's best friends to each other. Captain Morgan, meet Captain Crunch!" He handed the resulting concoction to Rich, who threw away the spoon and upended the bowl full of cereal and rum, taking it all down in one swallow. He finished with a thunderous belch, taking a bow for good measure. Shakey Lo came back up to him:
"Dude, you're a FUCKING ANIMAL!" Yeah, we already knew that- but those pictures are from the following summer. :)

Undercover Freak: This was near the end of the set. Before he started playing, Shakey Lo made a remark that Casper (the guitar player) had written a bunch of fan letters to Britney Spears, at which point he interrupted with a shout of "and that cum-guzzling whore won't write me back!" At which point they launched into this song, dedicated to Britney Spears.  

I remember this was also the night that we met Kim and Melanie, the self-proclaimed orally fixated, very, VERY close female rugby players from CofC. I remember spending a lot of time trying to flirt with them with absolutely no luck whatsoever (as I recall one of my classmates spent the entire Eve 6 set locked in a 3-way makeout session with the girls), and I remember driving back to base that night saying to myself that I needed to make a change in my life, that I wanted to be the wild and crazy guy that was going home with a pair of hot 19 year old sorority sisters, or the guy that was jumping up on stage at a concert and dancing with the band, or whatever. I'd always been a "good kid", and I realized that I was starting to get sick of it. Nice guys really do finish last most of the time, and unless you've got the balls to go out and chase something down yourself, it's just not going to land in your lap on its own. Granted, I wouldn't realize those facts until much farther down the line, but I do remember making a conscious decision that night to have more fun, be crazier, and stop being so damned timid all the time. 

The result? The wild, drama- filled saga known as 2001. Sometimes things happen for a reason. But I'll get into those stories another time.

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Tiger In A Cage

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