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Tuesday Night at the Get Tight Lounge
Old friends and the comparative economics of beer
Last night I made my way a few miles down Main Street to a bar that’s quickly becoming my favorite poorly-named venue in the city. The Get Tight Lounge, though it sounds like the kind of place Greg Brady would land a Johnny Bravo gig, is actually an idyllic little outdoor courtyard nestled behind a bar and scattered with picnic tables and outdoor heaters. A small, colorfully lit stage dominates the front of the space. The other thing I appreciate about the GTL, especially as the CSP (Chronically Sleepy Person) I am, is that they operate on a schedule that lets me see two bands for $12, drink a beer, and still be home in bed by 10 o’clock. To me, that’s as good as it gets.
What drew me out to Main & Morris this night was a show by some old friends. Twin Films, the amorphously-composed band with whom I played bass for the latter half of college, were there opening for a band I’d never heard of. I was there mostly to see my friends Ben and Gabe — the band’s only two true full-time members. It was the prospect of seeing them and the promise that they’d be done by 9 that helped me drag my roommate out and about on a school night, too. But when we walked in, I was pleasantly surprised to see several members of the mini-scene I’d left back in Williamsburg. Half of Sheetrock, another William & Mary campus band in my age bracket (and the only guys I can consistently discuss the Dead with), were also there.
It was good to catch up. Turns out pretty much all the guys I played with in college are moving to Richmond in a few months. The Sheetrock guys will be arriving shortly. My buddies Ben (from Twin Films) and Ben (also sometimes from Twin Films, and the best drummer you’re liable to meet) are living together next year. Gabe’s living about a mile down the road from me. Musically speaking, consider this your official warning.
The thing about living in Richmond, I explained to them, is that you can map the relative costliness of an establishment via their asking price for a 12-oz PBR. It’s a useful metric, and it wastes no time with abstraction. The Get Tight charges $3, a reasonable sum, as do City Dogs and PBR (the restaurant) and most of the other places scruffy enough to allow my patronage. I consider that the standard. I paid $5 for a PBR once and I was so outraged I’ve expelled even the name of the establishment from my memory palace. I paid $2.00 once somewhere else — I’m still chasing that high.
Twin Films were great, which should come as a surprise to no one who’s seen them before. Their new stuff is a bit more frantic, considerably more electronic, but to see them play those glitchier songs in a standard 2guitarbass&drums format was endless fun. They also played an unusually tame version of the improvised live staple “Date Night” (which, at around 7 minutes, clocked in at about 1/3 of the length I’ve grown to expect), and a cover of fellow W&M musician/dweebcore pioneer Car Seat Headrest’s “Bodys” (another live staple). It ruled.
French Cassettes, the headliners, were as tight as a band could hope to be (if a little sleepy). I enjoyed their set, short as it was, though I have to say the singer’s hand gestures, performed between jangly guitar chords, were… striking. They placed him in the hand-acting hall of fame somewhere between Stevie Nicks and Donald J Trump.
For those of you keeping score at home: I saw two good bands, talked to several old friends, paid $3 for a PBR, and was in bed by 10. Not bad for a Tuesday night.