Saturday, April 18, 2009


A Full Dozen

Twelve years ago today, Ben Folds Five was in Austin playing a gig at the dearly departed Liberty Lunch. According to this site, the set list went a little something like this:
April 18 - Liberty Lunch - Austin, TX
Missing / Battle / Philosophy / Selfless / Polka / Kate / Alice / Brick / Steven / Snoop Doggy Dogg& Black Sabbath Medley / Pyser / Jackson / Dwarf / Ultimate / Freebird / Best / Fair / Dumped / Underground / Smoke / Jelly /Julianne

I wish there was a live recording, bootleg or legit, of that show. I was there, having just moved back to Austin the week before from San Francisco. I had a few grand in the bank, a crappy apartment under a highway overpass (literally), no job and no car, but I was back in Austin and already sure that I'd made the right decision to return. I didn't know many people in town, after a few years away, but having seen Ben Folds Five in Seattle a year or two before, I wasn't about to miss another show. I headed down to the warehouse district that night (back when there still were warehouses down there), paid the cover, and stood around on my own drinking bottles of Shiner and smoking Camel Lights. (Remember when you could smoke inside? Wasn't that great?) I ran into some guys I knew from when I was their R.A. at the UT dorms, and chatted with them a bit before the show started, and then ran into the younger brother of one of my friends from high school, who had an attractive young lady at his side. I figured that Dave was doing pretty well for himself to be out on her arm, but a few minutes later I turned around to see she was standing next to me, talking about comics. (She tricked me, of course, having pumped Dave for everything he knew about me, and then just casually started mentioning everything she knew about comics as though it was her standard conversational fare. Her plan was to trick me into thinking I was picking her up, and it worked.)

We exchanged numbers, and I waited a whole day and a half to call. We met at Trudy's for drinks on Sunday night, and then talked every night on the phone for the next five days. After our first "proper" date on the following Friday, Allison stayed the night at my place and never went home.

Twelve years, three houses (one rented, two owned), a few career changes, a wedding, a publishing company, and a daughter later, I'm still really damned glad I decided to go to that Ben Folds Five show by myself...

That's a great story.
What can I tell you? So am I (glad that you went to that Ben Folds Five show by yourself :-) )
Dude, I didn't know you guys met at a Ben Folds Five gig! I mean, I knew yez both had good taste and all but... :D

Congrats on the anniversary!
Thanks, everybody! (And of course we have good taste, Hal. We published *you*, didn't we?)
Let's see . . . "Randomly" ran into you in a club. Knew more about you than a stranger should. "Stayed the night and never went home" after five days of sweet talking on the phone. Still living with you twelve years later.

Dude! She's a Democrat Sleeper Agent! Probably running the entire Austin Network out of your garage.

Kidding aside, congratulations, you two. That's a great landmark.
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