Saturday, October 15, 2016

Down On Main Street.


The compressed work week just past was a crazy one for me, what with usual teaching, a whole bunch of new admin stuff, and frenzied work on a collaborative grant whose due date looms, all of which were wrapped around a mid-week trip in the cigar tube to New Cleveland where that play-by-play guy who is doing the right thing plies his trade.


I know that what I do is nothing compared to the real slog that most folks have to get through every week to make a living. And, to be absolutely clear, I really love what I'm lucky enough to do at least 75% of the time.

Still, I hope you can see that I was well and truly exhausted by the time Friday night rolled around.

Which meant that when I finally stepped off the bus down by the Railway Station and started making my way down that dimly lit stretch of Main Street towards Prior where the edge of Strathcona/Chinatown is still kind of near Eastside, I wasn't sure if I was still up to being the only old guy in the Cobalt.

I mean, why the heckfire was I heading into the belly of the dive to spend an evening in a place where non-hipsters fear to tread?

Well, I think anybody who stops by here with any regularity knows the answer to that question.


After I met up with C. and Bigger E, who came from opposite directions (C. from dinner at the little eatery back up towards the glass palaces on the edge of False Creek where littler e. serves folks yummy stuff for her after school living; and Bigger E. from wherever she had been playing earlier that day with her guitar on her back), we then collected E's old college friend visiting from Atlanta and headed inside where we found, to my surprise at least, that there was both an age and a musical interest stratification in the place that made for a most interesting and relaxing vibe.

And I was not surprised to find that I really dug Aaron Lee Tasjan, who is someone I've been paying attention to online for awhile now because he writes and plays the kind of songs that really and truly make you wish that you could do that too. Seriously.

And the Felice's, who had to leave their bass player behind at the border due to (alleged) passport issues, were worth the trip for no other reason than, as expected, 'Sell The House' absolutely slayed me. But most folks were there for a whole lot of 'Whiskey In My Whiskey' and the like, and there was, unfortunately, precious little of that in a very short set. Somehow, even if they were almost at the end of a cross country and up-the-coast tour that had them in Portland the night before and Seattle the night after, I don't think missing brother Simone would ever have let them (Ian?) get away with that.

But, truth be told, none of that matters compared to the big news E. told me just as the night's festivities got rolling in earnest.

Which is that she and her own musical partner now have a new regular gig that is inside, and pays, and, well, everything!

How did I take this news?

Well, you know that scene in 'It's A Wonderful Life' where Uncle Billy excitedly tells Mr. Potter how proud he and George is about his little brother's overseas exploits?


All the pride of all the Bailey Brothers in all the Capracorn ever made did not even come close to the pride that was bursting my buttons last night.


And Brian Wright, who played with Mr. Tasjan and even did one of his own too, is hella good.
Was really nice to see Mr. Willcocks and Ms. Paterson at the show....And, just so you know, it was Mr. Willcocks who first alerted me to the coming of the Felices. 
Finally, to be fair, there is probably a little of the Pete and, especially, the Woody in Mr. Tasjan, and the Felices too.



Scotty on Denman said...

Just a great story! The Cobalt? Yeah, great place, especially after being booted out of the American---used to be, anyways.

RossK said...

Jeez Scotty--

That's the way I remember it from back in the days when me and my snot-nosed friends would slink on in and out of both amongst you and yours wearing the hob-nailed boots.


davemj said...

Great voice stands out nice fit both of you.Yup Vanport,Cobalt,Pacific,American,Ivanhoe,all in walking distance after parking our trucks in Carrall yards.Memories are back Thanks!

Anonymous said...


E's sweet, evocative sound, and film are meant to be together...

RossK said...


Of course!

I hadn't thought of that.

We snot-noses probably got under your skin as well!

(which is as it should be, of course...these days I'm not so sure that mixing of folks still occurs so much, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed the crowd at the show)


I hear you SH.

By the way, that tune is one of E's originals.


Anonymous said...


Yes, I read that. She's got the whole cinematic/writer/artist voice thing down. Solid.

RossK said...

Can't disagree with you there SH - thanks.


e.a.f. said...

The Cobalt still stands? Ah,, perhaps there still is a Vancouver.

the bigger E has an inside job! WOW! I'm actually not surprised, having heard her on this site. She has an amazing voice. Congrats to her and her musical partner.

RossK said...

The Cobalt does, indeed, still stand eaf.

It's pretty much wide open in there though, especially at the back.

Best thing for E. and her friend S. is that it's a 'regular' inside job, once a week.

I'll start filling you all in the details once things get rolling (they start next weekend).


paul said...

Nice to meet you in a non-electron version, as well. Being an out-of-towner, II was not aware of the Cobalt's past and "edgy" reputation, as one co-worker put it. Great room for music, and the mix of people - rare these days - was great. (Though we have become used to being the oldest people at shows, in hostels and on buses.)
And bravo for E, especially as the rains come.

motorcycleguy said...

davemj sez "Yup Vanport,Cobalt,Pacific,American,Ivanhoe,all in walking distance after parking our trucks in Carrall yards.Memories are back Thanks!"...yes thanks! in the beginning we could walk there from home because not old enough to have drivers licenses, but none of those places would let us in until we were actually old enough to drive/ride (just parked in the alley behind the American or on the street in front)...we bussed it to the St. Regis until here we are back to bussing (well ok, cabbing) it when partaking of such activities..smartened up in some ways at least

Anonymous said...

Congrats E! My first Van bar experience was the Gastown Inn after eating at the Ho restaurant in Chinatown after a day at the Easter B-in in Stanley Park. You tipped the waiter 2 bucks and away you rolled.But the then mayor Campbell sent in the cops eventually.