Last night we escaped the humdrum and parental routine at a local dive bar where Uncle Timmy's band held court for the evening. They emphatically do not play dive bar music, creating interesting tensions with the lifers & weekend drinkers lining the bar. Envision The Meters hooking up with Bill Laswell, or an oldschool Stax soul combo veering suddenly offroad, trading a station wagon journey down the interstate for a surreal jaunt in the Damnation Alley Landmaster, traversing a Roger Dean landscape lit by forking shafts of violet lightning.
Who expects that?
Not the three dollar domestics crowd, certainly.
Familiar tunes would lure the more adventurous (or inebriated) among them onto the dance floor, only to be subsequently struck dumb by a sweeping wall of distortion, or particularly thorny guitar solo. As the show pressed deeper into the night these mutations became more baroque & involved, reaching a fractal peak during an extended version of Strawberry Fields Forever which remained absolutely true to the spirit of the original while shredding its tie-dyed mummy wrappings, blowing them skyward to to twist and whirl in the slipstream.
Music is the most common gateway to transcendence- we all have songs which instantly transport us to a distant emotional space, far and away from the mundanities of simple existence. It seems important to remember such transport is as likely to happen in a dive bar as a stadium.