Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In the Steps of Champions: van*gloria at Caffe Lena

After bringing our sound and fury and tasteful amounts of distortion to bars, basements, billiards halls, and bowling alleys, we delivered our finest guitar arpeggios and sus chords to Caffe Lena, the oldest continuously running coffeehouse in the US and the "Best Small Venue in North America" (according to the International Folk Alliance [which I had hoped was a loose confederacy of costumed, cape-wearing, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin-playing crime fighters, but is actually just a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization]). Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco, and Don McLean (Mr. "American Pie") all played here early in their careers, and in the men's bathroom someone wrote that before the walls were repainted in the '70s there was the pronouncement "Don McLean is a twerp" right above the sink.

As Caffe Lena is in Saratoga Springs, the old stomping grounds of our drummer, Mr. Luke Moellman, we had our best crowd yet: Luke's family, friends, ex-classmates, teachers, et al. all enjoying our tunes as well as delicious homemade brownies (courtesy of Luke's mom and Luke's mom's friend.) We played two sets, capped with a Mrs. Moellman-requested rendition of "History," and afterward signed CDs for various Saratoga Springs High jazz band members, a few of whom dubbed our percussionist Andrew Maguire "Rugged Babyface." Big thanks to Mrs. Moellman for setting up the show, and to Luke's old band director for buying almost as many CDs as we had sold all tour! Next stop: Charlie-O's World Famous in Montpelier, Vermont, on Friday . . .