Caught Tommy Jay's set at Carabar last night, and it was gorgeous. Just beautiful. His band consisted of a woman on backing vocals and conga drums, another woman (apparently Mike Rep's ladyfriend) on vocals, a lead guitar, a pedal steel player, and Mike Rep himself providing (exceptionally good) Casio bass lines and other keyboard ornamentation. They also brought up another friend, a short chunky woman with closely cropped gray hair and wearing a spangled bird mask, to provide backup crowing and cawing on a song. All the participants looked incredibly happy to be onstage and added a positive sheen to Tommy Jay's mysterious and melancholic tunes. The loving connection between old friends playing music together was palpable. I absolutely have nothing cynical to say about this. It was great. I have to say on my 30th birthday it was also quite inspirational. I can only hope to be that weird and wonderful and committed to kicking out the jams 15 years down the line.
Unfortunately the crowd dissipated during Mors Ontologica ... and I have to say that personally it was a supreme test of will to stay the entire length of their set ... but it was worth it because then Necropolis came out and kicked my ass, as they always do. It doesn't matter how many people are in the crowd, they always bring the ruckus. They played all the latest hits from their recent string of 7"s tight and fast without stopping for breath. Plus the sound was good so you could hear Emily's keyboards coming through loud and clear, which is the icing on their spazzy punk cake. I was so excited I threw a beer can at Bo, but now I feel kind of bad about that. I'm sure he understands.
It was a great night, kinda like seeing the punk-rock torch getting passed from one generation to the next. For better or for worse, Columbus honors its elders.