thursday

Independent Rock Band Tour Diary 2050: After spending $1,000 on a tank of gas, we climbed back into the hovervan and started toward our next Sprint PCS–sponsored show of the “Mom’s Basement Summer Concert Series.” Everybody has small tasks to occupy their minds until we arrive at the gig: Our drummer buffs the rust off our gamelan bells and reprograms the vintage-amp simulators; our bassist mends the holes in our plush squirrel costumes, doing his best to cover up the damage from the onstage pyrotechnics. Wedged between the boxes that contain our hologram-emblazoned T-shirts, the eight-piece brass section collectively groans about their hunger pains. I instruct somebody to dole them out a ration of Pringles. I have no such solace; my mind is beset. Has our management company gotten our demo played to Gerard Cosloy’s frozen brain at the Matador Records office? I attempt to quiet my thoughts by scribbling a few quasi-retro-semi-ironic song lyrics in the voice of Richard Hell. No luck. I put on my headset and listen to Shellac’s 1000 Hurts. What must it have been like in the simpler days, during the turn of the millennium? How could those bands command so much respect with just a guitar and a few churning metallic riffs? Suddenly, in his high-pitched, scratchy whelp, Steve Albini hollers the words “Because they were squirrels/Real squirrels/And there were thousands,” and a single tear runs down my cheek. They sure were, Steve. They really were. This isn’t some kind of metaphor—godammit, this is real when Shellac plays with Uzeda at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Aaron Leitko)