May The Fourth Be With You – Weekend Follies In Fours

There is nothing better than having a four day weekend. Well maybe there are some other things out there that can be better, but one of them is definitely not having to work for four straight days and getting paid for one of them as it is a holiday. Add buying stuff, hanging with friends, and good eats and I would have to argue that nothing could be better.

Anyways…

Thursday the lady and I went for an amazing lunch at Yellow Tail in Fairlawn.  For $10 a person we got to engulf as much sushi, salads, desserts, and other buffet quality foods.  It was awesome and I am going back there very soon.  I was obsessed with the seaweed salad as well as the sushi tempura.

After we stuffed ourselves silly we stopped at Square Records in Akron for a quick look around at what was good.  I left there with some sweet finds including a Judgement Night soundtrack single and some Thom Yorke remixes from his album Eraser.

It was a nice little date for the two of us.  She had plans to go to go over to a friends for movie night and I just kicked it in the bedroom for the rest of the night.  It was a perfect way for me to start the weekend.

Last Friday was a day I really need to recap with a little more detail seeing how on much fun it was.  For starters I decided to head out to the good shops on Waterloo Rd. in East Cleveland where I dropped some $$$ on some vinyl at Music Saves (new Dinosaur Jr & Against Me! if you were wondering) and then killed some time at Shoparooni and Blue Arrow before heading to Lakewood to meet up with my pal Matt.

Once Matt and I met up we decided to grab a bite to eat but not before making a stop at My Mind’s Eye where I snagged up a couple more records (Coner Oberst & another Against Me!).  With my wallet feeling a little lighter we headed across the street to Angelo’s where for the first time I actually tried something other than the pizza.

Feeling full thanks to devouring my shrimp fettuccine alfredo and a slice of tiramisu, Matt and I ventured out to the Gordon Square Arts District area and made way in to the Happy Dog, a quaint little bar where Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts with very special guest Don Dixon were to play a show that night.  Earlier in the week Matt had asked me if I wanted to join him as he was very excited to see Don Dixon live finally.  Figuring he would never make it down my way unless someone else drove him I happy oblidged to join him.

After dropping over $80 on records and a sweet Music Saves pint glass earlier in the day I feel as if I was given a break by the door-lady at the Happy Dog as she kindly waved us in saying it was not 9pm yet so no cover charge was needed.  Scoping out the bar we found a booth that was pretty close to the stage and parked it there for the night.

A very young and green opening act (their band’s name escapes me) took the stage and cranked out some original tunes as well as a Tom Petty cover and even a bold Wilco cover of “Jesus Etc.”, I was impressed with the kids.  I almost felt bad for them seeing how nervous they were but they really did a good job and everyone in attendance made sure they they let the kids know they were doing a good job.

Chris Allen was joined on stage by Don Dixon for the whole set.  Where as I am not familiar with any of their music I just relaxed and enjoyed the music.  Good times.

When Chris Allen and his band left Don Dixon to be alone for a while I became intrigued.  I was aware, thanks to Matt, that Don Dixon produced the Smithereens and R.E.M. back in the day so it was pretty clear the man was a veteran musician.  I was not sure what he was going to sound like as he started playing his acoustical guitar but was soon answered that question when he started to sing.  He had, to me, a very Elvis Costello resemblance and I really enjoyed the few songs he played.

Chris Allen and band joined Don Dixon back on the stage for play the second half of their set.  The mostly middle aged crowd there was going nuts.  The locals who use the Happy Dog as a Friday night drinking hole were not too excited, especially the ones who learned they needed to pay to get in the doors.

It was about at this time that another person was added to our table.  The very cool Emily who runs The Cleveland Caper met up with us to enjoy some of the tunes.

Honestly I think we had more fun making jokes at one another and surrounding people.  Regardless it was a good time.  Emily’s boss even met up with us for a couple of drinks after the band finished playing their songs.  We all sat snugly in the booth and continued to poke fun at one another as well as just engage in good conversation.

At one time Matt was telling us about how he and the Cleveland Bachelor went to see Kevin Costner play at the House Of Blues.  Somewhere in the conversation Matt hollered “Waterworld” where Don Dixon heard us and walked over to join our small party.

It was awesome just to sit there and talk to this guy who has a lot of music history running through his blood.  Trying not to talk to much I just let Matt and Don Dixon chat for a moment because I knew Matt was really excited to have him sit with us and talk shop even if it were only for a few minutes.

Having drained my iPhone battery earlier in the night from posting tons of Twitter lies about Matt, I had just enough juice to take a photo of Matt and Don Dixon.  After a warm shake for the guys and a more gentleman kiss on the hand for the ladies Don Dixon bid us a good evening and went back to collecting his gear.

Back to a table of four we kept conversing for a bit and before I knew it the time was after 2am and I really needed to get a start on that almost hour drive home.

Friday night was an awesome night even if I hardly slept.  I needed a night like that and I thank Matt and Emily for being a part of it (and Emily’s friend/boss too).

Saturday of course was the 4th of July. Woo, a day where people can go up to local fireworks stores, lie about where they are going to blow them off at since it is illegal to discharge fireworks in Ohio, and return home only to narrowly blow off a finger while carelessly lighting off M-80’s after a full day of drinking…

The day does not mean much to me as far as a drinking aspect goes so it was more like a day off from the work.  I did however have to go to my work as I left a flash drive there and needed it for review purposes.  After picking up my much needed storage device the lady and I headed up to the grocery store to buy junk food and grill food.  Jalapeno Cheetos are the bomb by the way.

The day (as well as the next day, Sunday) was all about hanging out with friends and family (and the pups) and was something that I needed.  I had some good eats, good sleeps, and just overall good times.  When I had down time I took a few moments to spin a couple of the records I had purchased.  I also joined the lady in some long ass naps.  I never nap so it was even that much more special.

So now that I have some alone time once again I thought it would be best to reflet upon about the weekend as well as relax a little bit more once again with the needle on the record…

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