So, April lasted . . . oh, what's that word? . . . oh yes, FOREVER. My goodness. It was fun, and snowy, and hot, and sunny, and cold, and concert-filled. While experiencing the month was great, writing about it will take a little time. So after you've raked the lawn, and painted the fence, and washed the car, and watched all your favorite TV programs, come on back and read what we did this month . . .
This month's missive has three basic subplots. First, I'd like to draw your attention to a few signs we encountered along the journey. Second, I'd like to announce the winners of the Hansonfan Cookoff. Third, I'd like to introduce you to Joel, the newest addition to the LOST AND FOUND team. (Editor's note: Since I have temporarily misplaced the Hansonfan Cookoff entries, and since I forgot to gather all the necessary data on Joel, these last two subplots will be rather ethereal in nature--implied but not seen, shaken but not stirred, sensed but not dollared. Look for them next month when they're aged and ready for consumption.)
|On the 11th, we played in Manawa, Wisconsin. The organizers asked us to conduct a little door prize giveaway. When Michael saw the balloon-encrusted backdrop they had so kindly constructed, he had an idea. Amidst the midway setting, we set up a little dart-throwing contest to better distribute the prizes. Since we told folks they could shoot at any balloon, this woman chose the one two feet in front of her. If you'd like to see all the rest of the contestants and they're dart-throwing prowess, click on CONTEST. After we packed up the sideshow, we drove through the night to get to (The) Metroplex.|
"You said any balloon!"
With Pete at the wheel, Michael and I arranged the late-night concert. We knew we'd have to do it up big if we were to stay awake all the way to (The) Metroplex. So, opening the concert was the first of two disks from the KISS Alive 2 album. This was followed by the evening's show stopper: Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits Volume 2. The master was in rare form and elicited squeals of delight from the van-filled crowd. It was an un-safety-belted-room-only crowd, with attendees overflowing into the cargo area of the van. Third up was a second set by KISS, playing songs from KISS Alive 2, disk two. (The studio cuts on the second half bored the crowd a bit.) But then, excitement built once more for the final act of the night, David Wilcox's newest release, Underneath. David's new songs guided the van safely into (The) Metroplex for an evening's rest.
Fat And Happy
|Monday evening found LOST AND FOUND playing in the historic "Hall of Portraits of People You'd Recognize if You Were Smarter than LOST AND FOUND." This room is on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. We had a most excellent time, and our friends Fat And Happy opened the show with some really great songs. Terrific songwriters, and beautiful voices. We highly recommend them for your next gig in (The) Metroplex area, or elsewhere. You can reach them at 612/782-0829.|
|The next day was a busy one. We began by racing to the studio of our old pal Jim Ryberg. Turns out, our song was one of several selected to be used at the ELCA youth gathering in the summer of 2,000 (I mean, in SY2K). So, we had to hurry and record it to make the deadline of May 1st. After a flurry of recording, we drove over to Concordia Academy to play a few numbers, and inquire as to the origin of their pride in bacon. (Turns out the sign said "Beacon Pride.") That evening, we played a concert in Woodbury, which is part of (The) Metroplex. Among the folks attending that night was our friend Mike Lemkuhl, of Electric Pulp Design, the ones who bring you this fine website. Turns out (i.e. get THIS), when Mike was in college, the choir of which he was part sang backup vocals for the great one himself: Barry Manilow. It was a brush with greatness just to stand and wind cords with Mike! The next morning we drove west.|
Michael impersonates Frank Sinatra
Wednesday evening found us in Grand Forks, ND, playing for the largest group of confirmands ever assembled. Quite amazing, that. The next morning we were privileged to play at Oak Grove High School in Fargo, ND. After that we bought some batteries for Michael's guitar pedals. I felt pretty good about our brand choice since this brand claimed that its batteries would last 3 years! I figured, hey, that would save me worrying about batteries well into Y2K+2.
|Then, alas, we read the fine print.|
Let's just say she doesn't know about prom.
|From there we drove to Evansville, where the hosts went to super-human lengths to assemble a stage, including removing pews and stuff. They turned it into a great room to play. After the soundcheck, we had pizza with the group they called "Tweenagers," (those would be the folks between grade school and high school). We learned about proms, and we met some wrestling fans. In the front row, we couldn't help but notice the 6 people straight out of a J. Crew ad. A regular palette of color they were. The next morning we went to Indianapolis and picked up Joel, the newest member of the LOST AND FOUND team. From there we headed to the final event of the month.|
|The Icthus Festival is held every year in (or around) Wilmore, KY. This was our second year back and we had the greatest time once more. They allowed us to lead four "teaching tent" seminars. One of our old friends whom we call Blue Dave made it to a few of our sessions. In a particularly introspective moment, I captured Blue Dave feeling Blue. The rain at Icthus let up on the second day, but then the temperature dropped dramatically, which can be seen in the progression of crowd photos on the next page. When we shopped in a local store, Joel (the newest member of the LOST AND FOUND team) found a most interesting sign. Anyway, I then returned home. Michael flew to Los Angeles and switched homes. As I write, he is busily moving 7 years worth of stuff to a new place. And p.s. (i.e. get THIS), Michael D. Bridges as of the first of May may live in the first house of his entire life! (Editor's note: aside from a brief stint living in a church parish house while working in the inner city of Buffalo, it is in fact true that Michael has never lived in a house. However, I wrote "first of May may live in the first" just to give the sentence a little bit of added pizzazz.)|
Dave really IS blue!
And that concludes April for us fools. If you attended any of the soirés, you can check out the crowd photos in the Photo Phrenzy. Next month, I promise to have the biography of Joel "The Newest Member of the LOST AND FOUND Team" Pakan, as well as the winners of the Hansonfan Cookoff. Also, I'm making a conscious effort to refrain from social commentary for a month or two. Things have got too weird and I don't feel qualified to comment.
Tune in next month!