How many fingers am I holding up? Thursday...

So, if Wednesday is the Blowout gathering of the tribes, a night of semi-valedictory celebration, then Thursday is what can loosely be deemed "Friends & Family" night. That is, the people out and about on a school night are part of either the first or second degree of connection to a band. Or they're super-fans. Or they're writers. But I'm starting to think that much like DJs, everyone's a writer these days. Anyhoo... That said, I got a late start Thursday, but still made my requisite Blowout first official stop at Paycheck's. The reward for all my tardiness and tradition? Why, Carjack launching into a Carjack-ified cover of the White Stripes' "The Big Three Killed My Baby." This from the dude who -- in his other band, the Electric Firebabies -- covers the Gories' "Nitroglycerine." Well, somebody has to break the glass and pull the switch the sanctity of these garage-era classics. Might as well be Lo-fi Bri. He's got the spirit and the energy to actually do something with 'em. By the end of his set, he'd broken through the ol' fourth wall, lept offstage, handed mic and guitar to his bandmates in thh Firebabies, began performing on the floor, jumped back onstage guitarless to sing-rap while his Firebabies bandmates kept the music going. Good times. Great oldies. Off to Baker's where Tim Monger and company were mid-set. The joint was at that perfect tipping point between crowded and navigable and the assembled were digging it. During the set-closer, "Classics" (which was preceded by a delightfully geeky Monger-band-crowd triologue about the greatness of Queen and John Deacon in particular), I'd wager there was nary dry eye in the house. Some of it was smoke, sure, but most of it was Monger and his merry dudes soaring pop majesty. I will say this in summary: More pop bands should use trumpet live. But only if their trumpet player is this good. And only if the songs are as good as Monger's. And that's why you don't see as many trumpet players in pop bands! Boom! See what I did there?! Anyhoo, I also wandered into a largely empty GofC hall for Bump. That's about all I can say about that. Painted Lady was respecfully crowded for Black Irish, who have the heavy-riffage-butt-rock world by the short hairs if they can get that one gig. You know? I just said butt rock by the short hairs. Gross. Also? Here's where I get complain-y. Invincible was on the schedule for midnight. I left at 12:30 while her band was still sound-checking drums. You're soundchecking drums half-hour past set time at a festival on a Thursday night? I'm sure there were reasons. I guess everyone has their priorities. I'm sure she eventually went on and ruled. Onward to Friday: Disco naps, greasy spoons, strong coffee, earplugs, parallel parking, crowd-maneuvering and jams. Lots and lots of jams!

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