One of the greatest tragedies of my summer was missing Blind Pilot when they cycled--yes, cycled--through Columbia in August. I am a silly twit. Despite a whole-hearted recommendation from a trusted friend, I refused to do my homework and skipped the musical tour de force when they rolled through town. Here's a sampling of what I missed:
The very fact that this band toured entirely on bicycles in 2007 should have been reason enough to check them out. Never mind the fact that they invited Columbia cyclists to ride through town with them on their way to a gig at local bar Mojo's. Then there is their music: it sounds as earthy and rich as you would expect from two guys who pedaled down the West Coast from Vancouver on bikes that would soon be stolen. (After the bikes were swiped in San Francisco--effectively ending that tour--singer-guitarist Israel Nebeker eventually located his bike on Craigslist and was able to buy it back for about $50. Drummer Ryan Dobrowski was not so lucky.)
This is music made for impromptu street-corner jams. "One Red Thread" spins quietly forward, picking up momentum, before coasting into a soothing interlude mid-way through... and then pedaling and charging back up the next hill. I play this song often and loudly, the volume on my iPod matching the driving force of the song. Now that I've discovered Blind Pilot, too little and too late, I want to cycle through town crying, "I was a fool! Come back! I'm hip! I'm cool! Really! I'll buy a fixed-gear bike. We'll ride up Ninth Avenue together. It will be cool. You'll see!"
Alas, I was not cool in this instance. Not cool at all.
Don't make the same mistake. If Blind Pilot comes to your town, do yourself a favor and pedal on over to the show.
If you caught the show at Mojo's last month, feel free to share your comments.