Pardon my self indulgence, I’m going to talk about Chicago and the “coincidences” in my life that make me feel like I’m in the Matrix.
Around 2004, when I was living in Chapel Hill, NC, I somehow heard this amazing band called Chin Up Chin Up. I couldn’t find their CD, We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers, on amazon.com at all, so I special ordered it at CD Alley, the local indie music store. It is an amazing disc.
Cut to 2005, when I am about to move to Chicago myself, and I decided to look up Chin Up Chin Up, since they’re a Chicago band. This is when I find out that in the midst of recording the album, the bassist Chris Saathoff and his girlfriend were killed by a hit and run driver while leaving the Empty Bottle club on Valentine’s Day. (I should have read the liner notes) The band managed to finish the album without him, and started a foundation in his name.
Cut to early 2006, when I am hanging out at the Empty Bottle myself with some friends, when we notice a bunch of flashing lights outside. We all pile out to see cops everywhere, and every car on the block in front of the club completely destroyed except for my own, which was the last car in line. We’re all so busy looking at the row of totaled cars and the mangled taxi nearby that is clearly the source of the destruction that it takes us a while to notice the mangled bike and white sheet on the sidewalk next to us. It turns out that a taxi driver had a seizure and veered off the road, hitting several cars and then a man on a bike, killing him instantly. My car was part of the crime scene so I had to stay there until about 3am, just feeling miserable for everyone involved. His name was Isai Medina.
Cut to 2007, when Kumail introduces me to Jeremy Bolen, lead singer of Chin Up Chin Up, at a wedding. He’s very nice, and I gush about how I had to special order their first album in NC.
Cut to March of 2009, when Jeremy announces on their MySpace page that the band has come to and end.
Cut to right now, when I present you an amazing video for a title track off of Chin Up Chin Up’s second and final full-length album, This Harness Can’t Ride Anything.