Balancing our Cynar

If I polled the members of Eleventh Dream Day and Yo La Tengo, I suspect no one would have predicted that Discoteca Y in Certaldo, Italy would still be a going concern in 2014, but apparently it is.  No thanks to the night we played there, 23 years ago today.  It was a select gathering of music lovers on hand, especially when it came time for our opening set.  Professionalism as ever our watchword, we took some precautions to ensure that we didn’t take our performance lightly.  First we fortified ourselves with a healthy serving of Cynar, the artichoke liqueur that we were making our first acquaintance with.  Then we made sure to hit the stage running, opening with an adrenalizing cover of Roky Erickson’s arrangement of “Heroin.”  Expecting to slam right into our next number, “Upside-Down,” I was instead startled to see Georgia had vacated the drums, and was in fact standing beside me, whispering in my ear, “I feel like I’m tripping.”  I don’t believe she’s drunk Cynar since.  A more lasting relationship began two years earlier, the occasion of our first-ever appearance in Spain.   The show in Barcelona nearly resulted in the cancellation of our other three dates in the country (a long, confusing story!) and that has nothing to do with the copious amounts of liquor spilled during the tumultuous evening.   Velvet Underground songs–“Sweet Jane” and “I Heard Her Call My Name”– on the setlist once again, in tribute to our pal (and the evening’s promoter) Ignacio Julia.