Happy birthday month to b

· long story short

B and I can never cram a full celebration into one single day a year, so we like to celebrate birthday months, with gifts and special events appropriate at any time for a loosely defined month surrounding the birthday in question.
B’s birthmonth got off to a good start this past weekend with a wonderful (as always) dinner at BayWolf on Friday night (after my second day on my new job). Then Saturday evening, her actual birthday, we saw Wilco at the Greek Theatre.
The Court and Spark opened. Funny how they seem to be named after a Joni Mitchell album. This SF band is a bunch of young-ish guys playing rootsy, guitar-driven rock. The lead singer is kind of tall and gangly. His mic was set up so he had to crouch a little to sing, and he tends to punctuate his verses with a kind of spasm of bending his knees and almost seeming like he might start duckwalking (but not).
At first this made a poor impression on me, because his microphone wasn’t amplified correctly so his voice was faint and wimpy sounding. I liked the lead guitarist a lot more because he seemed to be quietly making all the best sounds. Finally, word got back to the band and the lead singer started singing from the bass players microphone and then everything clicked into place and the second half of the set was very enjoyable. He is in fact a good singer with a strong voice and once the sound was right his mannerisms didn’t signify to me at all.
Then Wilco took command of the stage and were just fantastic. B had never seen nor heard the band before and she was still fully entertained, very taken with Jeff Tweedy’s charismatic stage presence and singing voice. At one point she said something like “it’s all about him, isn’t it?” This was only my second time hearing them (the first was at Jazz Fest), but once again I was had a great time.
There are few bands that you can enjoy without knowing their material well. The audience is full of culty lovers of every song who sing along and cheer nearly every song choice, but I found that on the majority of songs that I was unfamiliar with by the end of a verse or chorus I felt entirely drawn in.
Sunday we went down to Palo Alto to celebrate with B’s parents. B did a bunch of yard work and I brought my uke and serenaded her with happy birthday and Effervescing Elephant and Salty Dog and The Angels Changed My Name.
Perhaps the best part of the weekend though was the idle time we spent in the back yard. Or, rather, I was idle on the hammock – she was mostly puttering in the garden or trying to prevent the cat from eating birds.