say hi to his mom
by Charlotte Deaver
It has finally stopped raining (a 9-inch, Garcia Marquez rain, it was) and we’re doing last April’s taxes. Yes, for 2004. I’m listening to Nada Surf — “Fruit Fly” is playing back and forth, over and over again. The song builds pretty quietly, acoustically, but then breaks in the middle, driving into its electrically hard, pulsing, objective correlative (fruit fly = emotional state).
I went to see Nada Surf at the Bowery Ballroom last week by accident. I had actually gone to see Say Hi To Your Mom, an essentially one-man studio band (Eric Elbogen) who assembles musicians together for live performances.
He was unsteady and retreating live, and was playing with two brand-new band members that night. (But check out his songs “Laundry” and “Dimensions and Verticals” to get what’s great about his music.) Nada Surf, however, know how bring the stage alive. Strangely, one of my professors from graduate school is the lead singer’s mom. Very strange, indeed. The Surrealist Queen of Academia is perched up in the fancy balcony seats with her professor friends, some of whom I also knew, overlooking these wild youth (hey—say hi to his mom!), and I’m down below, arms waving, entranced by mere guitars.