When I moved to Raleigh, I knew one person: Christopher Thurston. He and I dated in 1987/88 when I was living briefly in Athens, GA (Which is why I always call him “my ex from the 80s.” I left Athens for Oberlin College in Ohio, and as these things often go, he and I broke up soon thereafter. We lost touch for years, but reconnected when online social networking was young – I think on Friendster, if memory serves. Back in the day, music was a huge part of our relationship. I was young and interested, and he was a little older and knew stuff, and in our short relationship, I soaked up a lot of new information and favorites. He’s the one who turned me on to The Velvet Underground, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and my favorite band of all time, Throwing Muses. He and I have both changed in lots of ways, but we are both still VERY into music. I went and got that degree in Vocal Performance at Oberlin Conservatory, but that’s not what I’m really talking about. I’m talking about myself as a music fan. I’ve never stopped listening to new music and going to gigs. “Gig girl” has been a central part of my identity since I was about 12, and not much has changed. It’s the same for him. He’s continued to participate in musical projects of all kinds playing both bass and double bass. He does some DJing, too. Xopher is the one who hosted me when I came to check out Raleigh as a potential place to live, and when I got here, I lived at his place for the first few weeks. He’s one of my best friends now – as is his mom, as a matter of fact!
The day after Valentine’s Day last year (2/15/2007), I stopped into King’s Barcade (R.I.P.) to see a performance called Love Hangover. There were pairs of performers – usually a man and a woman – singing duets. A friend of mine named Billie sang that year with a guy named Roger Gupton. Their performance that night really blew me away, and I was so happy I’d decided to stop by before heading over to The Pour House to see The Old Ceremony. I met Roger that night. After some months and another performance or two, Roger became a regular reader of (and commenter on) this very blog. He dropped in around the time of the baby birds on the back porch and a period of illness, when he introduced me to the neti pot. He and I became friends, and we decided to spend some time together rehearsing. He sings and plays the guitar. I do both as well. He has more guitar experience. I have more voice experience. That project has been a little backburner lately, but I’ve not lost hope that we’ll get it done.
And so anyway, a little while back, on the day of Katy’s wedding, I ran into Roger at The Borough during the wedding’s reception/after party. He told me that he was trying to get together a new band and was looking for a bass player. I looked across the table and said, “Roger, you need to meet Christopher.” And apparently, Air Croatoa was born. I got to see them for the first time weekend before last. What a success! I’m so pleased that the world remains so small.
And so let me present to you Air Croatoa:
- Roger Gupton – guitar & singing
- Gina Dalmas – guitar, singing and assorted instruments
- Jubal Creech – percussion
- Xopher Thurston – double bass
(Speaking of small words, check this post by my friend Hugh from yesterday.)