The Night I Got Carded

Last Saturday night, Cadillac and I wanted to go out and somehow (somehow) got bored with our regular routine, which goes something like this:

Shop at Target with no kids. Date night at Target! Woot!
Go to the bookstore and get coffee.

Rinse and repeat.

So, because I am brilliant, I actually looked in the San Diego Reader to see what live music was playing, and I found there was a concert at the Casbah. Yelp lists the Casbah as a dive bar/club, and indeed it’s in Midtown, in an area you don’t really want to wander around alone, by the airport; and it sort of looks like a shack that’s about to fall down, especially because there is actually like plywood surrounding the courtyard to make a de facto wall. But that is all right, because it was only $10 and for $10 you are happy to have a roof over your head.

On this night, it said Italian Japanese and Kevin Martin were playing, and it said they were “alternative.” I’d seen a flier for Italian Japanese at a coffee house while I was in the hallway, waiting for the restroom (good advertising! Take advantage) and of course I wanted to see some people who were half-Japanese play music, and I like alternative music, so why not?

It turned out there were more bands on the bill. But we didn’t know that until we got there.

Anyway, I love love love the Casbah, because guess what? The bouncer said, “You have your ID, right?”

I said, “Yep.” I thought he meant for the bar.

The bouncer said, “May I please see it?” Then he said to Cadillac, “I trust you, though.”

Cadillac laughed and said, “I’m sneaking in my underage date.”

That’s right! I totally got carded, and it wasn’t even a pity carding like bartenders sometimes do to get on your good side. It was a totally legit carding! It’s the glasses.

The doors opened at 830, which turned out to be way way too early to get there. There were a couple of vans outside and some guys were talking to some girls with Amy Winehouse bumps who had followed them from LA. I was impressed for the band. They have groupies. I wonder if authors ever have groupies. I think I might be freaked out if somebody told me they were following me on my book tour. But if I was a 20-something-dude, I’d probably appreciate it.

Music actually started around 930 and I started thinking, “Shit, this is going to be a late night and I am not used to this.” First Italian Japanese went on. Their website has their music. They were really good, but I worried the whole time somebody would trip on a wire. I’m such a mom.


Here is a video where they are moodily lit.

Then I went to the bathroom, and while I was in there I heard different music playing, so we followed the sounds to a smaller lounge room which was so warm my glasses steamed up. And we saw Kevin Martin. I was trying to think of how to describe him, but his webpage says it best. “Burt Bacharach meets Queen and Elton John.” He also calls it, “Throwback Pop.” On the advertising page and on his poster/CD cover, he’s wearing a long-eared plush or fur thing that kind of makes him look like a hipster mountain man, but in person he was wearing actual clothes and was very cute.



Then there was another band, and finally we looked at the actual poster on the wall to figure out who it was. The Races. They had lots of fans there, including ones who knew all the words and were in the front singing along. This band had even more members, and the stage is small, and I really was concerned for their safety.


Then, because I only LOOK young enough to be carded, I got really tired and Cadillac was yawning; so we left before the big ticket act: Saint Motel. When we left we saw the lead singer pacing around out front, only I didn’t know it was the lead singer until we got home and I looked them up to see what we missed. Just like I thought, I really like them and would have liked to see them play. Oh well. Next time, I’ll take a nap and get there at 930. I wonder if I can convince the Casbah to install some La-Z-Boys.

Saint Motel has a new album out and has a bunch of really interesting videos, like one where older people lip sync their lyrics. My favorite song, though, is Benny Goodman. The thing I like most about Saint Motel is every time you listen to a song, you hear or observe something new. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it will change after I listen a hundred times.

Also, I saw two different drummers lose a drumstick. They reached down and got a new one out. Is there a drumstick collection behind the stage?

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “The Night I Got Carded

  1. Thanks for taking me along to the Casbah! What a fun night. I wouldn’t have made it as long as you. I’m a grandma. Yes, la-z-boys would be good. How fun. Our grandson got to travel with a small band this summer and made a documentary of their shows. He got credit for one of his classes. He’s in his second year of college though he’s been going for like three years. Anyway he loves what he’s doing now. He got to learn the soundboards this summer. Oh to be young again.

  2. Love your date night! And your Target/bookstore date night sounds exactly like ours does. I could completely relate when you started yawning and saying it would be a late night. We’re such rebels!

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