Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Band That Changed My Life

I would never be the person I am today without you. I don't just mean that musically, I mean that in total. The Shelby Lynn Thompson you know and love today, could have only been possible by the discovery of the Archers of Loaf. This is the ultimate in truth. I know, I know... others may claim they had a place in line first, and I still love you Fats Domino, and I always will - but I owe my life to the Archers.

The memories are always fond -
  • Like driving around Chattanooga in Molly's gold Volvo turning up the volume when another one of Trey's mix tapes looped around to "Web in Front".
  • Waking up every morning for high school and cranking up Icky Mettle, much to my mother's dismay.
  • Sitting in Tim's living room, chain smoking cigarettes to a background serenade of Vee Vee.
  • Making a mix called "Shelby Vs. The Greatest of All Time" in which I dared try to go up against the EP Vs. The Greatest of All Time. Needless to say, I lost. I might try again now that I know even more bands that would never make the noise they do without the Loaf.
  • Seeing Crooked Fingers repeatedly at The Grey Eagle so I might get to meet Eric Bachmann - then actually meeting him, and having a beer at the Bier Garden of all terrible places to do so, and being too nervous to say anything intelligent. Le Sigh.
  • Learning that Matt Gentling lived in Asheville and played in lots of awesome local bands and knew the same people I do. 
  • Of getting my blue Vee Vee t-shirt in the mail and discovering that wearing it made me feel less homesick for NC while in my first year of living in DC.
I know - I'm starting to sound like a fan freak, and am trying not to truly earn the name "Audiowhore", because I hear the girl this song was written for was a real cunt.

Not unlike Neutral Milk Hotel, the Pixies or other mystical bands of the 90's that I came to know and love... I wouldn't have become the musical fan I am without the help of All the Nations Airports, or any of the other Loaf albums that still blow my mind from start to finish. And people say no one listens to records anymore. Psssh. 

I digress. The point is, when I read this afternoon that the Archers of Loaf had a secret reunion show at Cat's Cradle LAST NIGHT opening for The Love Language, I about fell over and died. I wish, more than anything in the world, that somehow I could have known that was going to happen, and managed to get my car-less and license-less self to North Carolina to catch the 40 minutes of glory that the lucky few managed to see. 

Here's hoping there's a next time, or that the island on Lost is real, and time travel is possible.  


  1. Seriously, just got a tear reading this, and not because I love this band but because I know those feelings, how a band can change you and forever live in your heart, no matter how black it is. (Next time I will use more commas.) the sentence about the cunt chick, you should spell here as "hear". ;)

  2. I remember when we moved in to Mills you introduced me to both AoL and the Get Up Kids.
    Whoa, a lot of time has passed, but it's great to know you keep the fire burning!