Beat the February Blues

By Sarah Tackett

Post-holiday holiday season is totally underrated. Depending how you play your cards, you can do the same eating, drinking and celebrating; and even better, without being bogged down with nasty-icky-family-obligations, or the guilt-heavy hand of religion.

A great example is Mardi Gras. Okay so it’s supposed to be religious, but it’s totally not. There are no cards, or gifts, or iconic figureheads that you need to take your picture with at the mall. You don’t even have to go to the mall! How anti-corporate/capitalistic/consumerist-one-nation-under-God-of-brand-new-things can you get? And please tell me what religion is seriously going to condone flashing boobs in exchange for plastic beads? It’s nice that Lexington’s Bohemians banded together to put on a parade celebrating this pagan art of having fun earlier this week. Sun Ra’s Arkestra led the way, and their music plus better weather contributed to a much higher turnout than that of last years. It was a walking parade, so not only could people watch, they were free to join in on the dancing, and even follow the band right into Victorian Square.

The sparkling costumes and lively spirit of all the people interacting(aka boozing) and dancing to the drums really demonstrated how dull the formal parades here are with their series of media vans and utility trucks that look more like fake-happy traffic.

Thursday is “celebrating old times” nostalgia at Ace. You can attend the 5th annual Bluegrass Bachelor Ball at the Horse & Barrel on Broadway, THEN proceed to High on Rose and catch Ace alum/former editor Rob “Big City” Hulsman, with the Tarbox Ramblers.

This weekend Natasha’s cafe is hosting the “Saint Valentines Festival of Love.” Saint Valentine’s Day is also pseudo religious in that his feast is no longer formally celebrated within the church. Way to go Saint Valentine, first get beheaded for supporting marriage, and then lose your feast day. It is sort of sad. So Natasha’s has put together a weekend to reclaim Saint Valentine’s proper festivities. On Friday the 11th they are clearing the floor for salsa dancing. Natasha’s will make the night thematically complete by serving Spanish food. Saturday night the dance floor will be cleared again to make room for soulful-slowdancers, or those who’ve got the funk. The Rock Stars of Soul will play from 7:30 to 10pm and Natasha’s will be serving a Cajun menu (for those still lingering over Mardi Gras?), which isn’t really thematically apposite, but I thought you might like to know. On Monday— Saint Valentine’s Day—Natasha’s will complete their festival with “The Feast of Love,” which means they will have both food, and strolling violinists. A good night not to dine at Natasha’s with a book by yourself. (There is no GOOD place to do that on Feb 14.)

If you are not big on festivals you should know that here is another way to get through the February blues. Those who dared to question the perfection of beer have come up with something new. Improve beer? Pshaw, impossible!— you exclaim. But the geniuses have done it—you are just not thinking— what does beer need? Caffeine! They are starting to put CAFFEINE in BEER! The brilliance of it all. For those of us who are constantly feeling too tired to get drunk, our payers have been answered and our riddle has been solved. So when you are wired and wasted this Saturday night, you might as well head down to The Dame to listen to some music. Split Lip Rayfield is an edgy bluegrass band who has opened the stage for local faves such as Reverend Horton Heat (who I believe to also be pseudo religious). This band’s stand up base is made out of some sort of gas can, which—considering friction—sounds kind of dangerous, dangerous like I don’t know…beer with caffeine.

Sunday Valley, the local southern rock band, will play their last show later that evening to a room full of fans. They have developed quite a following with their comfortable classic-rock sound, and it will be sad to watch a talented band disappear from Lexington’s venues. So go see the show and give ‘um the rowdy redneck goodbye that they deserve. n