Midwest Flavor

I like road trips. Especially random ones. As long as the company is enjoyable, and they don’t mind my tone-deaf singing along to the radio.

My excursion last night met all of those criteria. My friend Shannon (the guy with the greens) is having a birthday on St. Patty’s day and is celebrating this weekend. He’s a big fan of Daisy May, a Michigan folksy-country singer, who was playing at Founder’s Brewing in Grand Rapids last night. So we took a little road trip to celebrate Michigan localness, and wound up with a healthy taste of Midwest flavor.

sidenote: [Founder’s Brewing sponsors a mountain bike team (much like our other, more famous Michigan-native brew: Bell’s Oberon) and an annual 100-mile brain-draining mountain bike race. My crazy-as-all-hell former roommate raced it, and my friend Lindsay raced it, and last year’s second-place male finisher and two other singlespeed racers crashed in the hallway of my old apartment the day before the race! (I was jazzed about that– I made them all pancakes the morning-of. That’s why they all did so well!) It’s brain-draining because you do 4 laps. Of the same thing. So… the hellish sand dunes you climb at the end of the first lap? You know you get to do that three more times. It’s demoralizing. Only the strong of both mind and legs survive.]

I really liked the atmosphere of the Brewery. Basically it was an old warehouse, with glass-windowed garage doors all along the street-side (which opened on to a smoker’s patio– it was non-smoking inside!!) It was acoustically horrible, but the fact that the music was still pretty good-quality says something for the sound tech, I guess.

We got there before they started collecting cover, but it was already packed. We ordered some food (I got the spinach and red onion french bread pizza) and started scoping out people that would likely leave before the music started (!). We asked this one couple (or rather, Carly, Kyle’s labmate asked, because she is bubbly and outgoing and friendly) if we could set our drinks on the corner of their table. Gradually, we set our food on their table. And then our jackets on one of the empty chairs. The lady asked us if we’d like to pull up a couple of extra chairs and join them. Carly chatted with them while Shannon, Kyle, Andy (Shannon’s friend) and I munched on our food.

The couple left, and we took over their table! At that point I was about halfway through a beer and done with the pizza. It was pretty loud, and difficult to have a conversation, so we sat and shouted short sentences to each other in between sips of beer. In all honesty, I didn’t like their beer. I’ll take Bell’s any day.

The people-watching was great! We tried to pick out different style-types: a lot of hipsters in tight floodpants-jeans, a solid dose of tech gear-wearing granola-types, a few dreadlocked hippies, a handful of middle-aged ‘normal’ people, some sorority/fraternity types, etc.

As the music was starting up we ordered some garlicy cheese bread and beer cheese dip. Oof. I ate way too much.

Daisy May and Seth played a selection of their usual songs about trees and saving the Great Lakes and eating local (did I mention that they’re environmental activists? Oh yeah. They’re environmental activists). They also played the Fresh Prince theme (I’m an idiot and don’t know what it’s actually called..?) and Johnny Cash (Ring of Fire).

They took a break before their second set around 11:30, but we had a 2.5-hour drive home so had to leave.

We belted along to Johnny Cash during the car ride home.

And then I fell asleep with my mouth open.

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