It's Just You

  • January 16, 2016
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"Perforated.” That's the word the nurse uses to describe what the first machine will do to my eyes. "Like the edge of a postage stamp, you know? Then he can just lift the flap and get in there.”

I don't think I want to know what "the flap” is. When I first arrived at the clinic, they gave me a Valium for my nerves. I'm not entirely sure it's working.

I'm lying on my back in a dimly-lit room. An extraterrestrial mass of actuated joints and software-calibrated eye-perforators towers over me in imposing silence. In my head, this machine-beast is self aware, and it uses the word "human” as a pejorative. As soon as the doctor gets back, he'll press some computer buttons and this hulk will whirr to life and get down to perforatin', and then I'll have to hobble over to the next macabre apparatus to undergo some other space-age ophthalmological harrowment. After that, I'll never have to wear contact lenses again.

Worth it.

So far, my 2016 can pretty much be summed up in three words: Surgery on Tuesday. The reason I am hobbling from the Femtosecond Laser (that's actually what it's called) to the Corneal Zap-ifier (that's not actually what it's called), instead of, say,walking, or fleeing in terror, is because a week before getting LASIK I had to wake up before dawn, shower with antibacterial soap (which I didn't even know came in bar form until last week), and report to an outpatient medical center for some minor foot surgery. It was a far more pedestrian affair than this whole "fix your eyes with lasers” thing. The only machine involved was one of those BEEP...BEEP...BEEP heart monitors, the tempo of which I kept trying to manipulate via deep breathing until I was gently reprimanded by a nurse. While not as distressing as the eye-zapping, the foot-slicing came at a higher cost: Three weeks on crutches. So, if you happen to come to any of our shows in Florida this weekend, or see any pictures therefrom, that's why I'm sitting down. It's also why I'm currently holed up in a hotel room blogging instead of out enjoying a Friday night off in downtown St. Petersburg. I'll be back on my feet in time for Mardi Gras, thank goodness.

Hello, friends! Rob here.

I hope you enjoyed this week's installment of "Rob talks about his personal life in italics.” Now it's time for Revivalists stuff, and, unfortunately, I have to start this one off on a bad note.

There's no sugar-coating this: We are under attack.

Early Christmas morning, 2015, The Revivalists fell victim to an unforgivable crime: Our Facebook page was hacked. Enemies of friendship and freedom, hailing from parts unknown, acting on impious and parasitic motives, seized control of our beloved social media hub, and working from the inside out, transformed our page into what I can only think to describe as an abomination.  I would recommend that our more sensitive readers simply scroll past the image below.  If you're still here, then steel yourself, take a deep breath, and gaze upon the face of evil:

Repulsive. Disgusting. Reprehensible. Side note: if you're going to hack someone's Facebook page, do it in late December. Quite understandably, Facebook's customer service department is a bit sluggish over the holidays, so you'll have a week or two to spam stomach-churning memes while your host/victim hemorrhages likes. It was a digital bloodbath. We lost the symbolic approval of thousands of people in a matter of days. Years' worth of content is gone. Event pages for shows were deleted. I was forced to endure the indignity of changing my Facebook password for the first time since I signed up in 2004 (Tulane was one of the first colleges to have it). The Winter Hack was one of the most trying experiences in the history of The Revivalists. We are still reeling. Also, if anybody can think of a better name for it then please let me know because "The Winter Hack” is not my best work.

The Christmas Coup? Definitely better. Still interested in hearing your suggestions.

Anyway, in difficult times such as these, it's reassuring to know that we still have a wonderful community of friends at our backs. A community which, after years of simmering, has finally boiled over. These Rev Heads are crazy in the best possible way. They talk music. They support each other. They make t-shirts. They had a freaking secret santa featuring some really cool gifts. A subset among them seems to have some strange preoccupation with Tastykakes. To me, 2015 felt like the tipping point for a lot of different aspects of this band, and the meteoric rise of the Rev Heads was far and away the most enjoyable and gratifying part of all of that. I'm not very active on social media, and I don't drop in on the group as much as I probably should, but I wanted to say thanks to the Rev Heads for being such a blast last year. (And hopefully this year, and next year, and so on.) Keep it tasty, friends.

And finally, a lot of famous people died this week, but I'd like to take a minute here and talk about someone who, despite a having a much lower profile, likely touched the lives of some of your favorite musicians, including your friends The Revivalists. Jimmy Glickman, owner and proprietor of the New Orleans Music Exchange, passed away on Thursday. He was a perfect New Orleans character: the colorful, good-natured local shopkeep. In his own right the man was lovable enough to warrant an outpouring of memories and memorials from New Orleans' music community. But Jimmy was so much more than that. Other than maybe a few of the city's more prolific educators, I can't think of a single person who did more to support musicians in New Orleans than Jimmy. Generally, the purpose of a business is to make money, and frankly, there's nothing wrong with that. But the Music Exchange often felt more like a pet project or a labor of love than a for-profit venture. Many young New Orleans musicians supported themselves working in Jimmy's shop in the early stages of their careers, and he was always quick to cut a deal on gear and supplies when he knew they were going to a loving home. He was a great guy, and we all miss him already.

The end. Be good to each other, friends!