Toad the Wet Sprocket: Mission Accomplished

Happy Memorial Day.

I was thirteen years-old when Toad the Wet Sprocket’s fourth album, Dulcinea, was released in 1994.   It was among the first five CDs I had ever owned (the first being After 7 and the rest being the soundtrack of Reality Bites, Carmen Sandiego, and The Cranberries’ second album No Need to Argue.

I do not recall how it is that I came to know the name of “Toad the Wet Sprocket;” although, if I dug through my old journals I could probably find it.  What’s important, however, is that they are my all-time favorite band.  From their first album, Bread and Circus, to their live album, Welcome Home: Live at the Arlington Theatre, there is not a single Toad song that I dislike.

Other English-language artists that I would list without skipping a heartbeat as part of My Favorite Singers (Jeff Buckley, the Marvelous Three, Abra Moore, Dishwalla, CAKE, Ben Folds Five, HIM) do not stand with Toad the Wet Sprocket in this respect.  There are Jeff Buckley songs that I skip; there are Marvelous Three/Butch Walker songs that I skip.  When Toad’s sixth album, Coil, came out in 1997, they held a concert at GSU but because the interweb was not then what it is now, I didn’t have all the info about the concert details and thus wasn’t able to attend.  They disbanded a year later and I thought I would never see them perform live.

Well, jump ahead just over a decade into the future on a Sunday night at the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points, and my resignation of never seeing them in concert was torn asunder.   Tony Furtado (no relation to that other one) opened with just a guitar and a banjo.

It was truly an awesome night.  On the one hand, it felt unreal (this can’t be happening); on the other hand, it made so much sense and felt so right (this is happening, it absolutely is happening).  Seeing Toad the Wet Sprocket live was on my list of Things To Do Before You Expire.  Though it’s a short list, it’s the only item I can cross out, it’s the only accomplished mission as of Memorial Day 2009.  I’ve done and seen some ludicrously cool things in the last decade (including performing in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, singing and standing next to Ted Turner on a stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, meeting real Shaolin monks, and getting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to draw me a farm animal), but those experiences were either the result of happenstance or originated outside my own desires.

I suppose I need to attribute part of my Toad evening to happenstance.  That I even knew they were coming to town was the direct result of someone’s Facebook wall post.


And now,

Hope to it

To seize without alighting
the Other man’s livelihood
is the blueprint of the innocents

It’s just a pity,
a real low
down murky shame
that misinformed Lions fall
to cackling hyenas,
and gazelles are ensnared
not for food
but b/c of location

Location, location
Can they find me in this rubble
Do they hear my pleading

Pride of Lions
don’t stop believing
don’t stop the music
the sound of heavy marching
is chocolate to my senses
water to my desert

Take it
Take it all
I never wanted to live here anyway

–yiqi Memorial Day 2009 1:17 pm

Pic cred: google image search

One thought on “Toad the Wet Sprocket: Mission Accomplished

  1. Pingback: Where You Go I’ll Go, Where You Stay I’ll Stay | Sitting Pugs: Sports Movies

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