June 12, 2004

Eric McFadden Trio at the Mineshaft Tavern in Madrid, NM

Dollar bills line the walls of the Mineshaft Tavern in Madrid. Freaks fill the dance floor. And that's the most dogs I've ever seen in one bar in one night, and I'm not referring to the women. The women are definitely not dogs.

The Eric McFadden Trio played up in Madrid last night, as they habitually do when they come through here. The bandmembers are basically from Albuquerque but they live in Seattle and San Francisco now. Tis a testament to the Mineshaft's charm that they always play there, and they don't charge a cover; they play for donations.

Dollar bills line the walls, and each dollar has something written on it in big bold felt-tip-marker letters. I remember an artistic rendering of the Texas A&M logo, hoseheads.com, various people's names, some very cryptic and mystical notations, and some just have a numeral on them. There's probably at least $300 on the walls. I haven't gotten the story on the dollar bills, and I probably never will. Lucy and I realized on the drive up there that last night's trip might be the last time we ever visit the Mineshaft in Madrid.

The Mineshaft has a special place in our history. About a year after Lucy and I got together, we decided to get married. At the time James of EMT was in a little band called Apricot Jam, and we wanted them to play at our wedding. Lucy and I met via a web page that I did for Apricot Jam back 8 years ago. So, it was around the end of July '97, AJam was playing at the Mineshaft, and we went up there to speak with the band about their schedule, so that we could adjust our wedding day to fit with an appearance. The Mineshaft was where we decided on our wedding day. That day we chose also turned out to be the day that Princess Diana was killed.

The most visually interesting aspect of a visit to the Mineshaft when EMT or anybody else plays, or when nobody plays, are the local denizens who show up for the gig. Madrid is completely removed from the time continuum in which the rest of us live. Visiting that place is like Alice's trip through the looking glass. I know I saw the Cheshire Cat last night. Or maybe it was the Cheshire Dog.

I think I counted five dogs. One thing that removes Madrid from reality, is that they have no government. There is literally no local law, and more importantly no local law enforcement officers. They seem to do okay. Perhaps this is a sterling example of anarchistic self-government. That bar has to produce fights. So I guess when one breaks out, they group together and settle it.

Madrid reflects one of the aspects of New Mexico life that I probably will miss. C'est la vie.

EMT was great. They always are. Especially up at the Mineshaft. The sound and the time is always so much better up there than it is at the Launchpad. I decided last night to not be the annoying-guy-with-the-digicam. You don't get photos, but I had a better time. This is all about me you know.

Posted by Wayne at June 12, 2004 01:53 PM
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