by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
A 9/11 memory from the Lazy-i vault….
Around the time it happened, every band I interviewed for The Reader talked about how the tragedy was affecting their lives, like this comment from Frenchkiss Records founder and Les Savy Fav member Syd Butler, from an interview printed Nov. 7, 2001:
Butler said the tour’s Nov. 1, 2001, kick-off show was a benefit at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom for the family of a New York City firefighter killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. The tragedy remains in the forefront as the band hits the road.
“I was talking on the phone to someone inside the World Trade Center when it happened,” Butler said. “I was on my way down there to pick up plane tickets when he told me it blew up. I went up to the roof of my building with my girlfriend and freaked out. We sat there in disbelief. It was a real intense situation in that she works with the fire department and knew a lot of people involved.
“Life has changed here in New York,” he said. “I used to be the guy who was frustrated with police. I was not into cops growing up. Now I love them to death. I want to walk up and hug every one I see. They’re people who wouldn’t think for a second about putting their body in front of a bullet.”
Butler lives only a mile from ground zero, where the smell of “burned, plastic hotdogs” still hangs in the air. “Because of my girlfriend, I’ve been a block away from ground zero,” he said. “I don’t think I should have gone. It’s so awesome, but not in a cool way.”
He said it will be good to get away from the city for awhile. “I’m the most sensitive member of the band about this situation,” he said. “I’m the most affected by it. People in New York are processing it in different ways. Some are volunteering to do anything they can. I’m looking forward to getting on the road.”
Now 11 years later, I wonder how Butler looks back on those rather dark, sad days…
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Tonight at The Slowdown it’s the return of Old 97’s. Seems like the last time they came through was for the 2010 Maha Festival. Opening tonight are Those Darlins and Rhett Miller. $25, 9 p.m.
Also tonight at an undisclosed location somewhere in Bellevue, Jeremy Messersmith is doing a one-man house show. I have no other details.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.