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In Utah This Week #96

Just when I thought I was done writing about dating, the most significant heartbreak of my life occurs.

One of my longtime favorite bands, The Mother Hips, played at The Urban Lounge last weekend.  A man I dated in 2002 first introduced me to this alt-country band when he played me the song “Sarah Bellum.” I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.

I hadn’t seen them play in a couple of years, so when I noticed the band was coming to town I knew I had to go.  I talked two friends into going, promising they would be attending the concert of a lifetime.  Apparently, I’m a big fat liar.  How was I to know my once beloved band had lost their mojo?

The highlight of my evening came before the concert even began.  I was hurrying out of the bathroom when I ran smack into the back of the lead singer Tim Bluhm. I nearly fell over and he kindly helped me back on my feet.  I was too tongue-tied and embarrassed at my klutz-like behavior to thank him, and before I knew it he was on his way to the stage to ruin my life.

I miss the old days—where my rock star idols were still rock stars and not middle-aged men with salt and pepper hair, rocking out to a twelve-minute guitar solo.  I only slightly exaggerate.  It’s entirely possible the solo was only ten minutes.  Either way I felt like I was attending a Phish concert, not the high-energy concerts I remember The Mother Hips once playing.  I’m finally OK with my own aging, but I shouldn’t be expected to watch my idols age as well.  Isn’t music supposed to be timeless?

They did play some old favorites: “Red Tandy” and “Magazine,” but the songs sounded nothing like they did at previous concerts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a band discovering a new sound, but typically I like the new sound not to suck.

The crowd was full of loyal fans—a few that I recognized from the days where I attended every single concert the band played at the dearly departed Zephyr Club.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them were as dissatisfied with the performance as I was.

As we slipped out before an encore I ran into an old friend. When he asked why I was leaving, I mentioned something about the band being the biggest disappointment of my life; he assured me they were much better the night before.  Leave it to me to pick the worst night to attend.  I wanted to hear alt-country, not alt-crappy.

Determined to prove to friends, and myself the band really was good, I went home and made a Mother Hips play list to die for.  I burned each friend a copy, hoping to show the band really was a talented one–just one having an off night.

I think with the demise of The Zephyr Club came the demise of The Mother Hips.  Earlier that day my four-year-old niece, Hannah, told me that sometimes your heart just breaks.  And you know what?  She was right.


  • Hannah is right – sometimes your heart does just break. But this would never happen with Toad. did you hear Toad broke up?

  • The best way not to watch your favorite idols age is to adopt new, younger idols to adore.

    But seriously, it sucks when your favorite bands fall out of favor with you. Dave Matthews Band was my absolute-favorite-bordering-on-obsession band once upon a time. Then they released Stand Up, and I’ve never been able to get the bad taste out of my mouth since. I stopped going to their concerts, and I still frequently skip their tunes on my ipod. It just wasn’t the same after that.

    Hopefully you can maintain your appreciation for the Mother Hips’ recorded stuff.

  • I actually was sitting next to the guy at dinner that night at Takashi before the show. We were going to go till I realized that the Urban still allowed smoking.. My fetus and newly lung cancer free husband were not up for it. My friends having dinner with them also mentioned the night before was much better!

  • I forgot to tell you. I was home in SLC recently and flipping through the latest issue of “IN Utah this week.” I mentioned to a friend that I knew you…as I pointed to your picture…and they were genuinely impressed. Said they loved your column…but were disappointed you weren’t writing “The Dating Years” anymore.

  • i just want hannah’s heart to mend v. swiftly

  • I too bemoan the Zephyr, and remind me of why the closed it down? Because it’s just sitting there, doing nothing, sad and empty. Boo.

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