Posts Tagged by Dave Auchenbach
|15 April, 2012||Posted by Erik Carlson under Uncategorized||
small factory returned to Providence last night.
After their somber and no-fuss break-up in the mid’90’s, Dave, Alex, and Phoebe, came back together for the Chickfactor reunion tour. I must thank the brilliant folks at Chickfactor magazine because last night, at the new Met Café, I experienced the closest thing to time-travel anyone could possibly imagine. My wife summed the night nicely, “It’s like someone paused a show from ’92, fast forwarded it, and un-paused it.” Yeah, it really was a lot like that.
I was a loner in my high school years. After a falling out with my pack of pals, I spent junior and senior years going to a small dark, dirty, delightful club in Providence, RI, called Babyhead. It was there a group of kids, not much older but seeming so, called small factory, played the most energetic, blissful and spectacular music I ever heard. I walked away from the punk scene and entered the world of indie rock.
In the space of two years I caught every show they played in RI. In that time, I was exposed to some other great bands from Versus to Matthew Sweet, Robyn Hitchcock to My Bloody Valentine, to numerous others. Phoebe, Alex, and Dave, became surrogate friends. Certainly they only knew me as the high school kid who wrote letters and found a way into all the shows, but musically, they helped get me through some rough stuff. And for that they deserve some kind of medals.
The summer they broke up was a tough one. Life’s accumulated messes had gathered and I was stuck between stations in RI after living for a time in Australia and waiting for my first apt to open up in Allentown, Pa. I went to the final show and said goodbye to that chapter in my life.
Last night, some 17 years later, I was transported back to those nights where all that mattered was dancing and singing alongside anonymous others; all of whom I’m sure where all experiencing the same feelings. Collectively we celebrated the hallmark small factory songs like “Suggestions”, “Happy to See”, “Hi, Howard, I’m Back”, and the melancholic discordance of “Junky on a Good Day”. It became so evident last night that so much of small factory’s appeal was the ability to effortlessly transition between the gleeful and the melancholy without gimmick or charade. There exists a purity of emotion and ethos in small factory’s music that I have never felt from any other band.
Teachers, bank-tellers, painters, cashiers, parents, and whatever else people get up to over the course of two decades, we all became kids again. Once again Providence was alive with the power of pop music. It was impossible to tell, despite one bump, that the small factory workers are now spread across the country with new lives and homes. The cohesion and energy of the band resurrected the best parts of the 90’s: A time when music was all that mattered.