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   the Mammals at Joyous Lake
Friday, June 3 2005
This evening Gretchen and I had a night on the town in the village of Woodstock, which is the six thousand person place where Woodstock '69 famously did not take place. We started with dinner at the unfortunately named Wok n' Roll, where one can get both Chinese and Japanese food. So while I had three specialty sushi rolls, Gretchen ate Hunan chicken made with vegetarian ingredients. The specialty rolls didn't have any prices on them and I didn't ask. I just ordered three of them. It turned out to be a lot of sushi, but all of it was special and delicious. It was the first time I'd ever made my self completely full on sushi alone. Then we got the bill and my sushi had been $30!
I just gave a figure of 6000 for the number of people in the village of Woodstock, but even in the broader Woodstock township there can't be more than 10,000. I say this because in the township there is only one exchange number, 679, so this leaves only four digits to represent every phone line. Since many in Woodstock have two lines and few have zero, it's possible 6000 is the number of people in the entire township, which extends from outside West Hurley to West Saugerties to Echo Lake to most of the way to Phoenicia. With a town with such a small population of progressive (though perhaps somewhat addled) minds, it's not difficult to run into someone you know, particularly when you're eating in the outside patio area of a sushi restaurant having a view of the sidewalks on either side of Route 212, the main drag. At the next table over was a yoga instructor Gretchen knew. As for me, I'd been to a party at her studio soon after we moved up here from Brooklyn.
After that we went just a few doors up the street to a bar and grill called Joyous Lake, which we ended up getting into for free because of my connections to the radio sponsor. Joyous Lak features a music stage that these days caters to what has become the music characteristic of modern Woodstock: folk, bluegrass, funk (both whiteboy and traditional), reggæ, and rock groups often referred to as "jam bands." The band tonight was indigenous to Woodstock, the Mammals, though opening for them was a band with the unpleasant name of "Steppin' in It." Actually, though, they were good, performing the only Ragtime-sounding music I've ever heard live (in addition to other Bluegrass sorts of things). As for the Mammals, their rock-influenced Bluegrass made for a great show, though they tended to linger for too long in downbeat tunes, which wasn't their strong point (after all, they had a glittery young woman playing fiddle). That said, the dynamics and structure of their music struck me as delightful and complex, and this kept me engaged even in cases where I otherwise might not have been.
On the way home we got gas and then fled before paying. It was awesome and very punk rock.

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