Saturday, December 19, 2009
Meet me here at dawn
Second City 24-hour Letters to Santa Benefit, year seven! December 15th-16th from 6 p.m. - 6 p.m. Here's the annual incomplete timeline:
7:40 p.m.: Jeff Tweedy sings "Remember the Mountain Bed" to the super-awesome Tami Sagher. He's playing a lovely Kel Kroydon guitar with peacocks on it.
9:53 p.m.: There is improv.
10:31 p.m.: Gerald Dowd and Robbie Fulks. Robbie's performance of the 2009 Rap of the Dead was amazing, as it is every year I've gotten to see it.
12:41 a.m.: Horatio Sanz and Matt Walsh from UCB, joined by TJ.
1:48 a.m.: Slow-motion reenactment of one minute from the greatest rock concert ever.
3:24 a.m.: Everyone joins the Flash Mob Marching Band, marching around the third floor of Piper's Alley
3:39 a.m.: More improv. I just remember that this woman was supposed to be flying.
6:13 a.m.: Bonnie "Prince" Billy plays an enchanting early-morning set.
8:26 a.m.: The babies (and children) perform a scene together.
9:00 a.m.: It's a pyramid of comedy! And a stray baby left in the background.
10:12 a.m.: Town Parade, cut short this year. We got the professions, but no scene! I was looking forward to seeing the town cult enthusiast in action.
11:14 a.m.: More improv.
12:24 p.m.: Nina Nastasia (and some dry ice in the background).
1:59 p.m.: Mountain Goats. (That Starbucks cup saw some action.)
3:02 p.m.: Bear attack.
3:54 p.m.: Champagne in honor of Second City's 50th anniversary joins the empty Red Bull and Starbucks containers on our table. Not pictured: 5 Hour Energy vial, free cheesecake.
4:36 p.m.: The Blisters. It was their seventh year at the benefit, too.
And that took us nearly to the end. All of the 24-hour people joined the comedians (and John Darnielle) on stage for the last twenty minutes for the traditional game of freeze tag, then two minutes of dancing, and it was over for another year. Weirdly jumbled memories of Anne Frank and Jesus making out in heaven, chefs who are turned on by shrimp, and guys who communicate with their fathers via hobo symbols will tide me over until 2010.
The next night, Sooz and I went to see Andrew Bird's final Gezelligheid show at the Fourth Presbyterian Church. The church looked amazing. Ryan did an excellent job with the lights, which combined with the music to create a unique atmosphere. I enjoyed hearing much of Andrew's lesser-played instrumental material, as well as some choice covers like Cass McCombs's "Meet Me Here at Dawn." With the snow outside and coziness inside, my Christmas spirit was officially boosted.
There's much to be thankful for this holiday season, and I love spending so much time with friends. After more social activities Friday night and Saturday afternoon, though, I'll admit that I'm thankful for the chance to relax at home tonight with some Christmas cookies, Christmas music, and a huge stack of books.
Letters to Santa 2008
Letters to Santa 2007
Letters to Santa 2006
Letters to Santa 2005