Monday, October 13, 2008

Bloody Feet & Good Hip Hop

Like I mentioned earlier, Brandon and I found ourselves in Chicago and had caught wind that underground hip hop artist, Count Bass D, would be performing at a little hole-in-the-wall known as The Hideout. It was on the particular Sunday that we arrived. We found our hotel, checked in, and then went to look for a place to eat.

It should be noted here that I had just purchased a brand new pair of Keane shoes from, of all places, The Walking Store. For the past few years, my back has been giving me problems, and I've come to realize that it has to do with the shoes that I'm wearing. So I decided to pay a little extra and get some expensive walking shoes, that have been fit to the contours of my feet. The shoes were brand new, as I'd just purchased them the day before.

So here we are, in Chicago. It was a three mile walk from our hotel to The Hideout. It would be the first true test of how well my back--and feet--would handle the new shoes.  It should also be noted here that, up until we left for the three mile hike to The Hideout, I had been wearing a pair of tennis shoes. The only shoes that didn't seem to give my back trouble. 

So we set out for The Hideout at 9:00 pm. Brandon had called Paige and had her put the address in Google Maps so she could read the directions back to us. The walk seemed a lot further than we had anticipated, having crossed over into a much grittier part of town. As we walked, my feet started bothering me. It wasn't the soles of the shoes, it was the back of the shoes, which were rubbing against each of my achilles tendons. It started off as a mild discomfort, and ended up really hurting by the time we were in the part of town where The Hideout supposedly was. 

And, just, where was The Hideout? Paige's directions had steered us through more than a few dark alleyways, over a bridge, where we had to hug the side railing to avoid any highway traffic, and a colony of warehouses, complete with chained dogs barking at us. As the streets grew darker, my feet were hurting more and more. Fortunately, we saw no signs of life. As I'm sure that, if we had, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this down.

We finally came upon--what was appropriately named--The Hideout. It had earned its name and we made our ways toward it--he, jogging; I, hobbling. 

The bar was like no other that I'd ever been. A "dive," in the truest sense of the word. I would venture to guess it was no less than 1,200 square feet. We sat down at the bar and ordered two canned Hamms. I took my shoe off and rubbed the back of my foot. Thank God we would be here for a couple of hours. It would give my dogs a chance to quit barking. I finished my Hamms, and ordered another, so as to numb the pain. 

The place wasn't too crowded. We made small talk with the bartender, and the skinny, hooded, black gentleman at the bar. Eventually, the black man excused himself and walked up on the stage. All that was there was a stereo receiver, a tape deck and a microphone on a stand. By now, more people had arrived and everybody began to gather around the stage. Brandon and I had decent seats from where we were seated at the bar. Another Hamms, please.

The man dropped his hood, pushed "play" on the tape deck, and began rapping. It was Count Bass D. An emcee who I'd always liked, but had never actually seen. The Count worked the crowd and I sat in awe at the raw energy he was bringing. The best hip hop is the kind that's stripped down and without any sense of ego. It's for this very reason that today's contemporary "mainstream" hip hop is so bad, as well as so frowned upon. But the good stuff is there. It's just not out in the open. 

The Count worked the crowd for only about a half hour. Between songs, he would change--or fast forward--the cassette to play a different home made beat to flow over. After it was over, I commented on how it was probably the best hip hop show I'd ever seen. And it wasn't just the emcee. It had to do with the venue--it's size and atmosphere, as well as the canned Hamms, and the fact that every single person there--young or old--was legitimately cool. 

It was around 1:00 am when we headed back to the hotel. The journey, this time, was without incident, as we actually knew where we were going. But, again, my feet suffered even worse as the backs of the shoes continued to rub against my already-sore feet. Upon our arrival back in the room, I took my shoe off and found a huge blood stain on the heel of my sock. After taking my sock off, I found dried blood on my foot itself. And, of course, there was dried blood on the inside of the shoes. 

At least my back didn't hurt. 

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey...i just read the directions from google. I'm a bad DRIVER not a bad READER! ;-)

13 October, 2008  
Blogger Gabriela said...

What happened to taking a taxi back to the hotel? I could never walk back in those shoes after my feet were so beat!

14 October, 2008  
Blogger Sundance said...

Yeah, what Gabriela said. They have these things called taxis for a reason, you know.

17 October, 2008  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home