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Come this weekend Paul Michael won’t be living in DC anymore. Which is a shame since we have written about him and the bands (from Hard Tomorrows to Georgie James to his solo efforts) he was in since day 1 here on BYT. In a way, part of us is leaving. For Brooklyn. To be now a full time part of Steve Cooper fronted Spirit Animal. These things happen. On the upside, you all get a show out of it-Spirit Animal is making it’s way down to DC tonight for a Monday night of goodbyes and good times @ The Black Cat, Shark Week is opening and Paul Michel is doing one of our favorite columns over here @ BYT, the “A TO Z of DC LOVE” to bid you a proper goodbye.
Bonus: Listen to THESE Spirit Animal tracks while reading this. Its a special blend of Spirit Animal songs new and old, original and remixed, including the first single “Crocodile Skins,” from the band’s forthcoming sophomore LP, SPIRITIA ANIMALIA. They make everything better:
Spirit Animal — BYT Special Blend by spiritanimal

About tonight, all details are here:

So for me, this A to Z has a whiff of nostalgia, since I’ll be leaving in a couple days. These are all the things I’ll miss, and this is by no means an exhaustive list:

  • a. All my service industry people. Through countless late nights and exhausting shifts, we’ve powered through with whiskey and cynicism in equal measure.
  • b. Black Cat. I’ve worked there, I’ve played there, my friends work or hang out there, my favorite bands play there. How could this not make the list? And they’re hosting my going away show, ‘cuz they’re the best.
  • c. Coffee, at Tryst most days. Hell, I drank so much of it they named a sandwich after me. Unsure if I should be proud of that.
  • d. DC9. Love playing there. Love the people that work there.
  • e. Energy. At its best, the energy in this city makes you ambitious, turns you on, heightens your abilities. At its worst, it provokes anxiety. I love this city for the former.
  • f. Friends. Too many people to mention, without whom this place wouldn’t be nearly as amazing as it is.
  • g. Galaxy Hut. Bill Arthur is a savant, and one of the top five people I want in a foxhole with me.
  • h. Heather, who I met here, and who ultimately stole me away.
  • i. Iota. Great sound. Great spot.
  • j. Jumped.  Which I have been twice since I moved here.  Broke my damn glasses in half.
  • k. Komi. Never had another meal like it. And I’ll probably never be able to afford something similar in New York.
  • l. Little Serow. The best Thai food I’ve ever had. I just wish my stomach lining could take this more than a couple times a year.
  • m. Mount Pleasant. Has been my home for the majority of my time here. An incomparable neighbourhood, and a place I’ll miss dearly.
  • n. New Hampshire Ave.  Where I recorded my first EP, Ayuda, a decade ago with my now-bandmate in Spirit Animal.  Full circle.
  • o. Organic shmorganic.  Let’s get some chicken thighs from Safeway.
  • p. Pilar. I’ve forgotten some of the best times of my life in this place.
  • q. Quantities, unimaginable quantities of Jameson (and Old Overholt, and Kentucky Gentleman, and….)
  • r. Rasika. Best Indian food in town, and the only place in town I can get a Gruner Veltliner with some age on it by the glass (big ups to Paul Ruttiman, wine guy and true genius).
  • s. Steve Cooper, aka Gray Kid, lead in Spirit Animal, who taught me how to put music into a computer, and taught me how to self-edit.
  • t. Tabard Inn. I grew up here. I learned so much, and there’s not a person who works here, or is a regular at the bar, that isn’t in the top 10 percentile of good people in the world, much less DC.
  • u. U St area. Taught me how to bartend, and brought me out of my shell.
  • v. Vino. Per capita this place drinks the most wine in the States. For a dude who fakes classy like myself, good wine makes everything better.
  • w. Winter. DC winter has something special, don’t know what it is, can’t explain it. But love wandering the streets in the cold. Seems like the entire city finally has a chance to breathe.
  • x. X?  This is harder than the SATs.
  • y. Ye olde H St corridor (hey, I’m running out of ideas). Fun. Period. There are very few rules in this area, which a stodgy town like DC needs.
  • z. Zatar and pita, with the Palestinian side of my family, who always welcome me lovingly, though I never call or stop by enough.