The Living Bubba

Maybe if we had known what was ahead of us that first time we saw the Truckers tear up Hole in the Wall, we would have stuck around college long enough to graduate. Or at least gotten in the habit of wearing earplugs. But after almost a week of navel-gazing, we'd be lying if we said we regretted (much) the choices that led us to this loud, empty life.

We almost did. Then Noise put on another recent DVD, Wilco's Ashes of American Flags, and got lost in the opening title song. Those six minutes of the band sound-checking at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa are as beautiful as any symphony.

Like clockwork, we felt that same transcendent thrill that shot through us like radioactive ice water the first time we ever saw Wilco, the Truckers, and too many more to mention, live. Being there, in the moment — whether in your head or in the venue — is still, to us, the happiest place on earth.

Noise can't die now. We've got another show to do. Or, maybe, another DVD to watch. CHRIS GRAY

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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