Vienna Teng in Santa Clara

I’ve been listening to Vienna Teng’s album Waking Hour, for the past several weeks, both at home and work. At Palm, it’s getting to the point where my co-workers are beginning to say, “Uh, Adam, did you know that you’re playing the same music over and over?” or, “You still listening to that chick music?” The answer to both of those questions, rhetorical or not, is an emphatic, “Yes!” Late at night, when I’m still slaving away at the office, I have Vienna on full blast on my Harmon Kardon speakers and am singing along to the likes of Enough To Go By or Gravity (Lake Version). Hey, there’s no shame to expressing your musically side when it’s all good, right?

On Friday, June 15, 20001, Eric and I went to the Mission City Coffee Roasting house, located at 2221 Alameda/82 in Santa Clara, to listen to Vienna play at an open mic. Eric hadn’t yet heard Vienna sing live, as he couldn’t make it to the Waking Hour Release Party earlier in the month. We arrived about 30 minutes late, just as she was starting to play Gravity. We sat down with a couple of mochas and spent the next three hours listening to enchantingly beautiful chords and lyrics from Vienna and the other performing musicians.

Seeing and listening to an open mic brought back vivid memories of high school. Those were the days when I went coffee shop hopping across all of San Diego, from La Jolla to Solana Beach. On Friday nights, I could often be found at a cafe, listening to music, writing in my journal, or drawing. The first musical performer that I distinctly remember going out of my way to see was Randi Driscoll, formerly of Rekless Abandon. She played often at the Beans Coffee House in University City. Beans was the place where I had my first art exhibition. I can still remember sitting at Beans, soaking up in some great music while drawing a kick-ass picture of Spider-Man. All of these feelings, emotions, and memories were bubbling up in my consciousness on Friday night at the Mission City Roasting Company.

At the coffee house, there was a kid sitting at our table playing on a color Gameboy. Soon after we sat down, he started talking to us about games. Daniel was 15 years old and was living, curiously enough, in Escondido. It was strange for Eric and I, who both grew up in San Diego, to meet someone so close to home! We talked at length about computer games, such as the ones he was playing, Galaga and Galaxian. I used to play Galaga over and over at the Round Table Pizza restaurant in University City on half-day Thursdays when I was in elementary school! Now, Galaga fits in the palm of your hand and doesn’t cost 25 cents a game! It was to try to relate to Daniel, a representative of the younger generation growing up in high technology America today. He had never played an RPG game, like Ultima, Wasteland, or Baldur’s Gate. And, bizarre as it might sound, he didn’t even have an email address (that he checked regularly)! Eric and I figured that everybody in high school would have an email address and be on the Internet constantly for communicating with friends.

Daniel was very loquacious, probably the most so of any 15 year old that I know or used to knew! He just kept talking and talking, especially during the musical performances that we were straining to hear. It wasn’t that annoying, but it did get in the way whenever I was trying to listen to Vienna’s songs. It was good to see him take the initiative to talk to people, and for that, I commend him. At one point, Daniel asked us if Eric and I were brothers. He’s the second person who has asked that question, the first being someone at Justin Min’s Birthday Party. Hey, better they think of us as brothers than gay lovers! Hah, I was brushing my teeth just now (3:30 am) and thinking about the whole brothers/gay lovers deal when I looked at Eric’s web site and he posted the exact same thing on his web page! Maybe we’re like the Tomax and Xamot from GI:JOE or the Wonder Twins from Superfriends. Wonder Twin powers activate! Form of a Canon D30! Shape of an EOS 1-V!

Okay, I’m digressing… where was I?

After the open mic ended around 10:30, we helped Vienna pack up her music equipment, and went over to Pho Hoa, the Vietnamnese restaurant that closes at 2:00 AM in Mountain View. There, we ran into Dean McComb, one of the musicians at the coffee house, for dinner. We talked about life in the high tech world and compared the fast paced lifestyle of the Silicon Valley with the more sedate one in San Diego. Dean himself used to live in San Diego, and Vienna recently found herself down there for the weekend. How strange is that to have my hometown be such a large part of the day’s conversation!

This evening was a definite case of “what’s old is new again.” I met up with friends from my past, such as Eric and Vienna, as well as becoming acquainted with some new people, like Dean and Daniel. Weaving throughout the evening was my hometown, San Diego, and memories of coffee shop hopping and listening to music. Late night conversations about all topics topped off the evening. These are the types of thing that make life rewarding and fun. And tomorrow, which has already begun (it’s 3:37 am at the time of writing), is another day of potential.

I’ve been thinking lately that I should start a Vienna Teng fan club web site; I’ll probably be the first, but I definitely won’t be the last! And so, without further ado, welcome to the Inaugural Vienna Teng Fan Club Web Site!

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