“Get your ticket. Stop complaining.”

We all know breaking up is hard, and sometimes the urge to go back to an ex comes out of nowhere. Hell, there are hundreds of songs written about running back to one in times of boredom, horniness loneliness, or to make someone new jealous (I think that covers every Country song ever). We know it’s a terrible terrible terrible idea, but sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves (every R&B song ever). But then we realize we made a mistake, and tell ourselves it will never happen again (every Taylor Swift song ever).

But when you’re trying to break up with the voice in your head… well… fuck. It’s even harder, because it’s not like you can just delete them from your phone or stop going to the grocery store near their place. That little voice is always an errant thought away, ready to come calling at the first sign of weakness.

And, at least for me, the little voice always knows what to say to get back in my pants (note to self, that’s a weird metaphor, dude).

Last night, for example. My friends Ilke and Allie invited me to a show at the El Rey Theater. My first reaction was “cool, something new!”… but then as I looked up the venue and saw how packed the crowds can be, that little voice came and put its arm around my shoulder.

Show Excuses

But sometimes, we’re lucky.

Sometimes we’ve got friends who give us a kick in the pants. Sometimes, we get reminded that it would be stupid to return that text. Sometimes, we get encouraged to get back out there. Sometimes, we have friends who know just what to say, even if they don’t actually realize the importance of what they just said.

Get Your Ticket

For me, I was lucky to get that kick in the pants by Ilke. And to get that encouragement from Allie. They are quite the good cop bad cop team, those two.

Good Cop Bad Cop

So I bought my ticket. I went to the show. I saw experienced The Opiuo Band. I had my mind blown.

I was not expecting to have the reaction that I did, as I was left totally dumbstruck. I stood there with a stupid grin on my face, just trying to soak it all in. Wondering all the time how they made that magic up there on stage. Unlike Country, R&B, or Hip Hop… I had no idea what this music was about.

And I loved it.

The Opiuo Band

The mixture of Saxophone, Guitar, Keyboard, Drums, Vocals, and all the other randomness that poured from those speakers… was just absolutely amazing. I’ve seen some performances that gave me the feels, but not like this. It was such a great way to spend my last Friday night in LA.

So, Ilke, thank you for your badgering (sorry I drew your hair weird). Allie, thank you for always being supportive (sorry I drew yours weirder). And big thanks to The Opiuo Band for blowing my mind.

Seriously, check them out. In-person if you get the chance, otherwise, give them a listen on your streaming service of choice. They’re such a funky mixture of genres and instruments, it’s hard to describe.

So what did I learn from this little adventure in LA’s Music Scene?

Well, it was a good reminder that past relationships are in the past for a reason. And it helped me realize that no matter how much I tell myself that I’ve broken up with the negative voice in my head, that it’s going to take time to actually get over it.

But it was also a reminder that when you do get out of a bad relationship, there’s always hope that something new’s around the corner. And sometimes you can’t find that new relationship until you cut off contact with the old one entirely. Sage words from friends shouldn’t be ignored. And, you should almost never take advice from a Country song.

(Note to self, you’ve pushed this whole relationship metaphor a little bit. Even though you’re not, people may think you’re referring to an actual person, and not some imaginary voice in your head. Either way, you’ll never be datable. So whatever you do, don’t hit publish…