Election 2012: Avoiding the Elephant (And Donkey) In the Room



Boise band First Borns onstage at Neurolux for Election Day.
  • Josh Gross
  • Boise band First Borns onstage at Neurolux for Election Day.

There are no TVs at Neurolux. It has no radios or Internet berths. It's black walls represent a communications blackout. Even the cellphone reception is lousy.

And that is all by design.

For decades, Boiseans have used its cavelike darkness to shelter themselves from Idaho's political culture, to drown its effects with stiff drinks and the sorts of bands signed to Stiff Records.

But Tuesday night, things are a little different. There may be bands on the stage, but the election is here, stored in the subtext and the collective unconsciousness and manifested in nervous laughs and clipped sentences.

One girl who spent her day volunteering for the LeFavour campaign says she feels mildly guilty being here, away from the results, but that she promised to meet friends for the show. Several more on the patio are checking their cellphones every 10 minutes. A man with an iPad says he is constantly hitting the refresh button.

More say they were watching TV at home, but the concept of sticking with the results, possibly until morning, sounded stressful.

"I knew someone would probably say something if anything happens," a man tells me.

And they do. Two songs into the set from Boise band First Borns, the man with the iPad rushes to the stage to get the guitarist's attention, to let him know that the election has been called for Obama and that he should announce it through the mic.

"Obama was re-elected," the guitarist says. "Where is the fog at? That calls for some more fog."

There is a small cheer as fog billows around his "These Colors Don't Run" flag T-shirt and off the stage, and the band cuts into a song that could be an early Joy Division demo, about as far a sound from jubilant or celebratory as a band can conjure.

On the patio, a group of loud drunks are gathered around an acoustic guitar bellowing out nonsense songs. The results can wait until morning.


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