Castor Oil...sickeningly good

Thursday, January 27, 2005

All my bags are packed....

Heading out to New Orleans by way of Augusta, GA in about ten minutes. I'll try to post about the goings-on but internet access and the ability to move my fingers and put together a sentence may be severley limited.

anybody feel like it's Bloody Mary time?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Clothes do make the man they say

Hanover Shoes is going out of business, (at least the one near me) tomorrow so I went in today to check out the clearance stuff. Five pairs of shoes and a bit later I was back hobbling through the mall, (five shoe boxes is more cumbersome than one would think), happy with my fantastic bargains and really nice new shoes. Kenneth Cole's, Bostonian's, Clark's, some italian name I can't spell.....I am hooked up! My neighbor Billy went yesterday so our block is very swankily shod at the moment.

How this kind of happiness has crept upon me I have no idea as I was a slob almost my entire life. Over the last few years however I have been going through progressive stages of clothes buying mania including a VERY bad shiny shirt stage. I am now comfortably into pretty good off the rack but high quality clothes snobdom and it’s getting worse and worse. I have jeans that cost as much as my first bass guitar, shirts that come with special boxes and extra buttons, nifty shoes and boots that actually warrant shining and aren’t made of some odd faux-leather petroleum byproduct and all sorts of other accessories that ten years ago I would have been mortified at the thought of buying.

I also get my hair cut at a salon and dig trying out pore cleansers and moisturizers.

The flip side to this is I am loathe to throw anything away so I have pounds of clothes I will never wear again but can’t bring myself to get rid of. I did donate the shiny shirts to Salvation Army so somewhere a poor waif is warm and cozy even if he does look like a gay bowler. I think I have to just leave it up to someone else to come purge my closets for me and leave me with a functional and manageable wardrobe. This scares me though as the last time someone “cleaned up my closet” they threw away all of my awesome Iron Maiden and Hanoi Rocks t-shirts and left me with shit like “LIFE’S A BEACH AT OBX!!!” was bad.

Course now that I have all these new shoes I have to go get clothes to go with them.


(Lord I want to beat my own self up sometimes. How do you people resist?)


It's 4:30 in the morning and I'm hanging out with a very wide awake little kid. She's all effervescent and I'm flat like a 9 day old soda.


Recorded guitars and vocals over the last two nights. Always weird to do that, microphones don't lie and hearing yourself without the din of the other stuff around you can be very humbling, not a natural state for yours truly. The songs are turning out pretty well though, I think they'll be cool.

God I'm tired.

Monday, January 24, 2005

OK, now it's your turn

I'm going to New Orleans on Friday. I'll be there over the weekend all by my lonesome. So somebody give me some ideas of where to go, what to do, blah blah blah. I'm staying at a hotel in the French Quarter. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that my interests are getting drunk and observing weirdos. I also like music that doesn't sound like warmed over Goo Goo Dolls made by Good Charlotte wannabes named Clunky.

Thanks in advance for helping me destroy my liver.

Au Revoir!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Home of the Whopper

Things were really getting crazy at old Club Plaid. As I mentioned yesterday Philito was busting some serious drunken wreckage on the dance floor (complete with finger pointing and attempted dipping) and Ali Baba was running around yelling stuff for no apparent reason to no one in particular.


It was the maniacal laughter that was really freaking me out. It was like partying with the Joker. As you know earlier in the evening Ali Baba had left me on the sidewalk and run up to a cab to go to some wicked afterhours party and despite the cloudiness of his thought process he was still holding onto that idea like a Templar Knight holds onto a Grail quest.


Of course it was nowhere near closing time yet so the afterhours requirement had yet to come to bear but that was not an argument worth making at that particular moment. Keeping us from leaving Plaid was a very distraught and confused looking Philito who had discovered that his jacket was missing and worse, Flasky the magical flask was missing along with it. Everyone started running around to the same places over and over again looking for Philito’s jacket while Ali Baba was trying to herd us into cabs like a deranged alcoholic border collie. I was finally about to go get a good stiff drink with lovely lovely Jenn when Ali Baba cancelled my drink order (aggravating me immensely) and yelled at me that we “HAFF TO GO AFFFEROWWERZ PARTY…NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I was, at this point, not quite so amused as the sobriety thing was really starting to get to me but I figured we would be at another bar soon enough so I would be virtuous and patient, at least for five or ten more minutes. Things really kicked into a higher gear of mania when Ali Baba ordered everyone to stand in one place “DON’T CHEW FUMTING MOVE FOR ZHIS SHPOT!” while he went (being the New Yorker) to find the jacket. Off he shot, careening across the dance floor on his search and destroy…errr, rescue, mission while the rest of us either stood or wobbled in place in the lobby of Plaid not really knowing what was going on. About two minutes passed and Ali Baba came barreling back and announced “PHILHITO ZURE JACKET IZ FOWKING GONE AND I’Z SHORRY BUT IZ TRUE!...NOW WE HAFF TO GO!!!!!” and ran out the front door. We, of course, followed gamely behind.

When we got outside mere seconds later Ali Baba was standing like a gunfighter by a cab driven by a very recently overwhelmed and bewildered cab driver.


The five being myself, Philito, lovely lovely Jenn, Ali Baba and Philito’s good friend and NYC resident Alex. Now Alex, he wanted to know where he was being dragged off to as he didn’t know anyone but Philito and Jenn and it was pretty apparent that we were getting directives from the loosest cannon in the Tri-State area. Madness ensued…

Alex – Where are we going? Let’s go to some cool clubs on the lower east side.
Alex – Where?
Alex – Man…what….I don’t want to go uptown. Lets go….
Cab driver – How many? Five is too many

Alex relented and got in the passenger seat and off we were heading uptown to Snafu, a bar where Ali Baba used to work and where he and I have drank well in the past. For some reason Ali Baba felt that it was extremely important that Alex recognize the awesomeness of this excursion and much yelling between Ali’s mouth (right next to my ear) and Alex in the front seat ensued. I will spare you the details but suffice to say between the noise and being one of four people in the backseat I was pretty good and goddamn ready to get out of that cab. As we approached the vicinity of the bar it became apparent that Ali Baba was a tad fuzzy on the exact location of his previous place of employment so he decided to enlist Alex’s help in finding the landmark that would let him know that we had arrived, a Burger King.


Mercifully the home of the Whopper soon appeared and we spilled out of the cab and into Snafu. Have I mentioned that young Philito had been having quite an evening of the drunkies in his own right? It was quite something to see two of the toughest binge drinkers I know, Philito and Ali Baba, both pole-axed while I, very unfortunately, was STILL dead sober. I was hoping to correct that at Snafu and was having a beer and a shot of whiskey and chit-chatting with lovely lovely Jenn who I thought was also sober but as it turned out she wasn’t, she just has an amazing clarity about her even while bombed. Most impressive. Anyway we’re chattering away and Philito comes up and with deadened eye lids and a quirky smile says “I’m done.” And by the look on his face it was very clear that that was that and that's all there was to it. Time to go and goddamn I was STILL in complete control of my brain and body and resigned to my sober fate.

We still had Ali Baba to deal with as he was possibly staying at the hotel. Jenn tried vainly to tell him where it was and finally just gave him a brochure she was carrying so he could find us. With a hug and a head rub I bade fair Ali Baba farewell and we three, (leaving Alex there for some sadistic reason), strode forth in search of pizza. A short cab ride later we found the marvelous pie and Philito seemed to perk up a bit but it was insanely cold and getting a bit miserable so we jumped in yet another cab and took it back to the hotel.

Philito was still hungry upon arrival and luckily there was an all-night coffeeshop kinda thing in the lobby that was open but seemingly unattended. Seemingly only though for upon a bit of investigation Jenn found the cleark sleeping on the floor behind the register. She rousted the lazy scalywag, bought Philito a muffin, and we toddled upstairs to our snug little craphole to call it a night and get some sleep. Before crashing out Philito indulged his most murderous impulses on that poor little muffin and it never stood a chance. We found bits of it’s soft and moisty carcass strewn to every corner of the room the next day as if a pack of Dingos had set upon it in a blood frenzy (assuming blueberries could be substituted for blood).

After some silly chit-chat we all went to sleep and I was sleeping blissfully with my head on the sandpaper pillow when my phone rang. I answered but before I could say anything, “BOWESSSHS SHIT’S ALI I’MZ SHORRRY AND…….”, and just as quickly as he started he hung up and was gone. Weird. I was kinda worried about him but had no idea where he was and I knew, (knowing Ali Baba), that he would not answer had I called him back. So back to sleep for me.

And that was the end of a long and entirely drunken for some and sadly sober for others rock and roll night in New York City.

The next day we got up and cleaned up and marveled at how clothes don’t smell like ashtrays when everyone has to smoke outside at bars. It’s kinda nice actually. We headed out and met Dub John for breakfast and laughed at his story about a drunken Chinese feller named Kato. Good story but only if you heard John tell it. After that we bopped around and headed back towards the car. On the way we bought a beanbag chair, two pieces of pizza, and a blouse and had a pricey little morning in the Rotten Apple. Four hours and a Filet-o-Fish later I was home to my beeyooteefull ladies and the mansion on the hill. Philito and Jenn headed to their abode and I laid my head down to take a well deserved nap when….


Oh no…..

“Bowes…it’s Ali Baba…when’s your next show??”

God help us everyone.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ali Baba Hails a Cab

Oh my!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog we were using almost all of Maggie’s gear and had given away our soundcheck time to some completely unappreciative roundheads with a wall of amps from Boston. I don’t know what they were called but goddamn they were surly. I’m sure they were good but I didn’t watch them. Anyway…
So as always happens when you’re last up and from out of town the local yokels start filtering out a bit so we changed up and got onstage pretty quickly to reel them in with our incredible songs that are like auditory manna from the lord himself. With a battlecry of “ROCK AND ROLL BABIES THAT’S THE ONLY WAY TO DIE” leading him Wesley launched into our opening tune. His guitar sounded sweet, the drums cascaded in, I looked at Philitio (we enter together as is fitting) and……….


I was pretty sure it was the bass but it wasn’t 100% clear that it was. Whatever it was it was fucking loud as hell and it was scaring the shit out of the people in the room. Ali Baba looked at me….I looked at him…we all looked around and there was nothing else to do but have faith in the soundman and keep on rolling. I think he was off doing something though because changes were not seemingly forthcoming. At least the THWOMPING was in time with the drums so we could play off the fact that we were some kind of crazy German industrial noise band. It was worth a shot anyway. So while the sound was terrible at least the booze was flowing in the crowd and people were gamely rocking. Suffice to say it was a decent set but nothing to write home, or to a blog, about. Philito unplugged my guitar with his big shoes a few times and I told him I was going to behead him and throw his remains in the river. He seemed to like that.

Set over I was packing up my gear and looking at the amazing array of cocktails that Ali Baba and the Thieves had so kindly brought to me whilst the rock was in session. I tossed down a whiskey and coke and was working on a beer and really getting revved up for some serious carnage but the strangest thing happened…all around me people were totally shitcannned drunk and I was absolutely no-lie 100% clear headed and sober. It was awful. Philito gave me a flask-driven bearhug and Ali Baba was all over the place and people were dancing and grooving and damn it all I was totally sane and cognizant. I drank two more whiskeys and it didn’t do anything but make me gag (rail whiskey…shiver me timbers).

Ben and Wes in a manly and utterly perplexing strategy had decided to head back home directly after the show with the gear. Philito was MIA and as I later learned was busting some serious moves on the dance floor to the chagrin of his lovely lovely so it was the sober 75% of the Prophets loading the gear along with one extremely drunk Ali Baba. I was trying to direct Ali Baba but he was beyond direction and so full of helpful energy that trying to corral him would have been useless. At one point when he was spinning in circles with two guitar cases in the middle of the street I considered borrowing a TASER gun but he stumbled back to relative safety and we got Wes and Ben on the road,

All that was left to carry was a single amp to my ride which was in the garage next door. So me and Ali Baba each grab an end and start weaving through the club, fall down some stairs, hit the door and down the sidewalk we go. We get to the corner and Ali Baba puts down his end, runs into the street and hails a cab! I say “ALI WHAT ARE YOU DOING?????” and he yells, “BUT BOWES….ISH TIME TO GO TO THE AFTERRRRHOWERZZZ PARTY….” and gets into the cab. Now normally I would have let him go but I do truly love Ali Baba and have on many occasions been the spectacularly drunk and highly motivated good time boy so I ran to the cab and foisted Ali Baba out of it. He looked confused but when I said “You should come with me…..we’re in New York you know and I need your help” he gave me a smile and a manly embrace and the two of us toddled down the ramp to the car and got rid of the amp.

Ali Baba turned to me and we talked

Ali Baba - “Bowes…are you mad at me”
Me – “Why would I be mad at you”
Ali Baba – “Because I only brought 30 people to your show.
Me – “Someday, like tomorrow, you’ll realize how fucking stupid that apology is.”
Ali Baba – “I hope so because right now I feel pretty bad. And drunk.”
Me – “Concentrate on the drunk, the bad will work itself out.”
Ali Baba - “that sounds good, you’re smart Bowes….like Yoda”
Me – “I know, c’mon. I need to get drunk.”
Ali Baba – “You’re not already? How did that HAPPEN???”

So who says I’m not a nice guy? Ali Baba thinks I am at least. I’m pretty sure the parking attendant thought we were going to start making out with all the close talking and manly embracing and spectacular fashion sporting that was going on. But we kept it straight and headed up the ramp to the next chapter in the evening…..we were heading uptown.

Next up…a muffin meets a grisly demise and the hangover bag from Hades. That’s the plan at least but I'm going out drinking in a limo tonight for Adam’s end of singlehood shindig so lord knows what might arise from that. It will be the first time that all the core members of Luka Brazzi have all been together in a long long time so we have some destruction to catch up on.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Going to hell in a rocket powered taxicab

We blasted off to New York on Friday morning. I had Philito and the lovely Jenn (better half of Philito) with me while Wes and Ben followed a bit back in another car. The drive up was smooth, we chattered about nothing much and I introduced the lovely couple to Hanoi Rocks and L.S.D. We found out all sorts of things about each other including who used to do what regarding the kinds of things we always swore we would never do. I think we each scared one another in a totally good way.

Less than four hours from departure we arrived in New York and headed to the hotel in Union Square which, of course, was nowhere near Union Square (fuck you very much Expedia). On the way we saw the Naked Cowboy and other harbingers of the apocalypse and I quickly reacclimated myself to Manhattan driving courtesy which is to simply have none and drive like a hound from hell on his way to an all you can eat buffet of innocent and delicious cherubs; fast, aggressive and wholly without mercy. We arrived at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue which was neither blandly novuea nor charmingly shabby but simply dirty and dingy and a real fucking dump. The door to our room resembled a submarine hatch and I found myself quoting Han Solo as I walked in....“what an incredible smell you’ve discovered….”

So we gagged and left quickly to head over to Club Plaid. Philito had ascertained that the club was closed to the public but open to us to load in so off we went merrily wrong-turning and curb hopping and rubbernecking up the road and had a good old time. We finally found the club and banged on the big steel door and upon squeaking of hinges went in and checked out the digs. Very nice place, a dance club in front and a big band room in the back. Good lights and sound gear it seemed, very clean bathrooms, well stocked bars and lots of sofas. Good vibe at Club Plaid.

As we were mostly using Maggie Kim’s stuff load-in was nominal and after parking the car for the night we were done and free to roam the town. I called my friend Dub John (he’s from Dublin…duh) and met him at a bar down the street. John is an interesting character and we have had lots of adventures together in the past. He purports to not like me but I know he really loves and cherishes me. I think it’s just that Irish thing, they’re nasty little people maybe as a result of getting screwed on royalties for Lucky Charms and Irish Spring, who knows? But I digress. John started regaling us with stories and we were all laughing and laughing and going outside to smoke and freeze our asses off. I had a nasty Boddington’s Ale which was kinda sad but quickly got over it. Wes and Ben had arrived into town so we bid (bade?) John farewell and walked back to Plaid to soundcheck. Soundchecking without equipment is tough so we mostly sat around making stupid jokes until Maggie's gang showed up. When they did we figured as time was short they could pretty much soundcheck for us as we were sharing the same gear. Same gear, same sound, no big deal, good plan, right? Wrong. Oh well…….

Soundcheck over we all left together and went to grab some dinner and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Generally we were having a really good time as we were in New York on a Friday night to play a rock and roll show and that just doesn’t suck. After chowing Wes and Ben headed back to the club (being normal) while Philito and I hailed a cab to go back to the Shithole Pennsylvania (being ego-maniacs) to change clothes and drink from his flask and marvel at our own inherent awesomeness.

Cab pulls up, we get in and give the destination, driver hits the meter and all of a sudden it’s a scene from Men in Black as we’re in a goddamn rocket car careening through the streets of New York. This car was flying, we went blocks in mere seconds, we were about to smash a car and then *poof!* it’s left safely in the wake of our acceleration. It was bizarre. Just weeks ago I had a drunk cab driver in Lubbock Texas named Hound Dog almost kill me. In the past I have been kicked out of a cab on a bridge span and ended up in the hospital for stitches as a result of taxi antics but I have never, ever, had a cab ride like this one. Not only was this undoubtedly the fastest cab on the planet (and beyond) but it was apparently driven by an Armenian shaman who can defy the laws of physics and bend matter to his will through the force of his mind and steering wheel horn. It was terrifying but so unbelievable that the fear was sorta….funny. I had to change my underwear of course but I’m still glad for the experience. Upon screeching to a stop at the hotel and walking shaky-legged through the lobby we took the elevator to the 2nd floor and entered our hovel through the submarine hatch.

Safely in our rented filth we all started laughing, (and drinking whiskey). I changed into new black pants and pointy shoes and it was all “watch out New York it’s going to be an ambiguously homosexual rock and roll maelstrom!!!!!!” Jenn laughed at us and said we were cute and we blushed and headed to the cab stand keeping a wary eye out for that Mr. Sulu warp speed motherfucker with a hack license all the while.

A nice safe minivan cab pulled up and we sighed breaths of relief and got in. Our driver grumbled something and went to pull out into traffic but was blocked in by the cab ahead of him. He honked to no avail and went to back up and go around but another cab had pulled up right behind us. So minivan lays on the horn over and over until the guy in front pulls up a bit. Minivan pulls up next to him and rolls down the window “YOU BLOCK ME IN STUPID FATASS MOTHERFUCKER MOVE YOUR FUCKING STUPID ASS NEXT TIME PIECE OF SHIT FAT FAGGOT MOTHERFUCKER FUCK YOU IN YOUR STUPID ASS YOU STUPID SHIT!” and screeches out into traffic. Wow!

So Philito in a show of rock attitude solidarity says something like “you told him” and minivan stares into the rearview mirror with nothing but cold murder in his eyes.

Minivan – “……..(very quietly)…what did you say?”
Philito – “uhhhh…..good….job?”
Minivan – “I thought so”

After that things were pretty quiet for the rest of the ride.

Minivan the homicidal cab driver dropped us a block from the club (“get out here”) and we skipped away happy that we had our necks intact and ready to rock and roll away. We entered Plaid past the 900 pound bouncer and smiled from ear to ear. It was only 9:45 and Plaid was rocking well, lots of people drinking and yelling and having a ball. We all had some friends there so we went our separate ways (do not sing Journey) and rocked and bopped and had a blast. My friend Ali Baba showed up and hugged me to the point of spinal distenegration as he is prone to do and we hung out with the big crowd he brought with him. It was really fun. Somewhere along the way I must have missed something of very high proof and volume because in the blink of an eye Ali Baba says “Bowes…I’m drunk. Man, I’m having fun…but I AM DRUNK!!!!!” He turned to the bartender wearing Spiderman Underoos and said, “I need another drink……this night has a long way to go!!!!”

And as she turned her web-covered behind to get more booze a chill went through the air and right into my liver. The night had truly just begun and baby we had a long way to go……..

Thursday, January 13, 2005

27 minutes and a belly full of destruction

Well it’s been a while now…..

I got some nasty gastric destruction working on my flight back to D.C. yesterday. I ate some Wasabi tuna at a restaraunt in Augusta, Georgia which was probably ill-advised. Asian fusion cooking at a place that smells like a paper mill and has Velcro on the bar to hold glasses down when the trains go by…not so good a mix. On the flight I was seriously contemplating what to do as you are ordered by Jesus and the President not to leave your seat for 30 minutes when approaching National Airport and about 27 minutes out the tuna was talking….loudly. If I had made the mad dash to the bathroom during the no-standing time the plane would have been diverted and I probably would have ended up in Guantanmo bay for my troubles. Still…it was a distinct possibility. Luckily I used my ninja mind control and kept things bottled up until I could get to the terminal.

You don’t want any further details.

Anyway, so tomorrow the band heads up to Manhattan for the big old gig which is going to be a spectacular frenzy of madness and mirth. Me and Philito are taking one car and Wesley and Benifer the other. I think the two smart ones are going to head back after the gig but not me, no a long night of liver destruction lies ahead dammit. I have a crappy hotel room and everything that I can fall down in.

We started recording again last week and it was both fun and miserable. It always goes like that. Wes is pretty much done with his parts but I have a crapload of work to do on guitars and vocals. I think the new stuff is good, but I’m an ego-maniac as has been well documented. You will love it I’m sure and bow down to the majesty that is me and my fellows. We’re awesome.

What else has been going on? Mmmm….New Year’s was fun. Philito and I played at the XM stage during the day down at the Washington Auto Show. It’s a strange gig, you play acoustic on a stage in the main hallway. Zillions of people just walk on by and stare at you for an hour. We started off doing this I would do a song then Phil would do a song thing which was cool except neither one of could figure out where to look when the other was playing. We were sitting right next to each other so if you looked over it gave the appearance of lovestruck gazing. I mean I love Philito and all but too much is just too much. We had mixed up some delicious Jack and Cokes from the flask de Philito earlier in the day and that helped us get through, it always does. The weirdest moment was during a song a guy in a ten ten-foot tall robot costume with scarily long and sexually intrusive looking fingers started dancing in front of Philito. He kept playing, I hit the bourbon, the robot danced clumsily and we were all wary of each other for a good three minutes. Both of us were also completely medicated out the yang on DayQuil which led to some interesting head feelings and physical departures from the norms of control and straight line walking.

So after leaving the show and trips to the local yokel bar and the liquor store we were back in the Mansion on the Hill having a joyous buzz of a time. Friends and neighbors and some assorted family started drifting over and soon I was blazingly intoxicated and reveling in the happiness of it all. Close to midnight I started shooting off crappy fireworks and they sucked, Billy ran home and got some better ones but we all resolved to load up on better armament for next year. Late in the night there was a silly sweet moment of loving in my dining room but I don’t know if I’m at liberty to divulge the details. Trust me, it brought a tear to my sotted eye.

Other than that…..mmm…..Philito and I have discovered our new after practice bar and it’s a wonderfully dirty and fun place to go talk about our awesomeness after practice. I was in Georgia for a few days getting drunk and food poisoned and WHFS went off the air (someone call the “Who gives a shit?!?!” patrol).

Big Apple, I’m coming to eat your worm infested soul you sweet mother.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Oh my

I have all sorts of crap to write about but I'm stuck in Georgia and have very little time. So I'll try to get up the tales of long-fingered robots and marriage proposals, whisky burps and walking headfirst into a reindeer. Yeah. Hopefully tomorrow.

Augusta Georgia smells like a fat guy's ass.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Yeah, this is going to be fun

It's my blog and I'll shill if I want to
Shill if I want to........

My band The Pharmacy Prophets will be playing at this awesome place in Manhattan next Friday the 14th called Plaid, (76 East 13th Street in Union Square). This is the same club where Courtney Love beaned the guy in the head with the microphone and got arrested. I will try to behave more kindly, (but cannot vouch for Philito). C'mon out and rock out as we surely will. It's a big room, about 700 folks, four bands and we're headlining so it's a pretty big night for us. If you're going to be up in NYC that weekend or if the following amazing offer compels you to go simply rsvp via email to - to get in for free and get free booze.

Just give your name and ask to be put on the Pharmacy Prophets guest list. Open bar from 9-10, free admission if you're on the list. Feel free to send this on to anyone you think would dig it, we get as many slots on the list as we can fill. Regular admission is Twenty bucks.

More info from the promoter*********************
Here's the details about the performance at Plaid, 76 East 13th Street on January 14th... the party is called Between (a Rock and a Hard Place) and is free to get in on the UNDERBELLY list from 9-11, reduced to $10 admission (normally $20) until 1 am. We also get OPEN BAR from 9-10 so your guests probably want to get there early to have a few freebies... From 10 pm til 1 am we have $5 whiskey and vodka drinks and $4 beers at the back bar so it's not hard to hang out... Also, arriving early means a free smoking bracelet - otherwise the club charges $5 for re-entry...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A river )of crap) runs through it

Sometimes I would love to be able to shoot a flamethrower through the internet. That would be sweet. Anyway…

There is a hierarchy to playing in bands that is rarely discussed amongst band Doodes as it runs counter-intuitively to the “bonds of musicianship” that these (me) hypocritical ego-maniacs profess to have for each other. While in reality just about every musician thinks all other musician’s bands are the crap they all profess to love each other totally and absolutely. This is the bond of madness and deceit that ties people that hate each other together and leads to all the craziness that comes with being in a band.

When it comes to actually playing shows the hierarchy reveals that there are definite rungs to the ladder and this revelation leads to many uncomfortable moments in bars, on the phone, via email, etc. It occurs when a lower band in a desperate attempt to raise their profile mans up and asks a higher band to play a show together and the higher band’s hand is forced to tell them to go fuck themselves. While it is a mean process the skill at avoiding a straight “fuck-off” that is shown by the higher order would make Scott Petersen green with envy, (if he didn’t have other things to think about like getting beaten to death with a broomstick that was just recently implanted squarely in his ass by a guy named Hound Dog).

You see it goes like this. Let’s take a fictional band….mmm…and call them, I don’t know….the Pants Stretchers. Now, this band has been out gigging for a while and gets decent shows but not the total A-list shows that they would like to have. Still, there are lots of bands that would like to play the shows they play. So the Pants Stretchers are in the middle of the ladder. This leads to conversations like this –

Lower Rung Band Doode - Hey bro!
PS – Yo!
BD – I got an idea I want to run past you!
PS – (uh-oh) Uhhhhh….OK.
BD – I think if we played with you at Club Meathook on a weekend it would kick ass. Don’t you have a show coming up there in a couple months?

This is where the Pants Stretcher starts his most creative endeavors. Screw the stupid rock and roll songs, this is the inspired art right here boys and girls!

PS – (On the fly) Yeah, that would be cool man, but you see, Meathook has this weird thing where they are real sketchy about who we play with and man it would be totally rad to do the show with you guys and we would totally pack the place with you, we both know that but the guys at Meathook said we had to do the show with this like LIST of bands they have and I totally was hoping you were on it bro but you weren’t and it sucks because you’re so much better than the bands on there bro but you know, my hands are tied so I can't really get you on there man and if I ask the owner will totally chop my hands off man because he's crazy and he does shit like that all the time man so bro I don't know what to do man because I can't go getting my damn hands chopped off bro and he would totally do it man because he's crazy like that for real!

BD – Damn dude, for real?
PS – Yeah bro, for real.

So the Pants Stretchers are off the hook right up until BD calls Club Meathook to demand (because his band is so awesome) that they be put on the mystical BAND LIST. Of course Club Meathook denies the existence of said list because no such thing actually exists. BD is befuddled and while every rational part of his brain tells him that PS has just totally lied to him he refuses to believe his bro is capable of doing something like that. So the next round begins –

BD – Hey, the dude at Meathook said he doesn’t know anything about that band list….
PS (totally panics) – Ummm…man, that’s how they do stuff. It’s totally weird man. Yeah, uh, tell you what man, we’re kinda all up in the air anyway man and shit you know our bass player is not sure if he’s going to get a sex change so we might not do the show anyway man and shit I tell you bro that ummmm….

BD – I got you bro. Don’t worry about it. *click*

And as the light goes on in BD’s tortured and saddened little nugget of a brain the Pants Stretchers have, through no fault of their own other than being uncharitable selfish pricks like all musicians are, gained a mortal enemy. Forever more they will be hated by BD and his crew more than ex-wives and cheating girlfriends and the IRS all put together. They have broken the Bro-code. Unforgivable.

Don’t feel too bad for the Pants Stretchers though as they totally hate all the bands above them that tell them to fuck off all the time in the same situation. In contrast to the workings of the rational universe in the world of musicians dealing with other musicians shit always flows UPHILL.

I gotta sign off now, I’m calling my super good bud about opening up for them at the 9:30 Club.

Later Bros!!!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Don't step to me....or on me

Many years back in the days of grungy angst and unread Bukowski novels in dirty backpacks my band got booked at the Grog to play two sets on a weeknight. We were told to, "promote the fucks out of the show" and dutifully being rocker boys with staple guns we did. For our efforts we were promised a whopping $25.00 guarantee plus some percentage of the door based on attendees, girls vs. boys, the position of the sun, bio-rhthyms and the O.J. trial.

The complexity of these calculations for who gets what percentage of the door are amazing. If Hussein really wanted to develop nukes he should have rounded up some thick necked meatballs working the door at rock clubs and put them to the task, they're mathematical geniuses in too small Beefy-T's.

Anyway on the designated night of the ROCK FEST we get up and play and whirl and dervish away for a few hours blathering about the holes in our souls or some such thing and grimace convincingly at the small but unenthusiastic crowd that was there. At the end of the night the door guy is counting up cash and I ask for our cut and he says "you didn't make shit, go ask the bartender." Well we did indeed make shit (both financially and musically to be perfectly honest) and since we were the only band playing what cash was there was brought in by us. I figured even if I didn't really understand the algorithm that if there was indeed shit collected and we were supposed to get some percentage of the shit that we were entitled to at least some
measure of said shit and rightly so!

Armed with a bellyful of pure rock fury and crappy domestic beer I strode purposefully to the bar and said, "the door guy said I need to get my $25.00 guarantee from you and anything else that you owe us from the door." Boney the Bartender of course claimed complete and total ignorance and showed a Herculean lack of regard for my plight. I believe the exact quote was "fuck you, you guys suck." Next thing you know it's grunge Abbott and Costello playing 'Who's on First.' I asked and he denied and I asked and he denied and I yelled and he yelled and we all yelled and finally the hundreds of crappy gigs and crappier paydays or lack thereof all boiled up and I jumped up on the bar and grabbed his shirt in both of my soft little ballled up fists and started maniacally sputtering "GIVE ME MY $25.00 MOTHERFUCKER......GIVE IT TO ME.....GIVE IT TO ME!!!!"

It was truly Vedderian angst to the Nth but being in a position of little to no leverage I quickly started sliding back off the bar pulling Boney's head down with me. It was more like pairs figure skating than fighting to tell the truth but I was fully engaged in my rage moment and ready to tear the house down until five seconds later when Beefy McT-Shirt threw me on the floor and
stepped squarely on my chest (which hurts). The dudes in my band stood a safe distance away and glowered unconvincingly while I squirmed and sputtered 'neath the booted foot of fiscal malfeasance and rock and roll destruction.

Nobody really knew what to do at that point. I was pretty up on the idea of me breathing but Boots didn't seem to have that as a #1 priority. We all just stood and/or wiggled on the floor there for a moment until the bartender waggled his boney witch-like finger and proclaimed, "YOU ARE NEVER TO COME IN HERE AGAIN....BANNED....BANNED FOR LIFE AND DO NOT THINK WE DO NOT KNOW YOU WHEN YOU COME IN HERE!!!! YOU COME HERE AGAIN YOU SPEND THE NIGHT IN D.C. JAIL AND THEY WILL....."

You don't really want to know the predictions of what would happen to my body and person were I to go to D.C. Jail. Suffice to say the message had been clearly delivered. I was released from my podiatric confinement and went and stood outside of J.P.'s smoking dramatically while the band packed up the equipment and talked about how they were "just this close" to kicking some serious ass.

Equipment packed we left and that was that. Banned for life from the Grog was I and never have I stepped foot in the place again. I'm pretty sure I could walk in there just fine as so much time has passed but will refuse to do so until I get that $25.00 and a private tutoring session in quantum economics from the doorman. I do have principles after all.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

My liver, she is a beaten harlot

Dear benevolent and merciful God.

Help my internal parts for they have been drenched and soakened with the distilled temptations of your fallen Son. The rumblings in me innards are surely a reflection of the din that doomed souls make upon learning of the depths of their eternal suffering.

Or maybe I just really have bad gas.


Jolly times though, recap forthwith and on the way hoi hoi!