Castor Oil...sickeningly good

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Harrah Marah Huzzah

Lots has been going on to leave me a tad weary, happy but weary. I can wrap up the New Orleans adventure with a summation that we ate, drank, sweated, laughed and had merriment galore. I still love the town as much as I ever did but am not in a great hurry to feel that heat or smell that oo-oo that smell again for a while.

One funny moment, seeing a conference attendee guiltily skulking out the doorway of the “Oriental Bodyrub Spa” that was across the street from the hotel. Pervert. I also had a beer with the guy that produced Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album. He bought my drink which I think was appropriate as he’s rich as fuck and I am not.

Saturday night the band played a last minute show at Jammin Java in the wilds of Vienna, Virginia with a Philly band called Marah. Neither band had ever played the room before, in fact Marah almost always plays at Iota when they come through town which is sorta our homebase as well. I was kinda nervous about the show as A) it was in what is demonstrably a coffee shop although a coffee shop with a stage and great sound system, B) we only had two days to try and get folks out to the show so we were relying almost entirely on an out of town band to draw folks to the room, and C) Ben was going on a canoe trip during the day (why people do these things I have no idea) and I was nervous about him having a Deliverance style run-in with the river dwellers and not being able to make it back for the show due to a hostage and ransom situation of some sort.

We got to the place sans Ben on time and hung out waiting for Marah to show up. They arrived in a nice red van looking weary as this was their sixth show in six days which makes for some hard living. Super nice guys though and very rock and rolling…their singer Dave had a swank jacket held together by duct tape and they all had beautiful guitars upon which to sturm und drang. As we were getting the stage set up a voice came a calling me and lo and behold my guardo camino from Milwaukee, Garrett, was there along with about 150 other people lined up around the building. He had actually read the email I sent about the gig and as he was in town he came out to rock out. It was grand to see him and his lovely paramour, he’s totally my favorite Henry Rollins style physical therapist that I used to move furniture with ever. Ben survived his white water adventure and got there right on time so fears allayed we got ready to rock it up.

Another nice touch to the evening; being that Saturday was the day before Dad’s Day and that the room was all ages and it was an early show the Mrs. came with daughter #1 and daughter #1’s best pal to rock and roll away. The girlies were having a great time and it warmed the darkness of the old heart to see my progeny out and about bopping around. She’s fantastically cool as cool as a kid can ever be. I’m a lucky guy that way. Her and her pal ran our merch table for us, how great is that?

Anyhoo the room was filling up and we had a bunch of folks come out to hang and bang with us. We started the set and had a great old time. Trey is getting more and more into the groove and the band right now is pretty much wildly goddamn fun. Marah’s crowd was great, very receptive and into the show which is as much as you can ask for playing all originals in front of people who don’t know you from a zit on their collective ass. It was sweaty and swarthy and just what we wanted.

Marah came on soon afterwards and got it on. I really, really like the band a lot. Great songs, show, presence, energy…..they busted out two hours of getting it done the right way. They have bits and pieces that remind me of a lot of bands both famous and obscure and wrap it all together very well. Dave has a voice reminiscent of love letters scrawled out on a thousand bars. Dirty but pretty. They have really strong songs and melodies, good dark interesting lyrics and lots of quirky without being weird for weirdness sake stuff going on in the tunes. The guitarist and brother of Dave, Serge, brings a lot to it playing harmonica and singing nice counterpoints to the lead stuff. They have distinct voices that work well together and it’s not so much harmonies as two lead vocals working together in a raspy duet. I dig. The lead guitar player is a dead ringer for Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks so they had that adding points to my scorecard. I highly recommend em’, check it out when they come to your town.

The night wound up and we were drinking beers and selling shirts and CDs and feeling the love. Ben had made a retreat to go ice down his arms and after loading up and settling up Philito and Jenn headed westward home to Doobie and Tipsy and the rest of the pack that were waiting for them. Trey and I stopped by the crappy bar up the street for a nightcap and then limped wearily back to the mansion on the hill. Rock night over and overall it was a big success for the band.

Morning came soon after and I had to get on an airplane and go to North Carolina…..not the best thing I could think of to do with my day. I got delayed in Charlotte for the 5000th time, turned my brain off and watched TV at the airport bar and observed some poor drunken soul getting hauled off by the jackbooted airport thugs after he blew his cool at a gate agent for getting bumped from a flight that had been delayed three times. Poor sucker, he’s probably eating turnips and brown rice in a Gitmo holding cell right now for his terroristic activities.

I finally made it to Wilmington…cab , hotel, food, bar, bed.


Home last night and up with the sun. I’m fucking beat but dammit if my hair doesn’t look spectacular.


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