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We were a bit remiss in our reporting in last episode, the whole antichrist-mas tirade got us distracted. So here's the Ear Plug from last weekend:
Degenerate Press reporters arrived at Variety Playhouse hoping we were early enough to snag a seat, only to find the joint already crowded and all the seats taken. We slid up close and personal to the stage, standing on the concrete floor not yet covered in beer. The lights came down at 8:30 on the nose, weird for an Atlanta venue. The members of Smoke drifted across stage and sat for a short set compiled of tunes requested by yelling audience members. Benjamin looked weaker than the last time we'd caught his act, but we still unable to sit still for the whole set, getting up and wandering about, jittering with too much energy. Knowing he's dying of AIDS really sets some of the lyrics in stone.
"I looked up and you were gone
so fast I couldn't believe"
The audience yelled for an encore but the roadies for Patti were already setting up for the main act. Not long after the Patti Smith Group comes out and cranks up. Patti soars from electric fury to motherly ballad to beat poet as if they all belonged in one act, and this just might be the act. Reading from recently departed Allen Ginsberg's Howl worked well but another reading later stopped halfway through with Patti saying "Seems kinda fuckin' pointless now..." or something like that. She would take long breaks between songs and discover extra buttons on her jacket, or have snappy banter with out, proud and too-loud lesbians in the front row before charging into the next number. Michael Stipe came out to sing along on a new tune and stayed for a tune of his own, getting more applause from the audience than DP reporters thought he deserved for a lackluster performance. But Patti was anything but lackluster. Casual, yes, and as comfortable as with a group of old close friends. But not lacking in passion or performance. She ended a superior set by combining the two tunes the out & proud girls had called for all night, Horses and Gloria, that got the standing crowd jumping and the seated crowd off their asses. A short break later she comes back and asks if Michael or anyone from Smoke wants to join in on the last one and charges into Rock And Roll Nigger. The Smokers rush out of the wings and join in on the chorus,
"Outside of society, outside of society, outside of society, baby baby you're a rock n roll nigger."
The young lead guitarist had been breaking strings all night and the fury going on around him finally snapped his patience and he smashed his guitar to bits in one big swing onto the stage. Smoke's guitarist kept chanting the chorus while Bill Taft interjected with an occasional blast of trumpet. Patti smiled at the chaos and drew it to a close, far too soon. I looked up and she was gone, so fast I couldn't believe.

No, I just can't get enough of that Christmas jeer:
"Certainly Christmas can be obnoxious and depressing, but amongst all the capitalism, is an excuse for people to do some very good things. The glass is half-full dammit, now drink-up and enjoy it." degenerate DAC
First off, apparently all the supposed Christians need an excuse to be good, and just in case their religious beliefs aren't enough we have Santa checking his list so we instill a couple of weeks of good behavior out of little boys and girls as well. Anyone see the Simpsons Consumass special where Bart prays to Santa and says the reason for the season was to celebrate the birth of Santa? The other characters on the show don't even blink, much less argue.
As for the glass, make sure it's half full with Bordens (TM) Egg Nog, Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum (TM) and mix that well into that Crate and Barrel (TM) special holiday glass. Down it quick before you remember just how arbitrary the picking of the date was for the birthday of Santa... er, Christ.

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