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‘Twas Christmas night and all through the town not a degenerate was stirring - except your editor! I headed down to Smith’s Olde Bar for the annual “Why don’t I come here more often?” excursion, and a benefit show for one of the Boobytrap girls that got creamed by a drunken uninsured motorist.
When I pull up in the parking lot to see a new Mercedes, a new BMW, and two new sports utility vehicles I should know better. I already knew Smith’s is a joint for rich white trash, which I am decidedly not (rich, that is.) A glance at the downstairs crowd confirms I’m not dressed in the uniform - plaid button-up shirt, khaki pants, leather belt and baseball cap. Ah well, I didn’t go to mingle, I went for the show. So I climbed the steps to the upstairs showroom and lurked about looking for someone I knew - no luck, and the acoustic set going on just couldn’t hold my attention. No beer on tap either. And the beer-soaked carpet reeked like a dumpster.
Back downstairs there’s not much more fun to be had. Both their pinball machines are flaky and the crowd was thin and dull (in more ways than one) so it was back upstairs.
The Pleasantdales got up on stage for a thin an dull set of forgettable 99X flavorless gruel. I thought “Boy, this sucks! It’s only a matter of time before they hit the big time.” If this stuff moves you in the least then you haven’t lived. I got home to find out 99X and the local print media had already raved about ‘em. Goddammit. Speaking of, the Loafing has, yet again, cut one of my Music Menus - they ran a special Music Menu collection for New Year’s and failed to include my Shawn Mullins menu, probably because it didn’t gush like their big article about him does. Just another reason to keep THIS publication going! Here’s what I wrote:
Catfight was up last and did a set of stuff almost entirely new to me, and all of it good stuff. If The Pleasantdales themselves hadn’t made me forget The Pleasantdales, Catfight gladly washed them from my head, wrapping up with one of the only Christmas tunes I like - the same Ramones tune Tore Up covered last week!
Saturday it was down to Echo Lounge. The joint was near empty when I arrived but each person that trickled in the door was someone I knew, a few I hadn’t seen in a damn long time. I handed out a few New Years invites (if you didn’t get yours in the mail don’t fret - we’ll put directions in Wednesday’s episode!) and mingled until Shannon Wright started up. She did that soulful acoustic stuff with a passion, even did a few numbers on an electric piano with a nifty little light show to make up for the fact that the club wouldn’t light her themselves. The crowd was restless and chattered through her set until she said “Can you keep it down? I can’t hear my guitar.” The people up front quieted down but the folks in the back weren’t there to hear or see the show but to BE AT the show and kept yammering. I didn’t blame them - the sound guy should’ve made up for it.
Kelly Hogan went on around midnight and did a long “outlaw set”, as she put it, of covers of everything from old jazz and country to the latest eMpTy V hip hop with her amazing voice, all done in an interesting fashion. It was 80% the same set I’d seen at the Star Bar earlier this year. The chattering crowd overpowered the music if you were anywhere in the room except directly in front of the speakers. Combined with the shortness of the set (barely over an hour) and the $7 it made for the first disappointing Kelly Hogan show ever (which is to say still one of the top 10 shows of the year!) Ah well, maybe next year...
Speaking of, don’t forget our annual New Years Eve Bash - more fun than a barrel full of drunken monkeys with explosives! Come to think of it, that’s a pretty darn close description...

The New Years invites were dropped into the mail last week. As usual, they’re a work of art! Some have asked for more detail before committing so here’s a brief summary for the hesitant chickens out there:
A weird mix of professionals, slackers, rednecks and professional redneck slackers gather every year in a small farmhouse in Dahlonega, Georgia, drink heavily, dance, set of an insane amount of explosives at midnight, drink and dance until nobody is left standing. This will be something like the 9th time we’ve had the party at this location, something like the 13th time we’ve organized this party, every time without injury (physical, anyway) and every time with nothing but rave reviews from attendants.

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