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Friday I won free tickets to Echo Lounge and arrived what I thought
would be early, only to find 6X already a couple of songs into their
set. Fortunately I'd seen them recently so I wasn't too upset but I
mention it to warn you against showing up at the standard 11 PM -
they really DO start at 10 like the ads say, unlike every other club
in town.
While I applaud their reasonable start time I must bitch about some
other problems with Echo.
As much as I like getting hot and sweaty it usually involves more
than just standing still.
Backlighting the band over the drummer's head turns everyone into
silouetts and the drummer into a black blur at best. Friday was made
even worse with a smoke machine out of control like some Spinal Tap
prop gone wrong, creating a well-lit curtain of inpenetrable smoke
right in front of the drum kit. At least I ASSUME there was a drum
kit there, they could have been using a drum machine for all I could
And while you're up there moving those damn lights take a trash can
or three closer to the stage.
Gam followed with their manic post-punk to hard freaky geeky rock
circus. Fire, costumes, (their own) strange lighting, the works. But
the lead singer really does need to use a microphone properly - at
least half the lyrics were run over by the guitars since he wouldn't
sing into the mic. Good show regardless.
I left before Smithwich Machine came on (sorry, guys) in search of my
brother over at Dottie's. Missed him and some other acts I was
supposed to see (sorry, guys) and ended up at El Myr for a nightcap.
They stay open late but stop serving food around 1:30 so if you want
a late-night burrito keep it in mind.

I hate being stood up. It's probably worse than being dumped. You
know the reasons behind a break-up - it just wasn't meant to be,
incompatible, etc. And you usually see it coming. But getting stood
up is entirely different. You spend the whole night wondering, "What,
did I have a log of asparagus in my teeth on our previous date? Am I
a lousy kisser? Did they run back to their previous significant
other? Are they dead in a ditch somewhere?" There ain't much you can
do to recover the evening. But I do have a treatment for the
symptoms, if not the cause, which leads us back to
already in progress.
Back to Echo Lounge Saturday, I sulked through a drink and Kenny
Howes & The Yeah. They're good at what they do, it just didn't move
I grabbed another and headed for the stage afterward. One by one the
members of The Robustos stepped up. From their CDs I was expecting a
much older, and frankly blacker, band. Instead 7 guys who look like
they're in their sophomore year at Tech took up the opening
instrumental, a familiar cover I can't quite place. Then Tonya
Abernathy stepped up to the mic, a dreamy young girl of African
decent with a bod that I'd noticed (several times) in the crowd
earlier and a smile that is utterly contagious.
Whereas her looks didn't put a dent in my mood, her voice pulled me
from the depths. The band as a unit is super tight, a well oiled
machine cranking out some utterly wonderful up-tempo ska with the
occaisonal soul tune thrown in for a breather. Within minutes the
whole places was hopping, from the stage to the bar.
(Did I mention Echo Lounge needs to FIX THEIR GODDAMN AIR
CONDITIONING? A couple hours later when I got to the Star Bar someone
asked "What happened to you?!?" as they backed away from my
sweat-soaked shirt, droplets still dripping from my hair.)
It was a fan-damn-tastic show, one of the best of the year.
Which made the Star Bar show that much more jarring.
I walked in and found fellow degenerates huddled against the stage,
shaking their heads in bemusement at Truckadelic. For the second
Spinal Tap moment of the weekend, Truckadelic was breaking in a new
drummer and every member was either intoxicated or indignant to the
point of complete atonality. A textbook definition of "sloppy drunk."
Which was, frankly, kinda fun. A painful version of She's Breakin' My
Heart chased away half the crowd, causing them to miss the pinnacle
of slop for the night.
For their encore they were doing Jailhouse Rock when Jim Stacey
slipped on stage and pulled down Billy Rat's pants. Instead of the
usual American flag g-string or something in leather there was
nothing there but skin. I really could have lived a happy life
without seeing even more of Billy. But things only degenerated from
there, believe it or not. Jim grabbed a chocolate cake and smashed it
into Billy's ass. Billy turned around and oozed chocolate - at least
I hope it was chocolate - with a half-amused, half-too-drunk-too-care
smile. For the last song he struggled to get his pants on instead of
playing. When chocolate cake oozed from a pants leg he got stuck to
the play list and almost hit the floor trying to shake it lose. You
either had to laug so hard you couldn't breath or turn your head away
in disgust. They finally gave up, "During rehearsal we WERE
Truckadelic. Tonight I don't know what we are."

I got free preview passes for Fugitive II: This Time It's Vaginal AKA
Double Jeopardy. Someone described it (perfectly) as Fugitive made by
the Lifetime channel - Ashley Judd plays Harrison Ford's role, Tommy
Lee Jones plays Tommy Lee Jones' role. A short drive off a ferry boat
plays the role of the leap off the dam, and a lot of goddamn dull
movie plays the role of a fairly exciting action thriller. Stay far
far away.
On the other end of the spectrum is American Beauty - fucking incredible.

"Do you sit and eat cold cuts
Like your old man used to
Olives, cheese, chips
Warm beer
Football games
On the half shell
Suburban Sublimated
Deacon Lunchbox

A REAL horror film. Kevin Spacey is perfect in the role of a
suburban corporate cog who finally breaks and if you find the entire
American capitalist culture wonderful or horrifying you need to see
this film.

"It's badASS." said my mechanic.
"Now THAT'S a CAR." said my first passenger.
"Nice ride!" said a fellow Mopar man as he drove past.
"You in a Chrysler, baby, you need a LOTTA room!" cackled a drunken
witness to my backing into a truck in a parking lot.
The SS Degenerate Press launched Friday night, a 1971 Chrysler
Newport with a 383 big block. You could comfortably seat a small
army, and haul all their gear in the trunk. You'd need half their
wages to pay for the gas but you'd all ride in style!

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