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Friday night we hit Dottie's just in time for The Memphis Morticians to start up. They're actually from New York, but their all black mortician costumes made it feel more like they were from a creepy morgue somewhere in the old west. Fun psychobilly-type rock.
Gettin' Headstones followed, local boys doing more old time rock and roll with a modern twist and lots of energy. Very fun.
I figured with such short notice about the evening's festivities there wouldn't be a huge crowd but I was hoping word of mouth would make up for it. Apparently the rumors haven't spread far enough that Friday might have been the last show at Dottie's, or folks just don't care like we do, but the place was probably half empty by the time the headliners came on, The Moonshine Killers. They're a little more rock and less 'billy, good honkey tonk hell raisin' stuff. The flood lights illuminating the state went out about the time they came on so it was tough to see. Some were wishing it was impossible as Jack, one of the guys from Pink Torpedo, opted to show his pink torpedo in celebration of the occasion. He sat on stage wearing nothing but a grin. The go-go girls he hired for the evening danced sporadically and the Michelle came out from behind the bar and got up on a chair to pour tequila down the throat of anyone brave enough to open up, Ronnie was singing backup for the band, and the whole evening rolled along exactly as you'd expect at that particular venue. Halfway through the Killers set we decided the cops probably weren't going to shut the joint down on that particular night so we hit the road.
We got a few more details about events surrounding the Dottie's management but nothing worth repeating. There's a court hearing sometime soon about the liquor license and that will probably be the death blow to one of our city's most entertaining establishments. We're still checking on the rumors that the Clermont is going to go condo, and possibly take over Dottie's. Stay tuned.
Sunday we headed out into the torrential downpour to run a few errands and stumbled across a wonderful Mexican diner/restaurant, Tapatio, tucked in the back of Moores Mill Plaza on Bolton Road. It looks like it used to be a little Waffle House or something, complete with a long counter and bad faux wood paneling. But in this life it's tasty, authentic Mexican food. I opted for huevos con chorizo, which came with rice, frijoles, and two homemade tortillas. Degenerate SW got huevos rancheros. Both selections were fantastic. The specials on the bulletin boards are entirely in Espanol and we were the only white faces in the place, so we'll be back for dinner soon!
Here's a report from last weekend from degenerate SW:
Last Sunday we gathered at Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown to gnosh, drink, shoot pool, and catch the Asylum Street Spankers. The evening's big news was the sudden death of Dale Earnhardt. Not a NASCAR fan myself; I can't say I'll miss him but I do recognize the loss to racecar fans everywhere. But we couldn't let a little thing like death keep us from the party! The Spankers had a bit of a late start thanks to the earnest performance of four various musicians participating in Smith's Singers & Songwriters showcase. Much like MTV's Unplugged or VH1's Storytellers, or TNT's Bluebird Café, Smith's Olde Bar invites local yokels to perform their own songs and tell the how's and why's behind every note. Unless you're a big fan of a particular musician or if sincerity, sobriety and solemnity are your idea of a fun evening, you can skip this show.
Around 11:15 The Asylum Street Spankers hit the stage. The audience was invited to sit on the floor up front and told that there would be no amplifiers so hold down the noise. The Spankers are an Austin, TX, septet that harken back to the days of porch performances and traveling troubadours. All instruments are acoustic and the vocals are heard without the benefit of a mike. This is real roots music: a combination of scat, jazz, blues, country and ragtime. They employ over a dozen musical devices including mandolin, ukulele, washboard, stand-up bass, four guitars of varying size, clarinet, harmonica, snare drum, two banjos, kazoo and saw. The three main vocalists sing of drugs, love, beer, sex and scrotums and the songs are dotted with sing-along choruses and bursts of laughter from the crowd. It's rare that a band will reference Bill Hicks, Jim Carroll, Daniel Johnson and Charles Bukowski in a two hour set, but the ASS manage that and more. Check them out next time they're in town, and definitely browse their website at www.asylumstreetspankers.com. We were also out Sunday night to celebrate Degenerate LK's birthday and the Spanker's hadn't forgotten. During the first encore (of which there were three), Wammo pulled LK onto the stage, allowed her to choose from all the Spankers, then proceeded to paddle her fanny red. She later confided that he hadn't held back a bit and indeed her tushy was sore. Thank god for digital cameras! The Spankers also feature an improvisational number where they get ideas from the audience and proceed to make up a song. In the past they have done death metal ballads, rap tunes, and grunge rock blasts with titles like "I'm A Bi-sexual Mormon and You Are All My Wives." This particular evening offered the title "Touched By An Uncle" done in the Singers & Songwriters style - Hilarious! Wammo was formerly on the poetry slam circuit and the experience taught him a lot about wit and speed. The improv encore proved to be one of the highlights of the night.
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