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October 2005

Saturday - Jake's Toadhouse Monday - Clermont Lounge

We had enjoyed the two-for-one deal 9 Lives used to do with the Star Bar, but with 9 Lives gone (and Echo Lounge) options this year were comparatively limited. Saturday we started off with margaritas and Mexican food, getting lots of stares and giggles as we were the only people in the place in costume, before heading over to Jake's Toadhouse. The lot was full but apparently nobody believes in carpooling as the place wasn't anywhere near full capacity inside. We found the opening act packing up just as we arrived at a comparatively early 10ish, so we got drinks and mingled, getting a few giggles and stares at our costumes. There were perhaps 10 other folks in costume. What the hell?

FN and SW as scouts of a different flavor.

Thermos Greenwood and The Colored People set up a stage full of instruments. I'd had inside information that it was going to be a fun, costume-centric affair so I was willing to risk the jammy music Jake's usually hosts in favor of a Halloweenie atmosphere.

The band were indeed decked out in bizarre costumes of varying colors and their opening set had enough up-tempo groove without too much noodling, very enjoyable.

Hanging out with degenerates LH & JH, as a polar bear and Chilly Willy, was fun but the rest of the crowd at Jake's just wasn't my type of people. It wasn't so much the age as the lack of creativity and energy in the room. C'mon, people, it's Halloween, and you're drunk - loosen up!

Degenerate CD as Buck N. Fitch,
sleazy talent agent.

My favorite costume at Jake's,
a creepy cowboy.

My second favorite costume - mom jeans!
Wait, that IS a costume, right??

Breakfast Man. No, it didn't make any
more sense in person.

Grumbling aside, there were a couple of fun costumes. This couple was done up as old folks, carrying signs for the "anti-destination league." The old lady pushed herself around in a little car all night. Brilliant.
By far, the best part of the night was the sudden appearance of local marching band The Marching Abominables. They had been bar-hopping all night, crashing various Halloween events and drinking heavily on a party bus.

We played a few rounds of pool after the Abominables' set then hit the road fairly early by our usual standards. We retired to JH & LH's house for further intoxication before crashing on their guest bed.

A couple of weeks later I this email from one of the guys in Thermos Greenwood:

Thanks for the review of our gig!

Thermos Greenwood was the pinnacle of Atlanta Sickness in the mid-1970s, usurping The Hampton Grease Band after they broke up. We were appalled by Disco/Commercial Radio and dedicated our lives to the kicking of the asses of Established Music for a couple years (and they kicked ours back).

Yes, we are total geezers now but still pissed. Once a year we muster enough energy to play a Halloweird party and inflict our DaDa upon anyone who's willing to listen.

We have a website if you're interested:

About five minutes later I got another from another guy in the band:

Thank you for covering our Halloween gig at Jake's Toadhouse! We geezers are amazed that you gave some ink to such old farts at play. Please come again next year; let me know and I will personally put you on the guest list. We will whip those old regulars into shape by then, as per below:

I am the "White Man" with pagan animal ears pictured on stage w/ Strat beside the blue man. Well, you were right about the lack of costumes in the audience. I know a few who copped and they will be severely punished. Sad to say, many, if not all, of these folk would have worn absolutely twisted costumes decades ago, and not just on Halloween. For us and our fans back then, costume-weird was a year-around kind of thing, but those were more twisted, carefree times.

Still, let it be a lesson to your readers: this sort of fashion apathy represents the kind of rampant normalcy propagated by the spread of home ownership and fairly steady employment. It takes years to fester, kind of creeps up, until you find yourself laughing at 'That Girl' re-runs on Nick at Night.

Rest assured, they of the un-costumed audience haven't heard the last of this. Please bring your friends en mass next year and invade the place dressed-to-horrify, with the Marching Abominables (they've already agreed to come back). Also tentatively scheduled, an infamous cross-dresser known to rock the house down and, of course, our own Fidelity Teakwood (i.e., Heaven), vocalist extraordinaire.

It is our combined, solemn duty to ensure an ongoing tradition of perverse fashion, even amongst the elderly of Atlanta. I can say all this from the safe distance of Denver, Colorado, where people tend to hover even more tenaciously to the benign.

Meanwhile, have a Merry Christmas, and watch out for the elves. They'll take a dump in your stocking; they'll pee on your Christmas tree. I caught them at it last year, those bastards. But just let them try it again. This year, I'll be ready.

Saturday - Jake's Toadhouse Monday - Clermont Lounge

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