Sunday, September 17, 2006

The rather curious contrast between Cleveland and Chicago or, Please Stop Rapping

Look: I'm a fairly upbeat gentleman. I like the half
-full glass of brandy, the silver lining on the
cummulus, all those optimistic cliches. When I
think about our Commander In Chief, instead of
focusing on the prisoner abuse, irresponsible tax
cuts, youthful drug habits that would've
intimidated Tony Montana, or any of the other,
innumerable, saddening negatives, I think, "Hey:
he's good at not stabbing his wife and children." So,
when I think of Cleveland, I try and focus on the
bartendress we had, the pleasant, cozy show, the
lack of serious bodily injuries we sustained.

Of course, I could just as easily harp on the
hilarious awfulness.

Before I go on, I should explain that we were sort
of sequestered from the goings-on at Peabody's
downstairs. We were up in a pseudo-soundproofed
cage known as "The Rockstar Room," named not
for the profession of any performers who
happened to come through (and it's highly doubtful
they do, since we're talking 100 people max), but
for that so-called energy "drink" that tastes like
an amalgam between Dimetap and the urine of a
strange Australia marsupial. Downstairs there
were actually two more stages (yes, three total),
one of which featured various poorly executed
attempts at Doom Metal, Black Metal, Tooty
-Fruity-Slam-Grunt, Gore-Grind, Fungal-Mosh, or
any of the other thousand Heavy Metal subgenres.
The other stage: a vicariously embarrassing
display of whiteman rapping.

Honestly, I know it sounds like I'm up in my little
tower, looking down my Indie-snob nose at
midwesterners exchanging testoterone-drenched
shoves while headbanging to indistinguishable
gruntings or bobbing along to faux-thugs who
couldn't make the first cut of "Making the Insane
Clown Posse." I'm trying to avoid that vibe. But I
was flabbegasted. I've never heard rap that bad.
I've never shook my head at metal that
discouraging. I've never seen an otherwise bald man
with six braided pigtails. But, you know, everyone
who wasn't punching each other or passed out,
High Life in hand, head in a pool of their own
upchuck, well, they seemed to be having a good
time. So who am I to judge? Cottonmouth Kings
forever.

Then there was Chicago.

I saw my Grandfolks, we played Catfish Haven's
CD release show, had lunch with our friend Robert,
slept fitfully, got nicely blotto, and played what
we all felt was one of our best shows in one of
the nicest venues of the tour. It's not really as
funny as Cleveland, but yes sir, may I have
another?

A few strange parts of the evening do come to
mind. Like Kevin from Division Day appearing.
Rather unexpected, to say the least. We'll, as you
might know, be meeting back up with him and his
cohorts in less than a week's time for Spokane,
Portland, Seattle, pancakes, and the venerable
castle his aunt resides in. I also enjoyed seeing
Catfish off on their big night, when they covered
Moni Moni, had an extra six members, and, well,
they were still wearing the same clothes. I love
'em for it though. One of the back-up singers put it
perfectly as his looked through his valise for a
clean shirt, post-show: "Those guys go on tour for
a month with one shirt and a pair of parts. I bring a
suitcase to go 'Oooh.'" They played beautifully. All
our best to them.

Come to think of it: tomorrow's our last show
with Boris Yeltsin too. A boy could get depressed
with all these goodbyes, honestly. We're going to
be playing the town of Prince, my doppelganger
and Halloween trope, Minneapolis, before
embarking on a staggeringly long, two day roll to
Oregon. I'm hoping to buy Tombstone before the
trek. You're no daisy. You're no daisy at all.

For now, on to Minnesota. We've got a radio shindig
in the morning, a show at night, and then the above
mentioned drive of drooling lunacy. Onwards.

1 comment:

emmy said...

"I've never seen an otherwise bald man
with six braided pigtails." - Clearly this Cleveland boy has been to Berkeley. The best hair salon slogan I've ever seen before is somewhere near Shattuck ave. It reads: "We do great weaves on bald heads."

Have a safe trip back west!