18 May, 2007

Friday I've got Friday on my mind

In my line of work, a slow work week is a double-edged sword. I finish a bit earlier and less exhausted, but with considerably less cash to throw around on silly things like horse races & beer & new musical toys & groiceries & rent. This was one of those weeks. Actually, I should say these were two of those weeks. Yegad.
It was a nice day. Actually had time for a lunch break. Ate completely crappy pastries & drank burnt coffee watching suits & tourists pass by at the top of Viagra Triangle. Watched a couple young canvassers from my old org. work the corner to little avail. I don't miss that job, and they won't, either.
They're shooting in my work neighborhood. Some football movie titled "The Express" with Dennis Quaid. I read somewhere the story is set in Syracuse, NY., which makes much sense ...
Jerry Falwell passed on this week. I was thinking I must be some low-life, because when I received that bit of news, my gut reaction was "good -- maybe as of now the world is a bit less hateful." Obviously, I wasn't the only person on earth to feel this way, and it was heartening this morning to read Cathleen Falsani's religion column in the Sun-Times to find she had pretty much the same reaction I did.
That old Everly Bros. tune, "Walk Right Back," in my head most of today.
Heading home from work ... the blue line lurches doggedly forward filled with a demographic more reminiscent of a Naperville-bound Metra than the mass transit of Chicago's eclectic & hard-working NW side ... some fratboy in a backwards blue baseball cap yells, to nobody in particular, "Cubbies ... how about those Cubbies?"
"Uh, did you just say, 'how about those yuppies?'" a woman's voice chimes. The three of us who did not just walk out of the J. Crew catalog and onto the el had a nice laugh at that one.

13 May, 2007

#4 in the series

(note: my band, The Prams, hosts a regular series of shows featuring great bands from outside Chicago: The KICK YOUR DOOR DOWN! series. #4 featured Rosehips, from Columbus, and was supported by The Prams & We Make Thunder! )

In retrospect, it was an anecdote from the bios of our favorite bands: a whiskey-soaked, all-energy train-wreck of a show where any minor mishap is superceded by the unpredictable spirit of true rock & roll, the kind you tell your kids about, the kind 100 people witness & millions claim to have seen. ... woke up this mornin' & I got myself a bee-eer ... I got drunk & I fell down ... Johnny always takes more than he needs, blows a couple chords, forgets a couple leads ... I've been piecing the night together for a week. I really don't black out like this. Fuck.

We brought Rosehips from Columbus, OH. They're a quartet of women with big drums & amps, high-altitude guitar-ing & catchy changes. Their bassist, Jill, also plays in November Loop, who were part of our first 2 gigs ever, so this was a sentimental big deal for us. Anyway, we *always* love playing the Mutiny and we *always* love doing it with friends from out-of-town. Like ham & eggs, or Waylon & Willie.

This show fell on Kentucky Derby Day/Cinco de Mayo. Some of us played some horses ($41 back on $60 of wagers) & drank mint juleps before hitting the venue. It probably wasn't a good idea to drink more bourbon at the Mutiny, but hindsight is so-named for a reason, and rock and roll knows no moderation.

We Make Thunder *tore* through a great set, played their 'classics' and covered Neil Young along with the usual surf & girl-group homages. Each time I moved, somebody handed me a shot. We Make Thunder were that perfect mix of tight and loose. I was pretty tight, myself.

The first thing I noticed about Rosehips was the controlled explosiveness of the Rhythm section. They were set up first, and warmed up around the classic hook of Pixies' "Gigantic." Maybe I threw all caution to the wind from this point on because I knew the show would be a great one. It was. The mix was loud & in everyone's face. The crowd was excellent, both in number & in spirit. Everybody rocked hard & dropped singles, fins & sawbucks into the collection jar. Rock and roll church, y'uns.

I remember the first half of our set being energy, cock, balls & sweat. We had a sing-along on the old Son Volt tune, "Windfall..." Guys from Altgeld Forgotten & Tall Friends were there (love those bands). Some greasy dude claiming to be from Matador was there, too, I later heard. If it were 1993 and not 2007, that would have been cool.

The only other thing I remember is that telling, rock-bio moment:

The end of our set, as we're deconstructing our medley of "Lullaby," "Supersport" & the GbV song, "Smothered in Hugs" into a sonic, 3-string implosion, Steph jumps behind Tom's drums. Andy from We Make Thunder grabs Steph's bass & takes over that implosion. At this point my guitar is off my shoulder & up against my amps making its own feedback & Jill hops up & grabs it, interspersing these angular, Carrie Brownstein-ish riffs with dissonant chord windmills. Steph gives up the Drums to Shawn from Tall Friends. A great, impromptu noise-rock supergroup you'll never see or hear again. The only moment of cogniscence in my blackout. The only one that matters.

#4 will most likely feature those meddling kids from Youngstown, OH, Posture Coach. And another great Chicago band or two.