Feed Us A Live Insect

Monday, July 10, 2006

Modesto—The Mustang

I have been asked by wiser and cooler heads than mine to withhold my own personal feelings about this venue and present the bare facts of the night in a simple pro-and-con format, thus allowing you, dear reader, to draw your own conclusions. Tonight (Saturday...I'm late posting this) we played The Mustang, a (sort of) gay bar in a cinderblock bunker near the train tracks in Modesto, California. So here are the facts:

Pro:
-the guy organizing & promoting the night made a very nice poster for the event.

-some really good bands played that night, including the absurdly tight Bridges from Sacramento, and the Orange County-based ‘80’s synth-pop masters Romak and The Space Pirates, both of whom we hope to bring to Los Angeles at some point.

-we made 40 bucks from the door, the biggest take so far.

-my extremely kind and patient cousins Jesse and Alisen not only put us up for the night (thank you!) but also went to the show and stayed ‘til the bitter, bitter end.

-and, last but not least, there was Mary’s homemade cobbler waiting for us when we got back to Jesse and Alisen’s place.

Con:
-when we booked the show we were told we would have the second-to-last slot and play probably around midnight. When we got to the club at about nine the promoter/show organizer fellow told that we’d been bumped to last…out of six bands, for an event that didn't even start until 10pm.

-there were two stages in the club, one in the front and one in the back. The idea was to alternate between stages so that there would be no down time between acts—that is, one band could set up their gear on one stage while another played on the second, and then vice-versa. This would have been a good idea (and a possible way to get through six bands in four hours) EXCEPT THAT THERE WAS ONLY ONE PA. And no sound person. So whatever time that might have saved by alternating stages was lost by shuffling the PA back and forth between the front and back of the club and then having somebody try to figure out how to plug everything in and get the microphone to work.

-our scheduled slot of midnight came and went with only three of six bands having played. At around 1:30 in the morning, while the 5th band (a Celine Dion-esque solo artiste, playing synths and flute and singing with an electric fan blowing her hair around—no lie) was still endlessly setting up her equipment (i.e. the fan) and hadn’t yet started playing, we asked the organizer guy if we were in fact going to be able to play, as the bar was set to close in half an hour. “I think so,” he said, “although you might have to play for 20 minutes instead of half an hour.”

-at past 2 o’clock in the morning, the bartender gives the last call and we are still standing around while the organizer guy is fiddling around trying to set up the PA and figure out how to turn the microphone on. Everybody except my cousins and Romak and the Space Pirates have left long ago. The club’s owner suddenly appears, tells us she’s closing down, and says we can’t play. Eventually she relents and we are allowed to play two whole songs.

-We play “Tears” and “Red Lamb” at earsplitting volume and about 5 times normal speed. Mary kicks her drums off the stage and that’s that. We later find out the PA was either turned off or didn’t work during our two songs.

-We do not get to enjoy cobbler until 3 AM.

In conclusion
Thus was our experience at The Mustang. While I refrain from venting my spleen, your comments are welcome. Me, I have to go. COBBLER TIME.

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