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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Friday, August 5 -- Mr. T's Bowl

Our anniversary show, Mary and I have been married five years tonight. It's also the first Friday of the month again and we're playing our beloved Mr. T's. As with our June show, we assembled The Big Band for the occasion--this time with 9 of us up onstage. As before, Andy was on bass (unfortunately Tony was off in New Zealand, doing something or other that I can't remember, so no 8-Bit tonight), Tom was on lead guitar, Raymond was on keyboards, and Allie, April, and Tasha were on backup vocals--plus we had Becky Gessert, ex-Hope Rides A Pony bassist and Emm't Swank album covergirl on saxophone for the last three songs of the set. Becky hadn't played sax since highschool and her horn was in sorry shape, refusing to get in tune--fortunately Mary had her tenor sax refurbished a few years ago for the ill-fated Dory Previn project, so Becky used that instead. Actually I didn't really mind the out-of-tune sax quite so much, it sounded dissonant in an interesting way ("middle eastern moon music," said Raymond), but for everyone's sanity I suppose the in-tune sax was perhaps a better option, especially in that massive wall of sound.

Future guest sax artiste Becky graces the cover of Emm't Swank's brilliant first (and only) LP.

It's a little hard for me to say exactly what The Big Band sounds like live. I like playing with Mary as a duo, there's a certain...ummmm...spareness and angularity to that sound that really appeals to me. I like playing with Andy and Mary as a trio, since Andy is a damn fine bass player and makes us sound more like an actual band. But The Big Band is special. It's this kind of overwhelming spongey mass, like a swamp or a really big jelly donut...or maybe like a blasting church choir with the lead guitars, the vocals, and the organ all going at once, like a hymn...I really wish I could hear a recording of the whole thing because it's pretty much impossible to tell what's going on while I'm tucked away in my little corner of the stage. I'm pretty sure it sounds kinda good...at least people say it does...

So anyway, some pictures from the evening. Unfortunately they're all of me, pretty much:

Tom Bogdon lurks in the background on lead guitar. Sadly this time he chose not to wear a skirt. Please note the lavender shirt with no buttons I'm sporting.

Thanks to RM Snyder for these pictures!

This picture is actually from our cd release show back in June, but at least it shows some more of the band--left to right is Tasha, Raymond, Allie, and part of April. You can see a tiny glimpse of Tom behind Raymond there, clad in a fantastic leopard-skin skirt! Rawk.

Also on the bill were Never At Night, featuring our pal Danny from Circus Minor, E>K>U>K, and our Las Vegas brethren Guns That Shoot Drugs, who hauled ass to Highland Park just for the show and decimated everyone. Thanks kids, we'll see you again soon, I hope!

The only crappy thing about the night was Tommy. Tommy was a huge 6' 5" drunken jock, backwards baseball cap, those stupid cargo shorts, cropped hair with sideburns, earrings, and driving a jeep. He started pseudo-slamdancing (it was really more that he was shoving people around) during E>K>U>K's set, while we were all trying to dance, and pushed Mary and Allie really damn hard. Then he started hassling Katie (John from Guns's girlfriend) and when Clayton (bass player from Guns) told him to lay off he did his standard jock "I'm gonna kick yer ass" routine. More shoving, security does nothing or doesn't notice. Finally he leaves.

Out in the nearly deserted parking lot I'm going to get the van, Tommy is pissing on the wall. "Well well well," he says as I pass, "c'mere I wanna talk to you," just like we're back in high school. I can see a number of possible scenarios and just keep walking, I really don't want to talk to this guy. He says "hey you!" and then "fuck you!" Later on while we're all loading up our van he's still hanging around: "hey man I wanna talk to you." Not sure what to do, he's raging drunk and I hate him, so I ignore him. Eventually he starts up a conversation with (April's boyfriend) George, who is a better man than I, and says "I just wanna talk with that Eli dude." George says "well maybe if you hadn't pushed his wife and said 'fuck you'..." Then as I'm passing by with some cymbal stands he says "hey ELI! It's TOMMMEEEEEYYYYYY!" Apparently he told George his bar tab was about $120. I'm just glad the 8-Bit crew weren't around when this all happened 'cause there would've been a fight.


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