Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Phat Tuesday

Last night I trudged out to the Uptowner to ring in Phat Tuesday with Mark Shurilla and the Greatest Hits. This is the kind of thing I love them for: there's no prescribed theme, no having to stay mainstream (like when they do their retro tribute thing), no holds barred. They just get up there and jam on songs and it doesn't matter whether you know them all or not. The very loose theme was partying, New Orleans, Mardi Gras, etc. Or just songs they liked and felt like playing. They started with some thing that they said was from Dr Hook and the Medicine show, and it sounded like it could have easily come from Tom Waits' catalouge. They dragged out some oldies, they did one song that could have, with a different set of lyrics, been New Order's Blue Monday (but it wasn't.) Stylistically, they were all over the map, but they sounded like themselves, simply having a good time playing whatever they felt like playing -- good and laid back jamming from musicians very comfortable with each other.

They were dressed in a variety of Nawlins mardi garb: Shurilla in a gold lame cape looking like a cross between James Brown and Steve Allen, Dan Mullen accentuating the beard of his (that I've been complaining about for two years) with a glitter mask turned upside down, Marlavous almost unrecognizable in a masquerade mask and some kind of voodoo mama kaftan, Bob Jorin in a black trenchcoat, oversized glasses and beads across his chest like he was some sort of dirty old man cum American (ParTAY) Gladiator, and The Animal looking out of place, for he was quite normal. Drummers. Hmmmmph.

Eric "Burning Man" Griswold and his posse arrived in flashing lights across their bodies, and led the bar hopping parade out the door and down the block for a grand tour of Riverwest bars. "Grand" meaning less than a dozen -- it really wasn't a night to go bar hopping, even though the snow indicated that most of us wouldn't be at work the next day.

And speaking of nobody being at work, really, what is this? Do we not live in Wisconsin? Does it not snow here occassionally? I have to admit, even Stella was overwhelmed, but I think more because the snow is almost too heavy and wet to be fun snow.

Anyway, the upcoming weekend is packed with good things to see and do. Especially on Friday: Liam Ford and the Band in Black is at the Ale House (perfect for them!). At Points East, there's a three band bill which includes Chiris DeMay and the Thrashers. Among the potential guests is perennial sixthstation favorite Blaine Schultz, (or so their myspace page says) which implies good, jammy, trippy, Americana. "Thrash with us!" says the myspace bulletin. Well, when you say "thrash" I think skatepunks, etc. Not trippy Americana, but I'll take it. And the Borg Ward has a three band bill also headlined by Madison's The Box Social, that wonderful college rock band I saw a few months back. Difficult decision.

It's a busy weekend for Andy Pagel -- he will have been busy Friday with Liam, and Saturday he goes into Keith Moon mode to play with Substitue, that Who cover band he plays in. Again, I'm usually not a fan of tribute bands, but, hmmmm. Is it that I just like to plug my drummer? Or is it that I just really like the Who? What is it about the Who that makes people love them so much? Nobody's really "eh" about the Who. You either love them or you don't. And maybe that's what makes Substitute work so well. They all really freakin' love the Who.

In a totally unrelated piece of news, here's a video of Voot Warnings from at least 10 years back that should bring back memories. Note the lineup: Voot, of course, a longhaired Steve Schrank on the bass, Vic Demeichei on congas, Jeff Chase on cello, and Tim "Otis" Taylor on guitar. All at least at the beginning, then, anything goes. I'm telling you, if Darrell "Da Brainz" Martin captured the late 80s, early 90s on boom box cassette, we have Dave Johnson to thank for getting it on Video:


More to follow, I guarantee it.


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