Archive for the ‘national/international bands’ Category

ssion @ Pistol Social Club, 10-5-07

October 6, 2007

I needed some rock and roll so bad.

Ever since the Phil Lesh show on October 3rd, I’ve needed lots and lots of spastic, agressive, high energy to balance the aimless jamming and boring cover songs. That night I’d gotten a little relief, catching half the Pixel Panda show at the Record Bar (it’d been over a year since I’d seen them last, and this time they had a better lineup than recently), and then the end of a Billybats show at Jilly’s. But I was unsatiated.

Welcome First Friday.

I stopped by the Billybats’ show outside a gallery across from Grinder’s. Then some friends and I had dinner at Grinder’s, and I wandered alone to the outdoor “Beer-A-Rama” behind the building. This event had been advertised as a nonstop beer sampling festival, with all-day music from a bunch of bands I didn’t know. There weren’t many people there, and in the darkness, the field of mulch looked like everyone was lined up and paying for beer just as if it were any normal night. At one end of the field was a huge stage occupied by a decent rockabilly band. But I came for the free beer–so I walked into the opposite corner of the venue, into some densly-packed area roped off by the same metal fencing used on pig farms. The pig fencing was covered in Pitch banners, and as I walked through the tiny opening and past a man who looked like a bouncer, I had the feeling like I had to pretend I belonged there. So that’s what I did. I walked up to a row of tables lined with sample-pushing representatives from area restaurants. It was hard not to put my gum into the T.G.I.Friday’s coupon for a free appetizer as I picked up their chocolate-mint mouse sample. And with the barbecue sauce-sized thimble of dessert in my hand, I made my way to what I thought was a free sample of Bud Lite. Turns out it was a whole plastic cup of free beer. As I tipped the amused bartender, the woman beside me said, “they have these about twice a year.” I asked, “What, the Beer-A-Rama?” She replied, “no, the Pitch parties.”

I called my friends to join me, and I stood by the entrance, waiting for them while taking in the rockabilly. I lead my 3 free-beer-seeking joiners to the gates of the Pitch party, and walked in just as before. This time, I found out that guy really was a bouncer, when he aggressively approached me and asked if I was on this list. I said no and, “how do I get on the list?” He angrily near-shouted that, “YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR THE PITCH. YOU KNOW, BE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE PITCH NEWSPAPER?” Okay, I got it. We left empty-handed, so I shared my beer with my companions.

Then we headed to the West Bottoms.

We made our way past the abnormally crowded 12th Street entrance to the West Bottoms, crawling through the crowds migrating to the legitimately scary “haunted houses”. I usually get a little lost in this part of town, which is a fun pasttime. Seriously. But we quickly found the ancient industrial building-turned-loft/art gallery/all ages club; the magnificent turn-of-the-centry gun marking the entrance was impossible to miss. I thought the event started at 9:00, but it was obvious that we were too early, as everyone else there was either working or reading a book. After paying the very reasonable $5 cover, we turned around and pretty much risked our lives to fight our way to the gas station for beer and bottled water.

By the time we got back, the artsy audience started to trickle into the hot second floor party arena. We sank into the old couches, which were apolstered with some sort of fabric that pumped more heat into our bodies. As our skin withered into wetness, one of my friends became ever-more annoyed–at the heat, at the waiting, at the bizarre crowd (I’m assuming), and at the fact that she was, “at a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol.” Oops, guess I forgot to mention that ahead of time. But I had let her know several times that I was bringing Coke and a flask of Jack, and didn’t we just go to the gas station for beer? But the rest of us enjoyed the underground scene and felt privileged to be there.

Cody Critcheloe, author one of my favorite videos , is the frontman/genius behind post post post punk/dance/experimental group the ssion (pronounced “shun”), was in top form holding court in the underground danceteria. Singing, dancing, playing guitar, and shouting at the audience alongside crazy-sick drummer J. Ashley Miller, the screen of animation one foot behind him, the choreographed boys fighting for space from the advancing dancing mob…

The purity of artistry and punk-dance fun was almost overwhelming.

It was the best all-ages show I’ve ever attended, to say the least. It was so great that I never remembered I was at an all-ages show…which is usually a factor so overwhelming that I can barely force myself to stay around to see whomever it was I came to see.


Ziggy Marley @ The Crossroads 5-4-07

May 6, 2007

This post is about Kansas City. Because…I just don’t have that much to say about the actual show.

On that very warm Friday evening, Kitka picked me up and we drove to the Nelson Art Gallery. After opening a few false doors, we found the Kansas City Art Institute’s showing of its students’ best animation shorts. Very entertaining. And it made me feel like I got shafted on my own education. (Really, I just studied the wrong subject taught the wrong way.)

From one free event to another:
We moseyed around the art walk, stopping at the new shop for Christopher Elbow chocolates. It’s the most chic thing I’ve ever seen in this city. I feel like I’ve stumbled into the future when I walk in there. Please see for youself; it’s next to Tomboy around 18th & McGee. I recommend everything (try the lavender while it’s back for a moment). Okay, so the chocolate wasn’t free, but Kitka bought me a piece. Thanks, Kitka! Delicious.

Then we went across the street to the Pearl gallery. It displayed vintage kimonos, which were billowing in the breeze. Upstairs is a sterling silver shop. Very interesting stuff and most of it is botanical. Maybe I’m just cheap, but I’m concerned that the person who buys a set of napkin rings for $1620 is being impractical. Unless that price includes tax. I forgot how much the silver pasties were…

We went on to wander around Grinders and the surrounding galleries and new outdoor Crossroads venue. Robert Randolph was on stage. As we walked by the side of the stage, Kitka was convinced she saw Ziggy Marley. She waved and he waved back. I had my doubts.

I also had doubts about some stoned lady’s story that Ziggy is staying at the same Comfort Inn as she is. (But I don’t doubt her claim that whoever it was shooed her away.) Wow she was stOOOOOOOONed. She was standing in the doorway of the MoMa gallery, which was closed for the evening. It looked like some fashion shoot was going on inside, and the participants took a break to watch the fireworks eminating from Union Station.

Kitka and I decided to see what we could get out of the wristbands she’d received (also for free) for this Union Station extravaganza: the mayor’s inagural ball. I guessed that the fireworks announced the end of the party. But when we got there, a band was still playing in the parking lot. People were dressed and dancing as if they were at a wedding reception. That made me apprehensive, but I had a combined sense of lets-be-punk-and-crash-this-party and ah-ow-I’m-terribly-underdressed-in-these-gardening-clothes.

Probably half the wedding receptionistas had left or were on their way out; the others were stealing flowers or sitting at large round tables, not wanting to go home and end their exciting evening. The average age of the a member of the remaining crowd could probably start drawing their Social Security benefits. They obviously knew the value of all these birds of paradise flowers (what does that plant have to do with Kansas City? bad choice); it was entertaining to see these elegant geezers walking out with stolen goods. They encouraged Kitka to “leave the vases”, so she just took a couple of flowers. On the way out of the large hall, some middle-aged drunk guy yelled “heeey!” at me. I supposed that was a greeting. He reached for my boobs. I kept walking. I like the new mayor but hope that unwanted groping isn’t a part of his mission.

After the quick walk-through, we went to Pierpont’s for a drink. Again, I felt out of place, but it made me feel like a plebian getting their deserved place in the party. But even if my clothes were more formal, I’d still never have fit in with the annoying wasps running around with beer bongs. I’m not worried about ever accidentally falling into a membership with that crowd. Anyway…Kitka and I were really thirsty, and I knew an $8 martini would knock me on my ass, so I just sipped water. I didn’t have any cash, so I didn’t leave a tip…sorry about that. Another drop in the bucket of free.

Planning on driving around the Ziggy Marley show–sure he was on stage by now–we ended up getting a really close parking space where we could hear (and almost see) everything. Someone was on the phone that whole time (ahem) and missed the extra show that exploded next to the car: a 5′ police woman slammed an old man into the corner of an SUV bearing a Deadhead sticker. Then she threw him on the ground. A dangerouscrazyoldman’s cane flew about. The guy got cuffed and received a screaming at by the woman. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear what she said. The guy laid on his side and at one point kicked the police man standing beside him. But the kick wasn’t too virile. It was like footsie. The policeman laughed and footsied back while casually walking over him. Several minutes later, a van came and hauled him off.

But then we got an even better view–of the actual show, that is. The concert became free. Not sure why it suddenly turned free, but I heeded the security guard’s annoucement. My proof of 21-overness was all I needed to walk through the chain-linked fence and into the soft mulch that perhaps still is the Grinders Sculpture Park. The ten-member band was tight. Ziggy has a great voice and stage presence. I loved his dancing the best.

Someone did a painting of him that was decent. The round yellow moon rose through the clouds. The drunk white guys danced embarassingly. Kitka took a few pictures. The break before the encore lasted maybe one minute. They came back and played a few songs…and that was it. After all that free-hopping, we went home.

Who won the “Young Folks” battle?

April 2, 2007

The catchy Peter Bjorn & John song that I’m sure inspired an advertising bid-off…was won by AT&T.
Blah. It was bound to happen.

But since the song says, “old style”, I think Old Style should use it.
And if I ever saw an Old Style ad on tv, I think I would cry. That’s an advertising company I’d like to work for. But they probably wouldn’t let me dangle my prepositions…since they’re old style and whatnot.

Ludacris @ UMSL parking lot, April 2001

March 6, 2007

“At the airport Mariott!”
That’s what Ludacris’s posse shouted at the end of every verse. What a weird event…Ludacris plays an UMSL parking lot, I’m stuck on a bad carnival ride (whose wind makes my eyes water; looks like I’m crying) during my favorite song (“Ho”), struggling to understanding his other lyrics alongside my Korean friends. Tuition pays for some funny things sometimes….

Just a little flashback.