The Backyard, September 13, 2003
Attell, star and host of Comedy Central’s ‘Insomniac’
is no stranger to Austin. You may have seen the Austin episode
where he implied that the staff of Club Deville actually works
at The Boyz Cellar and slapped some roller-derby-ass. He’s
basically got my dream job; traveling, getting drunk all night,
and fucking with people. He just kicked off a three-month
stand-up tour with fellow comedians, Lewis Black of the Daily
Show and Mitch Hedberg.
began the show by informing us that most people think he’s
a fat bald pedophile who lives in his mom’s basement.
Next, he pointed out that the benefit of shagging a horse
is that you always have a ride home. He’s had a good
point. I particularly enjoyed his bit about how all the great
writers are drunks. He listed Judy Blume right along side
with Hemingway and then pondered about all the great pothead
writers, who might come out with such classics as, “The
Lamp is Trying to Kill Me.” Dave began to chat about
vibrators and how women can replace men so easily nowadays
with all the new turbo hi-tech devices. Dave then asked, “Will
a vibrator hold you afterwards? Will a vibrator promise to
stop drinking and get a job?” I actually spit out my
beer laughing at that comment.
you missed the show; I feel bad for you. Tour dates and tickets
are available on Comedy Central’s web site. You can
catch Dave on ‘Insomniac’ Thursday nights on Comedy
Central at 9 PM.
Hole in the Wall, September 12, 2003
The Man in Black, the Lord Goth Emperor of country has shuffled
off this mortal coil. And the angels wore dark velvet and
wept tears of blood. All literary pretensions aside, Johnny
Cash went and died on us, right on the heels of Warren Zevon,
a man who illustrated a phenomenal strength of character in
his waning days.
to go to celebrate the lives of these two artists (and let’s
not forget that wealth of pop culture trivia, John Ritter)?
For a shit-stomping good time of a wake, where better than
the Hole in the Wall, the Damnations’ Tx home base.
The mood was somber but not melancholy, a drunken and heartfelt
memoriam the recently departed.
The show opened with a solo set by a friend of both the bar
and the band, who shall remain nameless for legal reasons.
A mixture of original material, Elvis Costello and a heart-stopping
rendition of “Werewolves of London,” the songster
providing an uplifting and cathartic set.
Damnations, sporting a new drummer, played a moving and goddamned
fun set, switching from honky-tonk to the blues to straight
ahead bar rock as seamlessly as the heavens are stable. The
full band rendition of “Werewolves”, with Amy
Boone on piano (who knew?) and the solo act again on lead
vocals was a fitting tribute to both past musicians, the phrase
“because you’re mine/I walk the line” thrown
in and hitting dead center. Good and whiskey drunk, the crowd
responded with more “whoo-hoos!” than a gay rodeo.
There were even a couple of drunken attempts at the Three’s
Company theme song. Thankfully, they never made it past “come
and knock on my door”.
great night. May these three men find the same happiness in
the next world that they so selflessly gave to this one.
Bums/Lower Class Brats
Flamingo Cantina, September 9, 2003
Wow. Tuesday night at the irie Flamingo Cantina turned into
one huge pit-pile of fist-pumping mohawks drenched in Lonestar
and the perspiration of local punk guardians the Krum Bums
and Lower Class Brats. The music that evening was splendid--the
kind of guady, tasteless noise that finger-bangs your little
sister and shits on your mother’s face at the same time.
This, ladies and gentleman, is punk rock.
The Krums took the stage with stick-em-up bandanas over their
faces and began playing a suspenseful western ditty that quickly
unfolded into a meth-driven barrage of bloody-your-nose bedlam.
Seriously, these guys lit a fire under the asses of all Cantina
patrons from the get-go. Frontman Nikki Sicki boasts a rasp
and rant within his haunting screech that is reminiscent of
the late Sam Kinison, that is if the hilarious comedian immerged
from the pits of hell looking to terrorize children and peel
the flesh from your bones. The five-piece played a tight set,
complete with call and response anthems and plenty of Lonestar
beer donations whether you preferred the shower or not. The
sea of scum that make up this city’s punk scene didn’t
seem to mind and neither did I.
The Brats took the stage and picked up right where their punk-as-fuck
cohorts left off. Lead singer Bones grabbed the mic and proclaimed,
“we’re the Lower Class Brats…so fuck-off.’’
The four piece then ripped through a crisp set, delivering
their brand of rock, which to me drew slight comparisons to
the gritty, landmark sounds of Social Distortion. The band
played crowd favorites “Standard Issue’’
and “Tear The Heads Off Barbie Dolls,’’
complete with head-jerking “ois’’ and swarming
guitar shreds. “What do you want from me, blood? ‘Cuz
I’ll give it,’’ threatened a grinning Bones
right before taking a nose-dive into the rancid, beer coated
The punk scene is alive and well folks--you know who you are.
Powder-pop posers beware!!! Bravo kids.
Rise and Fall of Gator,
directed by Helen Stickler
I went to a single, $9.75 movie in LA.
Z Boys showed us the seeds: the street carve, Tony Alva’s
board popping out of the pool. In the next chapter, “Stoked”,
we are shown the fruits (ripe and rotten) that the vert skaters
late-grabbed in mid flight.
This movie has a parallel that screenwriter’s would
suck dick for.
Gator’s rise into the upper crust of the vert pros and
his violent, holy demise is run side to side with the plight
of the late 80’s vert boom and its eventual skidding
halt as the boards hit the streets.
Detailed by his own voice through cryptic collect calls from
prison, are Gator’s successes as a Vision pro and his
trip into Sobriety, Christianity, and bloody murder.
The movie is as fun to watch as it is a constant reminder
of the darkest we can get. From anecdotes about Gator from
the mouths of Hawk, Caballero, Lance Mtn., Craig Johnson,
and Mofo, the story unfolds of how one of the industry’s
best goes “deep end” and “hangs up”
on his own hubris.
There’s footage from Del Mar contests, home vids by
Hawk that make the skater in you forget you’re watching
a documentary about a ripper and a killer. And the luminescent
crime fotos do their own objective story telling as well.
“Stoked” is an awesome documentary, telling at
once the story of an individual and how hitting the streets
left the vert skaters in the cold breeze of a 9ft. method
Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA., September 3, 2003
house is on Franklin St. Everyday I pass this place waiting
to see the man out in his gym shorts weed whacking the lawn.
The house itself is so Danzig: wrought-iron spiky fence, decrepit,
sagging roof, high golden weeds, and ivy growing over half
the house. Not so Danzig is the black Jag coupe in the drive.
I concocted a scheme to roust the dark hero: drive by shoutings,
all Misfits lyrics, all hours.
Imagine Danzig chilling out, watching “Queer Eye for
the Straight Guy” when all of a sudden thru his window
in full Doppler effect “WE ARE 138!!!” with a
honking horn for rhythm. The next day, while drinking coffee,
reading the Weekly, “HORROR BUSINESS 1-2!!!”.
At this point he’s got the joke, but to a distant Misfits
fan, the game has just begun.
Slower this time, in traffic, you’re given the right
amount of time to scream in broken lungfuls “LIT-TLE-AN-GEL-FUCK!!!”
Forget the right to privacy, LA is a veritable toy box of
celebrity run-ins and pranking: cuz’ you gotta have
Spaceland, down in Silverlake, the Detroit gang, Easy Action
came to draw out their own celebs and they reeled in Dave
Grohl. No surprise really, given John Brannon’s street
creds. (He fronted Negative Step and the Laughing Hyenas.)
was my first time to see Easy Action and I gotta say this
band was “smile-to-my-face-good”. Easy Action
was easy access. By the time the set was done I had dubbed
them “garage core”. J.B.’s band was an excellent
fusion of the real rock-n-roll aspects of the Oblivians, Seattle’s
Reatards, and some Tim Kerr groove mixed up with the simple
power chord, half steppin’ frettin’ of hardcore.
Brannon was a genuine wild front man. Seemingly wasted, he
maintained like a hard-drinking front man has to. I heard
a lot of bands in their music. With Brannon’s history
it was no surprise to think of Monster Magnet, Tight Bros.,
Unsane, and Jon Spencer’s Blues Manipulation. I was
glad to have no red flags to fly up during their set. They
rocked their last four with Negative Approach songs: Dead
Stop, Nowhere, Nothing, and Tied down.
I cited them for a minor “Mrs. Demeanor” for ripping
off Alice Cooper’s album name, but in a scene rampant
for claim jumping, it ain’t nuthin’ really.
is a guitar duet named after Sunn amps. They’ve built
a fan base by playing in the style of Dylan Carlson’s
EARTH. In this case though, SUNN is a satellite of EARTH.
I counted six Sunn amps and cabs that eclipsed the sound guy’s
job for the night. Picking up where EARTH left off, Sunn is
more a tribute to EARTH, which they were billed as last March
as if Sunn is carrying on Dylan Carlson’s ideas to a
public that caught on too late to catch the original. Still,
these guys are a spectacle and a half. Playing in a style
which tests distortion’s ability to pacify, the images
to describe them are as planetary as the name itself: the
sound of solar flares, the hum of Gaia herself, the tectonic
grind, the deafening sound of orbiting the moon. This set
made jokes of my earplugs. The stage was adorned in prayer
candles, with smoke emanating from between the cabinets. The
two long hairs came out in canvas Druidian robes with long-tailed
purple hoods and posed dramatically in front of the amps.
The set began in a high string loop, like a good black metal
intro, then dawned and set in a 35-minute arc, which displayed
what I call the “EARTH progression”. Tuned in
dropped “D”, the “E.P.” is a test
of minimal chord changes. The skill is choosing the notes
that will make that “D” resonate from the dome
to the toes. EARTH did this first. Sunn shuffles the cards
a bit but all trails lead back to the big “D”
in its metal mammoth resolve. As I stood next to Dave Grohl
I couldn’t help but to think that the set needed drums.
I also wondered what he thought of the obvious allusions to
a North West band that pressed the same buttons as the experimental
Melvins stuff and later the Thrones. Sunn makes no statement
as to originality. Like the myth of Zeus, Sunn pops from Dylan
Carlson’s head to keep alive the myth of Stonehenge