Pave Them

Remember when Pavement released Brighten the Corners and they wrote the name so it looked like "Pave them"?  That was clever.  I had originally written an overlong piece about my enduring love for Pavement and the millions of associations it triggers.  Suffice it to say that Pavement is special.  Few other bands can waltz up and down their catalog and keep my ear.

It also probably goes without saying that the so-called slacker mentality is of great import to dbd.  You can only give a fuck about so many things.

I bought tickets for the September 21st show in Central Park over a year before the event, which handily beats my now second-place fanboy purchase - Van Halen at the Los Angeles Forum as a pre-teen.  That was a mere six months.

Anyway, I ditched my friends, inched to about 10th row and sheepishly took a couple of videos - Stereo and Grounded.  If you've read the reports, I concur.  The boys never sounded better...


Can DBD Satiate the Springsteen-starved?

Last weekend I found myself in Lake City, a tiny town in the northern half of Michigan's lower peninsula, for an annual music festival called Harvest Gathering. I was playing as a hired gun for Drunken Barn Dance labelmate Chris Bathgate, and I also was able to turn the tables on DBD bassist Jim Roll by muscling my way into his set and securing my fate as the shittiest bassist of the weekend. As is the case with these festivals, much booze was consumed and booze, as we all know, is a consistent foreshadow of many situations: headaches, vomit, staggering, regret, increased volume of situationally "brilliant" conversation, etc. When hanging out with Matt Jones, which I do regularly both as a friend and as the guitarist in his band, there is always another inevitable side-effect of hitting the bottle: Matt's insatiable desire to rock Springsteen. Matt, our friend Lizzie, and I were sitting in the parking area next to my car when the need for the Boss hit Matt with fervor. We didn't have any Springsteen with us, so we kicked on the car radio and sat in the parking lot while Matt dialed information to get the phone number of the first radio station we landed on.

The DJ, Mike, answered and Matt put him on speaker phone. This is my best recollection of the situation:

Matt Jones: HEY! We want to hear some Bruce!
DJ Mike: Springsteen?
DJM: Well, this is kind of an underground show, we don't have any Springsteen.
MJ: Well, can you at least sing some to me?
DJM: What?
MJ: Sing me some Bruce!…over the phone
DJM [spoken]: …um, it's a death trap. It's a suicide rap…
MJ: Sweet, man. Good job.
DJM: So, do you have any other requests?
MJ: Do you have any Camper Van Beethoven?
DJM: Yeah, I think so…
MJ: Send it out to Matt, Greg and Lizzie!

Matt, Lizzie, and I sat next to the car in the parking lot listening to the station for a few minutes when DJ Mike came on the air and announced, "This one goes out to Matt, Greg and Lizzie. I'm sorry I couldn't find your request, so this one will have to do…"

Wanna guess what DJ Mike played? If you guessed Drunken Barn Dance, you're right. We called the station back immediately to inform DJ Mike that he had just dedicated "Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin..." to one of the guitarists on the song.


before the damn done burst

... from the grey buried release hometown jam.

leaving las vegas, reno, laughlin...

no love

island fever

There's no elegant way to describe it.  This summer was fucking hot and stupid humid. Brutal heat and air-water that frequently collapsed us onto the nearest stool straining for the nearest beverage.  

The only real cure we found: Tiki.  That's right, Tiki.  Laugh now.  But when it's tropical hell, live tropical well.

My goal this summer was to hit every tiki bar in the five boroughs.  No chance in retrospect, but I hit a bunch.  Sarah sent me this list of NYC tiki past, present, and future.  Best intentions laid a plan for a communal tiki hunt, but like many things, I ended up going it alone.

Otto's Shrunken Head is grim in all the right ways.  From the music to the sticky tables to the inky skin, Ottos has become a staple.  Fair warning, the drinks taste more like fuel than fruit.  And may glow.

The Zombie Hut is completely solid.  Cheap tasty drinks of the frozen and rocks variety and no one messed with me despite crashing a packed private party and occupying pole bar position.  

The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge is, in Middlekauf parlance, the Most Disrespectful Wakamba Bullshit.  Don't go.  Not tiki.

The crown jewel of this lot is Painkiller, which owns the inspired slogan: "Manhattan is the greatest island on earth."  This place rules with deadly handcrafted cocktails, including Zombies authentic to the original 1930s Don Beach version.  I witnessed them take down some extremely experienced pals.

And according to my five seconds of blurry research, more tikis are coming.

The Hurricane Club opens this month and Lani Kai opens in October.  Next DBD tour is towns with tikis only.

Although not a true tiki, the nautical Rusty Knot serves an outstanding Dark & Stormy, and in a touristy tiki mug.  

After painstaking research, DBD officially endorses the Zombie @ Painkiller with the Ultimate Peter Tosh Experience ("give me back me zebra!").

And so we retire the summer of rum punch...



stage right

photo by Jeremy Peters