Still, the good people of BS possess a cardinal virtue: a love for rocking out. That much was clear around Interstate 70 and Missouri Highway 7 one Saturday night a couple of weeks ago.
My running buddy was John Bersuch. Apart from being a musician and lyricist of Frank Zappa-like perversity, he's the type of guy who, if he could, would tie up first lady Laura Bush, take pictures of her for a bondage magazine, then mercilessly devour the egg-salad sandwich she had brought for lunch while she looked on helplessly helplessly aroused, that is.
Bersuch drove, and on the way, we listened to a new track that his freak hip-hop group, Bacon Shoe, had cut at 64111 Studios with ghetto fab producer Tommylift, who also spewed verse on the song. Not only was it gratifying to hear Bersuch, aka Lethal D, hold his own alongside an established rapper; it warmed my heart to hear 'Lift give a shout-out to Mr. Ruggles, Bacon Shoe's silent partner, the dog-masked man who cooks strips of bacon on an electric griddle at every show. It's definitely BS's most bangin' track to date.
Our first stop in BS was the Trouser Mouse, which is basically a blues club. The servers are nice, and, in general, the women there don't treat you mean.
The night I arrived with Bersuch, the band had canceled because its elderly lead singer was not feeling up to playing. Indeed, we were sad to have missed Cotton Candy and So Many Men, 'cause that's a band you don't often see in midtown. Upon the recommendation of some dudes who looked like they knew about music (i.e., no goatees), we went in search of Shooters.
Shooters is a big, windowless pool hall just south of the Mouse, right behind an arguing drunk couple. I'm not sure if that couple's always there, but I wouldn't be surprised.
We paid $5 to get in, then got a couple of beers. On the stage, a guy with short, fluffy black hair and a short-sleeved jumpsuit was sitting on a stool, singing, accompanied by a guitarist playing acoustic. This is where the absence of irony came in: He was singing "It's Been Awhile" by Staind, a total pussy-metal song that was a big radio hit five years ago.
Fortunately, the dudes dropped the sensitive act and brought out the full band. Montia, they were called. The drummer was a mohawked lesbian, and the guitarists wore shorts and had lips that were either full of snuff or naturally puffy. Before the last song (which, by the way, was only the third we got to see, despite paying $5), the singer poured a cup of water on his head, yet his hair stayed miraculously dry and bouffant.
Bersuch was moved by Montia's performance because it brought back memories of his own suburban heavy-metal youth. With measured eloquence, he gave this summation: "I tried to stand up, but I couldn't. I tried to take a drink, but I couldn't do that, either. All I could do was shit my pants, so I shat them constantly for the entire three songs I saw."
Unfortunately, Bersuch did not experience the same "rebirth" at the next two venues: Joe's Standard Bar and Class Reunion. At the former, we saw an incredibly tight and boundlessly cheesy middle-aged cover band called Tail Spin. ("Classic Rock Forever," proclaimed their custom electric sign.) The goatees-to-faces ratio at Joe's was easily 1-to-2. The dancing-to-nondancing ratio was also high and autumnal in years. If you ever want to see a 50-year-old woman jamming on an inflatable guitar while her friends dance to a live rendition of "Play That Funky Music," then Joe's Standard is your place.
Class Reunion is along the same storefront as Joe's, and it is, for all intents and purposes, a class reunion every night it's open the class being 1986. The DJ booth (manned that night by a DJ with a goatee) is a pink Cadillac, and the favorite flavor is hip-hop.
There's something just plain great about these BS clubs everyone dances, and I headed back to KC with the feeling that way more people would be getting laid that night in Blue Springs than in Westport, the Plaza Brookside and downtown combined.