Maybe I'm out of my mind, but lately, I've been digging shit that rocks. Like the other night, for example, when I was wowed by Crazy Talk (fine, fine, one word it is) on Halloween, those friends of mine who said they were enjoying the band -- that was just part of their costume. They secretly exchanged costume notes before arriving and said, "Hey dude, whatever it is you're going as, add the phrase 'who pretends to like whatever Jason Harper likes in order to get him to embarrass himself publicly,' i.e. 'I'm a flesh-eating zombie who...'" etc.
Because the solipsist does not think he's right all the time but rather fears that everyone is conspiring to make him think he's right when really he's wrong or it just doesn't matter.
Naw, fuck them other minds. I'm right and they know it.
And next on The Might of My Right tour: The Stolen Winnebagos.
I vaguely remember writing about them before. Yeah, here it is. I had forgotten that my premise for that column was comparing the Crossroads festival downtown to a night out in Lenexa, but that's fitting, because last night I went to the Bait Shop to see a Midtown band (I Love You) rock the suburbs and left wanting to hang out with the natives more.
That may not have happened the same way if I'd seen I Love You. The singer, Justin Randel, told me the day before that his band would go on around 10, so that's when I showed up. They'd already played. Bummed, I bought a copy of their six-song promo CD and am at this moment enjoying its sort of ramshackle, experimental, beat-driven sound. It's kind of like Joy Division meets Tripping Daisy -- just accessible enough for you to get in the door, but once you're in, you're confused and intrigued at once. The vocals are unintelligble, shouted and reverby on the recording, which is a form of stylization I'm not always against but not frequently for. We'll see. They're fun to hang out with; that's for sure.
The second band was Bodisartha. (Holy shit they're offering their entire album for download for free!) I wish I could say I liked them, but the trouble is I was never that into Nirvana, and Bodisartha (uh...clever) mimics Kurt & co. to a severe fault. Singer and guitarist Josh Thomas has a guitar and lampshade of hair, both of which look very Cobain. Voice is pretty similar, too. Songs -- definitely influenced. Thomas' whole slacker-grunge thing was undercut by the casual, stiff stage presence of the lead guitarist and the bassist, and by a drummer who kept saying dorky things into the microphone someone had unwisely given him, like, "Give it up for I Love You! Fuckin' love those guys!" (I figured out later he's just an expressive dork and doesn't give a shit, and, you know, that's OK -- just not during the fucking show, man!) I've heard a rumor that Bodisartha, having just gotten a new guitarist, has written some new, completely different songs. I hope it's true, because Thomas sure is a nice guy.
Following this "homegrown showcase," there was a joke contest, hosted by the evening's emcee, a chipper blonde named Lindsey. Evidently, the Homegrown Buzz was so popular a night when it was at Jerry's about a year ago, they started up their own. Lindsey is quite similar in type to the Buzz's Jeriney, who still hosts the radio show and live event, only I'd say Lindsey's more bubbly and over-the-top. I was jarred when she introduced Bodisartha, and couldn't quite get over the fact that a live music venue felt the need for a host-slash-hype-gal. The joke contest was pretty fun, though. Lindsey put a ban on any jokes involving dead babies, and one-and-a-half such jokes were told anyway. All jokes were told by white males, and I was proud of my whitebread brothers for not embarrassing our race or gender...well, most of them.
Then, los Winnebagos.
(forgive me if the following is a bit lackluster; I just fat-fingered the keyboard and lost everything I'd just written after this point, which was a lot)
After a crashing punk intro that consisted, lyrically, of something like "dead dogs! dead dogs! dead dogs in my garage!" the power trio careened into "War Pigs" by Sabbath, rocking it note for note but replacing Ozzy's famous "alright-cheah!" with guttural squawks.
I suggested to a friend that the Winnebagos, some of them, at least, might have pretty active World of Warcraft lives.
Some new Audioslave song came next -- I asked Lindsey, who was singing along, to confirm -- and that, too, was straight, but the drummer was singing that one, and it seemed like he forgot about five or six words, replacing them with mouthfarts.
I decided I want the Winnebagos to play my (next) wedding.
An unmemorable cover of Green Day's unmemorable "Insomniac" came next, affirming the band's great weakness: they play a bunch of songs I don't like!
Guys, please cut that from your list and replace it with, um... , (no, not "Little Red Corvette" STFU!), how about "The Village Green Preservation Society" by the Kinks? That one's cute! (Eh, they probably already got it in the book.)
"Wynona's Big Brown Beaver," from back before Primus boarded the ridiculous jambandwagon, followed, then a half-funk, half-rock, half-Eurythmics, half-Rush (whole lotta halves) version of the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army," wherein the SWs revealed their penchant for "fucking with it," meaning, playing a song you like in a way that could annoy you if you're a pussy.
I doubt anyone was annoyed, though, when, during Cake's version of "I Will Survive," the wireless-equipped bass player suddenly walked outside and played the rest of the song from the parking lot, including a pretty fancy solo. Nor did anyone fault them for playing Alice in Chains' "Rooster" the way Prince would if he covered it.
I had to draw the line at that damned 4 Non Blondes song (guest vocals: Lindsey), and I was out of money anyway, so I headed for the door.
I'll be back, though. See their myspace (linked above) for coming appearances. And if you go, look for the group of Midtowners not afraid to rock out to some cheese, and there you will find me -- a mouse with a hunger in his tim'rous breast.