Better late than never, I guess. Right? Oh, fuggit.
Impending sinus infection? Check.
Recent/impending blizzard? Check and check!
Sneaky pete passed between friends in the bathroom? Check.
Steve-O doing his orbital mingling? Check!
I mean, my god, how great is it that you can tuck your kids into bed, kiss your wife goodnight and still get to the show basically on-time? I rambled up to the will call window for my normal bout of spelling out a last name that's pretty phonetic already round about the time the guitar strains of Cetan Clawson were winding down. All the better. I can't pronounce the dude's name and I'm not much for jaw-dropping guitar virtuosity. But I understand why, if that's your bag, this dude's your bagman.
How's about this: Can we -- the nighttime lushes, the misfarts, the weirdos, freaks and fans of sonic discovery from all around the four corners of this fair metropolis -- all adopt a new holiday and greet each other with a hearty "Happy Blowout!", give a sloppy/awkward hug/kiss ("hiss?" "kug?"). This Blowout Season, it's like Christmas and St. Patrick's Day spun out into each other's lane and whacked tail ends resulting in a two-headed beast of a holiday weekend. A true Festivus for the rest of us. Ain't it grand?!
First off, I totally agree with Kim Heron's insight that Eons give him an XTC kinda feeling. the frontmandude (name, can't recall ,even though I was such a total fandork last night that I bought a t-shirt and everything) has the ballsy nervy go-for-broke and "I can't believe that's not an effects pedal!" viruosity on both voice and guitar that would point toward Mr. Andrew goddamned Partridge, esquire. My wife put the Eons CD on this morning over hazy aftermath eggs and promptly rocked out to it 4 times over the course of the day. Everything you've read praising this band is right. Everything you've read about the mix last night is right, too. Thankfully, my tinnitus was kicking in right about then.
Firstly again, as it turns out, the first casualty of Blowout was not a set of eardrums or a liver, but rather Steve-O's PC. It melted down apparently. So hopefully he'll check in via this space and sally forth with his opinions.
Breaking the time-space continuum (because, why not? it's a blog!), I gotta say that catching Mega Weedge was both heartening and disheartening in equal share. This was a Ween tribute/cover band. So, right. Ween tribute band. Good! Ween: Artsy- fartsy-awesomely-stoned-120-Minutes-hit-wonders-with-a-penchant-for-blowing-minds-and-blowing-up-genres-and-preconceived-notions. Strip the aforementioned description of everything but the conjunctions and the partial words "awesome" and "fart" and we're getting there with Mega Weedge. Ween reduced to bar-band blues equals... well, Thursday night at the New Way. That's neither good nor bad, depending on which side of a six-pack you're on, but ...well, I've said my piece.
The thing about the Blowout's opening night is that everyone has the thousand yard stare of those about to be rocked for at least 72 straight upcoming hours. Like a glutton's paralysis. you hear the phrases "Who are you seeing Friday at midnight?" or "Where are you guys playing again?!" and "No! No! just hit the emergen-C really hard and eat some summer sausage!" far too often.
Blowout promoter and all-around rad lady Eve Doster Knepp told me in one sentence that I had a doppelganger and then introduced me to him. WTF?! A guy needs some time to prep for that kinda thing! Then I found out that the dude was none other than Lo-Fi Bri from Carjack and realized that Eve thinks I'm taller, thinner and more coherent than I really am. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
First band I caught was I, Crime. I caught them (saw them? heard them? tough euphemism) last year, too, and was more impressed with their energy then. Howevs, they made up for said lack of nerviosity (tm) with their tightened down songcraft, lady/dude vocal interplay and indie-riffic guitar textures. They made a valiant effort to move the impassive masses and nearly succeeded when the buzzer rung and said masses dispersed to traverse the passageway between the Stick and the Theatre. At one point, I spotted former Motor owner and charter Blowout supporter Dan Sordyl (who was surely remembering what a pain in the ass it was the first few years to plan the logistics and cram all of these rockers and drinkers and weekenders into his successful dance club for three days). He was laughing his ass off. The passage between venues through the Majestic Cafe was like the khyber pass meets a scene-cred Portobello Road or some such thing. Too many faces to name waiting like barstool high-lifers, forgetting the impending economic doom, revelling in the excess smoke and waiting for someone to give 'em a "Hey! Happy Blowout!" I was often happy to oblige.
See you out there Thursday, monkeys.