by GE 138
Things were just beginning by the time Bob and I got into the Motor City Cafe on Saturday night. The parking lot was semi-full, and things were in full swing everywhere around the City. Yeah, there was a lot of other gigs going on around town, but when it's a Friends birthday party, then everything else gets thrown to the wayside. So we walk in and see who's here, and it's a cool little gathering of Local musical talent and I'm proud to say I'm tight with each and every one of them. There's some DJ dude setting up his gear, and Christy is behind the bar, which just means that the drinks served will be generous and strong. The vibe was crazy cool, and I couldn't think of anyplace I'd rather be on a Saturday night than with this gathering of people.
This Injun had come to the party bearing gifts, so I added mine to the table with the other gifts, and then I helped myself to the grub that was laid out on every available table top. Gummy, hot pizza adjacent to giant boxes filled with the most delicious cupcakes you can ever imagine were everywhere. I ate one of the double chocolate ones and was sent into a diabetic coma for a few minutes. My heart was fluttering like a hummingbirds wings, and I was sweating like a slave. I tried to counter the effects of the diabetic coma with Jameson's on the rocks but it didn't help. After a little while though it went away, and then I went back to the box and tried one of the lemon ones. :-) I don't know where those things came from, but damn those cupcakes were incredible! hahaha It was a fucking food porn moment for sure.
So the first band up was called Lotus, and I was told this was their first ever gig. I think there's already an established band named Lotus, but I'm not sure. Typical Vegas. Booooooo. Anyways, Lotus is a trio of casual dressed fuzzy gentlemen who play some grungy, guitar heavy tunes ala Kyuss or Clutch. They're definitely in the Stoner Rock / Desert Music category, that's for sure. They kicked the evenings festivities off to a room full of enthusiastic supporters, and I was kind of digging what they were throwing down. It was a slow, methodical bludgeoning of the ears. The guitarist was a noodler, and the drummer was a beast. Things were going great until the bass player started having technical difficulties with his gear, which definitely put a damper on the bands momentum. I ventured outside to grab a smoke while the guys in Lotus figured out what was going on. It took them a little bit to get the machine back on the tracks and running and by the time I was done smoking they were done playing. Lotus had to endure some stereotypical first gig problems, but they seemed to recover from it OK. I'll definitely pay more attention to them the next time I see them. They were OK.
It took the Civilians a while to set up. Maybe it was just my impatience that made it seem that way, I dunno. By the time they got set up the room was pretty packed, with a majority of the people clamoring around the back of room for some reason. Tony is yelling at them; Come forward! Don't be scared! We don't bite! and the empty spaces near the front of the stage start filling in with bodies. The air conditioner is either not working or not on, so it's getting hot and stinky in here real quick. So Mr. Morrison introduces the band and the riffs start flying fast and furious and just like that the Civilians are off and running. I think they started with Company Man, off their excellent 4 song demo, but I'm not sure. All I know is that the Civilians sounded pretty good. They're mining the vein of bands before them like the Rich Kids, Eddie And The Hot Rods, or maybe even Crime - you know, really well played songs with an attitude - part Pub Rock, part Punk Rock, part Rock 'N' Roll, part Oi!, part whatever. The band is tight and rehearsed and going over well with the crowd. Jason is thrashing away on the bass, doing a great job on back up vocals for a few songs, and even when his bass cabinet kept cutting out and losing power during the set, he didn't let it phase him one bit and he fixed the problem with his amp in the most Punk Rock way possible - he kicked it! The funny part is that it totally worked! LOL Tony Batz is, of course, standing in the darkest corner of the stage, sweating and pounding away at his guitar. He's a pretty good guitar player, but I think it would be cooler if he did it while hanging upside down from the roof. :-)
Mr. Trueland Morrison handles the lead vocals and most of the lead guitar work, and does a good job at both. He bears the brunt of being the focus of the band, and it doesn't seem to phase him one bit. He dresses sharp too, just like a front man! haha And it's the birthday boy Pete behind the kit playing the hard pounding beats that keeps the Civilians going as fast as they do. He's drenched in sweat by the 4th song into the set. And since it's his Birthday we all sing Happy Birthday to him mid-set and I think the guy blushed! It was either that or he was succumbing to heat stroke, either/or. It's hot as fuck in the Motor City Cafe, Africa hot, and the band looks miserable playing on the small, cramped stage, but they tough it out and play a great set of songs from their self titled demo, like We Survive and Product, and other cool sounding tunes like I Ride Alone, which was dedicated to a friend that Trueland went to high school with in Indiana (I think), lost touch with like you do after you graduate, and then found him when he moved out to Vegas a few years ago. Cool stuff. The band also did an Exploited and Motörhead cover, and I'm not sure why, because the Civilians don't really sound like either one of those bands, well maybe Motörhead, but that's a bit of a stretch. We Are The Road Crew was a pretty good choice of a song to play though. ;-) Anyways, the Civilians finished up their set completely knackered and drenched in sweat and various body fluids and to generous amounts of applause from everyone in attendance, which was cool, because they earned every bit of it. Great set from the Civilians.
I knew this set from the Fat Dukes Of Fuck was going to be pretty sweet when I saw the band stacking up rolls and rolls of toilet paper in front of the drum set. I saw the photos that Bob took of their performance a few weeks earlier. I was prepared for anything. All the bands equipment was white, and they took to the stage wearing white nurse scrubs. I didn't ask why because I really didn't wanna know. It made for a great visual, and now I was just waiting for the music to begin to see if it matched up in creativity with the bands ensemble, and Lord almighty did it ever! The band lurches into this rumbling, plodding hard hitting song about Gawd knows what and everybody in the place gets animated. Brent the singer for the Fat Dukes Of Fuck has a microphone in his hand that's stuffed into one end of a 2 foot long double headed flesh colored dildo. To see him casually singing into it is a bit disturbing. Jarrod's guitar is cranked up loud and he's riffing hard, like concrete hard, and this bass player who looks like some high school kid is rattling the walls with his bass rig. Jeremy from Demon Lung is on drums, and he's perfect for this band. He hits hard, minimalistic and not too flash, and his accents are creative. I love watching good drummers, and Jeremy is definitely a Dale Crover type of sticksman. The band is definitely Melvins like, and that's a lofty compliment not easily handed out. The Fat Dukes Of Fuck sound like a pornographic musical avalanche, consisting of sharp Metal parts and Angry boulder sized Rants that gain momentum the longer it drunkenly rolls down the hill. The people in attendance love it. They also love this whole toilet paper thing the band does while playing. Oh boy do they love it. It's also hands on interactive, which just makes things all the more ridiculous.
You see, the band has this self made apparatus that shoots out rolls and rolls of toilet paper in a pretty accurate manner. Brent will be screaming into that dildo microphone of his and shooting off an entire roll of toilet paper in a matter of seconds, in any direction he points the damn thing in. He shoots toilet paper into the air, into the crowd, and into the ceiling fans which are circulating the hot, humid air in the band area, and which, of course, stop working because they're clogged full of fucking toilet paper. Things are getting even hotter and stickier now, and it doesn't deter things one bit. When Brent gets bored with the toilet paper gun, he hands it off to people in the audience who take turns spreading the disease all over the room. Toilet paper permeates the air. People are picking up the toilet paper and throwing it all around. They gather it up like giant snowballs and are tossing them into the air and at each other like retarded drunken children at play. It's fucking great to watch, and the Fat Dukes Of Fuck are supplying the perfect soundtrack to all the madness that's ensuing. I'm sitting at a table in the back, fishing errant pieces of toilet paper out of my Jameson's on the rocks, and just loving everything I'm seeing. The band was fucking killing it with a brilliant display of bravery and originality. I love seeing shit like this. We need more bands like this. Whatever happened to Dangerboner? LOL
Whether it's because it's like a pizza oven hot in the room, or whether it's because the band is starting to sober up, it all comes crashing to a glorious end, with the Fat Dukes Of Fuck looking wet, spent and drained. People were applauding and standing around for a bit before heading outside to breathe and cool down in the night air. Actually, the cool part was when they started coming back in to help out the band with the clean up. People pitched in with picking things up and putting all that toilet paper in the trash and not the toilet. The DJ dude that was setting up earlier was now providing the background work music for everyone to clean up the place to, and then after a bit people started dancing and the vibe changed from Punk Rock to 60's Ska in the blink of an eye. I saw the sun was coming up so I headed home. It was a pretty sweet Birthday party, and an even better Punk Rock gig. Combine the two and you have an exceptional evening of FUN! Happy Birthday Pete! You sure had one Hell of a birthday celebration, that's for sure. Let's do it again next year, shall we? I'm buying! :-)