Written by GE 138.
It was hard to believe that it's been a year since The Mapes last played. I mean, it's understandable, all things considered, what with Clay's recent medical issues and whatnot, which is kind of a miracle of sorts in and of itself, so, the fact that the band was even around and able to play just a year after all that is, again, another sort of miracle. There was no other place in the world I was gonna be on this night, because it was a celebration of sorts. It was a celebration of Clay beating Cancer, and for The Mapes continuing on as a musical entity to be dealt with in this town. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
The place was pretty full when I got to the Dive, and The Seriouslys were just starting up as I walked in. I dig The Seriouslys. Haven't seen 'em in a while, and they were sounding great from where I was standing. Energetic, Pop Punk sweetness augmented with a sneer and a smile. Kate looks like the type of girl who carries weapons upon her person and is not afraid to use them, and she hacks away at her guitar with the sick tone, all the while screaming into the microphone about unicorns or puppies or something. Xtal is just as menacing, screaming into the microphone about stuff being sticky sticky sticky and icky icky icky, all with her fingers in a nimble frenzy on the neck of her bass. She told me her Dad makes her bass. I believe her. And I don't know who the new drummer is, but she's pretty Ace. She looks like one of those typical DIT grads, all style no substance, but she isn't, and her addition to the band has made them 3,000% percent better. Sorry Emma. Yeah, the new drummer is quick, hard hitting, and, she sings back up vocals. Cool. Yeah, The Seriouslys played a stellar set to an appreciative audience, who were slowly filing in as the time went by. This place was gonna get crazy. I could feel it in the air.
Everyone and their Mom was here tonight. Clay and his lovely wife Denise were being lauded with Love and congratulatory words everywhere they went, and there was a crazy cool buzz in the room. It seemed like everybody knew everybody, or if you didn't, then you weren't that far away from having a mutual friend or two in common. Everything was going along nicely and then this band King Clone came along and relegated themselves to shitty vapid background noise with their ill received performance. Their music was OK, very Indie Rock sounding, but the buzz killer was a singer who was doing his best dooshbag Jim Morrison performance, complete with reflective aviator glasses and the constant turning of his back to the audience. OK there Lizard King. Plus he was prancing and preening around like a 70's Rock God, and that shit is da lamez to me, so I turned my camera off and headed back to the bar to keep drinking with Dean and Roy and some girl I didn't even know. Bob was there too, gambling away money he didn't have to gamble away, and Grandpa Spooky was around somewhere too, but who gives a fuck about him, right? LOL
After King Clone were through derailing the momentum, it was up to the next band, Kid Puto, to get things going again, and from the beginning onwards it didn't look good. First off, they took FOREVER to get their gear set up, and it wasn't like they were moving Steinway pianos or walls of amplifiers up on the stage. They were sharing The Mapes stage gear, and even with them helping to get everything set up, it still took almost 30 minutes for them to get everything set up and ready. I was getting up to go outside and smoke and ignore them, but then they started playing, and it was funny because they sucked. Oh man did they suck. It seemed like they couldn't hear each other up there, and that they weren't used to playing their instruments or something. They had a dual male/female vocal thing going on, and they weren't syncing up very well at all, stepping all over each others lines and just sounding bad, and after a few dreadful minutes the song was over, and a very generous amount of people clapped, and that's when the guy with the mic said 'What are you clapping for? That song sucked!' and I stopped going outside and headed to the front of the stage area to check these guys out a bit more. Brutal honesty, you gotta love it!
So before they started playing again, they made a few adjustments to the equipment, chugged some beers, and then launched into their second song, and things were dramatically different. Suddenly they were all on the same page, the starts/stops were clean and razor sharp, and the dual vocals sliced and danced around all of this glorious sounding cacophonous Punk Rock noise that was blaring out from the stage area, which sounded pretty damn good to my ears, and it brought to mind bands like Blatz or Naked Aggression or Dirt. Their angry demeanor and non-caring attitude about musicianship or even making eye contact with the band had charmed the ever loving shit out of me, and I took in their entire set with a grin on my face while listening to the band play on. The more they drank, the more animated they got, and the small stage area at the Dive wasn't big enough to contain all their energy. It was cool to see. The band finished up strong, and got a well earned round of applause for their effort. Kid Puto were definitely worth the wait. I grabbed a piece of vinyl from them immediately afterwords. :-)
And then it was time. The event we were all in attendance for was about to begin, and the buzz in the room was intoxicating. People queued up to the front of the stage area, guzzling booze to work up their courage or just to prepare for the worst, while a large bag a flour sat ominously center stage in front of the bands gear. The members of the Mapes came out to a rowdy, raucous reception from those in the crowd, with the loudest cheers being reserved for the Man of the Hour, the legendary Captain Whiskey himself. He posed for pictures behind his drum kit, with his over sized flask in hand, taking large draws from it while everyone egged him on to chug some more, all while the other guys were setting their gear up. The band seemed a bit apprehensive at first, standing around looking a bit awkward at being the focus of attention again, and a few charmingly witty quips were made at Captain Whiskey's medical condition's expense, and then Lord Baron Von Ding Dong screamed into the mic YOUR PUSSY MAKES ME VOMIT!! and then all Hell broke loose. It was glorious.
The energy in the room shot through the roof. Took all of about 3 seconds before someone had grabbed that bag of flour and was throwing it all around the room by the handful. It was getting everywhere and settling onto everything. The flour was sticking to sweaty, beer soaked skin and making a masa of sorts. The band sounded a bit wobbly, whether it was from not playing for a year or just from over-indulgence, it was hard to tell, but it didn't matter because by the 2nd song whatever it was was gone and the Mapes were in the zone. Sherf Turlett was the non-moving Gibraltar of Rock, cranking out one catchy riff after another, all while egging the others on in their drunken debauchery, while Lord Baron Von Ding Dong seemed more content to just throw himself and his musical equipment around with reckless abandonment rather than worry about actually playing his bass. The scary part is he plays his bass quite well despite all of this, and he even manages to scream and slur a few words into the microphone on occasion as well... heh.
Captain Whiskey kept things going at a nice, fast pace behind the drum kit, and he seemed no worse from wear or from having a year off from playing. He was still as sloppy and loud as ever, and he still walks off to the bar during the intro to I Hope Your Just Getting Fat... LOL Haywood J. Blowme was climbing on top of stuff, playing his Paul Stanley looking guitar with drunken intensity, and trying hard not to let his nut sack hang out of his tighty Boy Scout booty shorts while doing so. He seemed to be the winner of the 'Drunkest Guy On Stage' award, but I could be wrong about that. Gawd damn was it good seeing these guys together again. The Mapes were playing every song I could think of, and they were even playing some brand new songs, songs from some long promised 2nd album that has yet to materialize, and probably never will, truth be told, but regardless, the new songs sounded incredible. People were loving it. The rowdy crowd was made up of Friends, Fans, and Well Wishers, and I spent the majority of the bands set taking cheap shots in the back from some jackass who kept targeting me for his chickenshit antics for some reason. Did I fuck his girlfriend or something? LOL I found out later that he was some guy who I got into a verbal spat with on the Comments section of something I wrote on the website. He was testing me out to see what I was made of, and I guess I passed. After the gig we hung out and chatted a bit about everything. Weird but whatever.
The entire stage area was a complete mess. Besides the flour, the band handed out Ding Dongs, cupcakes, hot dogs, marshmallows, and water pistols to the crowd, water pistols which were now spraying various liquids all around the joint, liquids which are usually found in toilets or on the bathroom floor. The entire stage was covered in a slick, slimy veneer of crushed hot dog fillings, and the band members were slipping and sliding all over the place. The band handed out a football shaped pinata mid set, filled with gawd knows what, and it was quickly torn to shreds by everyone and it's contents spewed about the room. People were just picking stuff up off the floor and throwing it around, semi-empty cups of beer rained down upon all of us unfortunates who were standing near the front of the stage, and the smart aleck remarks were flying fast and furious between the band and the people in the audience. The Vermin ain't got shit on these guys when it comes cracking wise, that's for sure.
All good things must come to an end, and it seemed like the Mapes were running out of songs to play. They kept asking people in the audience what songs they hadn't played yet, and we were all hard pressed to come up with anything. Play that Mummies cover! I shouted at them, but they didn't do it. I heard someone else yell out 'You got a purty Mouf!!' but they didn't do that song either. Instead, they closed out their incredible set with a Civic Minded Five cover of a song that I think is called Lavin Lays Pipe, with said Lavin standing right in front of them while they played it, grinning sheepishly. They finished that song and quickly called it a night, with some of them collapsing on stage, some of them running off into the crowd, and some of them just... stopping. The Supermen had done their jobs. They brought Levity and catchy Punk rock music back to a Scene that sorely missed them and to a Scene which was a bit duller without their presence in it. I'm proud to say I was there to witness their grand return firsthand. They left the stage to well deserved howls and screaming ovations. The rest of us just left the room covered in flour. :-)
Such a great night. Afterwords we all just sort of mingled around outside, comparing the amounts of flour we had on ourselves and wondering aloud how we were all getting Home. Drinks were finished, last smokes were lit up, photos were taken and said photos were also photo bombed. I think the look on everyone's face says it all... LOL The big after party at Xtal's new posh digs sounded tempting, but Bob talked me out of it, so we instead headed off to Denny's for some coffee, hot grease, and salt. A cheap and sleazy way to end a trashy, fun filled evening with the Mapes. Seemed appropriate.