thursday may 2, 2002 - brownies, 169 avenue A
a leisurely lunch with jody at the veg-city diner
a short (pete and brady go pedal-shopping), but validating practice in mid-town
that elusive perfect blend of garage-rock and grunge: garange.
really nice and professional staff, a great opening act (palomar),
a weentsy stage - meaning we have no choice but to pull out all the stops.
the set-list gets overturned and reassembled a couple of times
and i end up with a hematoma* on my thigh the size of your head,
but we net four encores.
fred comes out in street clothes,
and stands on a little wooden folding chair
removing the street clothes to reveal
his extremely sharp viennese grey pin-stripe 3-piece suit
now, with a flourish of clippers, he buzzes off his profuse beard
into brady's microphone.
but the sound-guy doesn't want to hear it,
even when some people in the audience yell at him.
removing the suit to reveal
(floral white rayon).
a very little stage requires more schtick,
shorter, more numerous tricks.
early on, jody explains to the audience in detail
how her drumming actually acts out the lyrics of the song,
second chance, and i quote:
Well, People, I want you to know that I am painting Pete's lyrics with each drum stroke. Let me show you... [Pete: "this is for a song that is 5 songs ahead in the set list..."] The lyrics go like this: "you take it apart" and what I do is break the drum beat down to cut time and then, when Pete says "and you put it back together again", I resume the 4/4 like this (hear the one TWO three FOUR). And then he says "I could do this forever, my best friend" and I just play along and then do a regular boo-BAH-da-dug-OOO fill and then, now check this out, he says "whispering's nice but you lose it to the wind" and I open the hi-hats and just do some little whispers and then close them. And then he says "and the older that you get, the more your shadow spins around" and I open the hi-hats just a touch and hit it on 1 and 2, 1 and 2, so you get the spinning feeling...which takes us right into the chorus...
fred's hauled this envelope of flash-paper around
to more than a hundred shows,
but could never figure a use for it until the middle of this song
(a cover - and one of the encores):
on the final chorus, he half-faces jody up on her drum riser.
saucily, he takes his zipper down
and lightly touches a half-concealed lit match to the cavern within.
a good 18" of incandescent flame briefly burnishes the upturned faces:
definitely tainted love.
set-list - i can't remember where we deviated, other than skipping comet and adding boog and truly for encores. but where did constipation move to, what was the order of the encores, and what solo piece did pete end the show with? here's what we hit the stage with:
joe louis punchout
mr. magazine man
after the show, who should mysteriously appear after eight years but james. He hands me these:
They seem like the typical nineties American family: cross-dressing dad Fernando, his much younger wife Patricia, with bratty son Jordan and geeky teenage daughter Brandy (from previous marriages).
from left: jody, fred, pete's butt photos by james rexroad c.1994
photo: t. beemer