Photos by Wika "Destroyer of Martini Glasses" Gomez
Photos by Wika "Destroyer of Martini Glasses" Gomez
Photos by John "Digital Zoom" Burgess
Here are some shots that were taken during our set:
Robert was bummed that Zombi was unable to play this show.
This was the CD release party/last show ever for The Dirty Howlers. In commemoration of said event we thought it would be fitting to do a garage rock cover. The song of choice was You Must Fight to Live on the Planet of the Apes by The Mummies. We opened the cover with a little talky-bit ala the Dirty Howler's Don't Tell Me, with a
simple bass line and drums while John told the story of how we decided to do some garage rock. Robert provided the intermittant "Baaaaaby" to clue the crowd in to what was going on.
Folks seemed to like the cover, although the rest of our set didn't quite fit in with the surf-rockabilly-rock 'n' roll that followed. No matter. A fun time was had by all.
A Show Report by John H.
We had our second-ever show last week and it was a vast improvement over the first.
In fact, if they keep getting better at this expediential rate, our fourth show is sure to involve opening for a reunited Fugazi at a reopened Lounge Ax with sound by Bob Weston, posters by Jay Ryan, and the rapt attention (and wild applause) of everybody in the room...
Of course, we’d probably still play everything way too fast and I’d still remember only half the lyrics. We were invited to play this show through the good graces of Santanu Rahman, a friend from back in the old Champaign days who is now the guitarist for Triple Whip – one of my favorite bands of late. He needed a last-minute replacement for a band from Oakland – Replicator - who had to cancel a big part of their tour for some reason.
We jumped at the chance (I’d been hoping a show with Triple Whip would be among our first).
I was really excited for a bunch of reasons...
So, after a less-than-perfect run-through of our set, we loaded up the stuff in the super-tuff minivan – somehow getting everything (including the three of us) in one vehicle—and, after a slight scare when the van wouldn’t start right away, headed down south with the windows open and radio at a level just too- quiet in the front and just-too-loud in back... The three of us said “what?” a lot.
In our dorky eagerness we were the first to arrive at the venue: BONEYARD POTTERY, which –as the name would seem to indicate- is actually a working
pottery studio near downtown Champaign.
I repeat... a working pottery studio... filled with amazing and fragile work into which talented artists had poured their hearts and souls and kiln-induced sweat. There was beautiful, breakable stuff everywhere...
...and THIS is where we were to play an all-ages punk rock show. We were pretty sure that after the show there was a good chanced that the place would look less like this...
... and more like this:
But oddly enough, the owner/operator of the place, Michael...
... (on the left), was far less worried than we were. He had wanted to host all-ages shows in his space for a while and was trusting that the attendees would be respectful of what he was doing for the scene. I’m pleased to report he wasn’t disappointed... VERY cool cat!
We sound checked with soundman Jimmy...
... and went off to the nearest packaged goods store for some liquid nerves.
We played first and (as usual) the performance itself would have been a complete and hazy blur were it not for photo documentation and the lo-fi recording that Robert did using archaic walkman technology.
Here is what I’ve been able to piece together:
Other stuff I remember:
The band currently known as Nonagon finally had its first performance for relative strangers.
It was a bit surreal.
We played a cookout in Libertyville that was hosted by a coworker of Tony's.
When we got there we thought there was NO WAY we were actually going to be allowed to play:
The suburban yard was filled with kids and neighbors from the ages of 3 to about 75 and we were to set up on an outdoor patio facing a park in a very suburban, family-oriented neighborhood.
When we got there at about 6:30 we were immediately coerced into playing softball.
My team beat Tony's team like 32 to nothing.
Robert wisely demurred and hung out with Christy. The two of them quickly decided that they had nothing in common with most of the party goers and left to drink their beer in deep center field.
We ate grilled goods sitting at a picnic table with a very diverse group that included Alan, a groovy guy who was sponsored by Pepsi when he was a skating 14 year old and has somehow managed to escape the sad cycle of childhood stardom (except for the Hustler shoot he had to do with Dana Plato for glue-huffing money), and the elderly neighbors from across the street (at one point the husband of this couple held up his now half-empty little bottle of Snapple and yelled to his wife, "Oh! This is JUICE! Juice, honey!").
Since Paul hadn't yet arrived, we employed clever stalling tactics that were comprised mostly of multiple trips to the bathroom, tuning, and trying to convince the host, Dave, that we're "really more of an 'indoor band'". But Dave pulled rank (he wanted to get rid of the "lame neighbors") and we finally hit the well-lit patio.
Almost everybody over the age of ten preferred to watch from the grass beyond the lights, which meant that the only people we could actually see (aside from Christy and later Paul) were 10 and under.
At this point I asked Tony if this was the weirdest show he's ever played, and he made me feel oddly comforted by telling me that the J Davis Trio once played an 8-year-old's birthday party. "I think his name was Max."
So, after apologizing for the impending ruination of Dave's soiree, we played... loudly.
We did notice a steady stream of people leaving the party over the next 20 or so minutes, but that was offset by some good-natured heckling from Tony's coworkers in the glomen.
After royally screwing up the first song (but recovering nicely thanks to Robert's zen like temperament) we played what I think was a pretty-darn-good-for-a-first-show first show.
Everything was a little too fast.
We had to start one song over... twice.
And there was literally NO applause (not even polite) after one of the middle songs...
But it was a lot of fun and we managed to break a sweat in the evening chill.
I've got to hand it to those kids, though.
They sat at the picnic table RIGHT IN FRONT OF US for the whole show and only flinched occasionally. Since they were the only people we could see, I found myself directing most of my lame "on stage banter" to them, which oddly took the pressure off as far as actually seeming "witty" or "smart". I felt a little like a guest host on Zoom.
We found out later that one of them (the blonde kid seen on the right side of the pictures) was totally drunk from sneaking sips of beer. This was actually a relief to me because at one point during the music it looked like he was about to fall asleep.
Paul said that we made some soccer-moms quickly gather their kids and leave, and that a little dog was so enraged by our noise that he kept giving us the stinkeye and growlly little barks... but reviews were for the most part charitable:
One woman was very audibly overheard saying "well at least that last song was pretty good" when we turned off the amps.
On a more disconcerting note... I guy who is supposedly Ton'ys "biggest fan" (has traveled great distances to see him play in other bands) left before we were done... Hmmm.
It was, in all seriousness, a perfect first show. It was pressure-less and so weird it didn't even make me (that's right, ME) nervous.
It also made me REALLY itchy to play more shows!!
The pictures at the end of this link give a pretty good feel for the weirdness of the whole thing. Most of them were taken by Christy with Robert's camera before the battery ran out (during the second or third song).
Here they are, double chins, bad posture and all (view them with friendship-tinted eyes):
My favorite is (of course) the one in which the kids are clutching at their ears.
Hello Friends and Family!
How many Tuesday evenings have found you channel-surfing aimlessly as you wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap.
A lot, right?
Well, we’re here to offer just that opportunity.
NONAGON (known to bill collectors and Homeland Security as Tony Aimone, Robert Gomez, John Hastie) will be noising-up SUBTERRANEAN with two great bands this upcoming Tuesday…
We are genuinely excited to be playing with these folks and hope you’ll make the quick trip down to hang out and maybe bob your head to a song or three.