Columns - "The Landing Party" 06.14.03

Send stuff to the party.... Heres my personal snail mail address you dumb-chit’s....
Shawn Abnoxious c/o The Neus Subjex PO Box 18051 Fairfield, Ohio. 45018-0051
OK, this update you are going to see a different side to ol’ Shawn Abnoxious than you usually see.... May has been a busy and event worthy month for me. I decided to use this installment of THE LANDING PARTY to talk about the time I spend with some musical projects I am involved in.... I play bass in THE SOCIALS and have also recently debuted my solo dance music project I now officially call EXXON. I thought I could get away with this column being around 1,500 words... It simply wasn’t ment to be. I had a lot to talk about and get off my chest (including this fucking poison ivy).... Before I bring you down for a landing I would like to take a moment and thank Wred Fright, Author of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus serial novel/zine whose writing was an inspiration for this very party....
Saturday, May 3rd @ Cafe Bourbon Street in Columbus, Ohio THE SOCIALS, RAT PACK, SELF-DESTRUCT BUTTON, SEXUAL TENSION and THE JEFFS
0. I would hereby like to extend a thanks to Chris from The Mexican Blackbirds for getting everything started for me on an upbeat. On the morning of the 3rd I checked my PO Box and found a Blackbirds shirt (in a size large enough) for me to wear. The Juice was real suprised by the fact too. "Hey, he sent you a shirt you can actually fit into" he said. It was after that I decided that all during the month of May, in honor of Chris and THE MEXICAN BLACKBIRDS, I was going to wear the shirt at EVERY Socials show in the month of May! Call it a MEXICAN BLACKBIRDS MARATHON!
1. This was the first SOCIALS show that we played with THE SOCIALS OFFICIAL transportation, the notorious Millenium Falcon, back in SOCIALS hands. Since events that transpired on February 17th (please see the March Update of The Landing Party) we had been reduced to using two vehicles for show transportation... Yeah, Soooo ‘high school’. Exactly why it took so long to fix the Falcon is still not fully understood by any facet of THE SOCIALS... The important thing is its back!!!!
2. SOCIALS beats commander (drummer)The Juice was tired and the Millenium Falcon was not without further problems. Juice had spent the better part of any waking hour in the week previous to this show re-painting his residence. As for the Falcon, it had developed a problem stalling at very inconvenient times ie Stoplights, intersections ect.ect. The boys in the lab ran mucho simulations on the subject at hand, and came to the conclusion that because the Falcon had sat so long and not been driven, there was some form of condensation in the gas tanks (it has two). So after loading the van with equipment, and after stalling about 15 times, we got on the expressway and maintained constant gas pedal pressure (which helped the stalling situation) until we got well above all associated Cincinnati exits.... Where the population thinned.... Our figuring was that if the gas WAS indeed somewhat bad, we would use as much of this gas as possible until we got new replacement fuel. A few miles above the Washington C.H. exit ( a lil’ more than halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus) we replenished fuel we used in Falcon Tank One... I was the last one out of the station to the van. I found The Juice sitting in the seat usually reserved for me (front passenger aka ‘co-pilot/navigator’)The Juice was tired.... He wanted me to drive.... This was a rare treat indeed, only the second time I had been called upon to pilot the Falcon... Once in Kent when Juice drank too much moonshine and now...Of course this ment that I couldn’t eat my snack of Chocolate GEM donuts and drink that new berry Sprite while The Juice drove, but it was worth it.
3. About an hour later (cause I do drive slow) I had taken us right to the very exit that the directions called for. Since I am usually the co-pilot/navigator on any SOCIALS outing, I got directions to and from shows we play down to a science. I use that MapQwest TO and FROM thing. The Juice also said that no matter how fucked-up I had gotten at any show we played, I have also retained memory on how to get back to the expressway and home and have also gave consistent early warnings on when I was going to hurl....I feel like I am a good co-pilot/navigator. When called upon, I pilot. When called upon I navigate. When called upon, I let Juice know its time to pull over for me to puke... Well, I did end up sort of fucking up this trip though. The first stop was to be the residence of Slak and "his old lady". It was to be the sight of a pre-show BBQ with all the bands and everything. I got directions TO the street correctly, EAST TOMPKINS, but not the street number. I left the rest of the address next to the computer. I even did a outside vehicle scouting mission (OVSM) gaunt down one block of the street because knowing that there was a punk BBQ somewhere... I sort of knew what to look for. Beer cans. Punks. Grills. I even asked some people that were out walking around. I asked and used vernacular in a way, that I thought Slak would have used.... I mean, FUCK! He’s a nice enough guy. I would ask "Hey! You know where Slak and his old lady live?" to about three different people and they were like "Nah, I/we dont even live around here." Frustrated, I returned from my OVSM narrowing it down to two houses in the one block stretch. After a quick SOCIALS counsel, We had made a decision to head directly to Cafe Bourbon Street and maybe get a lead there where we could relocate the party.
4. The trip to Cafe Bourbon Street went without glitch! Whereas finding the pre-show BBQ took a street address, to find Cafe Bourbon Street took looking for an actual place; A business. We also found out that East Tompkins, the street holding the residence, was longer than one block. The BBQ could be at any residence in about a 4 block stretch..... At one time we seen a ‘punk car’ with stickers on it and everything, and felt we were close BUT as The Juice pointed out, you could no longer base looking for a house/person just from stickers on a car... ANYMORE. Years ago, I would say pre 1994, you could proly use logic like ‘punk stickers on car= punk friend I am looking for’ but not now, not when those very stickers are utilized as many NON-believers as TRUE-believers... The people at Cafe Bourbon Street were really nice. I told them how I fucked up the prospects of a pre-show BBQ while The Juice and Coach (Guitar/vocals Department for THE SOCIALS) took dual pisses. One Bourbon Street patron said I should start drinking and hang out and eat nachos. Sounded like a good idea but it was a bit too early to start I told him... I had been in ‘work mode’ on the way up and felt like I really let Coach and The Juice down by fucking up the directions, I handout did anything to deserve a drink (yet). Theres a time to party and a time to work, to get the job done! I was still at work. Another Bourbon Street patron said he had an address for one of the guys in THE JEFFS named John who lived on East Tompkins. The three digits he shared with us seemed familiar to me... But the name John didn’t. I asked if Slak lived there too but they never heard of a ‘Slak’. We decided to give it another shot. We took the three numbers back to East Tompkins.
5. There it was! The house with its BBQ was right there in front of the punk-car with the stickers that even turned out to be Slaks! Go figure! Pre 1994 rules DID apply! As for this ‘John’ character that the gents and ladys talked about at Bourbon Street, that was Slaks REAL name!!! Fuckin-A! Walking up to the house and ringing the doorbell.. with the door opening... We definitely had the right house.... members of THE JEFFS and SEXUAL TENSION and a score of others I had yet to meet, were getting their drink on.... Hugs all around, the (partial) LETS GET KILLED family re-united!!!
6. You see, ever since the LETS GET KILLED COMPILATION was released, well before the fact even, a certain camaraderie is shared between many bands. LETS GET KILLED gave us a place to co-exist even though our ‘family’ extends far beyond JUST 12 inches of black vinyl. THE JEFFS, THE SOCIALS, and SEXUAL TENSION were together this night for the first time since the release for the comp! The greatest collection of GET KILLED ALUMNI since that fateful night at THE FLOOD! Since that release show, Slak had been organizing this show. With my responsibilities to get us to where we needed to go... it was NOW time to knock back some beers and UNWIND!
7. The BBQ was a whirlwind of activity, with everything seemingly to happen all at once! Coach and PP Envy, SEXUALS TENSION tag along via Morte Treehorn. Were catching up in a corner of the kitchen. Juice and Benji from THE JEFFS were eating hamburgers and using ritz crackers in place of bread. At one time, when he returned from the liquor store, I had claimed Rob People (bass) from SEXUAL TENSION and The Juice claimed Elias aka ‘White Chocolate’ (vocals) from SEXUAL TENSION, and we bartered back and forth to trade one for the other.... We eventually just decided to fight over Rob, throwing him back and forth saying "Dat my ball fool!" to each other. MORTE TREEHORN (guitar) from SEXUAL TENSION) was singing punk doo-wop with Benji and Twitch (JEFFS DRUMMER). Slak kept putting beers in my hand and kept apologizing for not having any syrup for ‘SOCIALS-BEER’ (a tasty beverage made with beer and syrup, a favorite of THE SOCIALS and all visitors to THE SOCIAL MANOR)... SCOTT (drummer) from SEXUAL TENSION was in the backyard. I found him there along with a bon-fire and a old charcoal grill filled with ice and one of my good friends, ice cold beer.... Elias stood in the doorway of the kitchen sucking down as many beers as his underage ass could before S-Time (showtime)... I eventually make my way inside and everyone is shrilling about saying "SAVE IT FOR THE GERMANS!" and displaying some sorts of a childhood toy Wrestling champ belt. I look around for Rob People and find him in the basement with his girlfriend Diannie (I proly spelled her name wrong) and Rob had a wardrobe change to a muscle T and scarf around his neck like he was some sort of World War One bombardier. I drank a few cold ones by now and find myself alternating drunk hugs between Elias and Slak when Slak looks to me and sez "Its time to go to the show now". Slak rides with us, THE SOCIALS. He is pretty intrigued by our van asking stats like make, model, engine size and everything. Juice handles most of the questions but all he really needed to know was that This was THE SOCIALS vehicle, The Millenium Falcon.... it scores POINTS! "Hey, Slak... Nice fucking church!" The Good times were just beginning.
8. I got to the show and set up our merchandise (another one of my quasi-band responsibilities) before I resumed drinking. THE SOCIALS were the third band of the night so I had a bit. First up was RAT PACK. Rat pack played a short set of bouncy Oi punk sort of resembling PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES. They were fronted by a male with two females rounding out guitar and bass duties. Their sound was loose but kept together by the drummer who I actually knew. I know him by the name Pineapple-Head. He lived in Cincinnati for a while and unbeknownst to me, relocated to Columbus and formed this band. I liked their set, It was really short. Pretty snotty and in yer face. After one song they threw out potatoes and home abortion kits that consisted of a clothes hanger and some sort of bloodied looking cloth... They even threw some cans of Vienna Sausages... it was a statement I suppose. I went up to the singer afterwards and told him nice set and he was like "Yeah, well were breaking up! This was our first and last show but thanks anyway". Fucking figures... Oh yeah, before I forget, The Juice took one of the potatoes that the band threw out and drew a face on it and set it up on the merchandise table of ours. Some guy came up later and gave us $.50 for it.... It takes all kinds.
NOTE: ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS, is the official zine of THE SOCIALS and something we spend time up until we play to dispense to the crowd. THE SOCIALS have a close friend that we sort of consider our manager. His name is Reggie and at first, every show, he would ask Coach, Juice and I for info/news about the band and release what was at first called a PARTIAL SYSTEM ACUMEN for each and every SOCIALS show. A ‘Partcial System Acumen’ was in brief, a program of the coming SOCIALS set. It provided news and contact info for the band and a copy of what songs we were playing at the very show you received an acumen for. Eventually the frequency of Socials appearances have brought about a change in the inception of what was known as The Partial System Acumen to become a full fledged fanzine for The band... With Reggie in FULL COMMAND. Reggie steered for the creation and control of ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS fanzine thats totally about SOCIALS happenings. ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS still serves the same purpose as the Partial System Acumen but with a different twist. In current issues, like the one he gave us for the month of May (the 9th issue), the set we are slated to play is on a separate piece of paper and attached to each issue with a staple. Before each show Reggie drops off around sixty copies for us to hand out before we play or in some real rare cases, hands the copies out himself. It is in thinking that if anything, a patron who see’s THE SOCIALS at one of our shows are at least left with something more tangible than a memory of the band and who knows, maybe they are looking for a band to fill one of their shows or something and will use the handy contact info to get hold of us.... ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS is ultimatly designed for people in the crowd to feel closer to the band... Believe it or not but it works. ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS gives THE SOCIALS a personal perspective... I gives us humanity/ People expect these fucking zine things now at our shows and refer to THE SOCIALS on a first name basis...
9. SELF-DESTRUCT BUTTON were LOUD. This band was from Cleveland even though they seemed to be local residents of Columbus. I took them a long time to set up but had this sort of electronic drone thing going on during the majority of their set up that was LOUD and repulsive to ones ears. Whereas most had been pushed back by the sonic onslaught, I pushed myself to move FOREWARD to the edge of the small stage. I looked to my right and no one for several feet. I looked to my left and there was Morte Treehorn smiling, with his eyes closed and head gently swaying from side to side. What a titan! Self Destruct Buttons set reminded me of Bloomington Indianas PUPPY VS. DYSLEXIA except a bit more offensively weird. I guess they used to be called THE WASHOUT CORPORATION and were still pushing CDs from that band. Current Self-Destruct Buttons stuff was a lot harder than the stuff on the CD... So maybe I was figuring thats why they changed their name, to reflect a harder posture.... They played a good set but because THE SOCIALS were up next, we handed out almost all the remaining issues of ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS and covered up the merch so we could set up as much equipment in the parking lot behind Cafe Bourbon Street so our set up would take less time. They still sounded great back there too.... Total sonic onslaught. The sort of stuff that makes you smile because your ears hurt so bad...
10. Doing a ‘hot-load-in’ as we were doing this night is a major buzz killer. Usually though, whatever buzz I had before a Socials set is gone by time I am done playing a set anyways. Even though THE SOCIALS dont make a living out of playing music or anything we still like to do a good job and do what we have to do to get the job done at any given moment. Tonight it called for us to ‘prep’ the majority of our equipment in the parking lot behind Bourbon Street. By time Self Destruct Button hit their last note they were already off-loading their equipment. Pro’s! We began bringing ours in. Self-Destruct button definitly get a hats off for being professional concerning this... Yeah, by time we began my buzz was totally gone but thats OK, I figured I could build a new one when I was done... Our set was tight. We cut a song from the set list because of time restrictions.
Our set according to ATTACKING THE NUCLEUS #9: Backup Needs Backup....Tunnels Under The City.... Inflated Monster.... Life As Spraypaint...Problem with Clones....Targets of Innocence....Cult Vex 09....Escape Suburbiastate....The Industrial Revolution was a Bore....1982 Was made for Lovers....Mythical sea Creatures....and Slave to The Low Wave
There was some vocal problems during TUNNELS so Coach didn’t sing until Twitch from THE JEFFS straightened things out by time next song rolled around. The Juice didn’t have any microphone for backing vocals neither. Rather than wiggle around trying this or that we proceeded onward keeping talk and chatter down in-between songs and tuning breaks to a bare minimum. We played and gave the show all we had to offer. No time to fuck around... We already cut one song for time restrictions so why bother telling everyone who is in the band or sharing a funny story. We came to play and play is what we did! At sets end we re-established our merch, I began rebuilding our buzz and even had one guy come up to us and say something about hearing about us on the internet so he thought he would come and catch us live. He also said something about us NOT letting him down... Go fucking figure. We moved our own CDs nicely throughoutthe remainder of the evening... Columbus was definitly a hit.
11. SEXUAL TENSION followed us and man, Im glad they were after us because It would physically hurt to follow such a great band. They made THE SOCIALS look like pop-punk. They played some newer songs and worked the crowd into a frenzy somewhat... For those of you who dont know, SEXUAL TENSION is sort of a SUPER band... With members from Kill The Hippies and Radar Secret Service along with Scott and Elias, Sexual Tension is really a band that ALWAYS FLOORS me. I mean, theres something to Sexual Tensions sound that just melts my brain. I want to dance when I hear them... And I dont dance well at all... I had began to re-build my buzz but I kept taking it easy. I was at a good level, I had reached a place during SEXUAL TENSIONS set where I was just plain FEELIN’ GOOD. I would remain there throughout the night including the ride home.
12. By time THE JEFFS went on The crowd was worked up. Since seeing them for the first time about a year earlier in Columbus at the High Five and after seeing a much more improved JEFFS at the Lets Get Killed fest, THIS era of THE JEFFS was downright amazing. more of that Stitches-esq 77 snot punk, DONE RIGHT, with EMOTION and MEANING and danger.... Slak pulled a switchblade near the end of THE JEFFS set and sang onward through the end wielding the blade! At sets end THE JEFFS and their crowd sort of made a mess of the place... Playing shows ISNT about getting money to THE SOCIALS but gas money is nice... We had fun the whole evening long, with the BBQ and the kick ass show and we even sold some CDs.... We really had no reason to whine, so we didn’t. As THE JEFFS winded down we hung out some more and slowly broke down our merchandise booth. All our equipment was already in the van because as we ‘hot-loaded in’ we did the same loading out!
13. We said our goodbyes in record time. Al the hugs and kisses took only about 2 hours. Im glad I had this evening to get closer to THE JEFFS. I have had years to work on the friendships I share with members of SEXUAL TENSION and really wanted the same with THE JEFFS. They really are super cool guys. Some magical Columbus Fairies flew up into my face and showed me visions of the future that involved many more nights with THE JEFFS like this one that was coming to an end at a rapid pace so I didn’t cry THAT much....Slak ended up giving us some money via Cafe Bourbon Street Cafe which was really nice. THE SOCIALS usually buy all needed gas and other trip related stuff out of our pockets, divided three ways. We take any show money and put it into a fund that we use as an emergency fund for when we dont have any pocket money to get gas to a show, or something like that. We mainly use our show money to keep a steady stream of stickers and buttons and CDS to the band. We also use the money to buy merchandise from other bands to re-sell. In doing so we have a pretty good little thing going on with our merchandise. We left Columbus to return home and talked bout our show the whole way home. The Juice drove the whole way and got pretty tired but Coach and I kept his brain active and made him drinketh from the coveted 2L of Royal Crown Cola we all passed back and forth. It was 5:30 AM before we got home and settled down... We counted this night as a success. I took off my MEXICAN BLACKBIRDS shirt and threw it on the floor in the living room in anticipation of the next SOCIALS show just a couple of days away....
Tuesday, May 6th @ Sudsy Malones in Cincinnati, Ohio THE SOCIALS, THE BAZILLIONAIRES, CROATAN and BLOODHAG!
0.The Mexican Blackbirds shirt was EXACTLY where I left it... On the Living Room floor under our coffee table that holds a digital 16 track recorder. I picked up the shirt which was inside out, shook it a couple of times and put it on! it still smelled like smoke, stale beer and Columbus, Ohio but thoughts of Chris Trashcan and The Mexican Blackbirds invaded my thought and continued to think of how proud Chris would be of me wearing his shirt at FOUR SOCIALS shows in a row, despite the fact we had never met face to face and until I send him a CD, he hasn’t even heard THE SOCIALS....
1.Tonight THE SOCIALS were playing a local Cincinnati dive called Sudsy Malones. Sudsy Malones is both a BAR where you can see bands play at night and also where you can get drunk and its also a place where you can do your laundry SIMULATANEOUSLY! Yeah, its one of the few Rock and/or Roll Laundromats in the United States...
2. This was a rare SOCIALS show because it was on a weeknight. The Juice and I work at the same ‘factory’ except he works 5-8 hour shifts (he is inventory Control) Monday through Friday and I work 4-10 hour shifts ( I make Screws). Coach works at a local elementary school Monday-Friday. Coach took Wednesday off so did I. Juice couldn’t take the next day off because someone had already called off in his department. We wanted to play this show mainly for two reasons. 1) We had seen a VHS of a BLOODHAG show from our friends Markus Dominus and Jenny Diablo from CROATAN. For those of you who dont know, BLOODHAG is a band that mostly sings grindcore songs about science fiction authors and books. The video I seen was short, but showed the band playing sets in libraries and toward the end of their set they throw books out to read. This was reason enough to want to play with a band! I mean, FUCK! The last song on THE SOCIALS CD, "Aramchek" was about RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH by Philip K. Dick. THE SOCIALS actually had at least THAT MUCH in common with the band... But most importantly we wanted to play and I think Markus Dominus sort of asked for the very reason that THE SOCIALS are a local band. The last thing we would ever bitch about at a LOCAL show would be money. THE SOCIALS took nothing in the past for, to help, bands... We took nothing the night we played with Bloodhag, and proly wont take anything from another band coming through in the future. The subsequent nod of $20 going to us will get us some more buttons or some gas... Every little bit helps out, but that same $20 going to a band like Bloodhag or even Crimson Sweet, goes a whole lot farther. On the night of the 6th, THE SOCIALS were doing our part for the greater good.... Besides, We were getting really good prices on beer. I cant remember exactly what the deals were because by the end of the evening I was taking on whole pitchers solo (but I WAS wearing my Mexican Blackbirds shirt so the boys in the league office said it was ok). Anyway, Coach and I told Juice to call the shots. Since he had to work the next day when he said it was time to roll, it was time to roll....
3. So around a little past 7PM Juice showed up at the SOCIALS-MANOR to find Coach just finishing up getting herself ready and me drinking the last of our band-corps Miller High Life in Party Central. You see, here’s how it goes. Within THE NEUS SUBJEX COMPOUND sits THE SOCIALS MANOR. Within the SOCIALS-MANOR are various rooms including PARTY CENTRAL where the computer I am writing this very adventure on, sits. Along with my old-timey rotary phone..... Juice found me sitting in PARTY CENTRAL mating with a High Life. Coach walked into the room for some pre-show planning long enough for the phone to ring and a telemarketer call wanting ME, Shawn Abnoxious, to refinance my mortgage or whatever with his firm. After they hung up on me once when I had started talking about what sort of military equipment sat around that I could re-finance they hung up on me. I looked them up in the phone book (because always get their business name first so YOU can take the initiative after they blow you off) and told them that I got disconnected or something. After they hung up on me a third time I redialed their number and told them that there must be something wrong with THEIR phone and to call me back. I gave them Juices phone number! Anyway, we fooled around with those guys too long. Juice told Markus Dominus (from CROATAN) who sat up the show and booked us with Bloodhag that we would be there by 8:30. Our equipment was still ‘broke down’ from the Columbus show but still, It was 8:30 PM by time we were a bit up the road. We were late but still figured everything would work out... And it would ultimately.
4. We get to Sudsy’s at around 9PM. We load in our equipment to a staging area in an out-of-the-way place until we play. This night we are scheduled second. it had been a while since I had been to Sudsy’s. At one time this was THEE place in Cincinnati to see local and underground Music. The last several years has seen the place go through a bunch of changes to get itself squared away with city codes and regulations.... The place is a mere shadow of what it once was. The bar is full though, with what I would call its ‘regulars’. The Coach spies some friends from the first band THE BAZILLIONAIRES so she goes over and talks while The Juice and I get a couple tables situated for Merchandise. Markus Dominus is running around really nervous like because he withdrew some money out of his personal account to pay Bloodhag if no one had sowed up. Of course this is Cincinnati and no-one does anything until about 10:30 so Mark was nervous. Oh yeah, he also didn’t want Bloodhag to know that he took money out of his personal account to pay them with if need be. He said that if they knew that they would then have a hard time taking the money... I mention it here because Markus is a real genuine person and as much as this EXTENSIVE episode of The Landing Party is about me and The Socials and what I do... I also want to get the point across that theres still people like Markus out there in the trenches in places you would least expect them... Like Cincinnati, Ohio..... I consolidate our merchandise so Bloodhag would have some room too. Juice strikes a deal with The Bloodhag right off the bat. We buy four CDs from them for $20. This means our base cost, per CD is $5. Bloodhag told us they sell them for $10 and gave us permission to sell them for whatever we want. They really liked our set up..... The CDs were not officially into our merch system until our next show where we have them for sale for a price of $7. Until the first band took stage, we spent time handing out the zine, ATTACKING THE NUCELUS #9 complete with a set list of songs we were going to play.
5. This wasn’t the first time I actually heard THE BAZILLIONAIRES but this was their very first show. A super group of sorts with Markus Dominus and Jenny Diablo (who make up the entirety of CROATAN) teamed up with longtime legendary members of THE HYPOCHONDIRACS (Jenny Fever and Aaron Fever who were also recently married) to form a band whose sound is rooted in legendary bands like THE MC5.... Their set was good, great actually... Loud, driving, get up off yer ass rock and/or roll... The Jenny’s BOTH sang which mix it up a bit...The last time we were doing some studio work, Markus Dominus played some stuff that The Bazillionaires had recorded and it too was amazing. I am sure its just a matter of time before they have something out....
6. We were next. We didn’t have the sort of pressure that we had in Columbus but didn’t fool around in getting anything done. There did seem to be a sort of negativity in the room... I cant really explain it but once we did start I played with my back to the crowd most of the time.... I focused on Juices drums and did my best to be tight. Some close friends walked into the door early on... It was nice seeing some familiar faces because even though before this moment it wasn’t like we were in a room of strangers or anything but its weird, when I am on stage and look out to see certain people it seems like I have at least found the BASE for positively. I started to feel better but still played with my back to the crowd. Our set was sort of riddled with technical problems ONCE again. The microphones on Juices drums kept falling out of their holders and Juices bass drum pedal needed attention more times than he likes to give. We played the same set from the Columbus show except we didn’t cut any songs... Well, we did but keep reading.... Like I said, we weren’t under any time restraints really so we re-introduced "Yeah, Well" to the set and actually pulled it off despite the song still being new to our live shows.... During "Escape from Suburbiastate" Coaches Gibson SG broke a string. I knew something was up when she turned around to face The Juice and had this totally weird look on her face. Working off of a visual cue, we ended the song abruptly and even on the same note! We didn’t come back to the song and re-trace what we did but just decided to move on. The Coach takes two guitars to each show hence the whole belief in BACKUP....She donned her 1962 Melody-Maker and tuned up in no time to continue the set.
Our Set:
Backup Needs Backup....Tunnels Under The City.... Inflated Monster.... Life As Spraypaint...Problem with Clones....Targets of Innocence....Yeah, Well....Cult Vex 09....Escape Suburbiastate....The Industrial Revolution was a Bore....1982 Was made for Lovers....Mythical Sea Creatures....and last but not least, Slave to The Low Wave
Just before "Yeah, Well" we took a tuning/drink break. Juice said something about this song being one everyone will hate. After our set someone actually came up to juice to tell him he was right. He hadn’t liked "Yeah, Well" because it wasn’t danceable. Juice told him we designed it to be like that. Who would have thought that a song about Lexington Kentucky would prove such a strong offensive weapon?
Whereas its not like we try or anything but more and more people are seemingly ‘getting us’. Each of us was riddled with compliments from our set ranging from praise to our songwriting to "being so psychedelic that all I could do was sit there and enjoy it in complete motionless"... Yeah, whereas THE SOCIALS have never played a show where EVERYONE, or even a small majority appear to like us, its the few people that we do appeal to that keep on making it worth it...
7. BLOODHAG was up next. They did their thing and were just as much fun to see in person as on the tape Markus and Jenny had. They talked a lot before each song but in doing what they do but they do have to set up each song. Sometimes their discussion of the song took longer than the song. By time they went on people were pretty charged up to see their set. They did their whole thing and asked for people to show their Library cards and threw books out and everything... They played a great set.
8. I had resumed drinking beer once our equipment was consolidated to a SAFE area of the bar. We are always scarred someone is going to rip our stuff off since exactly that has been happening lately in a few instances around Cincinnati so what we do is block all our guitars in behind the bigger and less appealing things to steal like drums and speaker cabinets. We each take time to check on the equipment often throughout the night.... If you look at THE SOCIALS equipment and noticed that a lot of it is spraypainted silver. Well, theres a reason. Lighter, more reflective colors can be seen better in bars from any distance. Whereas white isn’t that cool of a color in MY book, silver is. Using my amp as the final barrier to block our equipment in... If its moved and messed with, I notice. You see. theres a method to what we do... A reason for the silver.... After snapping some pics of Bloodhag I settled down with a pitcher of beer behind the merch. The Lion Cub had arrived and we spent time until Croatan took the stage talking about the Experimental Music Night I was slated to debut my solo project (Exxon) on the following Thursday.
9. It had been a while since I had seen CROATAN. Since I figure that they have more songs than I could have ever seen them play at past shows, I want to say I heard some new stuff... But who knows, it might have just been something I hadn’t seen in a while... Their set was flawless and tight as fuck AS USUAL. By time he took the stage a second time, Markus looked more at ease. Jenny Diablo was smiling wickedly the whole time she played. How many bands do you know who does Ministry covers? Yeah, well... Croatan’s version of "Stigmata" is quite the shit. About halfway throughout their set, from behind the merch where I was still nursing a pitcher of beer and the Lion Cub was now drinking double vodkas. We both spied the guy walking around. He was short, but very muscular. I told The Lion Cub to keep an eye on him to make sure he was seeing what I was seeing... At certain moments, this guy would bring out a wrestling championship belt, like the kind you see on TV.... He would sling it across his shoulder and strut around and showboat a bit. He would go to the bar, get a beer and showboat some more then sort of disappear only to re-appear a bit later and do it all again. The Lion Cub couldn’t believe his eyes either. it was sort of surreal, like a Fionna Apple video. It was one of those moments where you look at what you been drinking and say something like you would hear Cletus say on The Andy Griffin show about needing to lay off the booze.... I got the guys attention and asked if I could take a picture. Of course he loved it and got out the belt an PROUDLY posed. Exactly what ‘his deal is’ is still unknown to me but fuck, I learned NOT to ask ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ anymore... Just because I dont understand something dont mean I dont appreciate it. All of this... with Croatan playing in the background was... a treat.
10. No sooner had Croatan’s set ended that the bar tender was calling for last call and the Coach was starting to pack in the merchandise because it was time to go home. The Juice had went and brought the van around the front of Sudsy’s for a easier load out.... Everything went pretty smooth. Markus thanked us for playing and we thanked him for letting us play. Bloodhag said that the show was worth it for them... They got paid and would make it to their next show mainly battling the enemy called ‘fatigue’. Just before we left, I told Bloodhag to remember Cincinnati for one thing, if any.... The guy with the wrestling belt. They said that they had all noticed him through the night and asked what he was all about. I didn’t have a REAL answer for them. I told them that everything wasn’t for everyone to understand... Just accept it at face value for what it is... regardless, we can still appreciate it.
11. The ride home was a good one. Coach, Juice and I had opted to listen to some classical music and talk about our set... You know, review the game and all... It was 2AM by time we got home....I got home and took off the Mexican Blackbirds shirt and much like returning from Columbus, threw it on the living room floor... Juice was wondering wether or not to go home and take a short nap before waking up at 5AM for work.. or going to the Waffle House to load up on Steak and eggs and red-eye the whole next day. I think he went home to take a nap...The Coach and I had the next day off. We planned on working in the yard the whole day... Weedeating and mowing... But it was raining by time we woke up. All we had time to do was go to Quiznos for a sub and watch soap operas... Besides, I had to get all the stuff for the 8th in order and I didn’t have long....
Tuesday, May 6th "No New Wave: Experimental Music Nite" @ Shirleys in Cincinnati, Ohio with LAW OF FIVES, EMPIRICAL, THEBEST PEDESTRIAN, BURNING STAR CORE, AND EXXON
0. EXXON is my ‘solo thang’. Exxon began as a joke... and now has materialized into MUCH more... It all started with a friend who is now living in Alaska. He turned me onto a PLAYSTATION ONE game called MTV Music Generator. Its basically a one package studio GAME where you can write songs and jingles and stuff using preset ‘instruments’ and riffs. I went out and found the game used and brought it home and within 15 minutes was laying down some wicked dance music. I recorded three "songs" to a mini-cassette recorder and during my brief stay in Zero Crag and even at some Socials shows, I would put the recorder in my shirt pocket, press play and load equipment in or out while the music played. I referred to the sounds as my ‘theme music’. Well, after Zero Crags demise I set out to release a cassette of more compositions under the name EXXON. Why Exxon? Well, I always been into corporate band names... like THE GENERAL ELECTRICS or maybe even THE WARNER BROTHERS... EXXON was actually a name I proposed to the members of what became ZERO CRAG... The Lion Cub called one night when I had just got done working on some tracks and I told him about my plans to put this stuff on a cassette. He had heard my ‘theme music’ and told me he was setting up a night at a local ‘alternative female lifestyles’ bar he also tended bar at from time to time. He asked me to play. I told him I was calling it EXXON. He laughed....
1. Note: I felt that The Mexican Blackbirds T-shirt rule DID NOT apply for this show... This was my solo thing so I just opted for my REGULAR outfit... a solid color collar shirt with black pants...the shirt remained where I left it: the living room floor until the next SOCIALS show.
2. I had spent the past month checking and rechecking the songs of Exxon just before the debut. After The Socials show on the 6th I began to work furiously on getting everything set for the 8th. A slide photography show was planned as a back drop via a slide projector The Lion Cub had. I thought it would be a nice added touch... The Cub used seeing me at the Socials show on the 6th to give me a slide reel that I could put my slides into. I used the Wednesday the 7th to get everything prepared. Looking through the instruction book I seemed to remember something about a way to PROGRAM a set list of music for the game where your songs would play one right after another. It only took about a half hour to figure things out and it worked real well. I could just program my music into a set list and hit play. The songs would play one right after another. As a unknown bonus to me the game ALSO made up a automatic video for the songs! Now I not only had one visual accompanance (the slide show) but now had this new video thing. I had no way of knowing what video sequence the game would come up with but they were all pretty entertaining. Unfortunately one problem existed. In-between each song there was a pause of about 1 minute until the next song and video began to play. I didn’t like lengths like this in-between songs, especially EXXON stuff. What I was doing, and how I was doing it was weird enough. I solved this dilemma with AM radio. What I did was pop in a blank tape and record fifteen minutes of AM radio static. I would move the dial in-between stations and their programming for added effect. At one time I was alternating between a Reds baseball game, some sort of catholic radio sermon and the static in-between. If I watched the TV video that the game chose for the music and paid attention to the loading icon in-between each song, I could turn on the tape via a ‘getto-blaster’ that was mic-ed and use THAT as a song inbetweener! Yeah!!!! I also lengthened several songs in anticipation of the pause. When people start dancing the last thing the want to do is top so I figured lengthened songs sort of made sense anyway... Figuring all of this stuff out and making some accompanying visual pieces ate up the whole evening of the 7th... But it would turn out to be worth it.
3. I worked a full day on the 8th. Getting home I took a nap right away. I spent the evening with The Coach watching friends and eating Chef Boy-Ar-Dee in a can. I had Friday off but she had to work. it was the Juices 28th birthday. He had family stuff to do. Reggie had a dance recital to go to for his little girl. I was totally alone.. But FUCK! Thats what solo projects are all about or they wouldn’t be called SOLO projects. EXXON was MY thing. I was me versus the world with my dance music. The Lion Cub expected me around 9:30 to get set up but after Friends finished I was in my car heading there. Whereas the Mexican Blackbirds T-shirt rule didn’t apply, I still took along my EXPOITED CD to rev me up. I got to Shirleys by a little past 9PM. I found The Lion Cub setting everything up. He utilized a last minute plan to record the night on a Sony Mini-disc recorder...
4. I set up the slide show and tested everything out a lot faster than I thought I would. I had to do some adjustments to the slides because I put them in backwards but that didn’t take long. As I set up Empirical, a DJ outfit set up as did The Best Pedestrian, a solo project for a nice lady named Jane who was visibly the most nervous person of the night, visibly shaking due to nerves, and she was actually playing an instrument. Me? I took my playstation!!!! Needless to say, I suppose whereas everything was EXPERIMENTAL it also seemed to be solo project night... When I got done setting up I hit the bar and met a guy named Spencer. Spencer IS Burning Star Core in its entirety. He is also an avid Blank Generation reader! I had never met him before tonight and enjoyed drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and talking on greater levels about Blank Generation and The Socials and what I did in Exxon and My zine The Neus Subjex... People shuffled in at a steady pace. Some who remembered my ‘theme music’ from my Zero Crag days showed up... Andy, Matt the Junglecat... and some others. I really wasn’t alone after all... I never really am. This is what I realized this night. Spencer. Andy. Matt. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Never alone.
5. Like I said, EMPIRICAL was a DJ thing. The Lion Cub had it set up that he would start off the night... Play for a bit at first then have The Best Pedestrian start off with no delay. In-between ACTS, Empirical would spin a bit to keep up momentum. I dont really know how to write about DJ stuff. I find it interesting I just dont know what to say.
6. THE BEST PEDESTRIAN was some mellow keyboard with a lady named Jane singing. It was good... Real good. Different but rewarding. I heard Jane say something to The Lion Cub about looking for a band to play with in Cincinanti but really, she did just fine on her own. If anything this night was a way for all these acts to reassure each other in what we were doing. Everyone enjoyed what everyone else did. After she was done Empirical began his things again while I finsihed off my Blue Ribbon and got my shit ready. Exxon was to debut! Finally!
7. EXXON went off as planned without a hitch. The Lion Cub yelled down from the sound booth about me doing a sound check or something but after doing my ‘programming’ I would have to scrap all I did, re-boot, set levels, then re-program my set.... It was a lot of steps backwards to go forewords so I just yelled to The Cub "Uh. Im not really set up for that... lets just do it as we go". Like I said, it all worked out! The AM radio noise... The Music... The slide show.. the Video show on the TV.... All my hard work paid off. During the first song the room began to fill up... At the end of the song people clapped... By time the third song rolled around some had even started dancing. Some were standing in the front anxiously anticipating another slide or watching the monitor... Something about people standing in a bar listening to fake ass Playstation music while dancing and drinking $1.25 Pabst Blue Ribbons just really sets me on fire.
Here is a list of songs I played (with song length):
20120A (4:36) - Last Transmission from Moon Base: Epsilon! Tango! Epsilon! (3:42) - A is A (B3) (4:03) - Sex Class (2:45) - Full Blast! (5:59) - Theme to ‘Gang War’ (6:03)
I suppose the real hit of the night was "A is A". It starts out with this real long drawn out thing called a ‘bended note’. The noise it makes is so nauseating that it makes you just want to throw up... Then, without warning, just when you think its all over a danceable beat begins. If anything this night showed me that ANYTHING can be made into something. I still have plans to release these songs either in cassette form or even CD... Im not quite sure yet. The Lion Cub recorded everyone that played on this night including me... Im not sure what, if anything will come of the recording. Its all STILL in the works...I just still cant get over how people danced and clapped!!!!
Before the month would end, I would even receive my second booking as EXXON.... Keep reading... You’ll find out how...
8. After Exxon more EMPIRICAL. His set this time was shorter and more rough.... Harsher beats with a frenzied approach. He was setting stuff up for what was to be NEXT....
9. The Lion Cub himself was next.... as... THE LAW OF FIVES!!! His stuff was so loud it hurt! If you have gone through life thinking that sound-waves ARENT dangerous then I think The Lion Cub could change your opinions. His set was not without its truly decadent moments. At one point he powerfully busted into his track from the Populution Works CD I reviewed a while back.... "Depak Chopra!"...Some great shit. Truly experimental. Law of Fives was the sort of thing that made your ear-lobes hurt... I still dont know why I was smiling.... I think it might have been a trick in The Lion Cubs bag...or maybe I have what Morte Treehorn has... A phone discussion a couple weeks later would reveal that The Lion Cub is being sued for the use of the name LAW OF FIVES. Apparently, to hear the Cub tell it, some old rocker hippie types on the east coast use the name... Needles to say, The Lion Cub has some different names in mind and also has plans on starting his own label in the coming months called ONE HAND RECORDS whose first project will include a Law of Fives (or whatever it will be called) 7"!
10. I spent the end of Law of Fives and Empiricals last set segwaying into the nights finale of Burning Star Core barside. Longtime friend who is not unknown to readers of my work for Blank Generation, Matt the Junglecat: singer, songwriter and now pseudo manager of EXXON. It was all his idea.... Matt wants to build a home for Exxon on his website ( and try to book shows a legitimate dance clubs for Exxon music. Yeah, this Exxon-thing might seem to be getting out of control to you, the a-typical reader, but we arent living in a fucking fantasy world. Matt the Junglecat has mad skills when it comes down to stuff like this...and he’s got the fur coats to prove it...
11. After some power Pabst consumption between me (the client) and Junglecat (the manager). I went in to witness the mighty BURNING STAR CORE. For some reason I was under the assumption that Spencer led a full band. Nope. It wasn’t ment to be. Burning Star Core is another solo project. Its him, and an amplified violin. What the Lion Cub did with Law Of Fives, Spencer was finishing off with his Burning Star Core. It was the perfect topper to the night. Burning Star Core was layered and I hope improvisational because once he started, he didn’t stop until about 35 minutes. I would hate to think of the amounts of genius and craziness it would take to have that entire... ‘thing’ choreographed... But hey, I’m not here to judge. After all, I was wanting to keep this Landing Party UNDER 1,000 words... last count.... 9,076.
12. The ride home was a good one.... I felt like the night was a major success. I listened to THE EXPLOITED as loud as my car stereo would allow. I would wake up the next day and do some yard work.... I would get into a batch of poison ivy that would spur me to take my case to the emergency room at the local hospital. When your eyes are swelling shut, you will resort to such things. I would enter the hospital as the theme to X-files was playing on the waiting room TV. Talking ‘surreal’... A fistfight would breakout amongst other patients waiting nearby over a Cadillac or something. I would get some prescriptions but would still miss a weeks worth of work. As June began acouple weeks later, I am for the most part ‘better’ but patches of the rash still exist on my body. When I am sick and all I do is lay around in discomfort...And I dont write.... I am truly sick. I missed around nine days time that I could have spent writing this column. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been late...Joe would send a e-mail wanting stuff for an update and I would panic because Im so behind.... I came to the conclusion that I proly wouldn’t meet the deadline Joe wanted so this stuff is proly going to be late... No doubt about it. Here I am dealing with deadlines; something I use to pride myself on NOT dealing with. Luckily Joes pretty lax and lets me submit late.....Joe Domino... He is an allright guy despite his love of NASCAR!
Saturday, May 17th @ Codys Cyber Cafe in Cincinnati, Ohio THE SOCIALS with GREEN FORMICA TABLE
0. See... We jumped eight days from the EXXON show and here I am still itching. Im really miserable but fuck, I got a job to do. I get my Mexican Blackbirds shirt on and put on some EXPLOITED. The Juice arrives and along with Coach we load up the Millenium Falcon. Reggie uses the Socials e-mail list to make it seem like I have SARS or somehting but plan on still playing the show despite doctors orders. He makes such a big deal about my ‘condition’ that people call me and e-mail me to make sure I am OK and I dont need anything. "Publicity stunt or actual problem?" one friend would write in an e-mail to me. He thought that by pushing the endurance angle, people would show up in bundles to see me defy doctors orders and go for the gold despite medical condition... I was like "Go for the gold?". A gold medal proly wouldn’t look right against my Blackbirds shirt I was thinking.... Needles to say, I drank some Miller High Life to get me pumped up and in the mood for the night.
1. The venue: Codys Cyber Cafe in Cincinnati. Its a good place. They are real good to us anytime we have played there. Codys is first and foremost a restaurant. With good food too... Secondly its a bar. Adjacent to the restaurant is a bar known for its tap beer selection; Sierra Nevada, Woodchuck Cider and some more beers that I dont drink... not because they are on race cars, but sorta pricy when compared to the High Life or The Ribbon... Another interesting aspect of Codys was the Cyber Cafe part. Theres a public basement to the venue where there is another bar except I want to say this one serves coffee mostly although I dont know that for a fact. There is a pretty good-sized room in which they use to have scores of computers that I suppose anyone could use to surf the net or play video games and such. it all looked pretty interesting but the last two times I been to Codys I noticed that all the computers were gone. Why I do not know... But still. I love Codys. Good people. its my favorite place to play in Cincinnati. Here lately I have become concerned because due to its proximity to the University of Cincinnati its been a custom for the University to purchase property around the Campus, demolish the buildings with cool businesses in them like Codys, and build some sort of University Bullshit in its place. There’s rumors abounding about UC buying up this and that closing this and demolishing to build THAT.... Then, since Codys is so close to UC theres the whole problem of the students. Maybe you heard about it, maybe you didn’t, but for two years straight theres been a ‘student uprising’ on a street nearby the campus and Codys (around 5 city blocks distance) around the same time as Cinco De Mayo. The Street is called Stratford and the uprisings dubbed THE STRATFORD UPRISINGS. What the Stratford Uprisings are about is basically a whole bunch of College White Hat wearing socks and sandal Abercrombie and Fitch fuckers and some tongues sticking out Girls Gone Wild hoes have a Bud Light Beer bong festival at a couple houses on Stratford and when they get real drunk start turning over cars and throwing bottles. When the police arrived all the kids chanted "UC! UC! UC!" which later became "USA! USA! USA!". The cops roll in, and the day later all the conservative Cincinnati newspapers tell tales about how exams were over and the kids were looking to vent. Me? I blame race-car beer.
Theres a connection here. You see, also due to its proximity, these same kids are starting to spill over into Cody’s Cafe. By no means is Codys ‘OUR PLACE’ but man, a different and oppressive white hat/Girls gone wild element is making its way into the place that has many concerned. When THE SOCIALS recently played a show with Radar Secret Service there one of these white hats made a terrible mistake by calling The Coach a bitch. Me and The Juice were more than prepared to take care of the situation but he backed down. In hindsight we should have just kicked him out then because he went on to punch a Restaurant worker FEMALE in the face. He did this right in the middle of THE SOCIALS set. Everyone watching was real affected by this because it took the whole room to kick him out of the building. He eventually came back but several police showed up and THIS time did something worthwhile and removed him from the premises. The Damage was done though and everyone’s emotions for the evening was zapped.... Just after The Second STRATFORD UPRISING The Coach thought she saw a picture in the paper of this very white hat getting arrested. If so, then damn, its looking like two points for the Cincinnati PD right? Well, in subsequent weeks they gave two close friends, one which turned out to be Matt the Junglecat, open container tickets... Matt said it took EIGHT cops to write two tickets. The other friend who also got a ticket, the illustrious First Templar Mark Zero also got interviewed in connection to the Second Stratford Uprising BECAUSE he was on file for getting an open container ticket so the cops figured he MUST HAVE been there that night! Interesting eh?
The Deal for the night was sweet. We were to play in a cleared area of the Restaurant. There was to be no cover charge and an account would be set up for each band to eat on. Any left over money from the food tab could be used for beer. At the end of the night they use to cash a check for $120. They had changed this method to cutting a check to one of the band members and it being mailed to their house. In anticipation of this I had $70 in personal cash ready to dispense to GREEN FORMICA TABLE in which I could replenish when I received a check at my house. This would mean Green Formica Table would get $70 and THE SOCIALS $50. This and a great meal means good night....
2. The ride down was nice. We were playing a local show so OF COURSE it had to rain. It always seems to rain when we play a local show. We arrive at Codys and order our food. Jack, the guy who does booking for Codys, was celebrating his birthday. He is in a band called THE AUTUMN BLACKOUTS and was playing some of their recently recorded stuff over the PA. The Coach said it sounded like The Buzzcocks, which is pretty accurate... Only slower... GREEN FORMICA TABLE show up and we all situate ourselves at two different tables. They order their food and we all catch up with each other. For those of you who pay attention, Green Formica Table is a band that we share a kinship with. Seeing them again was nice, we feel like longtime friends. After eating we do a coin toss to see who is to play first, just like they would do in football. On the ride down we thought about deciding who played first like this but alas, not everyone shares such enthusiasm for sports lingo and actions like The Socials. I mean, shit, to hear us talk sometimes you would think we spend time away from our guitars watching ESPN. Sometimes its all about THE BIG GAME and who is GETTING IN THERE and SCORING POINTS and MOVING THE BALL and WAY TO HUSSLE and FUMBLES and HOME RUNS and YARDS. We decided to just give Green Formica Table the choice. Salena, drummer, thought it would only be befitting to decide by flipping a coin! You see, this is why the relationship we have with Green Formica Table is SPECIAL. We connect on many different levels! On planes of existence that are unknown to even our best vision. Sometimes you got it with people and sometimes you dont. With Green Formica Table, we got it! The coin toss left The Socials playing first but John from Green Formica Table insisted that they play first because Salena likes to drink dark beer. After eating, Jack cleared us an area and The Juice set up the PA. Green Formica Table suffered their equipment in and I set up our merchandise.
3. GREEN FORMICA TABLE are in the middle of recording a full length. They have been spending a lot of time behind their assumed band positions and it appears to be working. They were tight as fuck. Theres something about their sound that really captures what The Neoteric Punk/Wave is all about. They have that indy thing going. They have some male/female vocals. Their songs hit with a minimalist super-punch through varying levels of wah and delay ridden layers... In one hand you stand listening trying to figure out whats going on and on the next hand you realize that something’s are not ment for you to understand, just enjoy. They brought a handful of demo CD-Rs with them and at the end of the night were amazed to see that they sold one. They only wanted a dollar for each one and since I already knew it was good, I got one for longtime friend 1 Adam 12. I didn’t tell them I was the one who bought one... Ryan (guitarist/Vocalist) was so damn happy that SOMEONE like what they were doing enough to get one that I didn’t want to ruin it for him. Of course, he will know NOW what the deal was but hey, He felt good for that one instance at least.... Of all the fucked up things anyone can do with their time spent on this planet, it would be nice for a change if everyone, not everyday or anything, but SOMETIMES, took a minute to do something that makes someone feel good about themselves. For friends like Green Formica Table and Ryan, its the least that I can do. In fact, right now, despite the fact that I put in a request to 97X to hear a Ted Leo and the Pharmacist track, and that I should just break-0neack and get this fucking column done for Joe, Im going to give John, the only persons number I have from Green Formica Table, a call. I dont want to overemphasize my importance in life but if anything, I looking for that connection that We share between the camps of Green Formica Table and The Socials for a personal lift...
4. Not to jump the gun but at the end of the night, when Codys was closing and we were all standing out in the drizzle talking and saying goodbyes, Ryan gave me and handful of the demos. I tried to buy them for their asking price but he said he was going to just give them to me because he knows I would do good things with them. If you, loyal member of The Landing Party would like a copy, send $2 (to cover postage cost) to The Neus Subjex PO Box 18051 Fairfield, Ohio 45018. As Ryan would think theres a guy named Tony from the radio show Explosion Du son, I sent him a copy. He is currently trying to get his show on the internet in some form or other so keep an eye out for that (I will keep you informed here) but see, Ryan was right. I am doing some good stuff with them....
5. Due to the frequency that we have played Codys we were fast at setting up our equipment. The Coach brought along her vocal processor and hooked it up to the PA. Her vocal processor sounds great but is real touch about certain PA’s. Sometimes it works like a charm and sometimes it dont. Everything sounded good, at first, but about four songs into the set, it just wasn’t working out to well. After a short delay, the processor was turned off and Coach went directly from her mic to the PA. The vocals never really did sound good for the remainder of the set, as usual it was all PA and nothing Coach was doing herself, but there wasn’t any more problems. About halfway through the set some Girls Gone Wild came up front to shake their ass on each other and they came up again during Slave to The Low Wave but The Juice played an off-beat drum pattern to fuck up their rhythm. I remember during "The Industrial Revolution was a Bore" I looked to my left and someone was watching with their hands in their ears.... Mission Accomplished!
Here was the set... It was a good one.
Backup Needs Backup....Tunnels Under The City.... Inflated Monster.... Life As Spraypaint...Problem with Clones....Targets of Innocence....Yeah, Well....Cult Vex 09....Escape Suburbiastate....The Industrial Revolution was a Bore....1982 Was made for Lovers....Mythical Sea Creatures....and in closing, a crowd favorite; Slave to The Low Wave
As you can see, once we get a set we sort of stick to it for a couple shows... It helps with all our bleeds and such...
6. Our merchandise thing never really does that well at Codys I am not that sure why but at the end of the night I know that We didn’t sell anything but hooked all the members of Green Formica Table up with either a Socials CD or copy of the Lets Get Killed compilation. I gave the bartender my address and he told me to look out for a check in the mail. I asked how much usually is sent out and he said "between $100 and $125". As planned I gave Green Formica Table $70. They used two vehicles to get to this show and since they were from Louisville most of that money went back into gas tanks I suppose. I didn’t have anymore cash in my pocket or I would have given them more and used the check to replenish myself. After all, we only had a short ride home and one vehicle. Green Formica Table were real pleased with everything though and after some long drawn out goodbyes and some salty tears, the final good byes were said.
7. A week later the check arrived. Well, not only did Codys change the way they dispense payment but also the way they determine payment. A check was made out to me in the amount of $73.24. This was roughly 10% of the total bar sales of the night. I had anticipated a greater payment and felt bad that I only gave Green Formica Table a portion of a possible $120. Well, as it turned out they got the majority of the payment for the night with The Socials making a cool $3.24! But hey, remember, we all got a free meal and a few beers so its all good. If I had $100 in my pocket that night I would have given it to them in thinking $20 was good enough for us.... The night was still a success in any book of punk shows. Green Formica Table is worth their weight in gold.
8. At practice the following week we began to write some new songs. Our newest one is tentatively called "You Shine Often".
Saturday, May 31st "Punk Rock Prom" @ The Void in Cincinnati, Ohio with THE SOCIALS THE LAB JACKETS, AIR SEA BATTLE, THE BOURBON LEGENDS and MEOW MOTHERFUCKER!
0. The Mexican Blackbirds T-shirt marathon has came to an end. On this night it was the fourth show in a row for the old boy. It treated me well... it was there for me... This night was a special night indeed. Not only did we have a show but it was The Coaches 29th birthday! It was also hers and mines 11th anniversary together. We spent the whole day celebrating. And by show time I had mixed a bottle of Crown Royal and Coke and The Coach had a mixture of Tequila and Sprite. The Juice had his flask, named "Sherman", of moonshine... all the liquor in a place thats no alcohol. We had it all well hidden though. We had to... before the night was out al ‘the kids’ at this show would get on our last fucking nerve. Now I understand why mommy needed a drink.
1. The Void. Cincinnati’s only all-ages, all-punk, ALL THE TIME venue. It was hosting the 6th or maybe 7th or even 5th annual Punk Rock Prom. Which has sort of become a Cincinnati tradition. The Void is located in an area of Cincinnati called NORTHSIDE not to far from famed Shake It Records. One day, during the 80’s and early 90’s I guess, some important higher ups in Cincinnati city council set down with a map of the city and declared which area of the city was going to be what and who was going to live where. Its in northside where supposedly the Cincinnati PD have RECOGNIZED a five block area where they have came to grips with the fact that they are not going o eradicate drug sealers so are happy enough with confining them to within a certain area... Its in Northside where a mixture of poor- middle class blacks and whites live side by side in PEACE until a newspaper writes something about racial separation in Cincinncinnati and reminds some people that they are better than others and to hate them for it... its in Northside where Cincinnati’s gay community has made their foothold with several bars known for their "alternative lifestyle" clientele... Its Northside where Cincinnati wants all the prole level art stuff to find a home. In more ways than one Northside is relatively inaccessible for any out of towner taking a sort of joy ride through the city. You have to know how and where to go if you are going to anything in Northside... and this is where THE VOID is. Even here, the Void has had its battles with City Council about what it does. Cincinnati dont like stuff like The Void because The Void dont spend a whole lot of money on attaining liquor licensing and such. I suppose The City officials have gotten bored though because everything has sort of dies down with all the fire inspectors going to the void every weekend...
2. I seen on the message bored attached to my Zine THE NEUS SUBJEX that the shows doors were to open around 7PM with the show starting around 7:30. The Juice arrived and we had loaded up and gotten down there JUST before 7PM. Even though I had the Mexican Blackbirds shirt on, I gave another tradition this month a rest. I decided to listen to THE MEDEA CONNECTION for inspiration while we loaded out.
3. We unloaded our material into the Void fast. The Falcon was in a loading zone with its hazards blinking. The kids arent all bad, some of them are pretty damn helpful. One even helped us bring our equipment in. By time The Juice had came inside after parking the Falcon, I was setting up the merchandise. Now at the Void we do pretty good on merchandise so I wanted to get it set up right away. Juice insisted about getting the kid who helped us load in a free CD so when things got situated thats exactly what I did. I cant remember his name as of right now but he was a good kid. We had a lot of visitors to our merch booth early on and even sold some socials stuff before we played... One kid even came up to us and said he thought we were a ska band because a ska band somewhere is also called The Socials. I explained where we got our name and how its really supposed to be THE SOCS (pronounced The Soshes) but because of the weird spelling everyone would think our band was pronounced THE SOCKS. I told him whereas I might play an upbeat for him that night, and might even say "Pick it up! Pick it up!" once, but The Socials before him right now were not SKA-Y! We were, at best, rock and/or roll. One fellow we met who I actually remember named Will, was a big fan of The Epoxies. This guy was dead on about his music and lightyears from people wearing Less Than Jake shirts. We had some good conversation about Maximum Rock and Roll... He said he was just about out of punk-rock until looking at a recent issue. I thought that was pretty cool. I hadn’t had one of those conversations in a while... One youth inparticular who had spent some time on the Neus Subjex messages of the Bored message board had stirred up a little hornets nest cause he went on there spouting how he doesn’t believe in tipping waitresses. Uh.. yeah. He was also real proud of his cell phone. In fact that sorta took me back a bit; all the kids with cell phones. It got so fucking annoying that when one would ring we all would shout out "Quiet everyone, someone’s cell phone just rang and since someone is calling someone here it MUST be important." Daddy needs a drink!
4. a band called TH URINAL MINTS and a local pop punk sensation called BOTTOM LINE were supposed to play but they weren’t here. Tonight’s show would be an all local one. The Lab jackets were up first. Now this was a good band. I seen them once before at a basement show and even put a picture of them in THE NEUS SUBJEX and said a few words. I was interested in seeing them as were most of the crowd. The Void is HUGE. You put 150 people in there and it looks like no one showed up to the show.... Theres a separate area for smokers and The Lab jackets, since they are mainly an instrumental thing, decided to set up there. Air Sea battle had decided to set up on the floor in front of the stage and drag the microphones there. This left the stage open and since The Socials were third and the two bands before us found their places, left us with time and space to set up our equipment. So thats exactly what we did.
5. It was taking THE LAB JACKETS awhile to get things going. They were mainly set up and noodling around with their instruments to the point of being annoying. Some kids came up to us and asked when the show was getting going because they had curfews but we didn’t have an answer for them. At one point a young guy came up to me and asked "Who plays bass in your band?" I knew right away what he was wanting but this wasn’t even the way to BEGIN to ask something like he was asking "Who wants to know" I responded. "I play bass in The Lab Jackets and I need to borrow your bass amp if possible." He said then added at lowered volume "and your guitar." I couldn’t believe what I was hearing "My amp AND my guitar?" I asked. He responded yes. I told him this was a bad idea. 1) I didn’t know him. You NEVER let anyone even so much as TOUCH your amp or guitar for that matter, without knowing them. Letting an unknown borrow your equipment is even more of an NO-NO. If it had been someone else. Rob Kongress from Crimson Sweet.. Rob People from Radar Secret Service... Melissa from Kill the Hippies.... Nathan from Green Formica Table... Those people I know. This guy I did not. I told him it was a bad idea to do such a thing. nothing personal, but a bad idea. Well, so I lied. It was sort of personal. You see, I had the gumption to have my shit together and get my equipment tot he show I said I was going to play. I had an obligation and I came through with my responsibility. For whatever reason if I could not bring my equipment, even my own guitar, I simply wouldn’t agree to play a show. One time I played The Mantis Gallery in Kent where another Cincinnati band was playing that wanted to use my amp. Heres a band that dint have room for an amp BUT had room enough to bring all their friends and girlfriends up to ensure they had a mosh pit. BULLSHIT! That isn’t the way to do it! Here was a Cincinnati local that dint bring his shit. I wasn’t having it. Time dragged and dragged and it seemed like an eternity until they played. When they did play it was pretty damn cool but not worth all the hassle. I guess the bass player used the amp and guitar from Air Sea battle or something. if I would have gotten to that guy first I would have convinced him not to do such a thing but fuck, I might still be there right now waiting for The Lab Jackets to go on. Something got to my ears about this being the Lab Jackets LAST show. I am not suprised at this but dread this band breaking up and maybe taking their unprofessionalism to two or three more bands.
6. AIR SEA BATTLE exploded out of nowhere. Now here was a band! This was my first time seeing them and I loved every minute of it. Their set was loud, they screamed a lot, and worked some Neoteric dynamics into their songs thats got me wondering about their future appearances. I ended up knowing the guitarist from way back when. One time I seen a couple punk stickers on his car and had some copies of The Neus Subjex in my car so I introduced myself and gave him one. His name is Ken and he had a zine of his own called Doowrong at one time. I entered this show handing flyers out to a June 14th Socials show that I needed a band for possibly... I put in a call to The Slobs and they were supposed to get back to me in two days time. I had thought about possibly asking The Lab Jackets until all their stuff and put Air Sea battle on the possibilities list just after seeing them. They are a good band. The Slobs would come through for the show So I didn’t have to ask AIR SEA BATTLE after all but I am definitly going to consider them for in the future when I need bands for shows.... They are also going to get with me for us to carry their CD in our merchandise thing...
7. We immediately took to stage after Air Sea Battle. One by one, during our set, I would say 3/4 of the crowd left. I would like to think that we were totally unlistenable to such young minds but the fact of the matter is most of the kids had curfews to attend to. We didn’t play our best set ever but it wasn’t all bad. we didn’t have any copies of ATTCKING THE NUCLEUS left but had handed out over 60 handbills for our next show on June 14th.... Here was our set:
Judy Killed Someone...U Dance U Die...Hands of Gravity.... Plastic.... 1982 was Made for Lovers...Life as Spraypaint.... Cult Vex #09... Falling...Tunnels Under the City....The Industrial Revolution was a Bore...Mythical Sea Creatures... Slave to the Low Wave
We ended our set a lot stronger than we began. We hurried our material off the stage to make room for The Bourbon Legends and to get back to our Merchandise table... We actually sold a couple more CDs after our set which was a nice touch...
8. THE BOURBON LEGENDS are a pretty eclectic bunch of guys. Their line up is a bit unconventional by including a banjo player. They do their own brand of countrified rock and/or roll and even do a cover of a song from Smokey and The Bandit; the ‘Eastbound Down’ song. They wear cowboy/country outfits onstage and during their set it became obvious that they were drunk... A solid set. Im suprised that they arent asked to play more local shows...
9. By time the last band went on The Void had disintegrated into a debaucherous state. Despite the NO ALCOHOL rule and people who had been drinking hiding it rather cleverly, people started to let it hang out.... No cops were around and by this time the shows population was even more stripped down. I wanted to stay for MEOW MOTHERFUCKER though.. I had known Eli, the singer/guitarist for years in other local bands and wanted to see what he helped put together with this band. Early on they gave me one of their demos and I read through their lyric sheet. I was sort of taken back because their lyrics were very different than what I am accustomed to... thats a good thing too. Real personal stream of consciousness type stuff from MEOW... Basic street level honesty.. no heavy subjects really but REAL LIFE.... I like them. one song I am particular dealed with buying 40 ouncers for underage girls. The lyrics didn’t talk about buying them beer and taking advantage of them or anything like one might imagine... In a weird way the song sort of celebrated a basis of equality unseen in nearly ALL of this hemisphere. Their set was tight. Great guitar sounds and it looked like despite the dwindling crowd, they were having a good time. Their set sort of reminded me of a mixture of long gone Cincinnati local ARCHIE AND THE PUKES mixed withsome early 80s Oi/Streetpunk. Its a sound I would definitly like to hear more around here... I mean, if The Slobs had for some reason declined on the 14th I proly would have asked both Air Sea Battle and Meow Motherfucker to play. Meow Motherfcuker are a great band. Like I said, they have a demo and actually gave me a couple of them. Im looking into getting hold of more so if you would be interested, let me know.
10. So the night ended. During the drive home we listened to opera, another tradition of ours and talked about the show. The whole Lab Jackets thing really pissed us off on every level but the night got better the moment they were finished. We didn’t get paid anything but we knew that from the moment walking into the show. From the start it was a benefit for The Void.... I got home, loaded out and took my Blackbirds shirt off and threw it on the floor where it still lays a week alter. I thought of Chris, a guy I never met and knew that roughly 2,300 miles away he was drinking a Miller High Life thinking of The Motards....
So, as I ‘finish’ this Joe is proly wondering where my stuff is... Or hell, maybe he updated without me and will do some post-update doctoring to include my stuff.... If you actually read all of this, You have suprised the fuck out of me... I mean, FUCK! I couldn’t say I could do the same if I didn’t write it.
As a consequence of devoting one whole column to this mess I just finished I have a HUGE backlog of music to review. I have given it some thought and decided to re-work my PITH Ratings into a system that could accommodate the WORTH of zines, movies as well as music I cover...Next months column is going to be a PITH EXTRAVAGANZA!!! Well, I suppose its time to roll... Till next time make every landing like its your last!!!!
If by chance you want a Socials sticker or button... Send a SASE. If you have questions about our distribution or want a Socials CD of your own... E-mail me and I will tell you where to send your $6.
-Shawn Abnoxious

© 2003