Sunday, April 24, 2005
Hoo, golly. Well, Friday night started out innocently enough. Hanging out with Scott McClintock (GLMS) and his cute girlfriend and his equally cute sister, eating garlic fries and drinking Pabst at Jacoby's (PBR downstairs, Strohs upstairs..I don't make the rules, I just enforce 'em). Then Jamie and Greg Lakes Myth Society showed up and we watched America's Funniest Home Videos without the sound. The highlight was this far-off shot of a guy hang-gliding and the text "[Vomiting]...[Vomiting]" repeating in the closed-captioning. Tim showed up with a cold handshake after watching the first three innings of the Tigers game at the CoPa.
When the sound guy arrived, I went upstairs to see if I could help him. He spouted "Unless you know how all of this stuff goes together, no. At this point, it would take me longer to show you how it all works, and frankly I don't have the time." Not "No, man, it's cool" or "Nah, I got it." It was all cocky sound-guy attitude. Bleh. Strike 1.
Tenley played a smart angular set of British influenced indie pop. We played with these guys at Havilland's CD release party a year ago and I have to say that they were really spectacular this weekend. Really smart and energetic, great guitar tones, and they had this one song that my brain remembers as "This is the chorus, sing it 'til your lungs are raw" (or "Lungs are long" as Greg heard it and promised to steal for an upcoming song).
At some point the rest of the 'Sleepers and Mr. Gary came back from the Paul Westerberg show. Apparently Paul got really drunk which Porchsleeper took as a cue as to how they should act for the rest of the evening (or potentially their lives). Mr. Gary sounded like a frog. He kept saying "Whoooooo!" but nobody could hear him. Derek spent more time talking about the hairy yam-sack on the guy who mooned the Westerberg crowd than the actual show. Steve said "I totally understand Paul Westerberg now because I've been in his band for a year and a half."
Molly Jean played and proved that she knows more chords that I do. Somebody said "a cross between Liz Phair and Marianne Faithful" which I thought was really good.
We set up next and it got really blurry really fast. Mike Houseman bought us beers and Brian was drinking whiskey-and-whiskeys. My bass was all the way across the stage, so I couldn't feel it thumping against my leg, I could only feel Brian thumping against my leg. Derek's mic kept feeding back, which was problematic, but no diva tantrums from the Sleeper. We played Mott The Hoople's "All the Young Dudes" with Stirling singing the lead and backing vocals by Fido, Tim, and Scott of GLMS. Stirling said he was having a shitty day, but he totally pulled it off like the rockist that he is. There were some brown notes, but KvB said that we hit 98% of them right, which is still an "A" in my ledger. At some point we stopped. It was probably for the best. Afterwards, Steve Motrin from The Fluoride Program asked "What was that one song you played?" and I said "All The Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople" and he squinted and said "Mock the who???" and I said "Yeah."
Jack White showed up to see Loretta Lucas play, but Brian speculates that he may just show up any time anyone named "Loretta" is playing:
"Uh, Jack? You know that's not Loretta Lynn, right?"
"C'mon guys! Loretta's playing!"
This Loretta played a quiet set of warm country like Dusty Springfield used to do, and her band was tight (and cute...all of 'em). At this point Johnny Loftus accused me of being stoned. This I neither confirmed or denied. (for the record, I was high on life. Crack is whack).
Finally Great Lakes MILF Society went on and battled through a murky PA and several bottles of Strohs to put on a blistering set of songs that I love. This band is smart. Smarter than all the other bands ever. The sound on stage was so bad they had the sound guy turn off the monitors altogether. At one point during a Bowie cover, the vocals went out completely through the PA. Strikes two and three.
Doug Coombe took pictures, Grambo, Peebs, and Damore drank beers and said "Schmeers." Big Matt had a haircut and a grin, Jessica smiled the whole time, and Ryan & Mac looked happy.
At the end of the night, the sound guy got pissed at somebody and threw a beer bottle at the stage which shattered and blasted beer and glass all over Derek's amp. Strike too many.
Somehow we got everything into the van (including Brian, against our better judgement), hit the White Castle on Woodward (sack of ten, not a crave case, although last time we did find out that acrave case and three waters comes out to be $1972, which rocks), and made it home in a sleeting rain at 5 in the morning.
Every time we unload the van I think of the Prime Ministers song "Rock and Roll Wife" which starts out with the lines "Late Thursday night early Friday morning, whichever you prefer/We'll pull into our driveway/ Under the stars we'll unload guitars both solid and half-asleep/Our ears will still be ringing." which is exactly like it really is.
The panel on Music and Teh Innarnet went really well. Standing room only, I'd guess maybe 80 people total (ten rows of six, plus people standing on the sides, I didn't crunch the numbers). Everybody on the panel pretended to be smart, and everybody in the audience pretended to care what we were saying. I'll be up there with Ryan was quiet but well-informed, Grambo was knowledgable and sharp, Rob was passionate, Sam was eloquent, I feel like I blathered too much, but when we're talking about the Data I get all excited. Gary & Johnny, just so you know: The guy sitting next to you had to fart really bad the whole time but held back out of respect. Big Matt did not escape the same fate as I blasted one loudly in the elevator while the three of us where in there. One of the elevators stopped working altogether later and I can only imagine it was my fault.
.:DataWhat?:. Final Analysis Of The Motor City Music Conference:
We picked up our badges without a hitch, and I even got my panelist badge in with my regular band badge.
The Fluoride Program's show at the Old Shillelagh didn't have a sound guy, but the guys were able to get it sounding good.
My guys got into the Westerberg show at St. Andrews without a hitch (and without having to pay).
The MCR showcases did really well (Wednesday: Kid Rock Night, Thursday: Kirk Gibson Night, Friday: Jack White Night, I dunno who showed up Saturday, but I can only guess it was Kwame).
We had a blast (but I'd be willing to bet that the team from MotorCityRocks had more to do with the smoothness of our show than the festival's organizers did).
Our sound guy was kind of a stressed out jerk. ("Your band is too loud." ...hey listen, I'm not gonna tell you how to do sound, don't tell my band how to do rock and roll.)
The panel was well received and I think informative, and there were a lot more people who got really involved than I thought there would be.
The Trade Show was pretty lame (think 100 booths from hip-hop labels all blasting their recordings on huge PAs all lined up right next to eachother...and a skateboarding ramp).
The shows at Ford Field Friday kinda fizzled due to poor scheduling, lack of parking, and most importantly, lack of alcohol. Hopefully somebody else will report on that, 'cause I really don't know.
I heard that one venue cancelled all live music at their location, but the folks in charge of the conference wouldn't post anything on the site because it would look like poor planning and reflect badly on them.
Overall, from my immediate experiences, it went off without a hitch, but again, I only involved myself with MotorCityRocks events, and I think that has a whole world to do with it.
See you next year!
Thanks for the photos Mr. Gary and Big Matt
Thanks for everything else Ryan