Program Notes

Up and down, mostly up, as in no sleep, but who needs that anyway? So you get a little dizzy, a few hallucinations and some way strange pains in your ears and the back of your head, and your body feels like it's filled with live wasps and your eyes bleed. All I need is about a dozen Rophies and a strawberry milkshake, but I'm too tired to get up and get 'em.

It started easy and good, with an early Friday night show at 901 by Tommy Anthony and Goza. Talkhouse sound engineer Dr. Drew was there, setting us up with cold Buds and helping with the sound. The sound at 901 was topnotch. The bands that played there, same. The venue itself was the nicest room in town. Reminds me of the ol' joke about FCK A all that's missing is you. A week later, as this column went to press, I found out that 901 is done, shut down. Tommy Anthony (no relation to Todd) and Goza are a six-piece that sounds like sixty A the keyboardist even adds "horns" to the group's large, glossy pop sound. This band will sell ten times as many records as Natural Causes or A whoops, I forgot, Natural Causes is the only band I like. Catch Tommy Anthony and Goza while you still can. I know a hit when I do one.

After that me and Large staggered down the street (I staggered, he walked) to enjoy a little Mary Karlzen action at Tobacco Road. Wow. Cool. I just realized that when I start nodding out at my computer, if I bite my fingers real hard, it wakes me back up. Where was I? Where the hell am I? Sorry A anyway, Mary and the fine band she employs jammed to a crowd of about 10,000. I was crammed in the back, bumming beers off Nuclear Valdez's Juan Diaz (can I mention the Nukes even though the Causes are the only band I like?) and former South Florida Rock Awards mastermind Max Borges and Glenn Richards. Then it was Iko-Iko downstairs and then that one band I like upstairs. Then Iko. Then Mary.... The Road was so packed we found ourselves hanging from the railing of the stairs in order to view. Dozens of people left because it was too packed, and even after they did, it was still too crowded.

We beat the sun up by minutes, and a few hours later my old (as in 30 years) friend Ray Roberts phoned, said he and my brother Doug were on their way over, we were going to Gulfstream for some dollar beers, a few races, and A oh, Christ A Natural Causes, again, this time playing out on the lawn at the gorgeous horse track on a sun-pure and 75-degree afternoon. After Andrew, Doug (b.k.a. the Dog Man, because he works so hard) labored with three members of the Causes, cutting trees and so forth. In fact, it's only because my bro knew them that I even like the Causes, and the reason I hype 'em so much. After the musical performance and about 50 beers (thanks Vickie, thanks Marty, thanks Keef), we bet some races, I lost every penny I had. Ray A wearing a frikkin Voidville T-shirt for irony A and my wife still had a few bucks though, and Ray wanted to stick around for the big stakes race, the tenth, and a simulcast from Santa Anita. In the tenth, my wife hit a $13 perfecta bet. Ray lost again. In the eleventh, Ray played the six horse a bunch of times to win. My wife bet a 2-6, 6-2 perfecta. The three horse won easy. We started to leave, broke for at least a week and buoyed only by the music still ringing in our ears and by beers. We glanced at a TV set A hold all tickets, judges' inquiry. Because of some horseplay (ha!) by its jockey, the three was disqualified out of the money. Make it a 6-2. The six paid about fifteen bucks to win. The perfecta paid about $275.

That meant, of course, that a celebration was in order. So we went home, partied a bit, then headed to Stephen Talkhouse to see I Don't Know and A yup. I know it's a stupid, ignorant, self-serving lie, but even after catching three separate N.C. shows in 24 hours, I wanted to hear more. I napped for a few hours Sunday morning, took some speed, and have been working -- so to speak -- since. And boy are my arms tired.

A.J. and the (new) Stick People play at Stephen Talkhouse on Saturday.
Another excellent place for local rockers to record has opened. The Studio, above Tobacco Road, has 24-track digital and was built by Rat, Looch, Sean, a couple of the Snatchers, you know, that gang. Sync up with them at 375-8299.

Stick around after the Michelle Shocked show Tuesday at the Talkhouse and you'll get some Jodi and the Rodeo. I suggest you do.

A mega show coming up on March 26 at Stephen Talkhouse, and how about this, no Natural Causes on the bill! After the Story performs, the always splendid Diane Ward will take the stage for an acoustic set, followed by Atlantic recording artist (sorry, I just like saying that) Mary Karlzen. Then a band from Gainesville called For Squirrels play, and even though I haven't yet heard them, the person who recommended them has impeccable taste. And he recommended For Squirrels strongly.

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