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.
You can catch Itanna on Tuesday at East 50th Rock & Roll Cafe in Lauderdale and on March 27 at Plus Five.
Correction: That was not Seven in that fuzzy wedding photo published in last week's coly. Sorry, dude. Maybe I was in nirvana. Nah. If I did have some decent tranqs, I might be all right.
Speaking of which, those of you who phoned concerned about my mental health, especially Chris, relax, chill, get some rest. I'm fine. Feel great. Think the world is a beautif.a;lhdlsfpa.,qrun ;l)l+sls;;a j!foi sysf kalspo ma09f[ i0-a7-6ak fj0papa;/.
Huh A oh. Super solo man Peter Betan is working on a CD. Updates to come.
I'm no huge fan of the human species and its continuing propagation, baby photos aside. (This week's, six-month-old Sara Pfefer in her winter coat, comes from one of my fave New Yawk flacks, Renee Pfefer of Columbia Records. I bumped into her and her big belly at the Soul Asylum show last year. Later I told her I publish images of the innocent, frikkin baby photos, in my column, and she laughed. But I persuaded her that I'm crazier than she thinks, so she mailed the snapshot down.) I like kids and young people because they teach me. I live not just to burn, but to learn. It's fun. And it was fun speaking to a bunch of Palmetto Middle School journalism students the other day. I did everything I could to talk them out of a career in journalism, reiterated the old "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" credo, and A inspired by the rantings of Howard Stern and David Nasaw's book Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements A lectured them about their future, when everyone will live in a house with computers and home-entertainment devices that make social intercourse unnecessary. "Every individual will be completely isolated. They can order in food and medicine and everything else with the push of a button. We'll be an electronic species. No one will ever leave their homes." One of the teens raised his hand. "If all that's true," he said, "who will grow the food, where will it come from?" Hey punk, tell it to Farm Aid.
On March 24 Jack Off Jill and several other local bands perform at the Edge.
This past Friday night something beyond cool happened on Stu Goldstein's WMRZ-AM (790) oldies-music radio show. During the "Romance Hour," from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m., Stu's board op, Joe Antico, proposed to Shannon Parrish live on the air. She had been brought to the studio under false pretenses, had no idea Joe was going to ask the big question, and she said yes. Congratulations.
Catch up with the Holy Terrors (currently working on their next release at The Studio) at Churchill's Hideaway with Drive Choir and Kreamy 'Lectric Santa on Saturday.
Load wrecks Squeeze on March 30.
Jimmy Buffett is mixing his new album at New River Studios and it should be out by early May and I still think Todd "Sloppy Joe" Anthony sounds more like Warren Zevon than he sounds like Buffett. I almost got into a brawl at Blue Steel the other night over this opinion. It was Cafe Bacala night, and T. was featured artist, playing his originals acoustically and quite wonderfully, which is the truth whether he and I have been friends for some fifteen years or not. The guy jams, and the band backing him didn't hurt: Paul Roub and Zac adding vocal backing, Diamond Dave blowing sweet harp, UM music school grad (and New Times classified ad rep) Scott Hallgren fleshing it out on keys, the inimitable Diane Ward on percussion (before becoming America's top female singing sensation, she was a drummer; she's forgotten nothing about the beat), and the great Doc Wiley sitting in on bass for a couple of songs. My wife even got up and sang a song with Todd, but I ain't about to give my wife a good review, even if she does deserve one. I would name all the cool people there that night, but this column is already about three times longer than it should be.
I do have to explain what I did at Bacala. Zac kept begging people to come up and do two minutes of standup. After much prodding I went up and told one joke, quite badly. "He wants me to do two minutes of standup but stand, I, um, I can't stand up for two minutes." What I meant to say, and what I later crawled back up and did say, was, "He wants me to do two minutes of standup but I can't make it stand up for two minutes." I think it was funnier the first time.
Pick your shows: This week Shortstops hosts A Fish This Big on Friday and Halo on Saturday. The Sixth performs March 25 on the UM patio and on March 26 at the Earth Alert Benefit at Churchill's. Friday nights at the Florida Atlantic University Rathskeller (where many years ago I saw some great shows, including the Chant) now turns over Friday nights to live rock, with FtN and Dore Soul and Brother Grimm slated for March 25. On Friday Spiritual Graffiti opens for the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies at the Plus Five. The next night at Plus Five Robbie Gennet (the touring keyboardist for Saigon Kick and impressive solo on piano and singing) debuts his new band. Erotic Exotic hits the Purple Grotto on March 27. Second Coming funks up Rose's on Saturday.
Soon come a new CD from Cell 63. It's to be titled Once Upon a Drunk, and the advance tracks I've heard rule as mightily as the stuff on the first CD. Updates as soon as I wake up and get drunk.
Much going on up at Squeeze. The club celebrates its fifth birthday the weekend of March 25 with DJs Danny Bled, Charles Arnold, and Carlos Menendez. Also, Blowfish and his Baboons take over Sundays beginning this week for Wide Open Mike Night, where any form of free expression (including silence) is encouraged. This week's grand opening features Rene Alvarez, Diane Ward, Paul Roub, Dania Morris, Leslie Daunt, Miles Hie, and the 'boons. Awesome lineup. And I promise I won't go up and tell any jokes.
Do what you gotta do, but don't miss the Rob Wallet Band Friday, March 25, at Tobacco Road.
My friend Rich Santelises spent this past Thursday night drinking shots with Wesley Snipes. My pal DeFede, a veteran journalist who came here from Spokane, Washington, and is known as Mr. Nightlife on South Beach, went to the Trap and got shitfaced, and kept asking the naked ladies how they felt about it, if they knew who the fuck Charles Bukowski was. Me, I was busy writing, writing, writing nonsense for no reason. Here's some dialogue from You Kissed Lilly. A middle-age married couple about to get very violent is talking about an affair the husband had five years earlier:
"Have I wasted my life?"
"Everybody does. Almost everybody does."
"Waste their lives?"
"I think so."
Charles Bukowski did not waste his 73-year life, though he spent most of it drunk and stoned and fighting and gambling and abusing himself beyond reason. And he wrote hundreds and hundreds of poems published in 32 books, six novels, countless short stories compiled in five books, and the screenplay for Barfly, a movie that brought the author to life in the dark house. For all the gunplay and fistfights and inebriated binges and extremely dangerous moves, Bukowski was finally taken down by leukemia. I don't know, but for me it's easy to believe he died writing.
Death rules and just about all my heroes are dead. Bukowski, and Bill Hicks, 32, comedian, pancreatic cancer. Hicks was the leader (all due respect to the late Sam Kinison) of the Houston Outlaw comic movement. He told jokes that cut like a laser to the heart of reality, like if my second-hand smoke bothers you, how about a second-hand bullet you dumb fuck, you. My favorite, which ties in nicely to this writer theme I'm trying to get going here, involved a visit to a pancake house. Bill's sitting at his table reading a book. The waitress comes over and asks, "What are you reading for?" Not what are you reading, but what are you reading for. Bill says back: "I'm reading so I don't end up as a fucking waitress in a pancake house." Something like that. I can't listen to Hicks's tapes right now. It'd kill me.
Saving lives is what the Wildlife Care Center is all about. For 25 years the Center has been rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured animals. On March 25 at the Marina Marriott in Fort Lauder- dale the Center celebrates its anniversary with a fundraiser. Call 565-5687.
Hornblower and band suer Herb Alpert, not satisfied having made a huge mark on the music world with his trumpet and forming a major record label, has now stepped into the world of fine art. You can see some of his stuff at the Caesarea Gallery in Boca Raton beginning March 31.
A big benefit for the Haven Center takes place on Wednesday at Stephen Talkhouse, after the Stevo and the Strength of Unity show. Tuen, Jim and Jonelle, I Don't Know, and Falling Corpses will rock the 'house. You donate a fiver at the door for this music. All the money will be given to the Haven Center so life might be just a little bit better for "developmentally disabled" children. You never know what these children might someday teach you.
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Mr. Twister is turning the Hub pub into, well, a hub. This Saturday and the following two weekends the blues mashers will rip there, there being 14670 W. Dixie Hwy. This Friday, the Mr. is down south at the Red Snapper Inn (257-2444).
Butthorn of the week: A woman, presumably a teacher, on a teevy commercial for Hooked on Phonics A they teach children how to read and write A says that many of the kids had prah-gressed. The word is pronounced pruh-gressed. I'd rather be hooked on heroin.
The media circus: Mighty embarrassing to get scooped by Playboy, but it's impossible to get the Sun-Sentinel in Dade County, and besides, I was probably sleeping. What makes it worse is that I used to write TV listings for the dailies back in the olden days when we actually input that agate crap by hand, when journalists worked like dogs instead of buying stuff from some cost-effective, computer-savvy service. The late Bill Cosford once complimented me on some listing for a movie A I'd called it an "alleged comedy." But with technology came boredom, so I don't even read the little blurbs on the TV pages any more. My loss. The April issue of Playboy cites this listing from the Sun-Sentinel, for the movie Lady Liberty starring Sophia Loren: "Reporter exploits Italian bride with big sausage." That's good writing.
Pet corner: Pardon my delirium. Last week I encouraged y'all again to hook up with ARFF, but I didn't bother to tell you how. Write them at Box 841154, Pembroke Pines, 33084 or call 968-7622. That's why this column runs every week, so we can take care of things like that. Except next week. I'm not writing a word for next week. Gotta get some you know what.