Program Notes 15

Where am I? What floor am I on? Where have I been? Told you about vacay, but then when we got back home I got really sick, some throat virus or something, and it wiped me out. Thanks to a ten-pack-a-day cig habit (I know it's illegal to smoke tobacco in this nation, but I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in), I'm still coughing up blood as I write this. And that's the good news.

From the trivially stupid to the critically defeating. An example: I get to work and decide to get some breakfast from the company vending machine. Should I go with the pure-sugar pain of Zingers or listen to my wife's voice echoing in my head and opt for a Kellogg's brand Nutri-Grain bar? Okay, Nutri-Grain it is. I put in 55 cents, the thing comes out of the machine, I tear off the wrapper, and I find crumbled fungus. Oh well, who needs to eat? About twelve hours later, when I'm ready to go home for the day, I scrounge up change for the bus. I have 70 cents. Leaves me exactly 55 cents short.

All week like that. I had much trouble doing my job A the computer wasn't making sense. Found out eventually, that the rest of the company had been moved to a new fileserver -- everyone, of course, except me. Then I blew a head gasket, or, rather, my car blew a head gasket. That's about a $500 repair job, which is more money than I'll ever see in my lifetime. Plus other stuff, and then, it's like, maybe Kurt Cobain wasn't so stupid after all, but not with a gun, pills, or heroin -- something less violent. I mean, fuck it, this just isn't worth it. I can't live like this any more.

The phone rings. It's the president of a record company for which one of my all-time favorite artists records. (I can't say who now, but you know I'll be writing about it.) "We just finished his new album, which won't be out until September. But we wanted to know if we could go ahead and send you a copy. We want you to be the first writer in the country to hear it." Oh, man. And in the mail, it's a letter from Lenny "The Pro" Pronesti, my mob friend whose recent marriage was chronicled here. As is proper at La Cosa Nostra events, we had handed Mr. Pronesti an envelope at the reception. "Susie and I would like to thank you very very much.... I wish you wouldn't have done that. It was enough to have you share this experience...we had a great time....I don't command the English language well enough to put into words what your presence here meant. Come back soon and we'll hit Indy, Chicago, Cincinnati, James Dean's house....BBQs, cards, late-night discussions." Life. Live with it.

And celebrate it -- congrats to Stephen Talkhouse, both for enduring two years and for the amazing lineup slated for this Saturday's party (see the "Calendar"). By the way, rumormongers, the Talkhouse is for sale -- the building, that is. Investors in the Talkhouse expected an early return on their money, so selling the building -- not the business -- is a way to pay them off. Then, the Talkhouse we know and love could lease the space back or open in a new location. Who knows? This will take quite a while to play out and updates will appear somewhere.

The same night a bunch of bands that couldn't get booked into the Talkhouse even if they bought the place will gather for Loud with Balls, at Churchill's Hideaway. Room-clearer extraordinaire Rat Bastard (see this week's cover story), the Funyons, One-Eyed Kings, King Friday (featuring former members of Quit), Drive Choir, the Holy Terrors (great new CD, Lolitaville), Kreamy 'Lectric Santa, and Postface are all on the bill.

Big Love hits the Talkhouse this Sunday.
I think I mentioned some time ago that the Goods would soon release an EP called Grow. Sorry, but the project has been shelved. Because the Goods are now in Criteria turning it into a full-length for release in late autumn. The Goods, the Baboons, I Don't Know, and Basketcase play a benefit for Body Positive at the Talkhouse tonight (Thursday). By the way, next Wednesday the club hosts a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, with Rene Alvarez, Omine, Diane Ward, Crash Basket, September30, and Jodi Horovitz with Joel Perry. The Habitat, in case you don't know, is one of the most brilliant and worthwhile projects, wherein volunteers build homes for needing people.

The last major concert at Plus Five, which is closing soon, takes place tomorrow (Friday), with Sugartooth, Mutha's Day Out, and Godspeed.

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Greg Baker