Gar disappears into his room after classes, studies until he’s blind, and then drinks until he’s blinder. This is his new house ritual. Our part in it is finding him passed out in front of the TV at 4 a.m.
Ignatius Donnelly must be flipping out in his non-watery grave. Time to reread his groundbreaking (uh, surfbreaking?) book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, which repopularized the Atlantis myth for the late 19th century.
And who do we thank for perpetuating Atlantean fandom in the 20th century? The Donovan song (with Jeff Beck solo), the John Ashley B-flick Beyond Atlantis, and one of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books, which is actually called Atlantis Found.
In a strange quirk of fate, Martin Gibson and Eddie Rick are now bandmates. Eddie, you may recall, busted Martin’s brand new state-of-the-art wireless guitar. This led, we’re told, to the disbanding of the RickNBacks, whose other members decided that the ever-impoverished Eddie’s costly mishaps were a liability they could live without. (They are now considering calling themselves the NBacks. Good luck.) Meanwhile, Eddie was keeping up with weekly payments to Martin over the deceased instrument, and the two got to talking. Then to songwriting. Then to Martin leaving his bands Flyvie and The Retailers to start an act he could front. Then to advertising for a rhythm section—that’s a big step for guys who’d only ever been in “friend bands.”
The result, Tin Rick, debuts tonight at D’ollaire’s. Yes, the big room, opening for Honer who’s opening for The Tack-a-meens who’s opening for The Washburns who’s opening for national jam-band headliner Seagull Yamahama Guild. It’s billed as a “guitar explosion,” and since it’s an exploding guitar that brought Martin and Rick together, we’d be inclined to agree…
And don’t regret: Rockabilly, surf and other fringe fun at the Bullfinch with Surf’s Up, Geronimo, Bandit Cats, Red Pizzas for a Blue Count and Fraidy Mouse… Hip hop showcase at Hamilton’s with cheddarface, four deep, fond of my fur and down and out down under…
I found the other mouse today, crushed under the door of the mouse room. We all wanted to bury it properly, so Har borrowed some architectural modeling supplies and built a “mouse”-aleum. Ha.
1. “Shelf,” The Jonas Brothers, Shelf. Best shelf song ever because that’s the whole title, “Shelf,” and it cons a young man warbling “Shelf” in that shouty Disney pop style. So playful. Love as a metaphor for putting away your toys.
2. “Kerouac,” Willie Loco Alexander and the Boom Boom Band. “Oh, Kerouac, you’re on the top of my shelf.” (And what’s he doing there?) A heartfelt punk tribute, and one of the formative records of my teen years in Massachusetts.
3. “Georgy Girl,” The Seekers. Gets middle position because despite its fantastic whistle-riff, and the fact that it was co-written by British comedy legend Jim Dale, it can get annoying after too many listens. Its pop brilliance is summed up in how nonsensically it uses the coda “a little bit”: “So shed those dowdy feathers and fly—a little bit” and “It’s time for jumping down from the shelf—a little bit.” How can you do either of those things a little bit? How about “It’s time to get pregnant—a little bit”?
4. “Old Time Rock & Roll,” Bob Seger. I hate this song—I can actually hewar Georgy Girl again happily every once in a while. But I was completely done with Bob Seger decades ago. Still, this song is terribly devoted to the whole shelf concept—it’s where the old records are kept.
5. “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf,” The Killers. Gets lowest position because it’s about a man killing his girlfriend. More sick and selfish than shelfish.
“Harvey,” dear friend of The Modern Madcaps has taken the best fliers he’s designed for the band and turned them into an limited edition art book. It’s an art school project he did, at a school halfway across the country, but he brought a copy home for break and was passing it around at the Bullfinch.
Funny to see these images shorn of their informative text—all the “9:30 sharp”s and “$2 pitchers” and “big 7-inch release.” “Dirtiest thing I ever wrote, Katnip konfessed when we inkwired; “Seriously, it got me in trouble with [bandmate] Audrey’s mother.”
We find we miss the calligraphy as much as we miss the local content. And we miss neither of those attributes as much as we miss the band itself. The big reunion show is Friday at the Bullfinch. “It’s not actually a break period at any of our schools,’ kwoth drummer Katnip when we kalled him for news. He’s one of two band members who’re still in high school. “It’s just the weekend that worked best for all of us. When we asked if the Modern Madcaps might ever release any other recordings (seven-inch or otherwise), he only purred.
Mar slept over. On the floor. With a mouse, it turns out. Next time, she says she’ll use the bed. Could I have planned this better?
Gorman Bechard, the novelist/filmmaker whose work I have covered extensively over the past couple of decades (!) for the New Haven Advocate, is bringing his new documentary about one of the most important bands in his life, The Replacements, to the indie film festival circuit this month.
Color Me Obsessed debuts at the Gasparilla International Film Festival, followed by screenings at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 2 and the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival on April 15.
Color Me Obsessed is distinctive because while it features a number of international celebrities raving about the band, it doesn’t actually contain any footage of, or recordings by, The Replacements themselves. I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss this with Gorman, but one of his collaborators on the project, my old friend Dean Falcone, told me over lunch last week that the overriding concept of the doc was always to keep the band unseen and unheard, and to tell their story as if they were gods. Works for me, as my own “Rock Gods” serial on this site might attest.
In other Gorman news, I notice that his most recent fiction feature, Friends (With Benefits) has been picked up for Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” section, which has the potential to expand its audience a whole friggin’ lot. Friends (With Benefits) was filmed in and around New Haven, culminating in a local-band scene at Café Nine. The New Haven Advocate offices nearly won a supporting role, a deal I helped broker, only to have the opportunity for cinematic inmmortality scuttled by higher-ups concerned that the filmmakers might get in the way of the workers. (They would’ve, but we would’ve got a cover story out of it!)
Coat the Spoon was booked, then unbooked, then booked again, at Hamilton’s. Since an underreported but apparently very consequential raid at the club a couple months back, a new policy was effected: No bands with overt drug references in their name. Turns out the Word Police have been hallucinated. “Coat the Spoon” has nothing to do with, say, cocaine use. “It’s from a cookbook!,” swears singer Cody—not to mention a partial pun on his name. We asked him to produce the evidence, and he did—a jar of homemade lemon curd stirred by his own grandmother, who added this written testimony:
Beat five egg yolks. Grate and squeeze several lemons. Add the juice/zest to the eggs with one-quarter teaspoon salt, two cups sugar and a stick of butter. Cook in a double boiler, stirring often, until it thickens enough to [TAH DAH!!!] coat a spoon.
The band itself stirs the pot pretty fiercely. Cody divulged that a festival gig last summer had thousands streaming away from the mainstage headliners to see the Coat the Spoon on the second stage. We’ve seen the photographs; it was indeed an impressive turn-out, not one you could credit to a mere drug (or breakfast delicacy) reference.
Dirty Lenny and Mezuzah Juan at the Bullfinch, where the patter-rants should be as interesting as the songs themselves… Snot on Suede and Play for the Nurse party down at Hamilton’s… The emo-friendly “A-Muse-Sick” festival comes to D’ollaires with Bark for the Rich Man, Fault Lies With the Manufacturer and Come is a Verb. Who named that festival—same guy who named the bands?…
Gar is right! I saw a mouse run down the shelf and shove through the bars just as I opened the door to what we now call “the mouse room.” The other mouse is still missing.