Sunday, October 22, 2006
Sometimes playing Rock N’ Roll can be a humbling experience. You can be exalted as Kings (as were at our last gig at Wapakoneta, OH) one minute and stripped of your dignity and never given a chance as we were Friday night at the Troika Festival in Durham.
I arrived rather early in accordance with our show time of midnight at 305 Dillard St. I pulled up and introduced myself and received my wristband about 9:30pm. It seemed to me at the time that everything was running smoothly and on time. I watched a few bands stare at their shoes and mumble about the pains of growing up rich for 45 minutes and then promptly make way for the next sad sack ensemble. But once The Mountain Goats (I guess that was their names, that’s what somebody told me and the singer, was his name Billy per chance? Billy…Goat? did have a goat-like quiver to his voice!) took the stage for their whinefest the schedule went a little askew. The crowd of 2 or 300 went a little overboard in their appreciation of this poop group (the guy spent twice as much time talking as actually playing music!) so they came back out to bore us for ANOTHER 15 minutes. They had played too long anyway, so by the time they actually started clearing the stage it was about 11:20pm. This cut waaaay into the next “band’s” set.
As the next group of fellows began setting up I was confused as to whether they were gonna play music or have a yard sale. Cans, pie plates, trash can lids were set up on stands and miked. There were a couple of crappy keyboards and some horns up there too so that convinced me that I could be privy to a hummable tune. OH NO MY BRUTHA!!
When Man Man (that was their name, it should’a been Can Can or Can Man!) hit the stage in their Indian (feather, not dot) garb and porno mustaches I knew we were in for a bumpy ride through the reservation. Their first song was a German oompah diddy that sent me pining for a bratwurst with sauerkraut and a tall heavy glass mug of German Ale. Their sound got jazzier and polka-ier (that’s a word, damn it!) as things got ugly and they started that screamo thing that them kids are into these days. So you had a jazzy, oompah, polka, screamo mish-mash fuss with tin cans and pie pans played by warpaint wearing porn stars and THAT’S what were subjected to for the next hour. One of their big hits was “blah, blah, blah blah blah blah!” Well, that’s what they were singing so I guess it had a special place in THEIR hearts and I guess it was music because the sixty or so people that were left (after the initial “Run for your life!!!”) deemed it so. But I for one, cared less for them, actually I COULDN’T have cared ANY less for them! Their sounds were not as desirable to me as they were to the artsy bunch that stayed to withstand the pain that they provided as part of the low low cover price of $10.
When they finally were done trying to run everyone off (I was amazed that ANYONE was left to tell you the truth) it was about 1:10 am. Upon the last note stuck I witnessed something I had never seen before in my life, a mass exodus. It was like the Sergeant had arrived and hollered.. “about FACE! Forward march!” Everyone in the crowd turned around and walked straight out. I guess they were confused because those guys went on at midnight and they probably thought that THEY were Terry Anderson and The Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team! (Hope they thought I was the cute one!) OH Shit!! My worst nightmare!
Anyway, everyone left and we, being the consummate professionals that we are, used the morsel of time thrown to us to play as fuckin’ loud and fast as we could! The six or so people that were there to witness it commenced to dancing and no doubt, rejoicing in the fact that they were finally allowed to have a good time. Man Man even danced as they loaded the new van that one of’m’s Daddy had mistakenly just bought them (has he heard them?). It was 2am and we were done. I was sooo glad that Greg made it to the show. At first it was gonna be a three piece gig, but it really made my night when I saw him there. I wanna thank him and Jack and Big Daddy Dave for showing up and rocking like gentlemen. I wanna thank the Troika “officials” for running such a tight ship! Uhhh…yeah. And I wanna thank Man Man for running everybody off. AND I wanna thank all the people that left and never listened to the first damn note we played.
Don’t let the garage doors hit you in the ass next time!