Monday, September 18, 2017

9.16.2017, Fort Worth

It might not have been the most astute booking decision ever, scheduling a Stoogeaphilia show at Lola's on the same night that both Dia de los Toadies and Sally Majestic's end-of-summer party were happening in town, and the Old 97's were splitting a bill with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians over in Big D. But I have never been accused of being overly astute, in my role as the rockaroll secretary. And we wound up having a real cool time anyway.

The original intent was to play the last weekend in June, to coincide with my 60th birthday, but that didn't work out, so we instead opted for this past Saturday, Matt Hembree's [data masked] birthday, keeping the same supports we'd intended for the earlier date: the Mike Haskins Experience, a trio led by the ex-Nervebreakers guitarist who was my axe-slinging idol when I was 21 and used to see his band open for every touring punk and new wave band that came to Dallas, and Sur Duda, the side project of War Party frontman Cameron Smith, who's always impressed me as a smart songwriter in the Uncle Lou/Ray Davies mold, to which his newer material adds an '80s pop vibe.

The li'l Stoogeband, which had been inactive since January, managed one practice for this event, during which we were able to get everything we needed to done in about two hours, leaving an hour for pizza and water (since we're now "Soberphelia," with the benefit of remembering all the shows, in addition to being able to enjoy each other's company more). It was more Stooges-focused than some sets we've played over the last few years, since the muscle memory of those songs is the strongest, as we've been playing them since we had a regular monthly gig at the late, lamented Black Dog Tavern.

Haskins opened with a set of Nuggets-style garage grunt, showcasing his inimitable axe stylings (for my two cents, the best guitarist to come out of the Texas punk development), which cover the whole waterfront from surf to psychedelia, sometimes in the course of a single solo. The Experience is a stripped-down unit of bass and drums who get a full, punchy sound from less backline than I've seen since X___X played at Rubber Gloves.

Their set includes underground garage classics as well as Haskins originals (only three on this occasion) and the occasional Nervebreakers chestnut. My night was made early when I yelled for "Strange Movies" (sorry, Troggs, but in my heart, this song will ever belong to the NBs in the same way "Can't Hardly Wait" belongs to Woodeye) and symphony percussionist turned Nervebreaker Carl Giesecke (whose thunderous fills got a lot of people's attention) kicked off the intro. I wasn't even disappointed when I looked and saw it on Mike's setlist. Wish fulfillment can happen even if it's planned. Would dig to see these guys do a multi-setter in Lola's Trailer Park sometime.

Sur Duda was up next. Cameron Smith has been holding down a regular Tuesday night slot at Lola's for a spell, but this was their first full-band show in our home-away-from-home for a minute, and my first oppo to see the band live. I was quite taken by their Fort Night EP when it dropped a while back, and their new material, skedded for an October release, already resonates, particularly a song Cameron introduced as being about "what your kids think," and another one about Texas.

Richard and I set up our amps side firing per sound guy Fred's request. I had trouble hearing myself all night and thought I should have used the kickback on my Twin, but didn't want to adjust once we started and only realized later that I'd left the output switch on 25% after recording with Brokegrove Lads back in March. Duh. (Look for new Brokegrove stuff on Bandcamp in October, if you're one of Those People.) JT said it was the best stage sound he'd had, though, and presumably at least some of my noise made it out front.

I broke the D string on my Strat halfway into the set after joking with Fred that having the Epi on stage kept me from breaking strings. JT also noticed he had a cracked hi-hat cymbal, which he claims only happens when he plays with Stooge. Richard was on fire, playing a Sharrock-cum-Townshend mic stand-slide solo on "Rich Daddy" (an earlier performance of which has received Dicks frontman Gary Floyd's "Big Dick Stamp of Approval" on Youtube).

Chris Bellomy hotfooted it over from the Grotto, where he had been playing with Sally Majestic, to add his sax to "1970" and "Funhouse" (the latter of which got cut due to my amp problems when he sat in with us back in January), and Carl Giesecke (bless him) shook sleigh bells with us during "I Wanna Be Your Dog." I love this band more than anything I've ever done. Maybe we'll even play another show this year.

The smaller-than-usual crowd meant I had time to visit with several old, good friends, including Brock Miller, an old ally from the Wednesday night jams at the Wreck Room (RIP) back in '05-'07. B-Rock's got a show upcoming at Shipping and Receiving on October 20, at which he'll be playing Kinks songs, including a bunch from Face To Face (my fave Kinks LP of the moment), in a band that also includes singer-guitarist Mandy Hand, Harley Dear, and Sur Duda drummer Jesse Gage. The theme of the event is "Kink'd," and while I'm not wearing fetish gear, I will be there if the Lord be willing and the creek don't rise. Richard and Elle Hurley's Transistor Tramps are also on the bill. So there.


Post a Comment

<< Home