Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Last for the year 2006

We trekked down to Eugene this past Friday and, for the first time, it wasn't raining on us at all. This was our 2nd trip down in as many months and both shows were equally attended, it seems. The crowd at each was enthusiastic, though, and that went a long way to make up for the ample room on the dance floor...

We played at John Henry's again which seems to be a 2nd home for us, now that we've played there 3x. PBArmy, Cap-Gun Suicide, and our fave Turbojugeund band Burt Reynolds Overdrive filled out the rest of the lineup this time 'round. The music was good but hardly anyone seemed to come out. But, again, the few that did were very enthusiastic about us and about the Halloween theme for the night. I'd say about 80% of the patrons were in costume. My fave was the Knight of PBR, impressively fashioning a well-made suit of "armor" out of PBR cases and cans. (Apparently, he's part of a whole crew of beer-themed knights - wish I could've seen 'em all!)

We went on around 12:30am and, thanks to pre-show drinks at Luckey's, a parking lot Sparks, 4 drink tickets a piece, and amicable bartending gals we were nice and well along by the time we got to the stage. I'm told by my bandmates that the mix was great but I couldn't hear a bloody thing - which is alright for me since then I'll sing harder and louder. I'm glad Foil, Baloney, and Dr C.H.O.A.D. could hear themselves and each other, tho'. A nice change from the week prior, fo' sho'. And, in another reversal, the crowd was throwing candy at us! In my between-song-banter, too, I remember looking down and seeing a sucker and a cigarette butt on the floor. I commanded Baloney, "Eat that cigarette butt, you fucking pig!" only to realize immediately and say out loud, "Wow - that's one of my bandmates and best friends and I just called him a fucking pig. Nice!" It was that kind of evening - dirty fun for the whole family. Capping the evening at the bar a very friendly fan told me all about her Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We must bring it outta folks, ya' know? I think that's what C.H.O.A.D. had on the way down to the show, too, thanks to a stop at the Smokin' Swine in Salem - pork fat rules! On that note, tho', we headed back to our dead-hooker hotel and crashed out thoroughly. A nice, easy, pleasant show all 'round.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A baker's dozen

That's what our attendance was at our show last Friday at Outlaws.

Promotion had been fairly heavy for this club that we had yet to play. Normally a combination of country-western, boot-scootin' goodness and sad strip club with ridiculous (for Oregon, ruled as it is by the utterly fascistic OLCC) drink specials they've started doing "Tribute Band Fridays." Our friends from The Romanes and We Got the Meat played the Friday previous but we've no idea if they fared any better than us.

Large print and even, for a first for us, radio spots called out to the locals for attendance. Given when these ads ran I'd have to say the club paid a pretty penny or two on advertising. And yet, with all that as well as our enormous sexual appeal we had maybe 12 people in the audience, in addition to our co-conspirators for the night, Blondage. We even delayed starting to see if others would appear.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think this was the club's fault at all. They seriously promoted this show and were excellent to us all night long, even refusing to take their cut of the door. I think the real issue is with locals and their respective "spheres of comfort." The local rags didn't mention the show at all, as they so often do for so, so many local bands - they're too busy getting off with the likes of The Decemberists or Eliot Smith or freakin' Storm or some band that all the other publications are already freakin' covering. If you're a local, free newspaper, keeping your target demo abreast of what's going on, what's "hip & relevant" and such, wouldn't you think trying to find good, local musical talent would take priority over fellating bands that get tons of coverage anyway?

Add to that the fact that the hipster community seems resolute to not stray from the 3-block radius of downtown PDX and the clubs it offers and, well, it becomes true that the prophet is only without honor in his hometown, ya' know? It's not like we are a huge talent or think more highly of ourselves, either - we've just seen this time and again where bands that are supremely talented (e.g. The Odditors) and obscenely popular outside of the city (e.g. 800 Octane) get ZERO press and ZERO interest due to this combination of haughty ignorance and petty arrogance. It's just highly disheartening for a band like us - who just enjoy having a good time and like to have everyone at our shows do the same - to play underattended shows in our own backyard when, earlier in the year, we played to enthusiastic, overwhelming, packed crowds on the other side of the damn country.

Okay, now, stepping off the soapbox (for now), our set wasn't too shabby, I think. Although the other band members thought we sounded off I thought we were fairly tight. Plus, thanks to the Tower of Babel of drum risers, Baloney, Foil, and I had plenty of stage space to get our freak on. Dr C.H.O.A.D., high from his lofty perch, had zero mix to work off of, though, but, to his credit, soldiered on and kept the beats going. We still had fun and I kept the chatter rolling in between gasping for air and in between each song. It was a good place for a show that should be a packed room but maybe next time, ya' know?

This Friday, we return to Eugene and John Henry's to headline a sorta-Halloween show. We've been very well received each time we've played there thus far so let the pizza-slingin' goodness (at a place where they don't even sell the stuff) begin!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Are we the kiss of death?

I'm beginning to wonder...

First, we had our good friends Stay Tuned lose their drummer a little while back. Not an easy replacement under the best of circumstances but, for them, you gotta be an outstanding technical drummer and be able to do vocals AND be able to gush with enthusiasm at the unadulterated joy of ST's music.

Now, I see that Sex Pistols Experience are looking for a replacement Sid/Kid Vicious. Since we just played with them at the end of last month this comes a little too close to home, doesn't it?

We, of course, have no clue about these since everyone seemed happy enough when they played with us. Maybe they had no idea that our fatcore glee would spell the end?

Current mood is "creeped out."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stu-stu-studio Seven and a return to Seattle

(borrowed liberally from Foil's own blog...)

Friday night was the 'fats show at Studio Seven in lovely Seattle, WA.

We got up early to avoid the I-5 traffic (which was mostly successful) and checked into our motel which was about a half-mile or so from the gig. The gig was in industrial South Seattle (a bit south of the Safeco Field), so you can imagine that the neighborhood (and our motel) was pretty lively and colorful. The place seemed populated by johns, meth heads, and other petty criminal types, but they were all completely (h)armless.

We crashed out for a bit in our room then headed to the club about 6:00 and loaded in our gear. The club itself was really nice, in a divey kind of way. The building had seen much better days, but it was big, had a nice stage, a decent bar, a great sound system, and one of the larger backstage/green room areas we've ever encountered.

The two bands we didn't know, Shadowcard and Dissonance, were nowhere to be seen yet. However, out behind the club we noticed Mike's bass player JV, his guitar player Jason watching Mike and his drummer (and our old pal from our Hoboken show) Quincy on the ground rummaging around beneath their motorhome. We all said our hellos, and were asked by the guys if we had any new merch designs. We told them that we had a new print of the "chubby skull" Ts and they were quite stoked. JV even said, "Dude, I'll wear your entire line of clothing!"

Apparently, between SF and Portland, the tread came off a front tire, rupturing the septic tank (and spilling shit and piss all over the highway) as well as putting a small hole in the gas tank - not big enough to make travelling impossible, but enough to severly cramp their MPG as well as make them start seriously worrying about the whole thing going up in flames.

Mmmm...touring is fun.

Turnout was actually pretty decent - much better than the last couple of shows we've played with Mike and the guys - course, those were in Portland on a weeknight and very poorly promoted. That latter fact seems a bit endemic to PDX, our hometown - the perception is that the right people will just find out about the "good" shows by word-of-mouth or some such garbage. Not being quite the darlings of the hipster community some of the clubs in this town (and some of the weekly local rags) pander to, a great deal of enjoyable shows get underattended due to this arrogant ignorance. We respond well to crowds, like any band, but like to bring whatever we can to a show, blaming ourselves above all else if things go South; but especially for touring acts where this is all they do and then they get under-promoted because of they're not "cool enough" is just plain disgusting. (Removing the soapbox under me now in order to continue...)

We were lounged a bit then went on second, prolly around 9:15pm or so. Baloney and Foil, by their own admission, were woefully out of tune the entire set - but that's gonna happen. It happened all the time for the real Misfits as well. My frontman antics were on fire, though, and we won the crowd over after a few songs (and granted, going from an emo-prog opener to comedy-punk is bound to confuse an audience or two). I think once the shock wore off at this all-ages gig we were welcomed warmly. We even had a trio of guys drive up from freakin' Yelm(!) for the show. It was our now-favored "short 'n sweet" set, giving out a baker's dozen of songs in about :35 minutes. It seems to leave the best impression and my voice can hold stronger for that amount of time, it would appear. The folks working at Studio Seven were very appreciative, too, the board guy telling us afterward emphatically "When you come back here..." That always makes us feel good, too.

We were amply armed with a number of drink tickets which were used to quaff our thirst via Sparks and Red Stripe. Foil and I rapped with Quincy for awhile during this band's set. Quincy came out to see us when we played Hoboken (and bought a XXXL sized shirt). The dude is pretty hilarious, to boot. His tour stories and stories of Jersey had me rolling. He's an old friend of Michale's (they had a band together before Mike joined The Misfits), and after Michale fired his old drummer Quincy came on board. Good choice. Off stage, the dude is funny as hell, and on stage he brings a sense of humor and theatrics that really helps the set. His luchadore mask gets mad style points, too. He even said, "That's it - I'm moving to Portland and becoming your drummer!"

Speaking of the Graves' set - it was insanely good. This was, by far, the best set we've seen Graves and the guys play. First off, the setlist was spectacular. Over the last couple of years, Graves has been more and more vocal about his opinion of what his role in The Misfits legacy was and how he feels about the direction Jerry Only has taken the band. The first time we played with him, he did mostly originals and a small encore set of Misfits material from the "American Psycho" and "Famous Monsters" albums. The last time we played with him, it was about a 75%/25% split between Graves and Misfits material. This weekend, it was pretty much 50/50 including at least one song from the Danzig era. Further, his merch is embracing that period of his life. He was selling some old T-shirts from his 2000 tour fronting the Misfits, as well as his own "skeleton" T-shirt with "Michale Graves" also printed across it. I saw this as pretty much a direct "F You" to Only, since The Misfits sell the same shirt, only with "The Misfits" printed across it. And Michale also wore the same skullface makeup that he did in his stint with The Misfits (albeit covering only half his face this time).

And good for him. While we personally have no problems with Jerry Only's decisions (you just can't get mad at a guy for trying to make a living doing the only thing he knows how - if you don't wanna hear "Project 1950" then just won't buy it), we also completely understand why Graves would say something like "You know what? Screw you. I fronted this band for half a decade - about the same period of time as Danzig did. I wrote at least half of the material we released during that period. All of the best known songs from that era were ones I wrote. I also own a piece of this legacy. It's just as much mine as it is yours." Word.

The setlist echoed this newly-formed attitude, too: Some good old-school Misfits songs ("Halloween"), some Graves era Misfits songs ("Scream", "Hunting Humans", "Dig Up Her Bones" - a song that I still insist stands up with the best of the Danzig era stuff), a strong showing from the criminally underrated "Web of Dharma" album ("Casket", "1,000,000 Light Years From Her"), as well as some from the latest ("Punk Rock is Dead", "Beware"). Michale also wisely sidestepped the Gotham Road era. We even got some of the songs off of the impending new album, due out at the end of October.

The first couple of songs had a would-be heckler standing directly behind Foil and I yelling stupid hipster-ironic shit like "George Bush!" and "Bombs are cool!" between songs, showing that Seattle hipsters are not exactly good on keeping up on current events (Graves "conservative punk" past is largely that - a thing of the past. This tour, as evidenced by the "Free the West Memphis Three" shirt he wore on stage, as well as the books and pamphlets on his merch table concerning the case, is about raising awareness of the case as Damien Echols approaches his final appeal. The West Memphis Three case is hardly a conservative cause). The fact that he wasn't yelling it loud enough for the band to hear made it a futile gesture, anyway. However, after the third song in a row that he did it Foil leaned over to me and said "I'm gonna punch this guy in the face. You got my back?" I responded with, "No need - I'm waiting for him to go to the bathroom, then I'll slam his head into the wall." By that point, though the dude and his buddy were leaving the hall. Would I have really punched him? Yeah, I think I would have. And why, in God's name, would you spend $10 to see a guy you hate? Graves still got your money, dickwad. Zing!

That kinda crap annoys Foil and I to no end. The vast majority of the "Graves sucks!" crowd has never heard his solo stuff, has only a passing familiarity with his Misfits stuff, and really just knows that he penned a couple editorials for Conservative Punk and appeared on the Daily Show - three fucking years ago. I can guarantee they've never actually met the dude.

Anyway, after the show we had another beer or so and rapped with Michale and the guys for a bit. They told us that at just about every stop, someone asks them if they've heard of The Misfats. That's flattering as hell. Quincy said that we should be the poster boys of how MySpace can help promote your band (we've been getting approximately 30 to 75 friend requests per day for the last few weeks - it's been insane). Talks of another New Jersey show are underway (how soon that'll happen is anybody's guess, though - it's certainly not gonna happen this year), and Michale said to us "Anything I can do for you guys - you lemme know."

Anyway, we could care less if it's not cool or fashionable to like this guy's music. Seriously - couldn't give a shit. Last night, he fucking nailed it. More importantly, the guy has been cool as hell to us for going on three years now. That's enough for us.

Anyway, we returned to our motel room (cheap beer and hostess snacks in tow) and were advised by our meth head neighbor that "me and the old lady tend to make a lot of noise sometimes - just tellin' ya". Later on that evening, Foil witnessed a huge white cadillac driven by a sharply dressed African American gentleman drop off an extremely scantily clad woman to two men waiting in the parking lot. At that point, he figured he oughtta just go to bed and pray that nobody breaks into his car.

Nobody did.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fantasy time

A possibility in the future? We'll still have to have our lawyers fight out the copyright issues...

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Makes me laugh, anyway...

Upcoming shows:

- Friday, Oct. 13th
w/ Michale Graves
$10 tix in advance from TicketsWest
Studio Seven
110 S Horton
Seattle, WA 98134

- possibly on Friday, Oct. 20th, in Portland; need to confirm with venue

- Friday, Oct. 27th
Halloween show!
Price and accompaniment TBD
John Henry's
77 W. Broadway
Eugene, OR
(541) 342-3358

Friday, September 22, 2006

Good to be back at it...


Misfats at wow
Originally uploaded by ScrumpyFU.
Yes, youth of today, the Misfats are finally playing shows again after taking the summer off to bask in the glow of our own self-importance.

We had the pleasure to play with the Sex Pistols Experience, a fully-endorsed, full-blown cover act from Limeyland and well worth the price of admission. We travelled through the pouring rain on Wednesday to play with just them at the WOW Hall in Eugene. The geniuses at the Eugene Weakly listed the flyer with the date of the show as, "Thursday, Aug. 24th" - they didn't even get the day of the week right much less the actual date. I thought the SPE drummer was literally going to curbstomp somebody over that one...Perhaps the audience inclusion of Jerry Baloney's oh-so-proud parents prevented utter disaster? Only historians will be able to make the call.

Needless to say the show was a bit underattended considering the venue. I think we still had around 50 kind souls come out but, in a place like WOW, they get kinda lost to the space (as you can see in the picture). It was also either a "rough set" or "good practice" for us, being on the stage for the first time in over three months. The fans seemed to enjoy it which is a win for us at all-ages shows. Young readers, just be secure enough in your punk rawk to mock it, okay? Really, it's okay to do that - maybe even more punk! (Yeah, I played that card.)

Forced to play through our lovely bargain gear SPE didn't hold back and had a ball. Their lengthy set covers all the Pistols' hits plus the "unacknowledged" period minus Lydon - which SPE also mimicked nicely by having their Lydon leave and their Sid get up front and even more vocally aggressive. Their Steve Jones doesn't look much like the original but when you can play guitar like this guy can and be a realy nice bloke to boot it doesn't really matter, does it?

The next night brought us back home to Portland. SPE and local heroes The Romanes were all onboard for another Mike Thrasher Low Dough Show at Dante's. We've done well at the venue and in that event previously and Thursday night was no exception. Relatively well-attended and definitely well received we started off the night free of the mistakes and misfires of the previous night. And, as a bonus, they had - for us - a new sound guy who really knows what the heck he's doing. My vocals were low in the monitor, sure, but that ain't a bad thing - forces me to sing louder and keep up with the rest of the band for a change. But the crowd energy was HIGHLY enthusiastic and fun so we had a good (if short) set with it all.

I got accosted leaving the stage, too, which never happens. There was a line waiting for their turn - really! One gal had just moved here from NYC and was going to make her friends jealous letting 'em know she'd moved into our territory; another gal had found a Misfats t-shirt for her fella - at a local Goodwill. Good times, friendly folks, and pictures abounded. That really made this show feel like a proper homecoming, like arriving home after a long flight or driving that last couple miles home, you know?

The Romanes were as good as always and it was fun to play with them again. SPE came charging in again, tearing through their set, abusing the crowd, and have some fun even with having to play through our gear a 2nd night. They were a might confused, though, when - in true "Low Dough Show" fashion - everyone that had spent the first 2 hours pouring in now spent the next :30 min. pouring out of the place. SPE was taking it kinda personal which is understandable especially when faced with this type of confusing situation. Later, Sid was saying that, in England, people come late (ignoring the openers) for the headliner and stay all night and get more raucous toward the end, building to that. Considering they've played the 100 Club, Times Square, and a host of other shows with clearly credible bands at notable venues I had no case to doubt him and could better understand their confusion at our home town crowd. They didn't disappoint anyone who remained, though, and were/are well worth seeing if they cruise through your town.

Our next show is in about a month, on Friday the 13th, in Seattle. We'll be opening for the always-enthusiastic Michale Graves again and, after last night's show, we feel soooooo very ready to play with him another night that we're kinda excited. The week after that we're hopefully back in PDX; then, the next Friday, we return to Eugene, to John Henry's again, for a Halloween blowout that you won't wanna miss.

Thanks, again, to all the friends and fans that came out and cheered us on. That ain't lost on us at all and we sincerely thank you all for it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wednesday, 20 Sept., and Thursday, 21 Sept.

Two shows in one week, first in Eugene then in Portland - what gives?

Also, if you are immoblized or drunkenly retarded and miss these great shows, October's filling up with lots of shows along the I-5 corridor nicely. Keep your fat lids propped up for those haps, teens, and you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Returninging

Oh, hi, teens! The Hamzinger here laying some show news on you. I know, I know - it's been awhile since we've graced our local Food Fiends Club (Sammich). Realize, tho', that your true rawk superiors, The Misfats, have been busy basking in the glory of a fabulous East Coast tour. Add the sweltering heat that's finally, thankfully, left us alone (it's God's making the portly suffer - with Nature!) and two wonderful brewfests catering to the engorgement process and you've got some busy, lazy mofos.

But we shall tarry no longer! Behold!:

Sept. 21st, Dante's - Low Dough Show (that means it's only $5!)
w/ The Sex Pistols Experience (apparently really from Engaland) and our good pals The Romanes

Sept. 30th, the Tonic Lounge - with Sons of Calculon!

Oct. 5th, potentially with 800 Octane and The Independents, in PDX

Oct. 6th, potentially in Salem with Sons of Calculon again!

Oct., Halloween, in Seattle, hopefully

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Misfat-mania

Jeez, louise...

Exhausted and exhilarated, the Misfats have accomplished some mighty works in the past few days, folks, so we're tired and thrilled and want to relay it all to you perfectly. So give us a bit to do that, huh?

For those out o' the loop, the Misfats departed the ample bosom of Portland, OR, for as-big-as-a-tour-gets-for-us travelouge on the east coast last Wednesday and returned this day's previous night (no thanks to United Airlines, btw). We flew into Boston, MA, spent the following day in its safe confines, then headed to Providence, RI, and the Living Room to partake of a Darkbuster-headlined show.

Enjoying and reveling in that chaos, we then hauled ass outta town to get to NYC proper. Or, at least, as proper as City Island lets you be. Dan from Crafty Records holds an annual multi-band BBQ at his place, in the backyard, so we crowded in there with many other folks for lots of memory-inducing pop-punk bands and then us. I'll just say that when you have people crowdsurfing at a backyard bbq on a Saturday afternoon you know you're doing something good. Also finally met Bill from The Shemps that day, the band we seem destined to never play with, no matter what we both try.

Heading into the city (our hotel was on the corner of E 27th & Madison) we then partook of its richness deeply and to the expense of our bowels. Thanks to Jed for helping lead the charge that night, too.

The next day was the Puerto Rican parade day but just north of us so we didn't get trapped by any of it. We did tool around a bit before finally heading over to Hoboken, to play at Maxwell's. Prior to that we'd been invited to another backyard BBQ, just with eating this time. Lots of friendly and enthusiastic folks out that way, too, just like our other stops, putting on a great spread for us and treating us all really, really well. The show was well attended, especially for a Sunday night, with Love Cinema vol. 6 being our direct opener. Enthusiasm was overwhelming yet again and it was the perfect way to end this Left Coast jaunt of ours.

More details will come later as we collectively flesh out each of these days and shows. Again, much, much, much thanks to all the patrons, fans, supporters, well-wishers, band members, and drunkards we came across and talked, laughed, ate, and drank with. You guys are alright, no matter what anyone out here might say. We're gonna be riding this high for quite some time...so we just want to say, "Thank you - good night!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ah, Ash St. be a lady - yarrr

This past weekend found us yet again in the comfy confines of downtown hometown PDX and the Ash St. Saloon. We were bringing the combined tributaries of the Romanes and Blondage all together for the pleasantly successful "Return to CBGB's" bill. The same evening also happened to coincide with the start of the Rose Festival and the Starlight Parade (featuring the Hamzinger's gorgeous bride!) wherein the streets of the outlying trailer parks disgorge their inhabitants upon downtown. This makes for great people-watching and horrible traffic; add some rain to it all and the turnout for our show wasn't nearly as packed as we'd hoped - BUT it was still packed with quality, fo' sho'. We had to get downtown early enough to claim parking, too, which made for a long-ass day spent drinking quite a number of pints at the daylight-friendly new Thirsty Lion pub next door. Oh, and also, many thanks to part of our Sea-town fan-base finding their way down to, in the Cap'n's own words, "get his fix!" of us.

The Romanes kicked things off this time 'round (being the 3rd appearance of this wondrous lineup) and, let their rough beginning fuel their 3-chord mania through an intensive set. I think their Pinhead made a painful stage hop at the end of the set, tho', as he was nursing a very sore ankle; hopefully that was all it was and nothing worse.

Blondage was, as ever, out-freakin'-standing. Like the Romanes, too, they're just a nice group of people to hang around and wait for the show with. The Blondage set proved, I think, to be the most crowd-pleasing portion of the night, too. I think that comes with playing 2nd inherently or, at least, the opportunity to excel on the night does. People have actually made their way into the place by then and are drunk enough to enjoy/crowd to the front/dance. They always seem to hold back for the first band, and I'm furthering my highly-scientific analysis here by saying that they're most likely just not plain drunk enough yet to fully express themselves. The Blondage set was also well attended with probably the highest number of dancing female audience members I've ever seen at a show we've been associated with (we get some, believe me, but, well, you know...). Ash St. Sound Gal Heather responded with a strange PA mix of older dance songs that the audience members ate up, staying to dance until we hit about our first chord.

Taking an alphabetized approach to our set list, we kicked off with "288" and basically proceeded Sesame Street-style from there on out. We had a decent, enthusiastic crowd remaining, too, which always feels just plain great. I had a number of friends in attendance that hadn't either seen us at all previously or had but it had been awhile. That latter group could then shiver in wetness over our vastly-improved skills and show. No, really. I mean, it's us but, you know... We were pleased that we didn't just plain die on-stage physically. It also gave us some extra preparation and fundage for the upcoming East Coast touring. I'll try, faithful readers, to update this site with all of the goings-on for that series of three shows, once we return, triumphant and exhausted!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

White hot loads scouring the very ground!

HA!

The return of The Misfats to its hometown of PDX proper went as well as it should have. Here's proof:

- 4 bands on a Friday night in downtown Portland; we headlined, putting us up on stage around 1:15am. We still had a good-sized, loaded-leaning-to-wasted crowd, and a mosh pit through most songs (that's one more pit than the 3 other bands of the night combined!)

- 2 other shows were seeking to drain our audience reserves at nearby clubs that same night; we still packed the place

- Perhaps the most winning sentiment came from a couple from Santa Cruz, CA. They were visiting and wanted something to do; since we were actually listed ("recommended," thanks, Portland Mercury!) appropriately (more on that in a bit) they came to see us. The female of said couple admitted she was quite skeptical, having been the singer in an all-chick 'fits cover band, The Die Darlings (I think I remember that correctly). She said she had thought, "'The Misfats'? That's gotta be a lame joke!" She then said that, about :20 seconds into "20 Pies," that we, indeed, were the owners of the Misfits tribute world.

Of course, our previous appearance at the Ash St. saloon was also very well received and attended so I had no worries about this show doing the same. And no one, I think, was disappointed. Apparently, tho', Camel cigarettes was supposed to have had some big push behind the show, promising big ads and more, if we would just sign forms stating that we love sucking their proverbial balls. I don't know if any of us did, choosing instead to sign the basic waiver-ish form (and forcing each band to go down to the club prior and physically sign this silly thing). Then, in the local rags, there was pretty much nothing except for a mention with a bunch of other things they were pushing; they even only used the catchline from the poster as the sole advertisement. What an expected load of B.S., huh?

This return also intersected with the completion of the "trifecta" that comprised our NW tour with the might Stay Tuned. They went on 2nd and wowed what I'd term as the "right" people in the crowd. The drunk frat boys at the table next to ours obviously just didn't get it at all which, to me, is an instant sign of credibility for most any band. This was ST's first downtown PDX show and it suited them well (their previous appearance had been with us and The Odditors at Porky's in No'Po'; all credit/respect to Porky's but it's a small, out-of-the-way venue when compared to Ash St.). It was further impressive to see them assemble basically a to-scale reconstruction of a civil war battle in audio gear in record time. I don't even think that soundchick extraordinaire Heather had to lash them too severely. In all sincerity, though, go and see Stay Tuned any and every chance you get. ANY music scene that has extremely talented musicians with an exceptional sense of humor and complete dedication to carrying that out the way Stay Tuned is/does deserves a fanatical throng of obedient followers over ANY other band. You feelin' me, Sea-town?

The first band up on the night was Pillowfight. Good energy and attitude made for a great opener ("A little on the long side, their set was," is how Drunk Yoda explained it to me). I did appreciate their sentiment of being known in the future as, "Pillowfats" instead, tho' I prefer the name "Pillowbite" myself... Good-natured blokes who put on a good show, fo' sho'.

Next up was Stay Tuned. See previous paragraphs/blog entries for the wondrous merriment that is this band. Buy their CD's, too.

Up third was Ronster (or, as Drunk Kaiser Wilhelm put it, "Ronster mit der umlaut"). I didn't get to hear much of their set as I was trying to make time with our several friends that were populating the audience by then; the audience - esp. the chix - seemed to really dig 'em, tho', so that's always good as an opener. "You got that libido worked up into a frothy, fishy fury? Good! Now, behold our corpulence and lust for it, women, girls, whores, and saintly broads!" (You can see why we have only a small handful of female followers, huh?)

Then, we hit the stage. Late, yes, but ready. It had been nearly a month since our last show and we all felt it; BUT - and, like us, this has a big "but" - we didn't show it at all, I think. I got angry at getting so tired so soon and took it out on my voice which, for some weird reason, got stronger as the set progressed. It's usually the opposite and the last 3 songs usually suffer, I'm afraid. But not for this show. Later recollections found that Foil was about to hurl at any minute, exhausted as he was from studying to be a night janitor during the past week, and Dr. C.H.O.A.D. was done about 3 songs into the set; that's only about 4 minutes into the set so you know he was working himself over the remainder of that set. And Baloney? He was just happy as a fat kid with a whole cake getting a handjob from sausage factory worker. He said some things but I couldn't hear 'em.

We jabbered, we joshed, we rocked, and our fat rolled. We even sold some shirts and met some enthusiastic, appreciative folks from the audience, which always just warms my heart more than it probably should. Yeah, we all got home late and lost half of Saturday to recharge our massive rock-cock batteries but at least we have a good reason for sleeping in; what about YOU?!?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Birf-day possibilities...

The Misfats had the chance to revisit Seattle again, the 2nd time in a month, on the 2nd stop of the "Great NW Mini-Tour" with our pals, Stay Tuned. This go 'round was at Tommy's Club which seemed confused to have us there...

Prior to our departure we found a decent practice space, Suburbia Studios, in PDX. For a measly $10/hour we get a large room with a PA setup. There are apparently about 40 other smaller rooms that are rented out monthly there, too. A good option, I think, if you need it. Foil & I got our eat on at the glorious Fire on the Mountain on Friday. We then attempted to get into Roots Brewing Co. as we're fans of the way they handle brewing. However, getting past the estrogen-fest of crying skanks outside we found the place packed, overheated, and full of a higher-than-usual quotient of yuppies, frat boyz, and other retards-by-choice.

Fortunately, Duff's Garage was just up the street and closer to Suburbia so we headed there. With Warsteiner on tap we settled in quite nicely. Dave joined us there for the remainder of the evening, too, even greatly assisting at practice by riding levels, tweaking out Foil's practice amp to be more suitable for the large space we found ourselves in. While at Duff's, the opening act - The Countrypolitans - started up...at 7:15pm! I thought it was an awfully long sound check. They sounded better than the last time I heard 'em (well over a year ago, opening for Deke at Conan's) but they still had that slow country, honky tonk thing going on which isn't exactly my fave style. But I still managed to get a decent buzz on in time for practice where I then proceeded to sweat it off entirely. Thankfully, a seasonally-abstinent CHOAD talked me into going out after, with Dave & Clarence (both of Sons of Calculon fame) to the Bonfire. More drinks were consumed but I was pretty out of it by then as practice usually kicks my ass rather thoroughly if I let it (and I like to). At least we had good talks about arranging a Calculon/Fats show this summer, around the triumphant return of iknowkungfu, and resurrected talk of The Draughtsmen as well. But that band's another blog for another site for another day...

So we packed up and got to Seattle with ample time to spare. Grabbed some 'za and some less than stellar brew up the street from the club, smack dab in the heart of the university district there. Grabbing a smoke outside Tommy's after our soundcheck (since you CAN'T in WA any more which makes Foil's public gas-passing that much worse) one local mentioned that it was a rough night for a show as there were several others occurring at the same time that night. We missed out on alot of the regular foot traffic there, apparently, but we still had a good show. I think it was aided severely by Tommy's "top 10 shots" list, especially when they included the Touchdown, the "Jagerbomb" which, as anyone knows, is actually termed as The Testiculator, and the Cherrybomb. I think birfday girl Kelly had at least 6 of the latter that I noticed which would explain her behaviour later that night (note: that's "explain" and not "excuse").

Our friends Mike & Kelly thus made the trip up for her birthday; since we had played on her b-day last year as well we provided yet another rendition of "Birfday!" (to the tune of, "Rat Fink," for those playing the home game). It was also the Matt/Phil entity of Stay Tuned's birthday celebration, that being the primary reason behind the scheduling of this show. That brought out a few more punters, making an amiable, respectably-sized crowd for both our sets and Stay Tuned's. In terms of our fans, we also had a couple guys that had also actually witnessed our show at the Catwalk in Seattle many moons ago. Since they were two of the 10 people at that show I remembered them. They also filled me in on something I happened to spawn at that show. The two of 'em bought t-shirts at the time but the 3rd didn't, saying he would wait until next time; I told him, "Yeah, do that. And then we can write, "FAG," in big letters across it, too. Would you like that?" His friends lost it but the 3rd guy took it in stride. However, chatting with these two last Saturday, they said they were able to use that since, now calling him just "FAG." Apparently, it's spread to everyone they know, too. I think that's priceless, sharing the love as we're known to do wherever we go. Maybe we can come to your town and insult you for all time, too?

Our set went fairly well, I think. One of the strings on Foil's amazing guitar broke mid-set so he had his first test of replacing that live. He did exceptionally well, I think, accomplishing the task in about 2 minutes. It gave me time to catch my breath and share some jocularity with the crowd, too. Our set seemed kinda short but it was our own doing, too, and it felt pretty good. I'm not sure how it sounded to the crowd but the PA there at Tommy's was fantastic so we could all get the feedback we should care to get.

Further aiding our excellent sound was the uber-kind offer of Stay Tuned to borrow their amps. Foil stuck with his but Baloney took advantage and used Will's fantastic setup. It was quite something to be able to even hear our bass much less with the amount of sound it was now capable of. Again, a big ol' fat bearhug to Stay Tuned for doing that. Just shows what quality guys they are all 'round.

Speaking of that quality, it resonated thoroughly during their set. Their energy seemed pretty up for this show and they were all smiles. Bassist Will and drummer Fred even purchased and donned Misfats tees for their set which pleased us no end - it's just damn satisfying to see a band you respect and enjoy wearing your gear, ya' know? Selfish as it is I just can't get enough of that. Matt (when he's on keyboard and, I think, "Phil" when he's on keytar - or is it the other way 'round?) was having a ball playing for his family that apparently had all come in from out of town for this. (I think our own set really confused 'em but that's part of our charm.) ST busted out their new version of "Family Ties" which was still pretty good, even w/o the opening from "Thunderstruck." We also got to hear "The Golden Girls" which rawks much more than it should for being reminiscent of a show about crabby old broads. And despite and ever-drunkening Kelly's requests for "Facts of Life" it was still outstanding - especially (and always) "Gilligan's Island," transitioning as it does from that song to "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" to "Come Sail Away" and back to something else by the end. And can I just say how amazing these guys are as musicians and, simultaneously, how thorough their sense of humor is? Foil and I just shake our heads in disbelief at Will's prowess on the bass, allowing him and him ALONE to play a 5-string. (NOTE: If you play a 5-string bass we will personally come to your house and beat you to death in your own kitchen; in the name of all that is holey. Amen.) Fred's an outstanding drummer, working over a big ol' kit while taking drive-thru orders over his headset AND singing along, even leading, as well. The Matt/Phil entity is just plain insane in the ol' membrane on his Eddie VH-stickered keytar, producing sounds that probably only the original engineer behind that thing at Roland ever even conceived of. If you haven't seen Stay Tuned yet you need to at the earliest opportunity; you also need to buy their CD and t-shirts; if you have relatives, buy 12, too. And then come out and see us paired with these rawk titans at the Ash St. Saloon in PDX on Friday, March 31st, as well. End your period of secluded shame that night with an evening of non-threatening rawkin' of the foundations of your soul, you lazy bastard.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The great cold north (suburb)

Ah, Vancouver, Wa. - I think it's the only US city named after a Canuck city but what're you gonna do?

I'll tell you what, little mister sassy pants - You're gonna get fairly loaded and play yer living guts out to the very appreciative throng, that's what!

A little history's in order here first. For those unfamiliar, Vancouver lies just across the river that acts as the border 'twixt Washington and Oregon. I'm not sure if it's the Shelbyville to the Springfield-that-is-Portland but it's certainly it's own unique blend of overpaid tech types lured by cheaper housing and a decent public school system and then what I'll just term as the "larry the cable guy" kinda audience. ("You know - morons.")

The 'fats musical roots run fairly deep in this town since one of Foil's previous bands owned any musical hope in that place for a while. "Extended hiatus," aside, it's still impressive to see folks remember this band fondly and are sad to not see 'em playing any longer. It's a shite state of affairs since they left, with really only local heroes Smirk and The Martindales left to fight for any foothold even remotely resembling a legacy or scene.

So when we were invited to play Rachael's birthday party at the club her beau Harry operates at, we saw our opportunity to return some of that old sense & style to that fair land. Throw in a booze cruise of a limo ride and we were all pretty much sold on it.

With temperatures in the low 20s met up at the 15th St. Pub a few hours before our go-time and loaded into the limo. Pulling out of the parking lot we bottomed out and we all found this somehow appropriate. We should test vehicles of such encumbrance, I think. That wasn't the first time of the night nor was it the last that we'd kick out sparks from that thing. Much kudos go to our good-natured driver for not only taking it all in stride but doing his best to minimize it, too. The Misfats stickers Harry had applied to the windows brought back the line to me, "Tinted windows don't mean nuthin'/They know who's inside." Another nice touch was the in-car video roll advertising this particular limo service, billed in the video as, "The Misfats preferred choice of transportation..."

We headed back across the river and partook of the finest establishments for such a group as we for this type of event. The "birthday dance" at Exotica was, shall we say, well worth it; perhaps even more so was our drinking Sparks in the limo, blocking the entrance to the place, laughing at everyone both entering and leaving. We also walked in and immediately owned that place, did our business, and then headed back to the venue for our set.

Upon entering, I hear the non-threatening strains of typical 'couve sensitive rock. Many people who know us ask, "You guys are playing soon, right?" in the manner befitting someone crying for rescue. There were, apparently, three bands before us and while I'm sure they were all fine musicians they, apparently, left out of reverence and defference all the rawkin' of the night to the 'fats (damn straight!). Taking over the men's room we're soon in full battle regalia and ready to face the hungry ones. We tear right in and are immediately met with happy little faces who are very appreciative for this Mother Bird to regurgitate nurturing musical spew into their gaping, smiling maws. Granted, we got stuck by the 2nd song but we more than compensated, throwing that place into an utter frenzy of joyous, raucous, drunken festivities not witnessed since - well, probably since the last time we played. Ha!

Much congrats followed and while we had representatives move on to tend to the after-party (and an appropriately totally wasted birthday girl - yah!) it was time for me to drive home in full makeup and collapse, contended that we had, in some small way, perhaps, made the most of the opportunity to a crowd that knew it well. Thanks again to Harry's generosity, Rachael's energy, and their combined enthusiasm. It set the tempo for the evening's events and never relented. Not too shabby, so "that'll do, pig. That'll do..."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Glutton Bowl

Much thanks is now and again due to both The Monkey Pub and to Stay Tuned. They proved a "good on" for Seattle. Here's how:

Arriving in separate vehicles (after the trailer debacle; don't ask) we find that we'll be unable to crash for free at Baloney's buddy's, the Cactus Huggers, place due to the NW-equivalent of a hurricane we got hit with Friday night. Seems most places are booked to the gills, too, there in the downtown/University area. Megan (I hope I'm spelling that right) the bartender at the Monkey busts her ass in trying to find us a place by making lotsa calls, continuously checking in with us on it all, and basically being a decent human being. Why more show-related folks aren't like that I don't know but her efforts were well appreciated by us all. Baloney managed to find a great deal, tho', so we got an $88 room for all 4 of us a couple blocks from the venue. Said room didn't involve manass-to-manass action (involuntary, of course), too, which was a nice change. Of course, tell a skinny guy he's gonna share a room with two large guys - large guys who love to crank the A/C in hotel rooms especially after sweating out the equivalent of three children during a set - and he'd better have his own blanket. I think we gave Dr. C.H.O.A.D pneumonia but that's what he gets for not having an Artic-ready layer of protective blubber.

The Monkey's not huge but it is wonderfully isolated from nearby frat infestation. They even take special, Misfats-prescribed drink orders. "Cozy" would be a better word for the place, I think. At least they covered one of the pool tables pre-set to help focus folks there on the bands. The stage is floor-level and the crowd setup is covered by two rows of folding tables and a bunch of chairs. It felt a little '68-comeback-ish...

Stay Tuned and us were the only bands playing so we kicked off by 10:30pm. ST has a healthy amount of gear to setup (which they do with blurry efficacy) so I think it took them nearly a half hour just for that feat. But they were soon into their set, wowing a crowd that had obviously never heard them. That part makes me a little sad, in that a band of their caliber and quality don't have a fanatical following that would embarrass other bands, especially in their hometown. A "prophet is only without honor..." I suppose. They are updating some of their old faves for a variety of reasons and have added some new tunes since last we played together. Most fitting was their version of "The Munsters" theme, dedicated to the recently departed "Grampa" Al Lewis. They stupefied, amazed, overcame, and rawked for the better part of an hour. And like Foil stated to me, "This never gets old, man."

After a relatively quick takedown/setup we got stage-ready in the only private place we had access to: the men's room. It's better than some places we've changed (parking lots, stairwells, that weird space in Ash St.) but, due to the Stygian river of Eternal Urine Stank, it wasn't exactly the most pleasant. Our makeup taking a floor dive during this frenzied activity didn't do much to sell me on it, either.

We make our way back up to the stage and launch right into our set. It only takes me getting to the 2nd song in the set to screw up - so much so that we have to start the song over. That's what happens when I clamor for adding more than one new song to the set list. Yet the 50 or so folks in attendance were still appreciative and forgiving. We added, "TV Dinner Casualty," "Hollywood Waffle House," and "In the DriveThru" to the already-prodigious list and they all went off quite well, I think. The last song there is a little more obscure, fitting into the "counted" setlist of, perhaps, the more hardcore Misfits fans; and, as such, it kinda missed its mark since those that are fans of that level tend not to really get our schtick or, at the very least, take it all a bit too seriously. But I like singing it and it's a good "snowball dance" kinda song, something missing (perhaps rightly so?) from our prior setlist.

Exhausted, sweaty beyond belief, and suffering from indigestion (I would still recommend "The Exorcist" burger from across the street but, perhaps, not before a workout) we hang out and chat for awhile with those folks remaining. Thanks to everyone for the kind words of appreciation. The Misfats send that love all the way 'round our own equator (yes, we do have one) and right back at ya'. C.H.O.A.D. and I nearly hurl when ST wanna take us out to eat breakfast - not at the idea, of course, but at the prospect of trying to eat anything at that point. We politely decline and find our way to pass out in our hotel, thankful and full of the good feelings that a quality show with quality folks can give you.

Just a few articles to document our part in the festivities that night:


Object closer may appear fatter than they really are...



Feel the envy, feel the love



the Hamzinger in action


So this is how the NW MiniTour begins, huh?


The wonderfully monstrous hybrid that is Stay Tuned and the Misfats.


Well, come out for the 2nd go-'round on March 4th at Tommy's Club. BE there.

Friday, January 27, 2006

For sale

Misfats merchandise, our foray into the intermahnetizationology. Buy stuff and maybe we can afford to play near you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Return to the Return of CBGB's

Idiotic traffic and driving rain notwithstanding, we ended up in Eugene last Saturday. This marked our return to John Henry's, a club your humble narrator visited obscenely often whilst living in the confines of that town. Last time there we nearly sold the place out along with four other bands. Going on at 1am and having 200+ people staying is a rewarding experience.

This time 'round we brought along Blondage and The Romanes. Pre-show, having a smoke by the backdoor (since indoor smoking has now been banned there), I get to younger guys asking if they can go in. I tell 'em it doesn't matter to me and they figure I don't work there, so they ask me what band I'm in. Upon my response they both get wide-eyed and there's that dawning grin of pleasure: "Dude! You're who we're here to see!" That always feels just damn good.

The service downtown still sux except, of course, at JH. We had a couple pre-show heavies at the Rogue brewery across the way from the venue. I overheard our idiotic waiter saying that he'd worked at McMenamin's prior to Rogue in Eugene. You will find no worse service in the continental U.S. than in McMenamin's in Eugene. Having lived there 10 years I understand this all too well, having lived through it extensively and, almost, exclusively. If someone living there didn't believe me, that I received horrible service pretty much anywhere I went, I'd invite them out with me to witness it for themselves. Everyone that went through this had to afterward admit to my correctness. Amazing - maybe it's the hippies, maybe it's the college town, maybe it's the combo there, I dunno. But the waiter at Rogue was up to the challenge of being a horrible waiter and an asshole to boot. I sat with a broken beer for at least :15 min. in a place with maybe a dozen people in it. We were even close by the bar itself. Foil's burger order took nearly an hour - for a cheeseburger and for a hungry Misfat, that just ain't cool. I call for a local boycott of that place until that retard is replaced (tall bearded asshole waiter - he should be easy to identify) there. Rogue's beer is far superior to McMenamin's anyway and it deserves to be served by respectable, responsible adults.

That said, the service at JH gets special commendation - they take care of everyone quite well, regardless of band membership or not. We happened to just take a seat at the bar during Blondage's soundcheck and they served us while setting up. That alone is the mark of quality of a bar/bartender - it's not an inconvenience to them, they put the customer first. I especially like that.

Speaking of Blondage's sound can I just say, "Wow!"? The previous time we'd played together was the first time I'd heard them. It was also their first after not playing for a few months. They sounded very solid and spot-on then; this past Saturday? It's like they pulled out all the stops. They sounded incredible, not just in the "tribute band" sense but also in the musicianship sense. Tremendous ability and showmanship there. It prompted my comment from the stage during our set, "We'll now take a brief break from the musical ability of the evening to bring you The Misfats."

The Romanes brought it long and hard, much to the pure enjoyment of the remaining crowd. "Joey" even had to go to work at 7am so they were all headed back that evening, after their set started around 12:30am. I still feel bad and would have had them go on 2nd instead of us - I just wish I would've known sooner! But that didn't stop them from giving the crowd two encores, either. Again, many thanks and mucho appreciation to those guys.

Our set? Man, I was in pain but in a good way. I even cut "Buffet Zombies" off accidentally, forgetting the second verse. The best thing is that we've been playing together long enough now, in varying degrees of sobriety, that the rest of the band can recover from my screwup instantly. That, too, is completely rewarding. The rest of our set went well, tho', and we charged through in proper order. I even got some good digs in on skinny bands (probably 90% of those in our audience met that description) and they gave it back in good order, too. Jocularity ensued and we had a ball.

Afterward, as I'm recuperating in the back "green room," I get two nervous guys just wanting to meet me and get numerous pix. The drunker of the two had a killer tattoo of the devillocked skull on his arm so they were long-time 'fits fans. And, now, they were just fawning over us. Again, that's humbling and rewarding all in the same shot. The lack of musicianship of The Misfats is more than compensated by the fan appreciation and the fun everyone (including us) has at our shows. Word.

Of course, I forgot again that the new black greasepaint isn't good on my eyes. My right eye reacts like I've been stabbed with a meaty finger soaked in pinkeye serum. It stays that way for a couple days, too, giving opportunities for long stares from co-workers and lots of avoidance. I can appreciate those moments, tho', and try to rub my eye and then touch lots of stuff in the breakroom in front of them. Nice, no? That's me making lemonade outta lemons, baby!

!Next show! !Next show! !Next show!

Saturday Feb 4th
Misfats (Portland)
Stay Tuned (Seattle)
@ Monkey Pub
5305 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Doors 9pm, $5, 21+

(Of note, in the user reviews of that spot, is this: "if you want to hang out, have a beer, smoke a cigarette and shoot pool in a nearly frat-free atmosphere in the U-District, Monkey Pub can't be beat.")

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How appropriate...

Word of the Day today is "gastronome".

gastronome: a lover of good food and drink.

You can get both on this weekend if you're even remotely close to Eugene, OR, and are 21+ or have some piece of plastic that says as much. The Misfats are proud to be part of, "The Return to CBGB's" bill along with The Romanes and Blondage. Showtime's the usual "9pm" and it's to be found at John Henry's.

Witness the triumphant return!