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 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.