Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Final Show - a summary, first

It's taken me awhile to write this entry simply because part of me didn't want to.  It's tough to call quits on something that's been so damn reliably fun for almost 5 years.  I wish we could've taken the 'fats to more people, in more places, but that just ain't economically viable (that's time and money, folks).  

In creating this band we resolved early on to call it off completely if it ever became un-fun or a hassle.  With Foyle moving 5 hours away driving that just made it very much a hassle.  And, we figured, why not end on an upswing, a positive note, before it's just a tired gig, "just another tribute act."  We're well aware that we were never that, tho'.  No way, no how.  J.V. Bastard, lately touring with Michale Graves on his solo acoustic set (J.V. plays guitar on a few songs so it's mostly solo) which you should go see anytime and everytime, said we weren't just the funnest Misfits tribute act - we were, by far, the best Misfits tribute act.  That's high praise IMO, considering the source.  And it's close to the heart of the 'fats:  We were always respectful of the Misfits catalog and historical importance.  We just wanted to have fun with it, too.  I think we managed that quite well.  

Sure, we had some bad shows here and there but the feedback we'd get afterward showed that we were the only ones thinking it wasn't good enough.  That was sure nice of a shot in the arm, too.  Early on, I'd said that we needed to play every show as if it's our final.  Now that we've played our final show, though, I can say that's not entirely a fair goal.   Each show became an opportunity to put out the goods, to sell people on this idea, to elevate the ridiculous into the realm of the sublime.  And while crusty punx and most kids didn't like us (the former being too self-righteous, the latter being, as one older patron worded it, "not secure enough in their punk rawk to mock it yet") the overwhelming majority favored the fat.  Sure, we had our work cut out for us most of the time as some either didn't get the gimmick ("Why do the songs sound different?") or couldn't believe we'd do it.  I mean, let's face it:  Large, fat, shirtless, white guys in wigs and makeup playing aggressive punk typically doesn't lend itself to credibility.  But, again, somehow it all worked out beyond any notions we'd had.

Thanks for the shows, thanks for the cheering and participation, thanks for the comments and the merch sales(!), and thanks for the fun.  Remember, if you enjoyed us half as much as we enjoyed performing for you, then we enjoyed it twice as much as you.

(Final show pix in a Flickr set here, btw.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ash St., Oct. 24th 2008 w/ Michale Graves

Originally uploaded by ScrumpyFU
Thanks again to all who came out to support this show! We hadn't been able to play together for 5 long months so we were all a bit apprehensive about our opening slot. I listened non-stop to a playlist of our setlist selection and I think the other fellas did, too - we just must have clicked in on that same wavelength, not wanting a repeat of our Slabtown show (where we hadn't practiced in 6 weeks and stunk to high heaven).

We got to soundcheck and that, to our mutual surprise, felt pretty good. We got ready per our usual routine (with some very dried-out makeup!) and Heather at Ash St. dimmed the lights and started up the warning siren. As soon as we launched into 20 Pies I knew we were gonna be alright and that my voice was gonna hold. We jawed with the crowd, had another crimson ghost appearance, and cut it off at :30 minutes. Oh and Baloney got one of those roses that those quiet, pushy salesmen seem to always come around with to local bars on weekend nights. That provided great joviality for which I'll promptly be sent to Hell for when I die.

Adrien H was on next, described as "dark acoustic." Basically, it was the eponymous character and his keyboard and then a drummer for accompaniment. It was dark and moody but seemed very contrary to the very non-acoustic energy we started off the evening with. Oh well.

I'd talked with Michale and JV prior to the show and Michale confirmed that he was playing a :90 minute, 27-song set. I think he's got one of the best voices in rawk today and is a great lyricist but I had my doubts as to being engaging for that long with just an acoustic guitar. I'm pleased to report that I was very wrong to doubt!

He played a great variety of his songs, from his time with the Misfits to his solo work (Web of Dharma, etc.) to his collaboration with Damien Echols (Illusions is the name of that album) to entirely new creations from some time overseas this past summer. J.V. joined him for several songs but, primarily, Michale was on his own and was just fantastic. Very laid-back but a good amount of passion behind what he was doing I think everyone in attendance keyed in and appreciated it.

He was touring in part support for the Free the West Memphis 3 fund who had setup a donation jar and such at the merch table that night. It's a compelling case and Graves is a bit of a champion for the cause.

Michale stuck around after and autographed and stayed for pix. He also asked folks to contribute to the WM3 fund, even putting the take of the door we gave him to that. Say what you will about the guy, his heart's in the right place and he's a damn fine entertainer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another final-show flyer

Courtesy of the fine folks at Plan B:

misfats final show


Monday, October 20, 2008

The end of days...

Since all good things must come to some kind of end we figured to put to bed our constant grotesque companion of the past night unto 5 years.

Friday, Oct. 24th
Ash St. Saloon (SW 2nd & Ash, I believe)
opening* for Michale Graves' acoustic set
*This means we go on 2nd, have a short set, and then you have to sit through someone else before and after. HOWEVER, this show is a "Can Food Drive for Portland Rescue Mission. For every Can of Food you bring, you will receive a raffle ticket for prizes given away during the show from local shops and businesses."

Sat., Nov. 1st
Plan B (SE 8th & Main)
w/ the Punk Group and the Kenny Rogers Experience*
*This means we're headlining. That means there's more of a mess to be made of things and, therefore, will be much more of an engaging, enjoyable experience for you all.

See you somewhere, hopefully soon!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oct. 24th show - more than meets the eyesore

From the Ash St. website:

This is a Can Food Drive for Portland Rescue Mission. For every Can of Food you bring, you will receive a raffle ticket for prizes given away during the show from local shops and businesses. Tis the season, help us help those less fortunate.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Now this is dedication, people

Courtesy of a fan on myspace:

Insane level of dedication

Get that fan some free fan-schwag!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tentative show updates!

Yes, it's true - we actually potentially have a couple shows lined up for the Fall!

Both are in October (if they both happen), toward the end of the month.

Fri., Oct. 24th
Ash St. Saloon
w/ Michale Graves (solo-acoustic set)

Sat., Nov. 1st
Plan B
Halloween Extender Weekender!
w/ The Kenny Rogers Experience

See you all in October (maybe for the last time for a loooooong time)!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Slow On the Uptake

I figured I should try for some consistency in life here and update this with a report from our show at Slabtown last month. I've put it off, though, mainly due to the fact that, boy, did we ever suck...

Being that the show came up just after a holiday weekend we weren't able to schedule a practice closer to the show date. "So," we figured, "we'll just go ahead and play anyway. We've been playing these songs for a number of years and should be fine," our thinking went. Let's just say, after our performance that fateful Wednesday, we're never doing that again. We just felt flat, I felt like I had zero energy, and while the other fellas acquitted themselves well I just blew.

Two things, though, might have been working against us. One was that we went on after The Crimson Ghosts. Now, these guys brought it 100%, playing surf guitar style covers of Misfits tunes, often then joining the crowd in singing along sans mics, and having a ball. They were just plain great and I never realized how upbeat many of the Misfits songs were, when played in that style. Nice guys that truly entertained, I have nothing but good things to say about them. But I think the crowd had sated their Misfits hunger so, when we got up, we're doing many of the same songs they just heard and sang along to and enjoyed by another band. So what were we doing there?

That, at least, seemed to be the attitude. The crowd seemed more "typical Portland" in that they stayed back away from the stage, attentive but with arms crossed and feet firmly planted. After the first couple songs you could've heard crickets, it was that quiet. Now, that happened in Chico in April, too; but a couple songs later and the crowd went nuts. I think we stunned them in more ways that one and they just weren't ready for us to bring it like we did. That wasn't so much the case at Slabtown that night, not by a longshot. Granted, it's not entirely the crowd's fault as I wasn't doing very well and that's going to have some sort of impact. But I did get to the point where I was basically having to heckle myself, just to get some kind of response at all. But not being able to rely on *any* energy from the crowd I just wore out that much more quickly.

Thankfully, there were some high points, too. Long-time fan Zola showed up with his crimson ghost costume and, during our next-to-last song, came out on stage in said costume. Baloney had brought, I think, 10 lbs of salt water taffy. The ghost ended up "distributing" that all over us, the stage, the show floor, the audience, and the bar, I think, by the end. But people seemed to respond well to that and it was pretty fun - necessary at that point, really.

The other "high point" came when Baloney thought it'd be a good idea to, during our 'breakdown' in between our last songs, chug a 2-liter of Hawaiian Punch soda. Somehow he managed to do that but, also, to then throw up both outside and all over the trough urinal inside as well. "I made all the ice in there red!" he proudly proclaimed later. And, surprisingly, the audience called for an encore as we cut our set short since I was dying up there. We weren't sure, tho', if we were actually going to be able to deliver on that as Baloney had run off to think about his mistakes. But, champion that he is, he came back and we wowed 'em all with, "Pabstdrinkers."

Sloppy and outta breath, I think I my performance for once fully matched my look. I apologize if you didn't enjoy us that night. Really, we're not that bad - really!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Standing down...

Okay so the rumors of our impending collective end are a wee bit exaggerated. So are the lineups from 2 shows this week that had us on the bill.

The Misfats will not be playing this Thursday at Plan B, opening for The Murder Junkies. This came about due to last-minute scheduling conflicts and couldn't be avoided, for the sake of sanity.

The Misfats will also not be on the bill opening for MDC in Everett, WA, this Saturday. This was due to several factors, not the least of which was the cost of gas, the fact that this was a free-admission show (so no hope of any payment to us), and the fact that we would stick out there like an actual plus-size woman on America's Next Top Bulimic Idiot. While part of me does get a perverse thrill outta pissing off krusty punks I'd rather not have to drive 400 miles r/t with gas over $4 a gallon to do so.

We'll setup a proper send-off show for later and let everybody know in plenty of time. Don't you worry yer fat lil' heads over that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Show tonight!

Yes, fat-fiends and fat kids, the Misfats are indeed playing tonight in dowtown Portland. We're playing with the surf-tabulous Crimson Ghosts, to boot!

Crimson Ghosts w/ the Misfats, Muddy River Nightmare Band, Eat Your Heart Out
@ Slabtown
1033 NW 16th
Portland, OR 97209
"9 PM"

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On stage at Johnny B's:

misfats at johnny b01

And off-stage at Johnny B's:

Baloney now angry at Medford

But Baloney would pay the price for such rage as his car decided to blow a tire on the way down to Chico; thankfully, the Stay Tuned lads were there to assist:

baloney blowout

Monstro's, in Chico; thanks again to the Pyrate Punx:

monstros venue

And the lineup...

monstros lineup

Season of the Witch; we really need to hit them up for makeup tips:

season of the witch at monstros

Some bands tour; we consume!


We even had someone who knew pho-to-graphy at the show. The official review is here but, more importantly, here are the fancy piccies:

monstros proshot 02

And my new fave pic of us:

monstros proshot 01


Monday, April 14, 2008

Ah, the road...

This past weekend found The Misfats back on the road. Since we have day jobs and don't have delusions of grandeur a tour for us consists of 1- to 2-day shots within driving distance, typically. And so there we were Friday, making our way down to Medford, OR, for a show at Johnny B's. Joining us on our southern sojourn were Stay Tuned who had to break in a friend/drummer in about 24 hours for the show (seriously).

While the weather was to have changed in our hometown of Portland anyway it was much more noticeable when we arrived 4+ hours south of there. Mid-80s dominated the weekend until we did our "time travel" back to Spring proper in the Pacific NW when we arrived home late Sunday.

Most of us had never been to Medford previously, tho' we had been through it a number of times. It's a small city so the venue we played at was pretty laid back and welcoming. At least, as welcoming as 30-40 people could be. It was heartening to see the folks there calling their friends, asking/telling them to get down to the show. We hooked up with Power of County as they were on tour through the area at the same time as well. They kicked off the night nicely altho' a few folks commented to me on the "odd" lineup (country-TV show rawk-punk). Funny enough, to me anyway, that lineup isn't odd at all...

Stay Tuned were next up and were fairly well received. They'd been on tour down this way last Fall and were a bit nervous about places receiving them well. After hearing a couple of their stories I could understand why (Note to any bands: If a place asks you to bring your own PA, skip that show altogether - it won't be worth it). But we had a good time hearing them again as it was the first time we'd played together in well over a year.

We commandeered the women's restroom as it was A: larger; B: had more mirrors/counters and; C: was closest to the stage, for our pre-show prep. One gal was very unhappy about that but we gleefully made our way to the stage, eager to play again after a hiatus of a couple months. We also were breaking out a couple new songs for the tour as well: Gas Comes Ripping and our version of Come Back.

Many of the folks that were there now crowded up to the stage to let their appreciation be known. One audience member appeared out of nowhere to frequently admonish us to, in his words, "Play some shit!" I offered that we played like shit and asked if that was close enough. He further motivated us to "play [his] jam, man!" I countered with, "As in peanut butter and jam? I like peanut butter and jam." And so forth. But he was definitely spirited and apparently only mildly annoying to the folks standing near him. The rest of the audience seemed to have a good time regardless, listening in for the altered lyrics and singing along to both the original lyrics as well as our ours. The people there were all very friendly and supportive even if the crowd number wasn't what we'd expected/hoped. It was still a good time, tho'.

Day Two and we were on our way to Chico, CA, to play at Monstro's Pizza. On the way down, just outside Yreka, the car with the trailer decided to throw some tread off of one of its tires. That meant Baloney and C.H.O.A.D.E. had to bide their time while Les Schwab got it fixed/replaced and got them on the road. Lousy. Foil and I were in a separate vehicle and were ahead of them when we got the call. The fellas from Stay Tuned were able to stop and lend them a hand, tho', so all was well.

When we arrived later that night at Monstro's, I wasn't quite sure what to think. A small place, nestled into a domestic neighborhood, in between a couple of apartment buildings. I was thinking maybe we'd made the long drive in vain. However, as I was chowing on some free pizza, Phil from Stay Tuned accidentally knocked the plate so it all dumped onto my chest. That had me laughing and instantly my mood improved.

Now, I feel bad 'cuz I can't exactly remember the name of the opening band that night but they'd only been together a month and just had that noisy energy and enthusiasm that overrides most anything else. It was pretty heart-warming, actually, and seemed to be pretty well received. They went on early (8pm-ish) since the show had to be done by midnight and there were 4 bands. But people began showing up for them and sticking around through the rest of the night. Stay Tuned came up next and had some issues with the PA monitors but got through it eventually. I helped out on vocals for The Jeffersons, too. That was a good time and it's always interesting to see how they'll go down with a punk crowd that probably was born after the majority of the theme songs they're covering were written.

They'd also worked out an arrangement of the Misfits' tune She, following along the lines of the original 7" version of that song, with Danzig on keyboards and no guitar. I sang it with them and they set it to Michael Jackson's Beat It, the resulting tune thus called She-It. I don't know if any recordings survived that night so it might've been a once-in-a-lifetime sorta thing. I enjoyed myself, anyway.

We again commandeered the joint's sole bathroom, right behind the stage area, for our prep time. Someone kept banging on the door but, as soon as we opened it, were very apologetic. You just gotta laugh and they eventually did as well. We went through an abbreviated version of the previous night's set list as we only had about :30 minutes. Now, I noticed, the place was fairly well packed as it seems many more folks came out to see us. So we let 'em have it, tearing into 20 Pies like no tomorrow. At the end of the song, tho', it was just quiet - no applause, no cheering, not much of anything. We were all worried for the briefest of moments but plowed ahead, determined to bring the goods. It was after the third or fourth song when the audience was then into it, sorta all-at-once, like, as one person later described it, "a hurricane just dropping into the place." That was freakin' awesome and it stayed that way through the remainder of the set and even after as folks sought pictures and autographs. What started off as questionable become severely likeable, with good fans, good folks running the place, and great folks running the show itself (part of the PyratePunx network).

I'm sure photos are to come so watch this space for more of that, too. Just wanted to give a big Misfats THANKS! to Carlos and the Chico chapter of Pyrate Punx for putting on a great show and helping us all have a good, safe time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Misfats Spring Tour '08

It's coming time for our annual outing wherein we descend upon some hapless locals many miles from our locals. This year, Southern Oregon and Northern California, it's your turn!

Yes, the Misfats are hitting the road for a whole 2-night tour! Huzzah! And, to show what nice guys we are, we're bringing the other best band in the NW, the mighty Stay Tuned! If you're within 5k miles of this tour you ain't gonna wanna miss out!

Friday, Apr. 11th, finds us at Johnny B's in Medford, OR.

Saturday, Apr. 12th, finds us at Monstro's Pizza in Chico, CA.

Come, see, and behold the feast of rawk.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Free show in June

mdc show flyer
Originally uploaded by ScrumpyFU
If you're in the Seattle-ish area you might wanna check out our next show up that way.

I have no idea how we ever land gigs. I really don't.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Plan B - more like Plan A! Wait...

Our new fave lil' area watering hole, Plan B, decided to put on a show. So we signed on with our buddies Shock Troops to play a Saturday night there. We honestly weren't expecting much, given that while we love the place it's pretty much empty most of the times we've been in there. But we like the owners and what they're trying to do so we thought we could support 'em. Turns out, so do many other people.

A little history's in order first, tho'. When I first found this place it was the White Eagle or White Horse or White Fish or something. Nice, quiet little neighborhood bar but the only place on the freakin' West Coast that served a real pork tenderloin sandwich. (If you're from, say, Missouri or Iowa, you know that this is and how glorious it can be.) They closed down/got bought out and Acme took its place. The smartest thing these owners did was to take over the parking lot and convert it into a massive outdoor seating and entertainment area. That really caused the place to take off. However, apart from moving the bar inconveniently into a perpendicular stance, they neglected the interior. With some ecletic drinks and horrid music selection it soon became a hipster haven, slow service notwithstanding. But that, too, just didn't last, and so entered Plan B last summer. After some extensive reworking inside (putting the bar back along the main wall, where it belonged) they opened as the local punk rock bar. Neato. But, boy, the hipsters sure didn't appreciate it. We were seated outside one fine September afternoon and a large group of giggling hipster mall chicks came in and took over a large center table. They looked at the menus in quizzical disgust - where was the paella or pesto-soaked whatever? What's a pepper-bacon-wrapped deep fried kosher dog? Do they really mean Cup O' Noodles on here? - and no one coming to help them they left after about 3 minutes. It was beautiful, a nice "cleansing image to the place.

Since patio weather's been on the outs here in Portland for a while, tho', the focus has shifted indoors and, typically, there's not many folks there - on weeknights. We didn't make it over for weekend fare but saw that they had bands periodically play, mostly metal and punk acts. Our guitarist Foil relocated and ended up a scant few blocks from the place so we started hanging there more and, inevitably, the proposal of playing there presented itself. We thought of it more perhaps as a charity opportunity, to support this business we enjoyed, to give it a fighting chance or something. Magnanimous of us, no?

Well, call us chagrined because the turnout to the show this past Saturday was downright astonishing. No stage, no storage area for gear, everybody pressed right in on top of everything - it's a fine combination for a night of loud, messy punk. We had at least 120 paying audience members (capacity there's rated at 140 or so) and you knew it - they were right up there with the bands. We like having that kind of instantaneous response, that instant energy/feedback. It just makes the shows that much more, ya' know?

Sure, there were no monitors and I couldn't hear myself so I sang so loud I don't have much of a voice here 3 days afterward. But so what? It was a blast. Shock Troops hit into their set and the response was great from the get-go. So much so that two particularly raucous attendees decided to start a fight and crash into Choad's drum kit, reducing among other things his stool to a 3-leg affair. They had a bit of a pit going on and that continued on during our set as well. I kept having to push folks about, just to keep them from crashing into the equipment. That was a new one for me but definitely welcome. Fighting a cold, I could then relinquish some control of the mic to up-front folks to share vocal duties. Granted, they usually just sang the original lyrics but I wasn't too concerned. It was too fun. The crowd numbers and response and support just blew us all away. We need to play there again, no question.

We're going a bit quiet for the next month or so, looking forward to probably a return in April. Stay watchful and stay fat!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Show this Saturday!

Misfats and Shock Troops
Sat., Jan. 12th
Plan B
1305 SE 8th St Portland, OR 97214

Yep, it's a bar but it's non-smoking. Only two bands so we'll probably go on around 11:30pm that night.

See you there!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ash St. - 12.29.07

It's always a good time for us at the Ash St. Saloon. This night, tho', we got blown off stage by one of the openers - joyously so.

Sunken Chest got the crowd started off right, pulling in those folks milling about with generic interest and getting 'em involved in the show proper. How can you not like a pirate band that covers "Breakin' the Law?"
Next up was Fist of Dishonor. Can't say enough good things about this band or their show. Amazingly entertaining, diverse, engaging, and captivating. The place was suddenly packed as soon as they began their set with two members up in the soundbooth area, casting a narrative spell over the crowd. We hadn't been able to backline due to the fact that these guys had laid down workout mats all over the stage and, soon into their set, we saw why. Martial arts, fire, acrobatics with a chick shooting a bow & arrow with her feet(!), choreographed fight scenes, and a bamboo pan flute w/ kazoo all combined in proper ninja rawk. We're definitely playing with these folks again. Oh, and they're all incredibly nice and self-deprecating, too, just like their rawk gods, The Misfats. HA!
Shock Troops kicked that energy into high gear, blasting through their Cock Sparrer tribute set and rarely letting off the gas. They had a great pit of fans going that was invaded by a couple drunk steakheads who just wanted to thrash about. They didn't last long against the true of heart, tho', thankfully.
So we took to the stage last and had a very respectable amount of audience remaining - hurray! That's kinda unusual for us when we "headline." And thanks to that crowd for being so into the show and yelling back alot and providing us all with some great energy. We - being fat and lazy - need all the energy we can steal/get.

It always amazes me that we rarely seem to have very many repeat fans in our audiences. Sure, there're some folks that come out to our shows often enough and they're a welcome sight. But it's the new faces, the people who haven't heard of us, locals who don't realize that we, too, are local. I know some local rags here in town don't much care for us but the ads are still out there, someplace, ya' know? Not that I'm knockin' folks - not at all! It's just refreshing to pretty much count on always having new faces out there to laugh at/with/near.

Thanks again to Heather and the Ash St. and everybody's support last Saturday!

New Year's Eve showtime

Thanks again A TON to the jubilant, helpful, supportive, wondrous staff and management at The Matador for having us - and for the majority of folks for sticking around to help us welcome in the New Year.

Crowded, sticky, smoky, drunk, and a helluva lotta fun. Just what NYE should be.

Here's some piccies: