Garage Band Memoirs, Chapter 1

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noiseradio
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Garage Band Memoirs, Chapter 1

Postby noiseradio » Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:24 am

They were called Love Kitchen, and they were better than us. They were better than anyone else on stage that night, better than anyone had a right to be for such a non-rock idea. The singer, if that’s the word, jerked and jittered around the stage like a facial tick, bellowing into his microphone that he had a fat mattress. Not just him, the whole band had fat mattresses. At a moment’s notice, he would lurch the band into a chorus of Sergeant Baker. “I said Right!” Thunka Thunk…Thunka “Left!” Thunka Thunk…Thunka. His voice an irritant, like David Byrne’s, or like David Byrne’s in a lower register on an off night, but you couldn’t shake it, didn’t really want to shake it. It was mesmerizing, like a car crash you just had to look at, even if the spectacle disturbed. He howled and ranted and shucked and jived in his pasty white boy frame. To his left, a slide trombone, the antithesis of a rock instrument, protested the funk. To the right, a stringy-haired bassist with Jazz chops and a Yes fetish. And a saxophonist who sometimes played the cymbal. One cymbal, the kind you would see at a symphony, the kind a marching band uses. The kind that is played against another cymbal. But this cat played just the one cymbal. And he held it like a shield in one hand with a kid’s plastic sword in the other, rhythmically raging against the singer, with his own cymbal and sword to complete the set. They were playing Mars, Bringer of War. The Holst piece--there’s no words and not much for the singer to do. So they brought war. Right after a Primus song, in the middle of a college battle of the bands. The drums and the piano in psychotic sync with one another. Duhduhduhduh Duh Duh Duhduhduh. Duhduhduhduh Duh Duh Duhduhduh. (Bohhhhhhm Bohhhhm Bohhhhhhm!) Crash! The whole anti-rock, guitarless ensemble so serious and so savagely funny.

My guitarist leans over and says “if we lose to these guys I quit.” He didn’t get it. He was a high school kid with early talent and narrow taste, for whom all things either “sucked” or were “badass.” Those were his only two categories, Badass and Suck. “That new Chili Peppers song is badass…’ “Rap sucks.” And that was that; rapid-fire verdicts pronounced, sentences passed, appeal denied. “They’re not even playing songs. They’re just…they….these guys suck. If they win, I quit” But he couldn’t see it; they were better than us. We had finely crafted melodies and clever wordsmithery touching on the universal themes of love angst and cynicism. They were musical Dada, hummable chaos, a driveby orchestra on a polyphonic spree. And you could dance to it. We never stood a chance.

But then this was Abilene and neither did Love Kitchen. We all lost. To the Country Bumpkins, who played Van Halen and The Black Crowes and who knows what godawful else. Kansas, almost certainly. And that really was what they called themselves. On purpose. A couple years later, they shortened it to just The Bumpkins. They won that year, too, with a Bryan Adams cover. Bastards. Love Kitchen was already gone by then, a brief and beautiful experiment in the bizarre. Just one more should-have-been that wasn’t. But that night was theirs, and trophy or no, everyone but the Bumpkins, the judges, and my guitarist knew it. It was the only time I was ever proud to lose to anyone. But their loss was a crime and hurt like six hornets. It remains one of the most heinous chapters in the ever-growing book of rock’n’roll swindles.
Last edited by noiseradio on Sun Aug 24, 2003 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--William Shakespeare

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Gillibeanz
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Postby Gillibeanz » Sun Aug 24, 2003 4:53 pm

A very nicely written piece Noise! I enjoyed reading it vey much. :D
COME ON YOU SPURS!!

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Sun Aug 24, 2003 5:10 pm

Thanks. It might be part of something bigger. I don't know yet.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--William Shakespeare

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:41 am

kerouac-esque.
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Mon Aug 25, 2003 8:42 am

That's high praise. Thanks.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--William Shakespeare

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sulkygirl
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Postby sulkygirl » Fri Aug 29, 2003 2:36 am

Ouch.

Not even a musician, but, for some strange reason, it makes my stomach clench & my teeth grind...

Short story or novel, Noise?
"Love can be stranger than fiction..."

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:05 pm

I don't know yet. I think it's the seed of a chapter in a novel. But, having never written a novel, I can't quite say. Whatever it will be, it will be pursued.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--William Shakespeare

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LessThanZero
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Postby LessThanZero » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:22 pm

Noise, here, you can use my seed too....don't take that the wrong way anybody...Rope! :lol:



"I was helping a friend move out of his townhouse one beautiful morning. Amazingly beautiful, as moving weather is usually nasty. After a relatively quick two hours of hauling, I was on my way home, when I saw a road I'd never been down before.

I turned down the street and found myself driving into a higher caste. An elite community with giant houses and little, green-grassed yards. Money was growing on recently replanted trees, and my rusty Ford LTD was driving in the wrong place, let alone the wrong decade.

As I drove through the glass and brick expanses of privilege, I knew they knew. I knew by the look he gave me as he pulled his golf clubs out of the SUV. They knew I was a phony. A tarry. A trespasser.

As God forgave my trespasses, I found the nearest cul-de-sac, tucked my exhaust pipe between my rear wheels, and slowly crept away from the closely placed castles. Within seconds, I was back driving down Reality."
Loving this board since before When I Was Cruel.


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