Until I receive a reply from Clemson’s own Wussppig (brick through window optional,) hopefully in english (although Croatian can be translated here by experts), my review will stand. Actually, on second examination, they could spread their fraud to such centres of culture as Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Newry, South Carolina. The mill employees there are probably dying from Wussppig-depravity. So goes the Palmetto State.
As for Athens news flashes, there is a new band to mention: this time out, they went by the monicker of The Gift Of Soup. Quite a gift they gave: Paul “i’m Too Hip For Okra” Thomas and Beth “Quantum Leap Sideways” and a drumkit and a violin (WAS it tuned beforehand?) and tapes and there’s a BAND! Actually, I hope we see, especially with the demises of the Limbo District years ago and the Bar-B-Q Killers and Damage Report lo these recent days, a trend toward performance art. Athens is STARVED for Something New, and I anxiously await it, accompanied by the masses, their tin alms cups empty, their ears and souls ready.
What a nice lead-in. This time I originally started to talk about non-traditional instrumentation in bands and how IMPORTANT and NECESSARY it is, ’cause ANYONE can master a tradtional instrument if they try for a long enough time. What our thirsty ears need is new sounds, such as Mamie Fike’s violin (long Low Rumble); the stompboard and beanpod and rainstick that the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies use; the sheet metal and 50-gallon drums of Die Monster Die; the films and welding (if, by intention, they can be instruments) of Damage Report; and the violin in The Gift Of Soup, (if, indeed, it can be called an instrument in that case and not merely a prop), I lament the passing of the Limbo Distrcit with its incredibly decrepit Acetone organ (which more often than not sounded like an emphysema patient in a V.A. hospital) and its roto-toms. Fortunately the tradition of non-traditional instrumentation is being kept alive by the Labrea Stompers, who use (with great success) an impossibly battered mailbox as a drum, negating the necessity for other percussion. To all of y’all, thanks from me for being a bit different.
Now, when my dream of George Norman and Moria Nelligan playing with a hardcore band (I shouldn’t ‘a eaten that wrap with extra hot sauce and ‘shrooms right before bedtime, should I?) comes true, I’ll be satisfied: just imagine a cross of Put The Strange Damsel To Work with Porn Orchard! Bagpipes meet drone guitars!! Well, it’s worth a thought… I really did have such a dream about a year ago… and, it didn’t sound at all like the Pogues, thank you.
Speaking of dreams, I had this dream a few nights ago about the supposed Fifth Anniversary of the Uptown Lounge. Bryan “i’m A Busy Man” Cook was doing the booking… He and I were talking. “yeah, everybody’s gonna want a ticket to THIS,” he told me. “who’ve you got?” I asked. “The Chickasaw Mudd Puppies, except they’re gonna do this show in blackface under the name CoCo Coquettes. And they’re just the opening act,” he filled me in like a vacant lot, being prepared for construction.
“Who’re the headliners?” I asked with some necessary trepidation. “you won’t believe this. I got them for $250 because it was a Tuesday and they were doing Atlanta the previous night,” Bryan munched. “But WHO could it be?” I insisted hungrily. “The Mills Brothers,” he revealed like a bride on her wedding night, slyly, one curve at a time. “you mean the ones who did ‘Glow, Little Glow Worm, Glimmer, Glimmer?’ and ‘Yellow Bird, Up High In The ‘Nanna’ Tree?’ and ‘Traffic’s Getting Heavy On The Jimtown Road?’ Not to mention their OTHER hits?” I caterwauled, trying my best from seeing Bryan and the Uptown from losing their proverbial shirts, not to mention what they’d stand to lose if only a couple letters of “shirts” were left out. “Yeah, that’s the ones,” he countermands. “Their record label’s slogan says it all for them: ‘If it’s on DOT, it’s HOT.” I groaned, oblivious to the fact that it was a dream. Well, to allay your fears, Bryan himself and Kyle and several other people have assured me that it was only a dream. No more extra hot peppers and/or ‘shrooms late at night, folks.
On to other things, briefly for once. Please don’t put your posters over other ACTIVE posters, especially for the same night you play. I’ll be forced to take them down and file them in my archive for future generations to marvel over instead of their continuing to be functional out where they belong. Please, I beg of you: try to be considerate.
Also, I think it’s worthy of mention here that Jimmy “J. Eddy” Ellison has been gone from our ranks for five years as of February 24th. For the unknowing, he was the bass player for the Side Effects (the quintessential slap-happy Athens, circa 1980 party band, whose EP is still available, but does not do them justice), not to mention his work in Group 3 and other aggregations, his writing, and his general pat-on-the-shoulder-come-on-I-know-you’re-capable-of-better-than-this style of musical criticism that appeared in Athens’ daily newspapers once a week; and the RED & BLACK, before that.
Just as George Melies was credited with being the first filmaker (circa 1902) to have an imagination of any kind that cinema could and would eventually become, Jimmy foresaw the great success Athens music would have anyone else did and wrote about it as an insider with incredible foresight and wisdom. I miss him terribly, and so do a legion of others. Five years gone and still not forgotten: he sure could’a done worse… I only wish he’d lived long enough to enjoy Edie Brickell and New Bohemians “What I AM,” which is an anthem for future generation if I’ve ever heard one. Do not take it lightly just because it’s a hit.
Okay, I’ve surprised myself and said it all in three pages typewritten. At this point I have to thank my friend Melissa for her gift of brevity… Without my knowing her, this column could have run six pages. And, without Joe Eddie, it would have said much less. Hugs to you both. See you next issue.
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