March 24th, 2002


The over 30 punk club

I went to see my favorite band play at a hipster bar the other night. I had never gone to the Odeon before. Mostly it brings back painful memories because it is across the street from my cheap but untalented dentist's office and I used to stare at the bar as I waited for the bus to take me home. Of course, it was called the Brick Hut then, and had a very different clientele, but I still associate it with numbness, unaware drooling, and the violation that is dental work.

But Feelings on a Grid* was playing "Revenge of the B-Sides", an '80s club (yes, we're that old), and I felt like it was time to give it a try. Inauspiciously, when 2nd Biggest Fan and I (I'm #3 for those keeping track) arrived they tried to charge us $5 even though the flyer said free before 10 PM. It was an unusual crowd for FOAG, not many of the usuals were there, instead the bar was filled with well-dressed, jaded-looking, hipsters.

But FOAG rose to the occasion. Dressed in matching Boogaloos outfits (bee costumes with wings and antenna) they actually played new songs, added a cover of "Calling All Boys" by the Flirts, and an inspired version of my favorite song "Sonoma" which included a cover of Hazel O'Connor's "Big Brother" (from the "Breaking Glass" soundtrack) in the middle of the call and response section.

And never ones to miss a chance to confront an audience, DM Feelings initiated a discussion of the club itself at one point, "This is cool. An '80s club. Cool. Remember the '80s? That was great. Remember Reagan? Yeah, that was great. . ."

I ran into a member of my other favorite band (The Quails). We'd never officially met, but we started talking about how nice it is to be mid-30's punks. That nasty scenester-punk attitude just isn't there anymore for us. At both FOAG and Quails shows, the bands, while political and serious about their music, make the shows friendly, fun, and unpretentious. I've never found it so easy to meet other people than at their shows. You can just go up to people and say, "Hey, I've seen you around. What's your name." awww.

*For anyone who attended the big party J and threw in the Mendocino Woods 3 years ago, FOAG is made up of DM Feelings, who did a (gonged) duet of "I Got You Babe" with Tamara, and Le Grid, who lead the Citronella Parrot Midnight Hike.

In other post-30 punk news. . .

It was a busy day at Rainbow yesterday. The customer mood was prickly and annoyed. It's like that sometimes when it's about to start storming, I think. Everyone's trying to get home before the rain starts, everyone's in a hurry and bothered by the crowds.

While showing someone where the frozen lima beans were supposed to be (we were out of stock), I passed by Jello Biafra* and a friend he ran into while shopping.

Jello: It's really crowded in here today.
Jello's Friend: Yeah, I just wanted to get a few things but it's going to take me 45 minutes to get through that line.**
Jello: Well, there's always shoplifting. . .

* Jello never buys cheese, but he does enjoy the Italian crostini crackers we sell in the cheese department.

** Jello's friend was exaggerating.