Having been M.I.A. for the better part of the last three months, going to a party that made my head feel like an Ice-cold Polish ham the next morning was, oddly, just what I needed. The 2003 MB fundraiser held at “Whiskey In The Jar” in Hamtramck on Labor Day was an off - the - hook success! Click “Read More” for Mitch's sordid play by play - what little he remembers, anyway. |
Mitch Returns: Welcome Back You MB Hack!
Although the MB fundraiser reportedly started around noon, Napoleon K and I arrived fashionably late (i.e. like, nine-ish. Ok, so we were really, really late) to a packed shack of beer-swilling, drink-spilling, hand-pumping local music fans (It’s so good to be home!). We were greeted at the door by IBmonkey (Jon Moody) of Immigrant Blue fame whose eight-song debut is currently setting ears ablaze. Unfortunately, we’d just missed his solo performance of his own favorites including a cover of a Super Model-T song! Now that’s the kind of intra-scene love that’s made MB such a huge success.
Inside, the lovely Fish (formerly of LeJive Cafe employ) was dutifully hocking merchandise of all sorts, including these itsy, bitsy, teeny-weeny MB logo buttons that, I’m told, are becoming quite popular. I checked with our lawyers and they said they won’t sue for trademark infringement if I can get her to drink too much Czech Rebel beer, show K and I all of her tattoos (including the unfinished tribal one under her left bra strap), accost wary patrons for money at the door and hula-hoop very badly while laughing hysterically on the entry sidewalk. I’m happy to report the above tasks were all completed with much merriment. So go spread the love, Mel - one button at a time! Ouch, I think I strained my hula-muscle.
Venue Inspector’s Report: Nice Shrubbery.
Webmaster Rick and his driver, er - I mean, bassist, Roni Collins were already inside dipping into the Whiskey Jar by the time K and I arrived. Roni’s currently working on a new project on Michigan’s left-coast with friends and family while Rick holds down the fort at MB (Did I thank you fa-lettin’ me take a much-needed break, Rick? Well, thanks, I needed that). Oh, and for the record, if anyone is wondering what the webmaster was doing sitting flat-assed, legs outstreched in the bushes in front of the bar, I’m told he moonlights as an O.V.I. (Official Venue Inspector).
“Yes sireee! That’s one stuuurdy foundation ya got on that there whiskey ja-harrrr.. and some fine shrub-ubbery too...*blllllurp* ...driver!, where’s my car”
Vega is a star in the constellation “Lyra”
(oh, and it’s a crappy little Chevy, too)
An unscheduled surprise performace by VEGA wowed the crowd as we settled-in to some serious drinking. The band has a unique and powerful sound that teeters somewhere between U2, The Clash, The Cure and I-don’t-know-who but it’s some good stuff. The performance was tight, energetic and, more importantly, sincere. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this Lansing/Flint/Owosso-area band. Listen to Vega on Mp3.com while your’e reading, why don’t ‘ya? Unfortunately, we missed an earlier performance by Vincent Vega (no relation, me thinks), but we did have the pleasure of meeting the lovely singer and MB regular Brittany Bockelman. Maybe next time, eh Brit?
All Hail The Goddess of Funk
I found out first-hand that the DJ Linda Lexy really and truly deserves the sobriquet “FunkGoddess” as she’s known on MB. I teased her with suggestions of esoteric Isley Brothers tunes (well, esoteric to white suburbanites, anyway) never really expecting to hear one. But moments later I nearly spilled my drink from the sudden spasms brought on by the "herky-jerky-white-guy-on-funk" dance. My God, was she was really playing “Fight The Power” for me? I was in bliss while the funkgoddess danced to and sang every vocal lick right along with me: “...and when I’m rollin’ the punches / I got knocked on the ground / by all this bullshit goin’ down / hey! / Time is truly wastin’” Sexy Lexy, I’m not worthy. Napoleon K didn’t join us in the funky-jerk but I think he might have a newfound fixation with Lexy’s dreamy midrift. Grrrr.
The Key To A Good Time
Broadzillians Killa Kimzilla and Rachael May were in the house with Dylan Dunbar of Long Black Sedan. Killa’ Kim had to suffer me slobbering questions in her ear while she teetered on the edge of unconsciousness. Sorry dear, I was a bit soaked myself. Having had enough of web-geeks and whiskey, Kim demanded her keys from Rachel and left the bar (nobody says ‘no’ to Killa’ Kim, so don’t even ask). But thanks to sly sisterly love and Dylan’s sleight of hand, Kim’s ignition key mysteriously disappeared from the ring. The result: a healthy, breathing killa’ bass player passed-out in the back seat of a mini-van parked in Hamtown. After all, the rock must keep rolling at any cost.
I know / It’s only Rock & Roll / but I like it.
Infamy, Fame & Notoriety
By the time I had a honest-to-goodness 7&7 buzz goin on (thanks to the liberal mixology of the infamous Amy Spencer of “Problem-Solver” fame.), Zero Recourse accosted the stage with a heavy dose of the hard-stuff. I followed suit with a couple more shots of Jeiger. Timing is everything, ya know.
To my surprise, Super Model-T’s famed guitarist, Jeff Halicki had joined ZR on bass (as he did with Vincent Vega earlier, I’m told). In fact, Jeff’s been spotted in the recent past jamming with numerous other bands too. As the legend goes, he’s even appeared in two venues on opposite sides of town simultaneously. Speculation on this bizarre gift for bi-location is that he’s perfected the art of accelerated human cloning to increase his odds of “making it” in the music business. Bandheads; they’ll do anything to hedge their bet!
It wasn’t until after several drinks had found their way to my bladder that I realized the path to the bathroom was totally blocked by the ZR’s stage set-up. Did I mention “Whiskey In The Jar” was, sma...I mean cozy? I had zero recourse (a’hem) but to storm through the band members between songs and return the liquor I’d borrowed.
After a healthy flush and then a hilarious game of “who can hula-hoop drunk” outside the entrance (turns out Detroit Kat gets the award for most effective hip-action), we were startled by the elevated lift on the back of Danny D’s mobile billboard (i.e. cube van with several triple-life-sized busts of Danny in various star-like poses. Very nice. Reminds me of Lemon James’ van except with Siegfried & Roy’s wardrobe). The once silent ‘promotional vehicle’, which had been parked strategically next to the bar’s entrance all night, had suddenly come to life. One by one, The D Man’s entourage emerged from the belly of the cube with drums, amps, and other musical props, as if they’d been waiting quietly inside that dark Trojan Horse all night just to make an entrance. It was good and kind of him to include MB in his Media Blitz. Danny D don’t fuck around. It’s all or nothing, baby. Someone said he sounds like Rod Stewart but he reminds me more of a bleach-bottle Eddie Mohoney. I wonder if anyone ever told him that without suffering some sudden, uncontrollable outburst of profanity? I guess we’ll find out. ; )
This is the end....
Sometime during Danny D’s set, the alcoholic tip-o-meter swooped into the red and it was time to sleep it off in the control room of K’s Farmington Hills studio (luckily, it comes with a hide-a-way bed). All in all, the 2003 MB fundraiser was probably one of the most memorable bar-parties I've ever had the pleasure of participating in and I'm glad nobody got arrested - at the bar anyway.
I'll never remember everyone I bumped into last night but I'd like to thank everyone mentioned above and also Wally (Tangent/Last), Tone (Last), Molly, The SubPopulous Crew, TKS Groupie, DCM’s Larry Garcia & Dawn and too many others to mention for showing up and giving us support. And I couldn’t possibly include all of the hijinks, so please include your stories in the comments below. I want to thank everybody who showed up, everybody who performed and everybody whose supported us over the last couple years. I'd especially like to thank FunkGoddess Linda Lexy for organizing the event, Webmaster Rick for keeping the lights on for me, Moody & Jeff for moderating on the boards and to my homeboy DistortionDave Kupczak for making sure I made it home safely. Much love.