Great, great times.
Great, great times.
So I left the pit to the 'kids' for that one. Of course, attending the show with a 'high maintenance' date who would never in a million years come anywhere near a pit made this an easy decision, and this 'mature adult,' for one, had a great time, enjoying the bands despite my relative distance from the action.
That premature burst of curmudgeonly 'wisdom' passed, assisted by the eventual departure of said 'high maintenance' girlfriend, and I've found myself in a respectable number of pits and dancefloors in the ensuing NINE years.
I thought I was old then, at 20!
So it was good to be back at the Troc for a Souls show, and the addition of somewhat recently reformed Lifetime (who I last caught 'from the pit' of the Church about two years ago for an absolutely amazing 7" release show) made purchasing a ticket all the more justifiable.
Over the past few years, that sense of being an increasingly 'elder statesman' of the scene has increased sharply, especially with the generally increasing rise of the population of 11-16 year olds interested in the scene (a wonderful development). But on this night, the crowd seemed populated by folks mainly of the 18-35 demographic, so I at least didn't have to feel like I better run to the balconey bar, lest I be ripped to shreds by the 'we are/we drink young blood' crowd. Nonetheless, my wife and I made our way to the balconey bar, content to watch the show perched atop the 'wild' crowd, since, for all intents and purposes, we really are old now. Gone are the days of naive reservations of age, replaced with genuine reservations.
The show opened with an acoustic performance from Avail's Tim Barry, who rocked the enthusiastic crowd with a smattering of spirituals, blues folk trips, and Avail classics. When, during his final song, a string on his guitar broke, Mr. Barry quickly grabbed a new git box, hopped down into the crowd, made his way to the center of the room, and finished the song surrounded by an impromtu choir of punked out enthusiasts. It was one of those classic moments where audience and musician merge with and become experience, and it looked and sounded great from above.
Lifetime followed with a typical Lifetime set, by which I mean to assert was: awesome, energetic, on point, full of all the classics, and spectacularly Dan Yemin-fied. That guy can really get down with a guitar and with a crowd. Ari and the rest were groovin hard throughout as well, and just sitting and watching their intensity was enough to cause me and most of the rest of the balconey to break a sweat. It gets hot in there!
The Bouncing Souls played in France. They played in California (where Karl once classically got into the show with the help of Kate-is-Great), New Jersey, everywhere else in the world and universe, and the Trocadero Theatre. I don't know who holds the record for most shows held @ the Troc, but the Souls MUST be in the top ten. They play there sooo often, and they have never disappointed when I have been in attendance. I don't think they disappoint too often.
But over 20 years (20 years!) the Bouncing Souls have managed to keep it up in the grandest of fashions, with record after record of solid 'manthems' and soulful punk ballads unparalleled in the scene. When you see them live, they invariably cull from their vast repertoire of crowd pleasers, to put together a set that gets the kids dancing, and the shlubs in the balconey up off their feet, and (perhaps, even) down to the dancefloor.
Such was the case for my wife and I. Despite our pre arranged decision to 'sit this one out' it only took a few seconds into their second song, 'East Coast! Fuck You!' before my wife took my hand and said 'let's get down there.' I am down. (As a quick aside, this act alone highlights why I am lucky and smart to have married my wife, as opposed to previous, higher maintenance options ;)
Literally seconds later, we are making our way through the pit, right to the center of the action. We made our way in and out of the pit as the night progressed, dictated (for me) by how long I could go before fearing an imminent heart attack, and returning to the action once this sense had subsided. We enjoyed, from front and center, such classics as Neurotic, These are the Quotes/I like your mom/Joe Lies, Cracked, Kate, Sing Along Forever, Sarah Saturday, Quick Check Girl, Moon Over Asbury, and many more.
I think in the 13 years that I have been seeing the Bouncing Souls, they have aged far less than I have. If Greg's hairline has receded even 1/8 of an inch, I'd be surprised. Brian & the Pete look much exactly the same, if only slightly bulkier in Bryan's case, and slightly more haggard in Pete's case. But they ALL look great, and Michael McDermott keeps them in line like a drill seargant, drilling away at the band and the crowd.
The two song encore ended with one of my favorites: Gone, and I quickly made my way back to the center of the action for one last groove.
The volumes of sweat that I squeezed from my shirt as I walked shirtless down the streets of Chinatown nearly made my wife sick, but was a testament to all the truths laid bare by the events of the previous hours. We are getting old: out of shape, beat up, hardened and heartened. Time flies, whether you are having fun or not, so we might as well have fun. And maybe, even, some golden things can stay.
I am NOT surprised to learn that I am an annoying facebooker, but I am somewhat surprised that I did not qualify for more of the obnoxious categories.
I am not, for instance, a "paparrazzo" or a TMIer, and certainly not a bad grammarian. I'm not a crank, or, generally, a lurker. I don't do much town-crying or sympathy baiting. However, I very much am a:
Are you coming to the Man without Plan show on Saturday??? You should be, of course. And that is why I do it: for my love of you. Sure, I want you to know what I am up to artistically... but honestly, why else are we on here, other than to "keep in touch," "touch base," and remind you about every single show my band ever plays????
This is pretty accurate, I admit. But again, why are we on here, if not to post the quippiest of quips as they beam from the netherworld into our brains, and out then, to the masses? Yes, Billy: we are all trying, in vain, to avoid our fates....
For better or worse, in real life, I hear this, a lot: "your facebook updates.... they are ..... interesting." To which, I say: you should see the crap I put on twitter!
Friend padder: I can't really fight this charge, although I will justify it. I have three types of people I generally add: 1.) absurd celebrities. Some are fake, some are real... this is done to satisfy my curious thirsts for celebrity AND absurdity. Not to mention, it JUST MAKES SENSE to keep Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Johnny Depp in the loop when it comes to the general goings on in Headies & Madison Underground Press - world. No?
2.) Real friends: If we have ever been friends, in that we spoke often, joked around, exchanged playful banter, used to date, worked together, played music together, had classes together, or were ever on a team together, I'm going to add you. If I used to be your camp counselor, or if I've poured you beers or drinks with any consistency, and I come across your online presence, you'll likely be added to. Sure, this is a broad, broad degree of "real" friends, but in the end, I would classify it in that if we recognized each other on the street, we would gladly engage in pleasantries, if nothing else.
3.) Folks I sorta know: This is probably the smallest category I pull from, but sometimes, if you have like 36 mutual friends with someone, and have seen them at shows for years, then what's the harm in a little online connectivity? I usually, though not always, refrain from adding people I have never spoken to, though sometimes once is enough. This is separate from the "real friends" categories for obvious reasons, but I draw the line between them at the point in which I (or they) would not stop on the street to exchange pleasantries, generally. This has happened to me twice recently, where I've seen someone in passing who is my "facebook friend" and they walked right on by, either unaware that I was the one who they so eagerly accepted a friend request from on that cold winter evening, or well aware of the fact, and attempting, successfully, to avoid that crazy asshole.
Of my 835 "friends" I would say that a good deal, maybe 600, fall into the broadly defined "real friends" category, with the rest being just good folks to whom it seems like a wise idea to stay connected.
So forgive my facebook obnoxiousness. I don't try to get you to fill out quizzes, or join my gang of violent virtual thugs, so how bad could I be, really?
You are coming to the show on Saturday though, right???
Time to update my status!
copied & pasted directly from the Simpsons 'wiki' page.
Uncredited writer of "Do the Bartman"????? Come on!
Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was a singer who guest starred on The Simpsons in the episode "Stark Raving Dad". He performed the speaking voice of Leon Kompowsky under the pseudonym John Jay Smith. Jackson was a fan of the show, and called Matt Groening one night and offered to do a guest spot. The idea for the episode was pitched by James L. Brooks and the script was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss. In an early version of script, Homer decided to take Barney Gumble in for rehab, but whilst there Homer began acting crazily so the doctors assumed he was the one to be committed. Jackson pitched several story ideas for the episode, including Bart telling everyone in town that Michael Jackson was coming to his house. He also requested several script changes, including that he wanted to have a scene in which he and Bart wrote a song and asked that a joke about Prince be changed to one about Elvis Presley.
Jackson especially liked Bart and wanted to give him a number one single, so he wrote much of the song "Do the Bartman" although he did not receive credit for it. Jackson also wrote the song "Happy Birthday Lisa" for the episode, which was later included in the album Songs in the Key of Springfield.
One of Michael Jackson's conditions for guest starring was that he voiced himself, but a sound-alike would receive credit. While he recorded the voice work for the character, all of his singing was performed by Kipp Lennon, because Jackson wanted to play a joke on his brothers and fool them into thinking the impersonator was him. Michael Jackson's lines were recorded at a second session by Brooks. Jackson showed up for the recording session alone and did not use the special trailer that was set up for him. Lennon and Jackson recorded their parts at the same time, and Jackson found Lennon's impersonations hilarious. Jackson actually did record versions of the songs, and while there have been rumors that those tracks were the ones used in the final episode, Simpsons music editor Chris Ledesma says the Lennon versions were used. Leon Kompowsky's normal speaking voice was recorded by Hank Azaria.
The producers of the show were legally prevented from confirming Jackson guest starred at the time, although many media sources assumed it was really him. After this episode the producers decided that if a celebrity wished to guest star on the show, they had to be willing to be credited under their real name and not a pseudonym.
Baseball Fantasy Camp with Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins - watch more funny videos