Nerds of the road, with no regretsWritten by Keith Bergman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I didn’t get to any shows last weekend — not even to the debauched Houston Bernard gig I was looking forward to. My band, PB Army, played in Muncie, Indiana on Friday. And thanks to an ill-advised attempt to keep up with the hard-partying Maryland band King Valley, Saturday was shot. By the time we limped into Toledo at 9 p.m., all I could handle was a shower and bed.
Name a rock and roll stereotype, and King Valley has lived it. Wanton sex? Drug addiction? Prison time? Living in basements and mowing lawns between tours? All just a day at the office for these lifers. They’re great dudes, but faced with that serious a dedication to the rock and roll lifestyle, mortals like my bandmates and me look like lily-livered wusses. Are we doing something wrong? Are we poseurs?
We’re more likely to be late for soundcheck because we stopped at a thrift store to look for weird old records than because we had to lay in a stock of hallucinogens for the evening. We’re the ones pulling the dusty Atari system out from under the sofa at our hosts’ after-show crash pad while other bands are cutting lines of coke on the coffee table.
But you know what? We have a blast on the road. We bring home weird books and records and board games we found at backwater yard sales 1,000 miles from home. We eat in country diners where our presence makes the regulars whisper. And debauchery or no, we live for that stage time, just like everyone else. Neither approach is “right” (although ours may be more lawful) — the point is to get out and do it your way, and wring every drop of life out of it.
Get off the couch
Speaking of King Valley, they bring their earthy bong-rock to Mickey Finn’s Wednesday, supporting Fate of Apollo and hard-touring instrumental jammers Delicious. This show’s the best excuse in months to call off Thursday.
Conflict of interest alert: my band’s playing Thursday (see page 25). I’ll just say here that the bill is stacked with incredible locals (Evolotto, The Highgears) and two touring bands any rock fan should move mountains to go see, Raging Slab and Solace. You won’t see these two bands in Toledo again any time soon.
Friday, there’s metal at the Underground, blues at Mickey Finn’s, and some local hard rock at the Underground.
Saturday, catch up on your local metal acts at Headliners. The talented OnceOver headline, with support from Thought Hideous, Genocya, Trigger Point and Sound of Urchin. Go early, stay late, and bring your moshing shoes.
Still standing Sunday? The Underground has an indie-rock who’s who, including Thunderbirds Are Now, Stylex, Clive Staples, Drive!, and Ghost Writer. You’re off Monday — why not?