Hellblinki Sextet Rock My Lame Ass

Oh, Nashville. We can’t have goth night without winding up with a room full of giant chain pants, but if a show is on a Thursday and tornadoes are in the forecast, attendance sucks. Fine, the show was on short notice and, if I had a more Lohanian social calendar, I wouldn’t have made it either. Then again, half the people on my social calendar would have wanted to go to the show and the other half would have been totally cool with me flaking on plans with no more reason than “dude, top hats.”

“Amy, haven’t you been bitching about work hours being cut? Why were YOU going to a SHOW anyway?”

Consult the memento mori ribbon on my wrist. Life is short. Sometimes, you have to eat ramen for a week so you can not sit at home watching So You Think You Can Dance. Besides, the cover was only five bucks. If a bunch of people can drag their asses to Nashville for a last-minute show in a tornado, by God, I can take a shower and slap some makeup on my pasty flesh.

What did most of you you miss? A typically energetic set from everybody’s favorite band of accordion-toting, cymbal-with fist-playing, sideburn-having miscreants. I just like saying miscreants; Hellblinki are actually good kids, but don’t go telling anybody. Reputations, you know.

Since I felt kind of bad for the poor turnout and my own lack of ability to buy merch, I wanted to make up for it by offering up my place as a crash venue. It’s kind of like when you’re the oldest kid in your class Sophomore year; it’s your job to pick up your friends so they don’t have to ride the bus with the freshmen. So it is with crashing space. Now that Company doesn’t have to sleep in my kitchen, I’m able to say to friends, “hey, if you come to town, I have space…just don’t let the cat out.” Besides, people my own age are much more low maintenance than certain older, “gave birth to me” people I could name. When mom comes to my house, she just stares at my array of coffee mugs and points out that there are no glasses to drink from. Being bourgeois is a continuum; compared to mom, I’m punk rock. Compared to my friends, I’m Mariah Carey. How do you expect me to put on my shoes standing up? I need a settee!! Also, people who drive around in a van are usually too tired or polite to ask why the fuck you keep canned goods in your fridge (old habits), why there’s a tripod set up in your bedroom (shooting blogs, not porn) or why there’s a dismantled wire hanger on your bathroom floor (see “Widowmaker: The Horror”).

Rambling must stop.

Hellblinki will be at Dragon Con; say hi and buy some merch, for God’s sake.

(Sidebar: did you know there’s a “Juggalo Convention” every year? Somebody pay for me to go so I can write about it. Nothing says “comedic potential” quite like a hotel lobby filled with Insane Clown Posse enthusiasts.)

(Sidebar 2: After getting badgered about it, Andrew Hellblinki apparently set up a Twitter account, but it never really took off because, as he says “I do not text.” I cannot wrap my head around such a concept. It’s like when a friend in high school told me that he’d never eaten fish. “What do you do? TALK to people? WTF?!”)

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Walking (in mud) In Memphis

Pete Wentz has been joking on Twitter that Fall Out Boy’s current tour is cursed. Sickness, people getting hurt, bad weather conditions, dead bodies falling from the rigging…you know the drill. OK, maybe I made up that thing about the dead bodies.

I bought my ticket to the Beale St Music Festival back in March, excited to finally see FOB play, willing to make the drive to Memphis, and secretly glad that the openers I would witness would be Three 6 Mafia and Snoop Dogg instead of All Time Low, Cobra Starship and Hey Monday. I was so busy thanking the concert gods that the show wasn’t in the “please kill me” heat of July that I didn’t realize that the concert was in the monsoon season of May. “So, I’ll get rained on. Big deal. I’ll just wear clothes that will dry quickly.”

Wrong.

FOB were set to play on Sunday. It had been raining for three days. Whatever notion of grass there had once been was gone, long gone, under the feet of thousands of people. What had been “wow, it’s kind of muddy” on Friday became “ankle deep, lose your shoes” by Sunday.

All of the port-a-potties that had been set up on the right side of the park had been long abandoned by anyone wearing shoes, so the lines at the port-a-potties on the left side were twice as long, turning the walkways into pedestrian parking lots. Ditto the food stands. A trip to buy a 5 dollar slice of pizza was more of a fool’s mission that required 20 minutes of negotiating through hordes of wet, poncho-clad seething humanity.

Never mind that the port-a-potties were alternating with said food stands. 20 feet of toilets, 20 feed of food, and so on. The olfactory result was a generalized potpourri of urine, fried pork products, and elephants (the mud). The port-a-potty company provided a small bay of port-a-sinks, but they were completely unused, save for the people using the sinks to WASH THEIR FEET.

Yes, some people had given up entirely on the whole “wearing shoes in public” thing. I don’t know whether to applaud their practicality or be horrified and their apparent lack of concern for glass, nails, and whatever bacteria were living in the mud. I don’t know about you, but if there’s a port-a-potty even visible, I feel like I need a hazmat suit made of Purell-lubricated condoms.

It’s over-dramatic to compare this to some kind of Mad Maxian apocalypse, but stay with me. As the day wore on, these seething, stinking, portly, dripping, leg-of-something-eating masses of 311, Hinder, and Snoop Dogg fans…GOT DRUNK.

I don’t know how many Hinder fans you know, I don’t know WHO is still listening to 311 (people with time machines who have come from 1997?), but I know this: these are not people you want to have invading your personal space. Emo kids, I can handle. We’re musical cousins, I can beat the crap out of them, and they’re just so damned pitiful when they’re sopping wet. Not Hinder fans. I can’t fathom that life choice. On the “Amy is bewildered by this behavior” scale, they fall between people who are homophobic and people who think the Holocaust didn’t happen. (Note: there’s probably a lot of overlap between the three groups.)

After leaving the relative safety of the baby-boomer-filled Blues Tent, I ventured down the long, muddy path, determined to suck it up and get something to drink and use the bathroom. Yes, I would pay 4 dollars for a 12-ounce lemonade. I would drink it and try not to think about how it was prepared next to a port-a-potty. Maybe I’d get crazy and EAT something too. Yes, I would stand in a line in the middle of a crowded walkway with the hope of eventually getting to urinate into an over-sized Rubbermaid container. Because these things, they tell me, are how it goes when you want to rock.

Somewhere in the middle of the 30-minute trek to cover 100 feet, I began to ask myself “what would have to happen when FOB take the stage 3 hours from now to make this whole thing worth it? What would make this fun?” My answer:

“Prince would show up, give me a post-show bubble bath, and promise me that I’d never have to do this again.”

This seemed a little unlikely.

When I finally peed and got a drink, I did so at a gas station outside of Memphis. By the time FOB were done with their set, I was almost home. The 3-hour drive took 4.5 hours because of heavy rain and standing water, so I ended up being very glad I wasn’t making said drive three hours later. Was this a lot of time and money for nothing? On the surface, yes, but I think a valuable lesson was learned. Actually more than one:

1. Festival shows result in the mingling of social groups that were never meant to mingle (i.e. me and anyone who enjoys “Lips of an Angel”)

2. No more outdoor shows, unless said show involves Prince.

3. Wet naps and Purell are as important as sunblock. Well, almost.

4. Sturgis boots ARE waterproof to the ankle and worth every penny.

5. In certain circumstances, I am capable of murder. (Note: I’m pretty sure the judge would let me off on the “311 defense.”)

Mother Father and Entertainment Rock My Lame Ass

I am of the belief that flyers Louisville Goth functions should include the following disclaimer:

“We have many hot deathrock boys, but they’re all gay. Don’t bother coming, unless you find yourself inexplicably drawn to the fat guy who dresses like a pirate.”

You see, there are several very scrany, very hot, and (naturally) very well-coiffed deathrock boys from Louisville. However, if you go to one of their functions with some weird intent to meet and take home one of the aforementioned hot deathrock boys, you should save yourself the gas money. The straight dudes of Louisville Goth are, sadly, much like the straight goth dudes everywhere else: dressed like pirates, wearing kilts, or under the impression that it’s OK to wear a poet shirt in public. They all need stylists. That said, let’s talk about music.

Mother Father’s opener, Entertainment, was OK. It must be very hard to bring something new to a goth genre that’s about 30 years old, and Entertainment are only halfway there. To keep my attention as a deathrock band, it’s not good enough to be OK. You have to do something to make yourself special, and Entertainment didn’t quite reach the (admittedly high) standards. Were they a decent way to spend 45 minutes? Yes. Do I feel the need to buy the CD? Not so much.

Mother Father, however, make an impression. They start that first song and, if it were a handshake, you’d say that your hand stayed shook (if I may reference Hank Hill). The drummer who seemed to be a tad random (“who let Zack Morris in the band?”) makes the reason for his presence clear. It’s hard to find a drummer, harder to hold ONTO a drummer, and triple hard to find a GOOD drummer. Thus, we can overlook a little thing like resembling Zack Morris. True, after 6 or 7 seven songs, my mind started to wander, but the fact that I stayed in a hot bar, sweating balls, to listen to the whole set when I was tired should say something. It was totally worth the five bucks.

And did I mention the deathrock eye candy?
I’m a pig.