Wednesday, September 29, 2010


What did Bob Mould do for an encore, after fronting The Greatest Band in Recorded Music History? He formed the best group of the nineties. Husker Du definitely would've continued in this outstanding abrasive-pop direction (Copper Blue took the reflective buzz of Warehouse... a few steps further), had the members not chosen to verbally bitch-slap one another (Actually, it had been Mould and drummer Grant Hart arguing -- Greg'd cooked in a neutral kitchen). Sugar's third and best release (File Under: Easy Listening) surprisingly had a lukewarm response from critics, for whatever bullshit reason. Guess they thought it was time to give Mould an in-print thrashing, after the man had received much praise in the past (Do music journalists have a "good review" quota or something?). FU:EL tanked sales-wise, causing many copies to burn holes in $1.99 cut-out bins. I've personally purchased a dozen or so over the years and doled them out to friends and relatives. Me likes Doolittle and Nevermind just fine, but you've gotta realize that without the Mouldster, there would've been no Black Francis or Kurdt Kobain to speak so highly of.

2)Bob Mould
Caught him on the Black Sheets Of Rain tour in '91 at The Boathouse (Norfolk, VA). Much more expressive on the solo gig than he'd later be in Sugar's set at this same venue. Even threw a couple of Husker acoustic-bones at his dawgs in the crowd ("Makes No Sense At All" made perfect sense unplugged!). "I Hate Alternative Rock" (from his self-titled, third solo effort) expressed Mould's feelings regarding the treatment he had received from the higher-up suits in the music biz ("The twentieth century/has not been particularly kind to me..."). Sad that a big push was made for a fuck like Edwin McCain (Meatloaf -- The Second Helping), yet a proven winner such as Bob was left on the outside looking in. The '90s solo statements, like Sugar, mixed the signature Mould guitar (copped by many, many axe-slingers) with some folksier elements, a la his Workbook from '89. In short, Bob has proven to possess every ounce the talent (and then some) of a Neil Young or Tom Petty, if not the name recognition.

Made the Lunachicks and Down By Law look like the rank amateurs they are, when headlining a triple-bill at Twister's in Richmond, VA (Oct. '99). All three of the Buzzcocks' full-lengths from the nineties (Trade Test Transmissions, All Set, and Modern) were excellent and contained many jewels that shined as brightly as any from past treasure chests: "Isolation," "Do It," "Totally From The Heart," "Without You," "Speed Of Life," "Choices"...all hooky and witty to the umpteenth power. Though All Set had been promoted by I.R.S. (a huge display/listening station for the album had been set up at Va. Beach's Planet Music), that imprint soon went belly-up, thereby forcing the band to align with Go-Kart Records (who didn't know what the hell to do with the 'Cocks). Embarrassing moment: When my bud jOhn A. (biggest Buzzcocks fan I know, by far) introduced me to Pete Shelley outside Twister's, I thought he was the band's manager. Only later would I discover I'd shaken hands with a legend. Damn, Pete -- Whaddup with the peroxide, man?

4)Jeff Dahl
Iggy Pop and Johnny Thunders rolled into one human being. Ultra Under, Wicked, and Bliss (the man's three best from the '90s) were first purchased by yours truly on cassette for 39 cents each at Camelot inside the goddamned Lynnhaven Mall. Later, I would buy them all on the rich man's 8-track tape. Dahl's records (in whatever format) are every bit the pleasure of In Too Much Too Soon or Funhouse. In fact, Dahl has done Iggy Pop better than Iggy Pop himself for quite some time. Won't catch him stumbling on Avenue B, that's for dang sure. Old enough to be your dad, but biting enough to be your dog. C'mon!

5)The Humpers
Positively Sick On 4th Street was the L.A.M.F. of the nineties. They recorded a bunch of other stuff, too. Not very friendly, but who cares? I don't like smiling either.

6-10)Fuck, man -- this is the nineties we're talkin' 'bout here. Dunno...Cosmic Psychos, The Halfways, Died Pretty, The Donnas, and The Fuses????? Or maybe Goo Goo Dolls, Jakkpot, The Candy Snatchers, The Zillionaires, and The Loudmouths????? Take yer fuckin' pick.....

Grizzly Man (Lions Gate, 2005)

The life and times of Dan Haggerty? Wrong dude, wrong decade. Had Kurt Cobain undergone detox, taken swimming lessons at the YMCA, and lived to the ripe old age of 46, he might've turned out like the loopy outdoorsman Timothy Treadwell. Uncomfortable in mainstream society, the subject spent his last thirteen summer vacations amongst grizzly bears in the wilds of Alaska. Besides escaping, Treadwell's reasons for doing so were to protect the animals and educate the public on the "misunderstood" creatures. Visits with youngsters and David Letterman proved informative and entertaining. In October 2003, after completing another successful expedition, Treadwell and an airline worker had a lengthy dispute over a ticket. His method for coping was a return to the sanctuary of the bears. Unfortunately, familiar friends such as "Mr. Chocolate" and "Wendy" had gone into hibernation and were replaced by nastier grizzles. One 28-year-old specimen, identified as "Bear 141," was later blamed for the horrific deaths of Treadwell and his girlfriend (who'd accompanied him on the last two trips). Events leading up to the naturalist's final hours form the basis of the documentary. Director Werner Herzog offers narration and personal insights, but the story is largely told via Treadwell's own lens. Even though restrictions state that a distance of 100 yards should be kept between him and the bears, the lawbreaker caresses their faces and bathes with them. Treadwell regards his unnatural environment as Utopian, until he sees the results of cannibalistic slaughter through a grizzly cub's skull. Male bears sometimes murder their young, so that lactating females can ready themselves for fornication once again. Unbalance also extends itself to Treadwell. During the midst of a drought, he recites a prayer to a "Hindu-Buddha floaty thing" in order to "MAKE IT FUCKING RAIN!" On the move, Treadwell laments his luck with the ladies, makes references to his sexual prowess, and comments how much easier life would be if he were gay. Later, he detonates dozens of F-bombs toward the accommodating park service, claiming that not enough is being done to shelter the bears from harm. When Herzog speaks with Treadwell's parents, we learn their child long ago changed his surname to its current handle for "entertainment purposes." Dad knows Timothy appeared on Love Connection and believes his son finished runner-up for the "Woody" role on Cheers. Treadwell was never the same after the turndown, according to the father. Damn you, Charles, Charles, and Burrows.

The Heavy Sleepers @ Starbucks Cafe - Shore Drive, Va. Beach, VA (7/27/02)

Only well-conditioned "athletes" like jOhn A. and myself should make a concerted effort to compete in the "Ironman." Having successfully finished a "swim/bike" event on a brisk evening in 1996 (strong kickers Milo Ackerman and friends with trailing doggy-paddlers Shades Apart and The Suicide Machines at Nawfuck's Riverview Theater, followed by primo pedal-pushers Big Bobby And The Nightcaps and The Halfways inside Vaaa Beeech's best answer to Cee Bee Gee Bee's - Route 44), I was mildly confident that my legs would have just enough limber for the closing 26.2 stage required by this Saturday night. With the registration forms filled out properly and los goggles fitted securely on our faces, jOhn and I dipped into not-so-choppy surf and waited for the starter gun's firing. Three shows, three venues, one night -- would our stamina be greeted with leis in the winner's circle...or would sudden exhaustion camp out in the oxygen tent? Only time from RK Chevrolet's oversized watch would tell...

Threatening skies early on suggested postponement, but with the number of entrants exceeding forty already in the ocean, organizers decided against sounding off a cancellation horn. One bleach-haired competitor, who had no doubt lapped enough miles to stroke from Sandbridge to South Africa, grabbed the lead with Kurdt Kobain-on-Em-Tee-Vee's-Unpluggedesque splashes refreshing to our swimmers ears. He took advantage. Why? Because he didn't hang us out to dry. Quickly taking charge of the race, however, were The Heavy Sleepers. By creating an unforeseen whirlpool of four twisting tunes which may turn up on their out-next-March full-length, The 'Sleepers had me planning my 2003 training schedule during the culmination of Oh-Two's. More familiar to my regimen were pleasing plunges such as "House on the Hill" (My halo was worn too low, but a bathing cap made sure that it didn't show), "Mae" (There were clues all around; I finally found the angel who nearly drowned) and "Almost Always" (A certain kind of anger pervaded me, as I swam in the opposite direction for one-third of the course's length). INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart" was smoothly glided through the Atlantic like Aussie Ian Thorpe in Sydney's Olympic-sized chlorinated tub. After a couple more saltwater surges, The 'Sleepers were first to the bike racks. Demonstrating the grace of past victors Frank Black, Evan Dando and J. Mascis, they were most appreciative of the spectators' applause and shook many hands before exiting into the changing room.

When jOhn and I reached the shore, the water was sweet yellow and we were completely drained. Two disciplines remaining...would we avoid biting the poison apple?

Quang T @ Hilltop Brewing Co., Va. Beach, VA (7/27/02)

Our pedals were to the metal in hopes of catching Quang before we became lost among the peloton. Luckily, jOhn and I were both out in front of the chase group as we rounded the corner of Laskin Road. Refreshed by Power Bars and energy drinks, a shared determination to hit the tape kept us traveling at an exuberant pace. Leftover fireworks from Month Seven/Day Four addressed the clear sky with the glory of Lance on Tour De France's podium. We dual Armstrongs strived for yellow jerseys upon reaching the Hilltop milepost.

Los alter egos of Quang, Malice Stooper, began the time trial with passages from a gentleman more known for his work on manicured greens than mountainous countryside. "Eighteen" (the number of Lighthouse Lagers I felt like guzzling along the Hill-y terrain), "Is It My Body?" (that spasmed into ten speeds of convulsion), "Caught In A Dream" (of eating a generous loaf of crusty bread dipped into an expensive glass de bubbly) and "Schools Out" (couldn't find the flag to wrap myself in, for it had been taken by a miffed Frenchie sweating mustard) coursed their way through the sprint like stationary biker Candice Bergen in a long-distance advert. Humor, not usually found on two wheels, leaked its way out of an inner tube. Here's a chain for you to link: ties required for club entry, jumper cables, "Don't start anything." I was rather amused by this non-musical vocalization, but former Tour champ Greg LeMond (his back turned to Quang whilst playing paper football with some grommet in a Good Riddance T-shirt) strongly objected to the car humor (supposedly, he's secretary of his local Critical Mass chapter). No matter...he's filled with hot air anyhow.

Near stage's end, the biker gang who derived its name from a '70s cycling club in Saigon inquired about intervals and gave this stranded "Sex Kitten" a ride on the handlebars. "Big bust, rubber-red teddy, leopard-print breast, lots of makeup, high heels/Lookin' for a conquest..." - Hey, every road warrior needs a navigator at times. "Don't Think So Deeply" ("...Don't go so far/Let your mind cloud over and think happy thoughts") took our minds off the combative nature of the event, as I scoured the 'Top for some draft helium. "Janitor" swept the generalizations and broken glass off the concrete slabs, ably assisted by its co-chairwoman. "No, You Don't" was a Sweet dedication to yours truly, which made me blush in the color of my frame paint. "Tie Your Mother Down" befitted Queens Elizabeth and Freddie. Despite his automobile surname, Mr. Mercury had been a strong advocate of emissions-free transport (see, "Bicycle Race"). A foregone conclusion at the finish, my friends...Quang T were the champions.

Though wobbly from the trek, jOhn and I (AKA - "The Jailer Man" and "Sailor Sam") prepared our search for another band. This time, it would be on the run. Hope the county judge won't hold a grudge...

Rip Dizzy @ Matt Malloy's, Va. Beach, VA (7/27/02)

I pounded the pavement with Dizzy for the first time in 1996 (when the 17th Street track was known to lace-uppers as O'Leary's). Volunteers along the path that evening served Guinness Stout drawn from sophisticated spigots. After seven or eight pints of the dark recharge, more parts of me than Lever soap's estimate ached like an old Replacements rocker. Ff the Memorex to Two/Double-Zero/Two: The six years that have passed so fuckin' fast since my initial Meyerathon couldn't help me from wondering 'bout future steps. In the third part of this Sabado Spectacular, a strange girl gave jOhn and me two tips for our buddy system: 1)Stop before you start and 2)Take advice from no one else. Questions answered, we two alone waited for the invitation to resume pacing towards our trifecta. The party was almost over, but the Papa "Kool" Bell celebration hadn't even started. C'Mon...

Singing songs that neither one of us could sing, jOhn and I were "bop bop bop bop bop bop bop"-ing at the heels of Dizzy's new shoes. "When She Comes Around" clipped us like a barefooted Zola Budd to Mary Decker Slaney. "Too Shy To Dance" left titular Skids-marks on hangin'-behind hearts with its sub-4:30-mile movement. "Looking For Sputnik" was instrumental in giving Dizzy an other-worldly challenge (they were too far ahead of the mortals at Malloy's). With the lead comfortably in hand (or should that be "on foot?"), "One Emotion" (Buddy Holly jogged with those who were feeling sad), "Entertainment" (For those who'd thought this would be a fun-run, they found out casual strollers didn't belong) and "Seventeen" (Funny how, even during a hiccup with 9.2 miles remaining, things would turn out like they used to be) were interesting reverts back to los zapatos de old. Apparently, those well-worn sneaks contained no holes or duct-tape fasteners. Declan MacManus, Andy Gill, Joe Strummer, Paul Weller and Joe Jackson had won foot wars in scruffy (yet angelic) red shoes during the fitness craze of the seventies; Dizzy plowed through stretched line easily in Oh-Two's sedentary daze.

Doused from the equine kick of mucho Dos Equises, I held my bottle aloft in toast to Rip Dizzy's triumph. Time and time again, they have proven to be slightly better than the ever-increasing competition. After those glass clangings, I clutched another cerveza for our efforts. jOhn and I had handled the tribandathlon under the allotted cut-off with six minutes to spare (1:54 AM). It had felt so sweet to compete. The rest of the time was so sour.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Starvations - Clementine EP (Revenge, 1998)

A wise man once said that no one should wear a cowboy hat unless he is comfortable on a horse. His name was Travis Tritt. Many of today's so-called Americana bands have trouble operating a quarter (read: 25 cents) horse at their Carrboro, NC Wal-Mart. "I've listened to Black Flag and Hank Williams all my life..." Come clean, greenhorn! The truly down-home folks don't feel the need to tell campfire tales that reek of such "Yee-haw!" posturing. Bloody knuckles and all, The Starvations have a firm grip on their reins, navigating terrain once traveled by Social Distortion, The Pontiac Brothers and Nine Pound Hammer. Three derby contenders on Clementine, each an odds-on favorite. "And down the stretch they come..."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hailing from the land of the rising sun, Guitar Wolf are a three-piece, trash rock 'n' roll combo. Consisting of Seiji (guitar, vocals), Billy (bass) and Toru (drums), the wolves shamelessly wear their influences on leather jacket sleeves. With nods to Link Wray -- "Link Wray Man" (complete lyrics: "Link Wray Man!"), Joey Ramone -- "Kung Fu Ramone Culmination Tactic" (Kung Fu Ramone is said to be Joey's illegitimate son and a punk rock martial-arts expert), The Rolling Stones -- "Satisfaction" (from the Wild Guitar EP) and Johnny Thunders -- "Thunders Guitar" (an original tune, also from said EP), Guitar Wolf prove to be the antithesis of Fleetwood Mac: no $1,000,000 production budget, no technical advisors and no writing in the studio. Just raw R 'N' R like the way Mr. Wray did it in the late '50s. Leaving no stone unturned, these wolves are best heard through their maniacal live performances.

According to Exile Osaka magazine: "Singer Seiji's special R and R ritual revealed... He has a big glass case in his apartment in which he keeps his guitar and leather jacket. The night before a performance, he enters the glass case and gets charged with rock 'n' roll energy. Seiji never takes off his sunglasses."

He must've brought that case to Virginia Beach, because their March '97 show at Route 44 ROCKED 'N' ROLLED those who wanted to feel the rabid bite of the wolves' fangs. All would require 17 shots in the stomach the next day. Guitar Wolf played 45-50 minutes, drawing largely from their 1996 album Missle Me. "Hurricane Rock," "Can Nana Fever" and "Jet Rock 'N' Roll" were meaner and rawer live than on record. No small feat, since Guitar Wolf had paid famed producer Butch Vig 500 yen and one of those oddly shaped jugs of Sapporo lager found at Farm Fresh NOT TO PRODUCE Missle Me. Screams of "GEEETARRR!", "ROCK 'N' ROLL MOTHERFUCKER!" and "YEEEAAAH!" were often heard. Cries of "PLAY SOME TSOL!" weren't. The evening's highlight was a 15-minute frenzied take of "Kick Out The Jams" that was about as far from The Presidents Of The United States Of America's version as Tokyo is from Tidewater. Seiji played (think he only used one string!) for a couple minutes, then summoned Nyal from The Halfways onstage. Like a mad sensei, he instructed Nyal in the ways of the Wolf ("Play this note, then this note...") while doing these crazy, drunken kata movements. Telekinetic powers called Seiji back to his axe momentarily, then he received another calling. As Billy and Toru fanged on, Seiji handed the guitar to my sister Shannon, jumped onto the bar and unleashed a loud 'n' primal howl. MC5 would've been proud. Everyone left with bicuspid marks and a smile.

My sister's resume' now reads: "Held guitar of Guitar Wolf."

The Bodies - s/t (TKO, 1999)

From California, UK? On their eponymous full-length, these Sonoma boys refuse to lie dormant, by expelling some tuneful Brit-punk clang a la Menace simultaneously with the let's-go-to-the-beach ethos of The Gears. Sample lyrics: "We got the surf, we got the sand/We got the sun, so we got the tans/We got the wine, 'cause we got the grapes/So why do we need the other states?" Tracks two ("I'm Alright"), three ("Tonight") and four ("Down To The Beach") turn the best triple play I've heard in quite awhile. Each out could hide-and-seek on classic punk comps like Beach Blvd, Bloodstains Across California, etc. Will make many Top Eleven lists for 1999.

Minor Disturbance - Don't Tell Me What Is Right (Run And Hide, 2003)

If the tag conjures up images of Ian MacKaye at the milk bar, think again. Though "Crime," "You Think You're Punk," and the sped-up, mono recording of the Dead Boys' "3rd Generation Nation" (shades of the Teen Idles' interpretation of The Stooges' "No Fun") could flex their heads on an '82 Dischord comp, most of the others hoist their 12-ouncers of Bud Ice in an aching toast with fellow Nor-easterners Limecell and The Wretched Ones. "Riot" (live from the toilet known as CBGBs) waves the Flag (Black, NOT Anti-) from the Damaged years, while crude readings of the Angry Samoans' "Lights Out" and the ' Fits' "We Bite" chomp through 100-watt bulbs with ease.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Buzzcocks - Flat-Pack Philosophy (Cooking Vinyl, 2006)

With the fifth post-reunion album from these Manchester lads, the 'Cocks continue to enhance their legend and maintain their credibility in 2006. The blueprint drawn by Shelley/Diggle has been examined closely by Oasis, Pete Yorn, Ash, and the Arctic Monkeys. Like several efforts from the recent past, some folks have had a beef with the modern rock-type production. If studio-tweaking's not your bag, then go buy a Mummies or Rip Offs record. Actually, you should do that regardless of the band in question, but I digress. What I'm trying to say is that 1977 was almost thirty years ago. The spiral has been scratched, Reggie Jackson no longer pitches VCRs for Panasonic, Devoto's face is buried in a dirty magazine and only Don Fleming from Gumball still listens to 8-tracks. "Wish I Never Loved You" is a fine, hook-filled choice for a single (released with two non-CD cuts), with its phrasings of longing and regret. "Reconciliation" could very well be the next one picked from the basket. Repeated "Oohs" contained throughout recall "Love You More" from the classic era. The agonizing tone ("The separation's more than I can bear") cuts like a straight razor. Consumerism is given a ride on "Credit" ("Paradise is a brand new car") before crashing on "Soul Survivor" (a tightly-wound, two-minute lap penned by Diggle). What's with him and autos? (Diggle did author "Don't Let The Car Crash," after all.) While a friend and I were hanging out on the Buzzcocks' tour bus in '99, someone asked, "Have you ever watched a NASCAR race?" A band member answered, "I've seen examples." OK, it was Shelley who replied, but Diggle would've probably countered with something similar. "I've Had Enough" has tons of jangle that would make Johnny Marr jealous. "Between Heaven And Hell" creates a new harmony in your head, as Shelley and Diggle join together in the refrain. I'd say catch the 'Cocks on the Warped Tour, but I wouldn't want you to embarrass yourself in public. Still, you could take in their set at 10 AM and have plenty of time for the 11:00 brunch at your favorite stripper bar. Check the juke for "Orgasm Addict" before ordering your grits and Guinness.


My Friday morning Two/One/Zero-Two was very pink and filled with rejection. No, I didn't expunge the unsettlings of Franken Berry Moo Juice or a Tastes Great Pepto Shake. Rather, the talking 1987 Chrysler New Yorker (AKA -- "Kitt Too" in certain sections of Norfolk), which has faithfully driven its own Michael Knight Who Works For The Foundation Of Law And Government from point Arby's to point Be-Lo for nearly a year, opened its wiper-fluid tear ducts upon being stuck with the circle-and-slash decal. XTC would never be crazy about this particular "Pink Thing." Likewise, the New Yorker did not speed a hundred heartbeats high outta Paul's Auto Service's inspection bay. Instead of the usually helpful car-to-owner counsel ("Don't forget your keys," "Please fasten your seatbelt," "Your door is ajar," "Your fuel is low"...all points-of-assistance followed by "Thank you's"), Kitt: Part Dos was under an extremely bad Speak 'N' Spell ("F-U-C-K...I didn't pass because of a goddamned window," "S-H-I-T...they got me on an insignificant bullshit back light," "A-S-S-H-O-L-E...Why've you been puttin' that cheap Wawa piss in my tank?"). Man, Kitt The Sequel -- I only went there for the free sliced sandwiches and cold coffee. You know I wouldn't serve my Kittie Kat anything less than sweet ninety-three octane from Tex-E-Coh or Bee Pee. So, be mad all you want at that mean inspection man, but please don't lash out at your best buddy in the whole world. OK, Kitt pal? Look, I know you hate hospitals, but this operation on your driver's side glass is a must if you want us to hang out again. When you recover, I promise to coat your exterior in gold paint and line your insides with furry trim just like that ex-Navy, wanna-be pimp daddy's Kitt we saw in the unsanitary Hardee's parking lot on Kempsville Road. 'Til then, keep your engine cool and curb the exhaust fumes. By the way, there's a cute little German Beetle in C103. You didn't hear that from me, though. Be strong, Kitt Kar.

Because Kitt was being prepped for surgery later that evening, transportation and I were unfamiliarly distant from one another. Sure, I could've rented a car from Enterprise or called Beach Taxi in order to go see some new entertainment. But I didn't want the guerilla-war struggle. Plus, I hate the smell of stogies and freeze-dried ejaculate. Nope, I needed a driver servant who would keep his eyes on the road, his hands on the wheel, and, most importantly, his mouth from mentioning the tragic events of Nine-Eleven. Luckily, I found a stickered advert on a wastebasket lid in front of Baker Street Fun Food Drinkery. It read: "jOhn A's Lim-O-Zeen Service -- If I Don't Know You, Then Fuck You." Muy perfecto! I had met Mr. A once at West Beach Cafe's open-mic night. He told me that the stuffed wolf in a glass enclosure near WBC's entrance was the finest one he'd seen in the Tidewater area thus far. Before I could respond, jOhn interrupted, "Oops, a dispatch. Welp, nice knowin' you." Since we were on speaking terms, I punched in the necessary seven digits. "Hey, Mr. A! Look here, I know you and all. So, could I get a shuttle to the Oceanfront?" I asked the limo dude. "What the fuck I look like -- Cape Canaveral? But, since I've met you, I'll come and get you," jOhn answered in the most-Danny Devito of ways.

As I waited in the icy-cold temperature of the night's air (OK, I lied -- it was actually an unseasonably warm fifty-five degrees), a 1978 (?) Toyota Corolla station wagon with a permanently lodged "Stars On 45" cartridge in its 8-track player stopped at my feet. "You the guy who needed a lift?" the Corrola's driver screamed. When I peered into the car, I instantly recognized Mr. A's face. "You call this a limo?" I queried the "chauffeur." "You call that a flannel? That thing looks like something my grandfather would lounge in after his once-a-week bath," jOhn quickly retorted. "Look, could I still get a lift?" I venomously questioned. "Where? To the moon? Oh yeah, you want a shuttle to Cape Canaveral...BLAST OFF! Well, whatcha waitin' for? Hop in, before I pull over and take my in-between-shifts sleep," Mr. A sternly commanded.

Surprisingly, there was another passenger who had decided to fork over the fare. Her name was Holly or Molly or Dolly. She was also en route to La Playa De Virginia Oceanfront. For most of the way, jOhn's Corolla was as hushed as a LPGA gallery. Things got interesting, however, at the point where Virginia Beach Blvd. turns into 17th Street. "Goddamn Checkpoint Charlie! And he ain't crackin' a smile. It's been no laughing party driving all these murder miles. Only takes an itchy trigger; one more little, one less Mr. Biggers," Mr. A sorrowfully stated. "What was all that about?" I verbally wondered. "Folks, it's like this. My business license and insurance-certification papers are back at the office. I've been cited with too many damn infractions as it is. Don't really feel like going to jail tonight. So, if y'all can bear with me, I really need to run that there checkpoint. After I do, feel free to go about your business. Oh yeah, the fare's on me," jOhn addressed in a down-on-his-luck tone. Agreeing with his law-breaking scheme (Hey -- free ride!), Holly or Molly or Dolly and I tightly grabbed our seat cushions as Mr. A sped past twenty or so police cruisers. Safely outta harm's way, jOhn pulled into an establishment called St. Pat's On 17th (about a mile from the Protectors And Servers set-up). He bade us both good night and told us to be cautious out here.

Noticing the look of an emotionally drained man, Holly or Molly or Dolly and I, though complete strangers at the time, decided to abandon our planned Friday nights in favor of treating the Lim-O-Zeen man to a pick-me-up. I walked back to the Corolla and saw Mr. A with head in hands. "Hey, Holly or Molly or Dolly and I were talking about what'd just happened. We think that you deserve a break from life and all of its dealings. So, would you like to go inside St. Pat's, have a drink or two, and see the band?" I motioned to jOhn with great concern. Not having a better offer, Mr. A resigned, "OK. Ain't like I have anything better to do." Thus, jOhn, Holly or Molly or Dolly, and I entered St. Pat's needing some tonic-and-tunes remedy.
"Thin Lizzy? Since when did they get back together?" Mr. A curiously pondered. "No! No! No! The band's name is Rip Dizzy," I corrected. As painful strains of rapcore and other forms of radio rock permeated inside the bar, a waitress came to the table asking us to pick our poison. jOhn, technically still on-call, ordered a rum-and-coke sans the demon. Holly or Molly or Dolly went with a Budweiser draft in a tall glass. At first, I was gonna join Mr. A in his sobriety slam. It had been 46 months since cold brew had passed through my lips. On a regular night out, I would've kept my edge and downed beer comma root or ale comma ginger. However, irregularity was the order of the evening. Thus, I told our serve-and-volleyer, "I'll have what she's having." With that first sip, there went my streak of approximately 1,380 days without alcohol. Cal Ripken, Jr. and A.C. Green can now protect their records, cause I'm no longer a threat to shatter those marks. You know what's better than drinking one beer? If an answer is necessary, perhaps you wouldn't understand Holly or Molly or Dolly or me or our unofficial game of Drunk-A-Duel. As we were gettin' ripped and the band was about to get dizzy, Holly or Molly or Dolly built a 2-.75 lead in our draft dousing.

"'Move along,' says a cop to me," sang Rip Dizzy in their Buddy Holly-out-for-a-stroll-near-the-checkpoint blast, "She's The One." "Charlie would've told me to come along, had I played by his rules," jOhn defiantly bragged in an I-fought-the-law-and-I-won confident air. "I'm Still Waiting" attracted like early Elvis (Costello -- who else?) with its brains-and-brawn bouncy beat. Among other things, the Dizzy were in line for the government, president, record label, and paycheck. Holly or Molly or Dolly, on the other hand, was more direct. "I'm still waiting on another beer," she cleverly quipped, post-song. "One Emotion" diffused from the poppier side of "The Only Band That Matters" a la "1, 2, Crush On You" or "Groovy Times." Mr. A clapped palms together vigorously for this gem, one-upping the cut's title by giving us the range of his (then dejected, now elated). "Sex, Drugs, And Rock 'N' Roll" sucked (like you would a breast or 1,999 other female parts) 'n' snorted this-year-model's narcotic chemicals in Joe Jackson-got-the-record time. Definitely ticked ticked ticked in my head. Scoreboard: Holly or Molly or Dolly - 3, Me - 1.65. "Punk Nouveau" had to rank up there with the greatest songs-under-30-seconds (hear SST alumni Black Flag and Descendents for others) I'd ever lent my ears to. "Lean on me/When you're not strong/And I'll be your friend/I'll help you...DIIIIIIEEEEEE!!" I'm kidding, people. In fact, Dizzy's vocalist was incredibly affable throughout; taking time many times asking, "How's everybody doin' tonight?" So far, so great -- Thanks for inquiring. "Bonfire," a dark 'n' connecting ballad from their self-titled dee beaut, was given a (take yer pick, pardner) hoe-down/bluegrass/western swing/speed country reshufflization for the honky-tonk Irish cowdudes and cowdames in attendance. Nothing tastes better than Murphy's Stout and bacon-and-cheese biscuits cooked outdoors. Pass me that checkerboard hanky -- Dems were some good eats! At the twenty-minute ticker, Holly or Molly or Dolly still clung to a 3-2.25 advantage.

CBS -- Cover Bands Suck, so the expression goes. Sensible gentlewomen like Holly or Molly or Dolly and gentlemen like jOhn A Lim-O-Zeen and myself would wholeheartedly agree with that directive. I mean, why would someone want to hear Hardcover bushsplunker "Everything's Zen" ("Don't believe that Elvis is dead"...No, he's not. The guy just hasn't made a top-to-bottom consistency since "Get Happy"), Grindstone soar with the "Free Bird" (An upcoming local band, whom I promised not to name, will soon clip that ole buzzard's wings), or Powerhouse get caught by "You Really Got Me" ("We're gonna play some Van Halen for you now..."), when he or she can just feed quarters to the juke or cruise the road in a Kimnach Ford and hear the originals? However, when a band who primarily writes their own material decides to throw some choice bones at us music-lovin' dawgs, we can't help ourselves from digging into the marrow. The Dizzy gave us plenty of reasons to bark on this Friday night turned into Saturday morn. According to the Gang Of Four, the worst thing in 1954 was the bikini. Soon, I'll ask mi madre if she agrees. Did you know that New York City really has it all? Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah...though Mr. A looked at me as if to say, "Whatever, Joseph." What's so funny about peace, love, and understanding? "Plenty, if it comes from the mouth of one Richard Gere," Holly or Molly or Dolly retracted. The bravest selection was unquestionably "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." Holly or Molly or Dolly flashed me a glance that facial-expression translators would've posted, "Why do I feel like it's 1989 and I'm at Rogue's or Peabody's dressed in WRV betty-wear watching a shore-break set from Locals Only?" Personally, I prefer Sowing The Seeds-era Tee Eff Eff, but that one from the big chair brought back memories of stolen bikes, two-week restrictions, and other happenings from my eighth-grade prison term. Now, I'm making the most of my freedom.

After Dizzy's set, I handed the drummer a fiver for their latest No Room To Dance cee dee, thanked him, and finished the remainder of my hops 'n' barley. Final tally: Holly or Molly or Dolly - 3, Me - 3. It seemed so calculated. But she had a calculator.