Friday, March 28, 2003

Let's talk about lighter things today. The war is taking it's toll on my head, what with all the civilian deaths supposedly at the hands of US troops(which is all bullshit, in my humble opinion). Let's talk about last night, which was the most fun I've had on a Thursday night since the first season of Survivor.
Billy called me to let me know that he had formed a Bad Brains cover band and was going to be playing at the Caravan last night. I was on the fence about whether I was going to go out, since it was a weeknight, and that is not the best time to go out if you have a job to report to the next morning. But as the evening progressed, I started to get bored. by the time my neighbor, Adrian, stopped by, I was ready to at least catch some of Billy's performance, and I went out with him, Stacey, and Miros. We sauntered on over to the Caravan, and I was surprised to see George, Ted, and Mo sitting at the bar. Ted lives in the city, and Mo never goes anywhere, so this was my first inclination that perhaps the night would be chock full of surprises. I was not wrong.
People began to flow in for the show. I could not believe that so many people were coming out on a Thursday night, but this was the first gig for Bill's band, and his other projects have all been successes. Plus, in San Jose, it's mostly being seen at a show that drives most of us to attend these shindigs, and I'm as much of a scene-whore as the next person. While I was talking to Ted and finding out that Mo has finally got a serious monkey off her back and thrown back in the zoo where it belongs(congrats, Mo! I wish everyone could make the same decision), Tuffy Clifton walks by. The Cliftons were supposed to be playing a show in Gilroy, so seeing their bassist walking around a bar in San Jo was a little strange. Turns out that the show they were supposed to play was not advertised, so nobody came. They told the club owner to fuck off(now, how punk is that?) and decided to catch Billy's show instead. After a couple of beers, they decided that, since they were going to play anyway, they should just go on after Billy's band. By the way, I'm sorry I don't remember the name of Billy's cover band. If you promise to get over it, so will I.
The Caravan was absolutley packed by the time the Bad Brains cover band came on. I fully expected Bill's band to be mostly raggae and not so much hardcore, knowing Billy's penchant for raggae, but I was wrong. Sure, they threw in a little Rock Steady in here and there, but they belted out the faster shit too. As predicted, they rocked. I have come to believe that musically Billy can do no wrong. He could form a band with deaf people and narcoleptic dogs doing polka tunes and it would be off the hook. Billy's first love is the music, and it shows in the way he grins ear to ear when he takes the stage. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and the audience was soon swaying to the beat. Their set ended almost too soon, but not without first knocking everyone's socks off. Too bad more bands get to have such a warm reception, and play so well, on their maiden voyage. There would definitely be more bands out there, and I would be fired because I wouldn't ever be able to get up early again. Because I'd be seeing shows. On weeknights. And not be productive the next day. Get it now?
After a short break, the Cliftons came on. I know I go on and on about these guys. It can be boring if you have never seen them live. I know that it seems that every time I write about them, I'm giving them the internet equivalent of a handjob. But there is a reason, boys and girls. These guys fucking ROCK! They always have their amps turned to 11. Even with no billing at all, they managed to keep an otherwise early crowd out late as hell, and drunk as hell too. I had to stand on my barstool to even see the band, and I immediately wanted to be closer. The Caravan is a small place, though, so there really were no bad seats, unless you were back next to the door. They played a full set, which means only about 35 minutes or so, but it felt much shorter. I felt sated, but could easily have taken more if there was more to give. Sadly, the Cliftons have a limited repetoire. They played absolutley every song they know in the alloted time.
I got to work this morning on time, but I was not happy about it. The moral of this story is: If you go out on a weeknight to see some good music, keep the Jack and Cokes to a minimum. I'd say after three, you're just looking for trouble.


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