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Cambridge, MA – 5.12.11


Chuck is Damaged Goods

Kelly has a lead foot so we made great time through New York and western Massachusetts.  The weather was amazing, and the three of us had some good catching-up conversation all the way.  I also fixed up a couple videos that had glitches in them when I ripped them from our old VCDs, technology is wonderful.  We got to TT The Bear’s Place near Union Station in Cambridge before they were open enough to load in.  Bowling For Soup was playing downstairs at the Middle East that night, I need to tell my #1-BFS-fan friend Lindsay about that.  Patrick and Kelly and I got some time to wander around and we spent it at Weirdo Records (I went on a CD bargain binge and got some Lost Sounds, Arrington de Dionyso and more, plus full price for the Urinals comp), then got a pint down the street at a pub that P & K manage to hit every time they’re in town.  About an hour after we got there, we were back at TT’s.  Load-in and soundcheck were a breeze, and we went to meet P & K’s friends Richard and Sabi.

Richard and Sabi’s apartment was really cool, including an Atari nook with Space Invaders painted on the wall!  They took us to a great little diner that had slightly eccentric but very tasty food (I went for the Dog Of The Day, a salsa hot dog) and drink options (I had something with jenever and grapefruit that I shouldn’t have ordered and then a very good “deconstructed rum and cola,” with rum and cola bitters).  We met some more friends for dinner, including one friend of Patrick and Richard’s who was living in Syracuse and was at the show the night before.  Patrick knows everybody cool.

At the club, we got there in time to chat a little with some of the members of Ghost Box Orchestra, a really good psych band just returning home from a tour to…Austin.  They’d played at Austin Psych Fest 4, and even though I couldn’t go to the festival, I loved the music they had online.  I was really excited when man-behind-the-curtain Brad Searles told me that GBO would be opening up for Karaoke Underground, and it turned out to be as great a match as I hoped.  They finished off their mostly-instrumental set with a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and a friend from the audience got up on stage to join in.  More people really should have jumped up…*I* should have, dammit.  But it was fantastic.

KU sound was all set, and I just had to plug in to the projector that the band was using (run by an awesome guy named… John/Jack/Pete?  this is why I shouldn’t wait three weeks to write these).  Knowing we had to stop at 1, I think the singing started by 11 o’clock, and we flew through as many singers as possible in a short 2-hour show.  We definitely ran into the same problem as at the Matador party, where we had way more singers than time.  I’ll have to find a way to get back there soon, because it was just too great to not do again.  Anyway, TT’s had the best sound of the whole tour, and the huge projection screen made the photos look great.  I got some great video clips, and here are some other highlights:

– “The Ice Of Boston” got sung, by Shannon.  Way to take care of business!

– Chuck (photo above) really got into “Damaged Goods.”  He owned that song, well done sir.

– Terrance was on a Stooges kick and followed up his live band karaoke stint accompanying GBO on “I Wanna Be Your Dog” with “Loose” on our list.  He was all over the stage and I think he got in the crowd a bit too.

– Susan sang Okkervil River with some kind of maniacal giddiness that fit “Westfall” perfectly.  She got down on both of her knees and rocked that performance, it was absolutely amazing.

– Dan sang Miracle Of 86‘s “Every Famous Last Word,” which is his brother Kevin’s band and never ever gets sung, so that was a big treat.

– “Deceptacon” inspired another dance riot, courtesy of Sarah, followed shortly after by another great dance song sung by Maris: “Parentheses” by The Blow.

– Someone sang “Adopduction”!  Taleen sang it, to be precise.  I like it when girls sing Les Savy Fav. A lot.

– Dennis, the bassist from Ghost Box Orchestra, sang the karaoke debut of Superchunk’s “Detroit Has A Skyline,” and he killed it.

– Right before he sang Silkworm’s “Couldn’t You Wait,” Evan’s friends sang a quick “Happy Birthday” to him, which was very cute.  And he fucking nailed the song too, even inspiring some fly girl dancing by someone who I’m not sure he knew.

– All through the last half hour or so, several friends of an Evan K. kept insisting that I push him to the front of the queue.  I don’t do that, but when it came time for the last song of the night, he was next on my list and he lived up to the hype by taking over the club for Black Flag’s “Jealous Again.”  He was jumping on and offstage, getting in people’s faces and trying to start a pit, it was great.  I let the music run into the next song, which happened to be “TV Party” and he continued to rage, with me more or less playing straight man.  After that when the music finally cut off, he kept the mic and tried to get everybody singing “Fight For Your Right To Party” for another minute.  Pretty damn epic, well done Evan K.

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