Despite my broken back (which I’m certain you folks are sick of hearing about by now), the fam and I decided that we HAD to go see the Broadway Calls on Saturday night (11 May 2019). Mariah and Frankie (the older daughter) and I headed up to The Chinese Gardens about an hour and half before the show started so that we could get a table and eat some dinner before the music began. (Elise was going to meet us there, later.)
When we arrived, Erik (a fellow I’ve known for MANY years, and the guitar player for the band, Magnitudes, who were also playing that night) was still packing in gear and setting up for the show. He’s a funny guy, always friendly, and he graciously donated a couple of extra show posters to me, which I thought was very cool. I’m a fan of “Show Art” (there’s a documentary called American Artifact that I HIGHLY recommend for anyone interested in the evolution of concert posters and band art!!!), so I was excited to get a chance to snag a couple of pristine posters (without tape OR staple damage.) Unfortunately, nobody had a rubber-band or hair-tie or paperclips, so I had to improvise a means of keeping the posters rolled up and protected from injury. To this effect, I tore a page out of my notebook and used it to create a makeshift piece of paper-ribbon… (This is all the HEIGHT of drama, isn’t it!? I bet you can’t wait to hear what we did with the straw later!)
Anyway, Mariah and Frankie and I ate some Chinese food, and a bit closer to show time, the younger daughter, Elise, showed up. There was a bit of drama at the door, as the ticket taker lady wasn’t particularly friendly to my kids. (We aren’t sure why. She was snotty to the girls as Ellie came in---and later, after the show, my wife heard her accuse my younger daughter of trying to STEAL the hoodie she’d just bought!) Eventually, after the proper identification was displayed, our full group was able to congregate around the table we'd secured in anticipation of THE SHOW!
Frankie (aka, Frankenstein), who I’m sure you can see is rather pregnant, is a huge Broadway Calls fan, although she wasn’t able to find her B.C. jacket to wear to the show. (She moved recently---well, not THAT recently---and hasn’t gotten around to unpacking everything yet.)
Elise (aka, Elvis), likes to call me a NERD (because I read comic books and like science fiction), but SHE can’t seem to leave the house without carrying a Zelda cartridge in her bag, in case she happens across a stray Nintendo 64 and gets the opportunity to save Hyrule, yet again… (Most of her tattoos are videogame themed, as well…but I’M the nerd???)
Mariah (aka, The Wife; aka, The BOSS), frequently engages in performance art when we’re out for the evening. Here, she creates a sculptural piece with a napkin wrapper, a piece of cooked celery, and a straw! (Remember how I said earlier that we’d do something interesting with a straw? You thought I was JOKING!!!)
Anyway, about an hour late (it was supposed to get started at 8:00 P.M.), the show began. First up was Wonderly Road, a group composed of Josh Baird (from punky bands, like Broadway Calls and Countdown to Life), Robbie Hellfire (from rockabilly punkers, Robbie Hellfire and the 500 Club), Adam Willis (from Broadway Calls), and Dustin Wheeler (from Stereo TV). Though these folks seem like they’d end up being some kind of punk-super-group, they were, in fact a STRAIGHT-UP HONKY-TONK COUNTRY act! There was a bit of rockabilly rumble from Adam’s bass playing, but we’re talking no-joke, righteous country music here, going so far as covering Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” and a Creedence Clearwater Revival tune, with Josh even managing to find a Tennessee twang for his vocals! I think more than a few folks were confused and surprised by the performance, but Robbie, who I chatted with for just a few seconds after the set, says he LOVES playing country after so many years of being involved in punk and hardcore shows. He also said this was only Wonderly Road’s second performance EVER---and they were shockingly tight for a new band, but that probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise---Josh and Robert are brothers and have been playing in bands together for something like 20 years! If you’re a fan of rockabilly or honky-tonk country (the more up-beat, stomping style of western music), then check out Wonderly Road!
Next up was Magnitudes, again a local super-group, featuring Mike Lee on vocals / bass, Erik Gidney on guitar / vocals, and Matt Jones on drums. This band is heavy, rumbling, downright thunderous punk---almost bordering on a thrashy-metal. The vocals are rough and gravely (with more than a few naughty words thrown in there for good measure), the songs are tight---again reflecting the fact that these guys have been making music for decades in various bands---and the mood is heavy but fun. There is a great music video for their song, “Shot By Shot,” on the YouToobs that you can check out, if you like crunching punk, from bands like Zeke or Electric Frankenstein. Heavy, thick, rumbling music…
Finally, we get to Broadway Calls, who are a fairly well-known commodity at this point, having toured extensively and played major festivals with the likes of Alkaline Trio, Hot Water Music, Rancid, Bouncing Souls, and Bad Religion (you know, a bunch of no-namers.) I’m pretty proud to say that Mariah, Frankie, Elise, and I were at the Broadway Calls’ very first show, at the Longshore Hall in Longview, Washington, back in 2005 or 2006, or something like that. I even bought one of their self-produced E.P.s from that show, which Josh just recently told me, he only made about 15 copies of! (Now THAT’s a collectible! And the music on that disc is still great!!!) We are long time fans of B.C., and I’m betting we’ve seen them perform probably somewhere close to ten times---but it’s been years since the last local show. And what a venue to see such a great band in, a tiny bar with fewer than a hundred people in it!
At this concert, we also discovered that the new kid that Frankie is cooking is a Broadway Calls fan!
She was doing flip-flops---and possibly trying to crowd-surf as the band played on… And the band was great! Their songs are an up-tempo pop-punk, melodic but tough, and the whole crowd sang along to just about every song. This is a much loved group, and I’m glad to see they’ve still got the touch, and I was also excited to hear that they’re working on a new album (which, according to the Red Scare website, is due out sometime in 2020!) Good luck, guys!!!
It was fun hanging with the family, and a treat to get to chat with Erik, Josh, and Robbie for a few minutes between sets! After the show, I hobbled towards the car while Mariah and the girls dove into the merch booth, buying things like t-shirts and hoodies. (I prefer the art stuff, so I was happy with my show posters! Thanks again, Erik!)
The next afternoon, Mothers’ Day, we transported our carcasses to my Uncle Tim’s house for a bar-b-que / birthday party for my Grandma, Lucille, who turned 88 years old that day! Both of my brothers showed up, plus Aunt Teresa, Cousin Carson, Uncle Randy, my kids, Frankie’s husband, and Uncle Tim (of course---it was his house), and the group laughed together and caught up a bit and ate food and had a jolly time. Most of the folks there were keeping an ear on the Blazers’ game (they are a sports team who, apparently, where in some kind of sporting contest that most of my family were invested in! I’m not much of a sports guy, preferring to read or paint or play video games or do most other things rather than watch people I don’t know jostle each other about… Sorry…)
Anyway… Tim’s house, it’s kind of like a farm with cows and horses and stuff, is pretty cool. I’ve posted lots of photos of his bar-b-que area in previous posts, but I did get a couple of new pics this time, like this one of his barn:
And this one of a hand painted sign that he made, which I, mysteriously, turned into an animated gif for no particular reason!
Again, visiting with folks was a good time, considering most of the people in the family are a bunch of weirdos, AND Tim made a delicious lemon birthday cake for granny (I had TWO pieces---although I probably shouldn’t have!) So, overall, the party was a lot of fun!
Moral to the story: GO DO STUFF, ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR FAMILY! It’s better than just sitting at home playing on a phone or computer, AND you can take pictures of your adventures and share them with the COMPUTER PEOPLE, hopefully encouraging THEM to go outside every once in a while, too… (Although, it’s raining today, so maybe stay inside while it’s raining---especially if you’re made of sugar!)
In other, completely unrelated, news---I got this notice a week or so ago:
Apparently, I’ve been blogging on WordPress for NINE YEARS already… Damn. That seems like a long time. I wish I could say I remember what I was writing about nine years ago, probably POSTAL ART---that was my thing back then---but I can’t remember for sure, and I don’t feel like doing the research to look it up. Let’s just pretend I did (nobody really cares what was happening that long ago, do they???) So, nine years… Neat.
And that’s about it for this RAMBLE THROUGH THE BRAMBLES of life… But never forget: THEY’RE ALWAYS WATCHING!
---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!