The reason I could hit up two shows is the Urban Verbs reunion at the 9:30 was an early show. I thought it was probably an early show because they were doing live weecording for a new album release, and figured there would be some sort of dance party later in the club basement that might interfere with the beats sounding nice. Maybe that was indeed part of it, but after I got there and saw the audience I suspected it was also because half the people in attendance didn't want to stay up past 11 pm. We are totally talking Suburban SUV Soccer Set here. I've been to shows with 50+ year olds before, as the Clepunk set will attest, but let's just say they're the moar rockin' kind o' 50+ year olds rather than the khaki-pantz-and-topsiders kind who prolly attended their last live show in 1992. I shudder to think that if it wasn't for a few key people such as d, the 0, mileshedgehog and Bobby Pop that coulda been me too, but I dodged that bullet.
Anyway, the Urban Verbs were one of my favorite new wave/ post punk/ wot you call it bands back in about 1981-83, to the point where I actually went out and bought one or two of their albums - high praise from me then because I had no money and could listen to just about everything for free at the 'RUW rekkid library, so I only threw down for a couple dozen bands that really grabbed me. Unfortunately, by the time I moved to DC, the Urban Verbs were mostly defunckt and the only show I remember them playing was the final one at the 9:30. I think I may have seen them play that night but I can't recall as I only stayed for part of that show and had little or no idea who was actually onstage at any given moment - it wasn't a real organized evening - if you weren't "in" enough with the "in" crowd to know who the bands were, well latte dah, and I was never part of the "in" crowd down there since I lived over an hour away and always Had to Go Home and Get Up for Work In the Morning. The only bands I remember were Trouble Funk playing at midnight and later learning that I missed Tiny Desk Unit as they did not come on till like 3 am by which time I had long since gone home to celebrate new year with my new spouse - so if I missed Tiny Desk Unit then that band I saw before T-funk must have been the Urban Verbs, but maybe not. WOTEVER... I was all hepped up that I was finally going to get this issue remedied and definitely See Say I Saw the Urban Verbs For Good and All, and cross them offa my list.
Soooo I get there (after having to wait in the will call line behind People 15 Years Older than Me Who Don't Seem to Have a Clue, which is happening to me a lot at the 9:30 these days), and the first thing I see is the lead singer of Urban Verbs onstage in stupid khaki pants and a striped yuppie button down shirt with a receding hairline, looking like some sort of Huey Lewis and the News fan, delivering some sort of tween-songs rap about how he's been with the same woman for 28 years - a theme he returned to no less than 5 times throughout the evening, thus getting on my nerves because I happen to have been with the same guy for 22 years and I don't expect anyone to pin a farging medal on me, plus there are enuf people there who have a hard time holding a relationship together for 28 minutes and it's really all just a big fat crap shoot - if you're lucky and blessed you're lucky and blessed, now STFU about it already. Anyway, this banker-looking dude was all on about how he'd been with this woman for 28 years but "sometimes you still just want a little something different...so this song is for all the women with handcuffs hanging from their rearview mirrors." If this was coming out of some actual rock n' roll leather-jacketed guy's mouth it might have worked, but hearing it come out of Krungebob Khakipants up there was just UGH. Plus since when is having handcuffs hanging around anything that "speshul"? Mister Buttondown Beer Belly then proceeded to sing about bondage while the guys in back of me, who I noticed were the kind of black-shirted long-haired 50-year-olds who looked more like they didn't get lost at Whole Foods and forget how to rock, complained about the sound. They had a point.
I made my way upstairs so I could sit down and that's when I noticed a huge NPR.org music banner hanging over the coffee stand, which made me want to get up and leave right then as I am not the type of person who listens to NPR for music coverage, srsly not now or evar, and the idea that some underground band I loved when I was a fuct-up 19-year-old had now reached the point of being embraced by them made me want to puke over the railing on some matronly heads. The band played one of my favorite old songs, "Tina Grey" (Tina's put her fist through the glaaaa-aaasss ... Poor girl doesn't want what life offers, Boyfriend said he'd buy her a car, Then of course, they'd have to get married, Tina just laughed you know she'd heard all that shit before...) and pretty much murdered it. The drums were way too high in the mix. The singer then launched into more lengthy stage patter about playing some showcase in 1980 with the B-52s and selling it out, and then playing the next night and selling it out again, and how 50 percent of the people there were in The Industry and both bands were signed within 2 weeks and then he just had to get away from it all so he flew to the islands with the Most Beautiful Woman He Knew and wrote "Acceleration", blahblahblah. This all had about as much to do with my Early 80s Experience as beach parties in Hyannisport did. By the time he got to the part about how some horrid reviewer from Rolling Stone just SAVAGED the band on a personal level causing all their tour press to go bad, I was wishing to hell I was at a nice Pink Holes show where I would not have to hear about that sort of crap Cuz It Didn't Happen That Way For Us Flyover Kidz, Thank God. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
At some point I got up and moved to the other side of the balcony to get away from about 20 college kids whose dancing and chattering and beerspilling were making me seasick. I suspect they were friends of the substitute drummer, who was some young kid recruited from a School of Music to replace the band's original drummer who was on tour with k.d. lang. Unfortunately, after I moved I was sitting quietly and listening when some Huge Probably Inebriated Old Cow walked into my head (no other way to put it) and then plotzed behind me with some other Huge Probably Inebriated Old Cow and some skinny little bald old twerp and they all had a loud conversation about whether they were going to Ben's Chili Bowl afterwards and how soon, and I had to get up and move again and sit in a sticky area where someone had spilled a mixed drink (it was a mixed drink kind of crowd) just to be able to listen to the music. By the encore, when Yuppie Band Leader was prattling on about how his producer has a living room the size of the whole club and his demo tape of "Terminal Bar" sounds so absolutely wonderful when you sit in the middle of said room and listen to it, I was seriously wishing I could sprout wings from my bunghole and jet on out of there. I didn't leave early mostly because (a) it was about a 30-dollar ticket once all the "handling fees" were added in and I wanted my money's worth, and besides (b) the other show I was going to didn't have doors till 9 o'clock and didn't have any seating at all so I didn't see a point in rushing. I'll probably buy the CD of the live show, ...but I'll wait till I see it on eBay or Gemm for a dollar, ya dig?
Finally I escaped from that purgatory - the Old 9:30 is well and truly dead, long may it rot in peace next to Clay Huffman's elusive silkscreen of "Modern Wig" up the street - and caught a cab over to H Street for Black Moth and a few other bands. I made the mistake of telling the cabbie exactly what was going on in my life which elicited a very sympathetic response from him bordering on a lecture as I don't think he thought I should be going out at a time like this. The thing is, going to shows, like making jokes, is just how I roll. It's a coping mechanism and it doesn't involve alcohol (I only had coca-cola and water all night), drugs, overeating, self-mutilation or lots of other things I could Probably Be Doing and Maybe Once Did. Anyway I got to the Black Moth show and pulled my ticket out of my bra in front of some foofy-haired kid about 25 who i thought was working door. It turned out he was not working door and was just enough sheets to the wind to flirt with me. Or maybe he thought I looked upset (I probably did by that point) and was trying to cheer me up. I'm standing there waiting to hand in my ticket to the box office and this kid is all like "You look nice tonight. I like that top." Thank you. (Mental subtext: I guess this new overpriced Free People top that I grabbed at random on my way out the door and that is being held up by my boobs alone as the straps do not stay on my shoulders doesn't look horrendous on me. So much for ______'s proclamations about how shitty and old I dress.) "Your hair is pretty." Thank you. (Mental subtext: OK kid, you're starting to weird me out. There are 200 unattached 18-year-olds on the other side of that door. Go bother one of them.) "Thanks for coming out tonight." Smile, nod. (Mental subtext: Wot, do you work here? Are you in one of the bands? I am upset tonight, and I am clearly old enuf to be your mom, so thank you for the kind words but GET AWAY FROM ME.) Why do guys always pick when I'm upset to flirt or hit on me? It's like they have a radar picking up a distress call. When I'm happy and want to make a connection, nobody ever talks to me. Fuggit.
So finally I get throught the big wooden doors and am watching Efterklang who are pretty good and are actually cheering me up for the first time in a few hours and then I feel something cold on my arm and it's this frizzy-haired kid again who's stuck his beer bottle on my flesh to get my attention, giving me a big ol' smile. I was on the verge of seriously freaking by this point but fortunately he disappeared in the crowd and the rest of the night was uneventful except for me spotting some guy who looked like Some Guy I Know Off thee Intarwebz but Wasn't Because Intarwebz Guy wuz No Doubt Home Watching the Pens Lose. Black Moth were good, btw, although I don't know where i got the idea they played heavy psych instead of light ravy-wavy-gravy psych. I bought an Efterklang shirt with big happy hot air balloons on the front. I like when people talk to me at these things but I wish they would talk to me more as a person and not give me compliments and shite because I don't believe them, I haven't for years, and that's not what I want. It's easier to be old and ugly.