Hey there ‘Redheads… Greetings from beyond the land of lake effect snow. I had a great slate of shows over the weekend up in frigid Erie, PA at one of my favorite clubs, Junior’s Last Laugh. Big thanks to Doug, Debbie, and the rest of the staff for an awesome weekend. If you’ll remember, the last time I was at Junior’s, I lucked into opening for Train at the nearby Erie Civic Center in front of 4000 people. No such inadvertent rock stardom this time around, unfortunately. But, I did end up with some minor strokes of luck on a trip that started out with some particularly crap-tacular weather. About a half-an-hour into my trip, I get a call from my dad saying he checked the weather report for Erie and it’s calling for thundersnow…the Reese’s peanut-butter cup of cloud vomit. You don’t see that kind of mix n’ match with other types of weather. No such thing as a sunado or a partly-cloudicane. It snowed heavily on and off for the entire trip up the PA turnpike and about 30 miles outside of Erie, a white out. Zero visibility. I pretty much had to trust that there was some kind of road in front of me. It did help that the ghost of Obi-wan appeared, but he only knew how to get to Dagobah. When I did finally finish my 6 hour iditarod, I settled into my unusually large room at the hotel…I’m pretty sure I ended up with the headliner’s room. That good fortune plus getting to Erie without skidding into an embankment meant sunny skies ahead.
Turns out my luck kept on streakin’, because I ended up working with a very cool cat by the name of Lamar Williams. Here we are with Robin, a local Erie gal drunk with…laughter…yeah, that’s it.
On the road, it’s always a plus to work with people who are lucid and able to carry on a conversation without dropping a name or testing a bit every other sentence. Lamar and I quickly found common ground when I discovered that he we’re the only people on the planet who still play Madden 2004. We both brought our PS2s with us, but I only planned to use it as a DVD player because I misplaced my memory card, so I didn’t bring any game controllers with me. I did, however, bring my remote control.
You’ll note that it has all the necessary buttons to play, even if it is an awkward interface. So, with all the excuses I needed built in, we clashed on the virtual gridiron. I found out early, that I’d be further hamstrung by not being able to juke, spin, sprint, or change directions without stopping entirely. Essentially, the remote was a pretty accurate translation of what would happen if I tried to play football. We played 8 times, I used the remote for 6 of them. My record? 6-2. Lamar will deny this outright or claim that the remote has magical powers, but I handed him several crushing defeats.
I’d like to take this time to ask something of those who know me. Lamar seemed to think that I sound like Jeff Goldblum…so much so, that his nickname for me is The Fly. And I don’t sound like him when I try to…just my natural cadence and inflection makes him think he’s in a scene from Jurassic Park or Independence Day. So, those of you who I engage in conversation, if you could let me know if you second his emotion that’d be helpful.
On to another character I imitate badly, I hope you’ve all gotten a chance to check out GUYS WATCHING 24 II. It has been conveniently linked to your right, for easy one-click viewing, but here is the newly posted YouTube edition for your retinal consumption. It’s in two pieces…the dramatic build-up, followed by the thrilling conclusion. We’ve broken it up to allow you to catch your breath…or something.
I am a horrible actor…well, at least as good as Jeff Goldblum, I guess.
If you have no plans for your first evening of February, might I suggest joining myself, Jim Pate, Seaton Smith, and Joe Robinson at the Arlington Drafthouse for some jokes to warm your cockels as winter blows cold. Show starts at 8pm. Click the link for tix & info.
On a sad note, we lost another modern day gladiator with the passing of Bam Bam Bigelow. Bam Bam was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid, because he was the only man his size I’d ever seen do a cartwheel. He was also the only guy I’d ever seen with a tattooed head.
Bam Bam, we harldy knew ye.
To be continued…