Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fourth of Jugoddamnly

Whoo! Feeling patriotic? I sure am as I love me some 4th of July. Not so much in a throw on my American flag jacket and belt out some Lee Greenwood songs type of way but a hang out with friends and watch shit blow up type of way.

Unfortunately most of my friends around here were in Indiana while I was stuck here but I still managed to make the most of it. The early part of the evening revolved around mooching off other people's ridiculously good barbequed brisket and fireworks out in the hills outside of Lawrence. It was pretty cool because they had a great view of KU and the town on one side plus a view of a lot of the Wakarusa valley below us. We got to see parts of a couple different towns shooting their stuff as well as everyone doing their own thing which is just about as good these days.

After that I headed into town to do a little celebrating with my buddy, Graham. It was getting close to midnight by the time we got into downtown so I wasn't totally on board when Graham suggested we go to the Gaslight which is over the river and at least an extra mile and a half walk from the bar we originally planned to go to, but I agreed anyway and it was the best decision I made all night.

Turns out Graham knew some of the guys in the band that were playing at the Gaslight. If you've never seen this bar it looks like a tiny (really tiny) cottage of some sort. Inside there is basically room for the bar and a row of people to stand around it. Outside is covered with tarps and plastic siding they've cobbled together from various places. They've got a lot of beers I've never even heard of and $2 PBRs so it's a pretty popular place for the hippies and punks and hipsters of the town to hang out.

The door guy (who has dreadlocks down to his ass) took my money for the cover, stared at me for a second, and squinted. After a pause he kind of looked around over his shoulder and said, "there's a cop floating around somewhere so I'll have to check your ID since I don't know you" like he was apologizing to me. "FUCKING SELLOUT NARC!" I yelled and obeyed his request. Will this oppression never end?

So, I head inside and begin to take note of some of the various characters that were in there. The first one that I noticed was a slightly overweight hippie wearing a shirt/halter top thing that was basically more like a hankerchief tied across the front of her. She was standing over an overhead projector like we used to have in grade school playing in a bowl of water covered with a sheet of wax paper and food coloring(?) on top. This was then projected onto the tent roof over our heads and she would play around with it making the colors dance along with the music. I couldn't ever decide whether it was extremely lame or not a bad effect. She stopped after a while and later some guy started doing it better than she did. "Yeah, get that hippie light shit back up there" said one of the band members.

The next guy I noticed was also an overweight hippie who was drunkenly dancing towards the front of the stage. He wasn't wearing a shirt and his shorts were riding low enough that you got a nice view of his asscrack. He also had a 5 or so inch scar running from the top of the crack straight up his spine which was kind of an unusual effect. I later noticed that he only had one leg.

Finally there was a character that has always gotten on my nerves. I'll call this type of person "Hippie Dog Person." They're typically seen lounging on Mass Street getting in my way and asking me for money. In this case the dog was just running around sniffing around everybody and knocking shit over. The Hippie Dog Person is usually either oblivious to this behavior or acts exasperated that their dog is being so uncool but not actually doing anything about it. Yes, bringing your dog everywhere you go so it can annoy people makes you such a free spirit. I don't want to make it sound like it was all hippies because it wasn't but they were definitely well represented.

The band was called Deadman Flats and they basically play a type of hyped up bluegrass. It's like bluegrass trumped up to be played at punk speed. They had the usual mandolin, banjo, upright bass, and guitar setup and basically rocked my face off. They had the perfect blend of good musicianship, great stage presence, and hilarious songs. Most of the songs were of the outlaw variety and had some great lines in them that really made me laugh. It's tough to remember all of them now but the songs were called things like "Whiskey and LSD (Is All I Need)" and "PBR" (you can hear a few of their songs here or at the MySpace page but really it can't come close to the show they put on last night). Plus, it turns out they originally formed like 15 minutes away from where I grew up.

The bass player would randomly yell "Fourth of Ju-goddamn-ly" and they said they were going to do a patriotic song that every good American should know and if you didn't you were a dirty terrorist. I was all warming up for "God Bless America" but turns out it was actually the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Fortunately, I know that one by heart.

So, it ended up being a pretty good 4th. Got some food, fireworks, drank a few beers, heard a good band. You're alright, America.

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Blogger erin said...

man...i love the gaslight. hippies....

9:03 AM  

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