How Did Sugar Town Go?

February 14, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment


I like booking shows at Tritone because it’s a cheap, easy room to fill. (Cheap meaning inexpensive to book, but I’m sure Rick D would like to think of Tritone as cheap n easy if that’s what gets people drinkin specials and eating pierogies). Considering the bad weather and a competing sold-out Yo La Tengo show, I was happy with the roughly 40 paid. If you were among the 40, I love you.

Citizen Mom read a heartfelt tribute to Anna Nicole Smith.

Y-Front (Cathy and Carolyn) came out in drag: Cathy in a tiger fat suit, Carolyn in a robe and black leather pants. Carolyn eventually took off the robe and she was topless with her rack taped down with Saran and bubble wrap. They started out by boxing to “Eye of the Tiger,” and then lipsynced to The Dead Milkmen’s “Bitchin Camaro.” As far as I know, this might have been the first Dead Milkmen drag ever. When they were done, they offered a dollar to touch the ‘burns.

My soundwoman, Jen Hess is one of the few singer-songwriter types who rocks more like Patti Smith and she held her own against a lot of weirdness that happened earlier in the evening. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Voodoo Economics were wonderful and bizarre like the first Need album mixed with a little bit of Deerhoof. I don’t really know how to describe what they do because it’s so unique, especially Allison’s voice, which sounds like Lene Lovich going off the rails and the keyboards remind me of creepy circus music. The best part was a cover of Heart’s “Crazy on You,” in VE’s crazy style.

Julia, Darshana, and Chetana made a great little dance party for the coldest room ever. I swear, I don’t think I felt any heat in that place all night long.

The Bad & The Ugly
For the first time in Plain Parade or Sugar Town history, I had to break up a fight. Someone tried to beat up my soundwoman, and I couldn’t have that happen. When Jen and I first got there, we were basically working around a table of 8-10 people who’d obviously been eating and drinking for a little while. Even though they were sitting right up front, near the stage and the soundboard, we did our best not to disturb them. Jen helped Voodoo Economics set up and I worked on the DJ stuff. The people at the table had their stuff spread out, as people relaxing in a bar usually do. When VE came in with their huge amount of equipment, everyone’s stuff got moved around.

At one point, I looked up and I saw a woman not with the band throwing stuff around and screaming at Jen. It turned out that her gloves and hat were misplaced and she couldn’t find them. Jen jumped up, understandably on the defensive, like, “Hey please don’t throw other people’s expensive stuff around!”

One thing I’ve learned with dealing with crazy people at Tower Records for five years is that you do what you need to do to make them disappear. You can’t argue with a loud violent drunk. So I got between them and asked the woman about 50 times until I got an answer, “What does your coat look like? What can I help you find?” Then we discovered her hat and gloves under the soundboard and I reached underneath and grabbed them for her, talking to her as if I were a kindergarten teacher. Then she was gone.

Unfortunately, this brought a weird vibe onto the night and Jen’s poor nerves were jangled. When someone does a favor for me or plays one of my events, the number one thing is that they feel safe and enjoy playing to people. So in that aspect, I failed. Also, my head throbbed with a stubborn migraine all night long. And I forgot to take pictures!

Anytime you deal with rock and roll and the public, shit happens. I’m still really glad I tried to do this by myself because for so long, I was afraid that I couldn’t (all due respect to my long and fruitful partnership with Maria). 2007 is the year I make myself do stuff I’m scared to do.

The next Sugar Town is Fri. 3/23 with Beretta 76, Mr. Drag King Philadelphia,tunes from DJ’s Lizbot (WPRB) and original ST DJ M.J. Fine (Phila City Paper), and more TBA. Hopefully next time will bring more lovers than fighters and the weather will be a tad warmer?


Entry filed under: Sugar Town, Uncategorized.

Sugar Town Tomorrow! Burlesque Epilogue

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