1/31/04 – Live From a Five Year Jacket Show
Showed up at 10:30 at Charlie Fox’s. Couldn’t find the place, so I walked into a pizza place to ask for directions. Showed up halfway through “Sweet Jane” –Velvet Underground, not Cowboy Junkies. Got carded, walked around looking at trendy middle-aged Batavians. Fantastically drunken cue-ball-headed middle-aged bastard can’t keep up with the time-changes.
Second set notes: Middle-aged guy with a Nextel clipped to his hip is doing some combination of The Twist and grinding his wife in a sixteen square-foot “dance floor” to “Pale Blue.”
I’m sitting three feet from the left main-speaker. I will never hear again out of my right ear.
Kevin begins taking requests for haircut money, and a woman gives him $3.49; all of the money in her purse that doesn’t comprise of fifty-dollar bills. Meanwhile, Chad hasn’t had a haircut since April of last year. During the Beatles medley that ensues, Ron begins jumping, which is something that needs to be seen to be believed, not unlike Pete Townshend, but without the whole Windmill thing. My beer is empty, where is the waitress? She arrives at the end of Come Together, which ends up not being the end of the medley, as the band plays “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.” Jay is fairly intoxicated at this point, with two hours left to play. This is apparent because he’s doing the pseudo-headbang thing in the groove of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.”
Ron and Matt split singing duties on a Loggins-Messina song, of which there is only one good one, and I realize that –arriving late or not- I should have bootlegged this show. Jay berates me after reading this for not noticing that he, too, was also singing on this song. They play what I think is a Johnny Cash song and two of the Five Year Jacket girls begin dancing, and the trendy Batavian wife of Nextel Guy can’t believe that these girls are monopolizing the dance floor wholeheartedly to a song that says, “Killed a man just to watch him die.” She looks horrified in the same kind of way a white suburban houswife would if you walked up to her and told her the joke about how to get Martha Stewart to scream twice.
The band then plays Nextel Wife’s request of “Like A Rolling Stone” –the Stones version, not Dylan- and now Nextel Guy is on the dance floor with his wife, their female friend and one of the Five Year Jacket girls. Kinky, to say the least. I think Nextel Guy once tried out for American Bandstand, but he’s a worse dancer than… oh, Christ, he’s doing the White Man Overbite. He’s that bad.
We go into “Head On” by Jesus And Mary Chain. These middle-aged bastards were my age when this came out and they’re totally lost. It’s not like the band’s playing the Pixies version off of Trompe Le Monde.
Take a trip to the Men’s Room. So terribly cold in there that the two beers in me actually retreat back into the bloodstream as soon as they would go into the Batavia sewer system.
Kevin starts playing “Just Like Heaven” (I've returned from the Men's Room) and I notice that the middle-agers are dancing again, no doubt re-living the fact that they were big into the Robert Smith goth-look of eighteen years ago.
The band starts playing “Cecilia” and this guy Rick, who we don’t know, but he’s wearing a propeller-headed beanie… anyway, Rick does the devil-horns at the beginning of a Simon And Fucking Garfunkel song. Propellerhead Rick, I notice, looks like a walking caution-sign, wearing a yellow shirt, black pants, some vest that looks like it’s sponsored by Mountain Dew and that beanie. But, instead of being a standard roadside caution sign, his very clearly implies, “Do NOT Fuck This Man.”
The band starts playing “Use Me Up” and no more than ten seconds later the dance floor is clear of Batavians. Fact: Middle-aged Batavians are uncomfortable with original rock music like Germans love David Hasselhoff. Nextel Wife dances briefly next to her chair just enough to Atkins off the carbs from her recently-drank Corona.
It’s about 12:45 and Five Year Jacket’s into their last set of the night. All the old people are gone, no doubt off to have some crazed drunken orgy with Propellerhead Rick, only to wake up tomorrow morning with bad memories of key-parties of yesteryear.
Basically, this sets a record for the desertion of townies from a bar, leaving only the displaced fans –for we are most certainly out of our element here- to listen to… well, whatever the hell the band wants to play. So, bring on the non-cover songs and let’s party.
Catch you all on the flipside, and if you live in the area, hope to see you at a show. I’ll even give you a copy of the Infamous Bootleg if you mention my website.
Number of Strings Broken: Two!
Memos Written to Kevin During The Show:
• “Please stop putting your hand in your pants.”
• “Please put your shirt back on. –The Girls.”
Postscript: Band plays last part of the set without shirts. … Holy shit, I just saw a boob! And, that’s a funny thing, because I’ve seen more breasts at Five Year Jacket shows in the last thirteen months than I’ve seen in the last five years. So, go ahead and ask me why I go to see this band all the time.