I’ve allowed myself to cool down a little before attempting this.
First I’d like to say thank you to those of you who attended Friday night’s show at Oade’s Hidden Camel. We raised $300+ for the Lansing Food Bank and collected a few boxes of canned goods. Food is good. Don’t give us all the credit though; I believe it was Todd from MK Ultra Culkin who set the whole thing up (they gave an energetic set, by the way, if you missed it).
Over all, it was a great night. Narc Out the Reds had to play with out a drummer or bass player, but still delivered a unfeigned performance. It was really nice being able to hear the lyrics/vocals for once! Then, “Lansing’s most detached band,” Hordes melted and warped our brains for a while with their own brand of nullifying noise. (It was really funny watching my families faces as they watched them!) Their stuff really put my head in this weird space, which I think is their aim, so cheers to them. I definitely want to see them again. After Hordes came Year 200X who rocked our faces off with metallic nostalgia of digital worlds we almost forgot about (if you are/were a gamer, you’d understand).
After all that, it was The Break-Ups turn to take the stage. This was our first real show in quite some time, and we had only practiced once or twice before hand since it’s hard to find time to get together in our busy, not-quite-adult lives. Despite me having too much to drink and dropping two sticks (to my surprise) during our first song, we played a nice set topped off with a crude cover of “Black Diamond” by Kiss. I’m critical, but thought it went well, and so did everyone we talked to that night. (Even the people who are honest and not afraid to hurt our feelings said so! Maybe they were drunk too…) Everyone was having a great time, rocking for charity, drinking and chatting. Oade’s seems to be a good place to socialize.
MK Ultra Culkin took the stage fast, while I was still packing up. I love that band. I scrambled over to awkwardly thrash around to the angry sounds and was disappointed that many people had left after The Break-Ups set. They missed out.
But whatever! We were there to have a good time with a good cause in mind, and it stayed that way until maybe about… 1:30 or so? I was engulfed in one of the many exciting tales of Craig Horky when suddenly people were yelling and on the floor! At a closer glance, I saw that the two guys on the floor were Digger (no surprise there) and Chris B. from NOTR. The bar tenders were freaking out and making people leave. “What is going on?!” I called out to no one in particular. Tommy answered the question all those uninvolved were wondering.
Pointing and fuming, he proclaimed “That asshole right there with the red hair” was causing all the trouble. (Trust me, you don’t want to be around Tommy when he’s angry). I walked over to the guy in his leather jacket with his goatee and strained supercilious smile. He has apparently been picking on Frankie (of all people to pick on) about her bass-playing abilities, among other things.
“Why would you do that?” I asked incredulously, almost amused by his imprudence. He looked nervous and would not look me in the eye, so I got closer and interrogated more. He was obviously too afraid or just too dumb to give me any kind of answer. Maybe he saw that he had already got himself into enough trouble as it was. Eventually, he was made to leave followed by much taunting and hazing from multiple parties.
Yes, we were quick to jump to Frankie’s defense, but it’s not just because we love Frankie and know how hard she takes criticism. We were enraged because the guy had no real argument. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I certainly don’t expect everyone to like The Break-Ups. But this guy was singling Frankie out and telling her that she was a worthless bass-player. (Of course he was brash enough to attack the seemingly most sensitive one of us). Again, there’s no argument there either. No one ever claimed that Frankie had mad bass skills, and on top of that, you don’t NEED mad bass skills to play good music. So who told this guy that you do? Wait—who ever asked for his opinion any way? No one did! He was the instigator with no apparent cause, other than his own insecurities.
Now, I avow that Frankie is a simple bass player. Is there anything wrong with that? She’s only been playing a few years and has learned through friends and mostly on her own. I’ve never known her to be a showy or loud person, so why should her bass-playing be? I should think these assessments are all givens.
One more point I must make is that Frankie really is a VERY good bass player. Why? Because there’s more to playing bass than being all over the fretboard. Take it from a drummer; Frankie’s timing is better than most people I’ve played with. That’s saying a lot, I know, but why would I lie? She just has naturally good timing. And when a band has a solid rhythm section, chances are the band will be good too (or you can fool people into thinking so ;)). If a bass player has poor or even medial timing skills, it’s just not good.
We were all fuming about the whole thing for a short while; all in an uproar, but we got over it quickly. Why let it ruin an otherwise perfectly good night? Eventually (I have hope) the instigator will look back at himself and realize how naive and immature he used to be. Then maybe he’ll find love. Clearly, this guy has a lot of bad things inside that need ironed out before he can become a man. He’ll probably have to get his ass kicked a few times first though.
I know that there was much more to all this that I left unsaid; I expect more coverage from Tommy, Timmy, and any one else that wishes to share their account of the night. Let’s get it all out before we bump into him again and take our anger out physically. There’s a good chance that if certain people run into him, we won’t be seeing his pretty nose rings and goatee around town for a while, which is alright by me! Let’s hope for his own sake that he never finds himself at a TCF show either.