Saturday, July 09, 2005

Diary of a Really Bad Show

Trekked up to the Avalon in Hollyweird last evening to see the Eels play their final show of a three-month tour. I've always like the Eels and followed them relatively closely since their first album. I'm no music afficionado, my forte being sorcery and all, but if asked I'd have to say that I have a sound knowledge and appreciation for Mr. E's musical collection. For this reason, I think both Sasefina and I were relatively excited about this performance.

But the positive flow of electrons stops right there, as what ensued was generally an experience in wasted time, money and effort. Again, I'm no expert, but let me explain how a show can go really fucking bad, really fucking fast.

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8:00 — Pull up to the Avalon, park in the adjacent lot. Parking attendant is a total cocksmoke who doesn't want to give us change for a $20. Thanks, bra, I say with a wide, toothy smile. In typical H-wood fashion, a bum is pissing fifteen feet away from our parking space.

8:15 — Check out the tee shirts to see if there might be something cool to buy. But there isn't. Why in god's name do they still make tees with the tour dates on the back? I seriously don't care that the Eels played two shows in Germany last May. I definitely am not impressed that they were in Milwaukee. I can only venture to speculate that no one in Milwaukee cares either.

8:20 — Umm, where the fuck are we supposed to sit? In the aisle? Okay, fine. My back's got a few good years left in it.

8:30 — A Russian claymation cartoon plays on the curtain. This is really weird. As far as my primitive American intellect conceives, the story is about a crocodile troubadour and his baby monkey pal, battling industrial manufacturing executives hellbent on polluting a serene pond, bucolic bandits hungry for one piece of vanilla layer cake and a couple of goofy looking reject kids just hoping they can take a swim without the consequence of genetic mutation. All the while a monstrous train puffs smog and disonance into the playdough countryside. If this is what Russian kids watch growing up, then I am sincerely considering impregnating someone (My Vegas sweetheart Svetlana?) and having them brought up in the Siberian countryside. By far, the highlight of the night.

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8:45 — A couple of true geeks in front of us commence what becomes an all-night love fest, tongue kissing, necking and swapping saliva continously only inches from our astonished faces. It is downright perverted, but in a really not good way, as I would have at least been happy had they been a couple of hot-looking socialite rocker types. But no, it's Ward Cleaver and his chubby gal-pal. "Hey, I gotta go to the bathroom, kiss kiss," and "Hey, I'm gonna go get a drink kiss kiss," and "Hey, I'm so in love with you and I love the Eels, kiss kiss." Gag.

9:00 — The Eels come on after the crowd is treated to a scratchy, grinding reproduction of Gene Wilder's "There is no life I know" from the original Willy Wonka movie. The acoustics at this venue are CLEARLY sub-par. I start to get nervous when all I see are a strings section and no electric guitar or drums anywhere. This is not happening, I think. My ass hurts.

9:15 — Some hipster bitch is screaming at the top of her lungs at the band during one of E's "not rock" ballads. It is a true abortion and I am starting to get embarrassed. A dude stands up and shouts, "Shut the fuck up!" I offer to buy him a beer. The crowd gives him an ovation, the only justified one I remember.

9:30 — The band begins to experience equipment malfunctions. They stop the show. E prevents a tomatoes and garbage wielding mob outbreak with some smartass jokes. He fires the soundguy. This really sucks but that was kind of funny...well maybe not for the dude who was publicly humiliated, humbled and professionally idled.

9:40 — The show must go on, and it does. But only for a moment before the "dance club" on the Avalon's lower level starts kicking their twisted trance bullshit. My seat, on the ground if you will, begins to rumble and vibrate with the sonorous rhythms of "Motherfuckers Can't Handle the Pressure," or at least that's what it sounds like to me. In any case, the auditorium is now officially a cacophony. Leaving is quickly becoming the best decision.

10:00 — We manage a few more songs, ill-chosen musical mastrbation if you ask your ol pal Marty, but things are reaching a fever pitch. I give E a little credit. He mentions in between songs that the last time he saw a show at the Avalon that the sound really sucked and that he had his car stereo stolen in the parking lot. Now I'm downright uncomfortable.

10:15 — Some nimrod and his chick begin to literally heckle the band. A veritable peanut gallery in front gets in an argument with E and the show is again on hiatus as E, clearly drunk, exhausted or gakked (likely all three, Zod love him), dignifies these fucking losers by engaging them in the shit talking. He asks for security. My back is now locked in one inert position. No crowd pleasing songs are played to raise my spirits. I am getting douche chills from bearing witness to this putrid display of bad fans and mediocre performing. E even apologizes a couple times, in between puffs from his missile-sized cigar.

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10:20 — Sasefina turns to me with a truly despondent look, shakes her head and says, "This is a K-Hole. Let's get the fuck out of here." I feel great release as we do exactly that.

11:00 — Mexican take-out at Lucy's on LaBrea. Thank Zod for carne asada tacos. Good stuff, though the sherm head in line next to us nearly wrecks my appetite with his poop smell and pleas for "eggs, man, some eggs!" Fucking Hollywood. It's far less than I wanted and far more than I deserve.

All in all, I still like the Eels, but they need to do some thinking or re-thinking about what their live shows are all about after what went on last night. That was ORIBLAY. I cried myself to sleep and didn't make it into the office until 9:30. But then, maybe that was the late-night Internet porn jamboree and my Haruki Murakami novel. Good riddens to yesterday and hello Ludes! Wait a minute, I meant, well fuck, at least I am still the Trivial Pursuit Champion of the Deuce! Suck on that NYERD!

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