My friend Hannah Woodroofe is getting her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. She's been living in Youngstown, Ohio for the past 4 years studying urban decay. Last week she sent Emily Nokes and I a box with two terrifying masks that
she'd her friend Aspasia made from canvas, paint and rubber bands. Lacey saw the masks and figured how to make replicas so we could have a roving gang of people in masks. I bought a Victorian night shirt on eBay two years after seeing the movie The White Ribbon. I never really wore it because it's pretty rigid, so I used that as the rest of my costume. I put it on and Lacey Swain and I rolled around in wet dirt in my front yard.
My favorite part about Halloween in Seattle is the party at Keith Whiteman from Grave Babies' house. There's always the best people, a bonfire, and super good bands. We found a secret parking space labeled "FOR TERIYAKI MADNESS ONLY." We got there just in time for Rachel Ratner & Matt Nice's new band Wimps, a three piece who totally ruled. They're somewhat like Rachel's last band, Butts, but with one more person and more serious songs. Sweet guitar leads, great double vocals. That basement room smells like cat pee, but music sounds really good in there. It's what I always imagine as the best place to see a band at a party: sweaty, loud, people swaying. Jordan T. Adams was doing his point dance. Cousin Brian had a
flask thermos of vodka. I handed people packages of Whoppers and Dots.
- LELE BARNETT
After Wimps we bolted to SoDo to Radar Hair & Records. There was a Mad Max Themed party happening, aptly titled ROAD WARRIOR PARTY. When we got there Rachel Ratner's other band Partman Parthorse was playing. She just magically appeared there and was already playing in another band. Of course, PMPH isn't Rachel's band, it also includes Gary Smith, Lisa Smith, and Marshall Nall. Gary is a hot yoga instructor who teaches hot yoga, onstage he's usually nearly naked. One of the people in the masks leaned over and asked me if I thought Halloween was his favorite holiday. "It's the perfect excuse to just be nearly naked all night long," she finished. I had to agree. Partman Parthorse is always splendid live, raging sex rock with pelvic thrusts, no grins at all. It's totally serious. It's like workout music on mushrooms and speed. Except no drugs are needed, it's off in that way.
- LELE BARNETT
It became clear that nobody knew who we were because of our costumes. Jillian Murphy recognized me by my pants and people knew who I was when I talked because my voice is kind of high pitch. It's a tone that I call "only child affected." There was a costume contest. There were so many good costumes. Garfield & Jon. Gram Parsons. Betsy, one of the owners of Radar, was judging the contest and talking with a microphone. I had managed to slip another microphone up my shirt and into my mask without anybody noticing. She was judging the contest by applause, the group of people with the masks, which had now totaled six, were in a cluster to be judged together. She put her hand over Jon & Garfield. People clapped and yelled, it was a good costume. She put her hand over Gram Parsons. People clapped and yelled, it was a good costume. She put her hand over the people with the masks. People didn't really clap or yell, but I turned the microphone on and yelled "THE PEOPLE WITH THE MASKS." Everybody started yelling. She did all three again. The same thing happened. It was down to two, us and Gram Parsons. Nobody could tell I had the microphone. People may have actually thought there was really that much noise for a group of people with canvas sacks on their heads. "THE PEOPLE WITH THE MASKS! THE PEOPLE WITH THE MASKS!" I kept yelling. The microphone was feeding back. We won the contest, I had made the most noise. Ruben Mendez gave our prize to Gram Parsons, who was actually a person named Bettina Mckelvey. I played foosball in my mask against a guy named Noam and Ross from the Coconut Coolouts. Their ball never even got past my offense. I am so good at foosball, except in Germany. Everybody in Germany is so good at foosball.
- LELE BARNETT
- LELE BARNETT
Pete Capponi's Dogs Of War Mad Max tribute band played next. Johnny Samra played bass and there was a guy dressed as Master Blaster. Pete thrashed the cement floor with a giant chain while they tore through covers of G.G. Allin's "Sleeping In My Piss" and "So What" by the Anti Nowhere League, which they played twice. Needless to say, they ran Bartertown and we didn't need another hero.
We raced back to Keith's house because everybody wanted to see Evening Meetings. We stopped at a Shell station to get a twelver of Oly. We yelled at people out of the window. We told people who weren't dressed up that they had really good costumes. I threw boxes of Dots at people while yelling "TERIYAKI MADNESS!" It was so much fun. Evening Meetings were playing when we returned. They were perfect dark doom and sway music for that basement pee room. The sound was perfect, everybody was happening. We went upstairs to find that the back porch had collapsed while full of people. The BBQ grill was upside-down. I asked a guy who was on the porch when it collapsed what it was like. He replied, "The floor just disappeared, I just slid down and walked off."
I gave Carlos Ruiz a beer while he was going on about some girl he liked. As we were leaving we overheard a girl complaining about one of her friends. I was wearing a mask, I called her sexist. "You're a faggot," she replied. We all started yelling that she was racist and ran away laughing. We approached a hedge of juniper bushes. "I'm going to jump into that," I informed everybody. I'm 37 years old. I lept as high into the air as I could, turning 180 degrees to let the bushes catch me and spring me back up. The bushes weren't at all dense, I went right through on to concrete below. Everybody heard my head hit the pavement. I saw a bright flash of white light. Everybody was momentarily concerned. I'm an asshole sometimes. I'm sorry, world. "I think I'm having tunnel visions," I announced. Everybody laughed and we all went back to our house to eat pizza and listen to Iron Maiden. Emily and I argued about which record "Aces High" is on. My neck still hurts right now. Life fucking rules sometimes.