This week's column is devoted to plucky statements--so the timid and the tepid can fuck right off. So can the White Stripes. Yes, I said the White Stripes can fuck right off. Why? The Black Keys, that's why. On Friday, July 26, yet another two-person band took the stage and did the white-guy blues thing, but this duo--holy shit! is all I'm sayin'. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, the Black Keys has a drummer who can actually play the hell out of his drums, and bearded singer Dan Auerbach sings like crazy. And while some people think he sounds like Hendrix on record, I thought he sounded like early-Creedence John Fogerty up there on Chop Suey's stage. He certainly looked like him. One well-known smarty-pants in the audience wasn't convinced the band was all that, however, and almost ruined it for me by opining that Auerbach did not sound like Hendrix or Fogerty, but rather that he was a ringer for--OH, HOW I BEGGED HIM NOT TO SAY IT!--Eric Clapton. A Man Whom I Cannot Stand. For some folks who listen to classic rock while driving in the car (ahem), "Aqualung" is reason enough to cause a 10-car pileup while changing stations. For me, that song is "Layla." Does that awful golden oldie never end? And then Clapton had to go and re-record it slow, acoustic-style, and my own personal hell has grown twofold. Black Keys = Clapton = Shame on you, Mr. Smart T. Pants who plays in a band I adore, despite the fact that you, too, were once compared to Clapton.
Next, a request. I was thinking about all these '80s tribute nights going on and I had a brilliant idea. For the love of God, would someone please do me the favor of putting together a night celebrating the late, great Three O'Clock? I nominate Rusty Willoughby to stand up front as Michael Quercio, and you can all fight over who will back him up. For those who are unfamiliar with Three O'Clock, go out and buy Sixteen Tambourines (the CD version comes with the earlier release Baroque Hoedown tacked on) for a taste of some of the most sadly unheard power pop ever produced.
Finally: Stop all that goddamn drunken brawling, you jackasses. Or shall I say "jake-asses," as one sloppy guy apologetically called himself when I flipped him some lip on his behavior. I know it's Seafair (did anyone see me weaving my way through a marching band as I crossed Fourth en route to the Crocodile Saturday night?), but do you have to bring your boozy, fighting rear ends up to Capitol Hill to get your testosterone and tequila cocktails on? I saw a fight at the Cha Cha involving some sawed-off little shit commenting on the tits of another guy's girlfriend. Then I walked up the street and witnessed two people being thrown up against the window of Kincora, followed by an altercation that ended when a local band member, who was trying to help, got arrested by cops, and thrown in the pokey. Then on Sunday night shit almost went sideways at Chop Suey when yet another band member nearly beat the living crap out of someone until he decided to be the better man. Let me tell you, the other guy got off easy, because nice guy that he is, my fighting friend never loses a battle. On Monday morning I took note that Linda's front window was busted out, and I can only guess what happened there.