It was the day-drinkin'-est Independents Bowl yet. By noon on Sunday, an hour before the 1 p.m. first roll, Let It Roll Bowl's bar was already filled with hipster bowlers knocking back $2.50 PBR tallboys and ordering pitchers of Miller Lite.
You had to feel a little sorry for the parents who organized their kid's birthday party on the same day the indie crowd invaded the North Phoenix alley. As a dozen or so 8-year-olds spread out in the lobby to put their shoes on, the indie-rock scene's creatures of the nights -- looking a little bedraggled so early on the Sabbath -- maneuvering around the kids with beers in hand as DJ Hartbreaks set up his turntables.
The event drew 22 teams, including ones comprising such happening bands as Gospel Claws and Snake! Snake! Snakes!, be-spandexed goofballs Treasure Mammal and Dave Driscoll, weirdo popsters Captain Squeegee, heavy rockers Cagematch, pop mainstays Colorstore, record producer Mike Hissong, the proprietors of The Rogue Bar, promoter Tyler King, the ubiquitous "dame of DIY" Kimber Lanning, hardest-hitting drummer in Phoenix and super-producer Bob Hoag, the New Times marketing team, and dozens of other rockers, DJs, artists, promoters, and small-businesspeople.
"Out of the hundred or so events I produce each year, Indie Bowl is always one of my favorites," said local promoter heavyweight Stephen "Psyko Steve" Chilton. "Everyone always has such a good time."
DJ Hartbreaks (winner of New Times' Best Young Hipster DJ) provided the soundtrack to the first hour of bowling, spinning a mix of '70s and '80s dance and pop hits before turning the turntables to DJ Babynose, who played an all-vinyl set of obscuro '60s and '70s rock. DJ Shane Kennedy (winner of New Times' Best Old Hipster DJ) played the event's final couple of hours, spinning tunes by the likes of Thee Headcoatees and The Monkees.
After three games and multiple lane changes, a four-team bowl-off determined the champion. This year, it was Team Hissong, which featured Mike Hissong, musicians John Brandon and John de la Cruz, and your host, Chilton.
This correspondent's team (also comprising Laura "Fry Girl"
Hahnefeld, former Ruby Room co-owner Ronda Hampton, and Asses of Evil singer JJ Jet Jaguar) finished in second place in the bowl-off after having the top cumulative three-game score.
Last year's champs The Other 49 (who had participated in a charity walk before Indie Bowl) finished in third, and Hard Rock Cafe finished fourth.
The highest individual score was a 203, rolled by Dan Haney on Captain Squeegee's team. Everyone who won walked away with a trophy made from a full can of PBR, thanks to the Pabst Blue Ribbon crew that helped sponsor the event.