A Happy Face Smiled in Hayden Square

Editor's note: Maybe it was the tight wristband cutting off the oxygen flow to his brain. Or perhaps it was the kiboshing he got from crazy mofos in the Flys' mosh pit or the foolhardy mixture of sun, sound and Alabama Slammers from four different venues. Maybe he's attended too many of these things. Who knows why Serene Dominic's wrap-up of this year's New Times Music Showcase has the inexplicable ring of one of Larry King's USA Today "News & Views" columns? If you can furnish us the name of the person who put this horrifying posthypnotic suggestion into his head, please contact us immediately so we can nip this thing in the bud before his already waning fashion sense turns to suspenders and stripes forever.

News & Views

You read it here: Sunday afternoon, I left my car across the railroad tracks on Fifth and Ash and avoided paying $5 for event parking. I felt great until I caught my shoe crossing the railroad track and my friends and I were reminded of that great scene in Stand by Me, the surprise hit from 1986 and a movie you should rent. Who knew the Meathead could direct?... For my money, there's not a nicer guy in this town than Jamal Ruhe. That's why I skipped the Sleepwalker set at Fat Tuesday. In these showcase situations, you can't possibly see everybody, and I figured out of everybody playing the 5p.m. slot, he'd be the most understanding. Instead, I went to Fay's Green Room and caught a glimpse of The Peeps' made-up faces for the first time in broad daylight, and I do mean broad. If Tammy Faye Bakker runs in this year's Mascarathon, she'll have some formidable competition. Just a thought.... It wasn't "The Year of the Woman" at Music Showcase 2000, and don't talk to me about Ghetto Cowgirl, either. Aside from The Peeps, there seemed to be a paucity of female rockers. And there's not a guy in Victims in Ecstacy who can hold a spit bucket to Angie Dickinson, still a beauty at 67.... Later, during Los Guys' set, I understand a drunken Green Room patron vomited green, tan, chartreuse and every color of the rainbow all over the tee shirt of ex-Windigo lead singer Matt Strangewayes when he was just trying to help the guy to his feet. I'm glad I didn't see that. Watching people vomiting, it just takes too much out of you.... Speaking of color, these yellow wristbands remind me of heart attack number three.... This was the first chance yours truly had to see the inside of the Have a Nice Day Cafe. You'll recall this '70s and '80s retro club in Hayden Square used to be called Gibson's and before that it was Chuy's and about three other selections. This carbuncle changes identities more times than Sybil at a séance. Every stool in Have a Nice Day has a happy face pasted on it, but I didn't check to see if my stool was still smiling when my cheerful prostate got up to leave.... Enjoyed the gear jammer sounds of Flathead at The Bash on Ash. But I'm from Brooklyn, what do I know from rig rock unless it's a truck carrying Hoffman Beverages or Ubett Chocolate Syrup? During Flathead's first number, I overheard a Nirvana fan say, "Left-handed guitarists shouldn't be playing this kind of music. It's just wrong." To each his own.... Hey, gang, how about the talented kids from Sugar High? After some early sound troubles, everything went great, but their Highnesses neglected to play their most famous song, "Turbo Teen." It's featured in the movie You Drive Me Crazy, just out on DVD. I watched the opening credits to hear the song and then turned it off. After six heart attacks, I'm weaning myself off movies starring Melissa Joan Hart. They just take too much out of you.... Speaking of Sugar Highs, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, probably the hottest name in the fast-food world, went on the stock market recently. Too bad I stopped betting dollars to doughnuts ages ago.... When I work a turntable at home, it's just some old-timer playing Kay Kaiser. When DJ Lego does it at the Owl's Nest, everyone calls it a "rave." Go figure.... Playing country music has turned Bruce Connole into George Jones. Not sure what happened to the Pearl Chuckers, but "No Show" Connole has a nice ring to it.... Is there a greater guitarist than Chris Doyle, windmill operator for Big Blue Couch? And singer Michael Brandon is a gentleman and a man's man, but his penchant for dousing himself with pitchers of water had me concerned about electrocution when I went onstage to shake his hand. As if I wasn't already on shaky ground at Balboa Café, having ordered three plates of fried cheese sticks, potato skins, chicken fingers and onion rings, all aphrodisiacs for heart attack number seven. I offered some to Reuben's Accomplice after their set, but those undernourished boys naturally declined. Which reminds me, why can't you get a good Reuben sandwich in Arizona?... Took a shortcut through the Hayden Square parking facility and spotted Haggis' special guests Draggis changing into skirts, panty hose and earrings. Maybe it's "The Year of the Mediterranean Woman" (please, no letters!).... During Haggis' performance of the Eddie Money hit "Two Tickets to Paradise," I got into a heated discussion with Adrian Evans of Sugar High about whether Money sings out of the same side of his mouth as Brian Wilson and Crazy Guggenheim from the old Jackie Gleason Show. A pretty brunette interjected that you could easily fit all of Money's great hits on the head of a pin. To quote the Money-man, "I think I'm in love."... It took about a half-hour of continuous taunts to get pop purist Terry Garvin of Zen Lunatics to go see the Flys' set because he objected to them sampling Pet Sounds on their new album. "Even if they sampled Dr. Eugene Landy, I'd object," he grouched. We arrived at the Virgin Megastage just in time to hear the band's expletives fly. While I don't approve of broadcasting blue language, it was hard not to blurt a cyan phrase or two in that mosh pit. I thought they said "nosh pit" or I wouldn't have ventured into a place where my VIP badge meant nothing except "Veteran in Pain." Some brute stepped on my already inflamed bunions and I got conked on the noggin by the errant boot of a kid body surfing. During the Flys' last number, "Got You Where I Want You," singer Adam Paskowitz invited audience members onstage. After he lucked out with one perpetually grinding girl, his requests for "more b*tches" produced only one bashful beauty and a hulk of a guy who gave the singer a piggyback ride. Fun, maybe, but it certainly wasn't Sinatra at the Paramount.... Next week, my baseball picks. Stay tuned.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic