Okay, well, it got weird in my dreams last night: I had been recruited as one of a group being paid to spy on DOA by a malign government agency. Far from retiring, the band was going to record a new album and it was our job to infiltrate and observe and report back. There were some other things involved in my spying - involving music and secret aspects of the assignment that I no longer remember - but most of the dream involved my training with the other spies. There was some weird obstacle course, with arrows posted in the halls of an enormous building that we had to run through single file; I had arrived late, and was running near the end, going up a flight of stairs and picking up CDs people dropped, trying to catch up with the ones ahead of me, but soon they were all gone and I was struggling to spot and decode the arrows that I was supposed to follow. Then the course veered into public space and people were everywhere, things were happening, and as I tried to see if I was supposed to go into one certain room, someone -it might have been Hard Core Logo author Michael Turner, actually - blocked my access. I then understood - seeing a drum kit in the back - that this was DOA's secret practice room, that I'd found it. Where was everyone else on my "team?" What was I supposed to do now? I elected to linger, wondering if I really had the guts to "betray" DOA.
I actually think the context of this dream was the couple of wee bits of "negativity" that I allowed into my Straight review of the last DOA show. My being a spy for the forces of power is actually just a cipher for my being a critic! It's true that on "World War III" the drums sounded off - Hayden started with an attempted replication of whatever-the-fuck Biscuits did on the record - gotta be some of the most complex drumming in a punk song, with a doubled, staggered beat that sounds at times like he's playing two kits at once and weird flourishes everywhere like he's fucking Keith Moon or something; Hayden could NOT pull it off, and soon fell into a hard-hitting "Baldini" beat (a friend of mine observed that the whole song sounded out of synch. Hell, I dunno. Did it?). And sure, as good a bassist as he is, Yaremko isn't Rampage onstage (has he actually spent more years in the band now than Rampage ever did? It might be; Joe has worked with him a bunch).
All the same, I'm kinda kicking myself - the band deserved 100% positivity for their last review, even if it meant just blowin' smoke up their ass! (And MOST of what they did was great... neglected to mention that FloorTom (James Hayden) did a really cute little riff on the Clash's "Tommy Gun" at the very, very end of the main set, which, somehow, included an absent Jon Card in the evening for me, since I'd once seen Card doing "Tommy Gun" drum-riffs at the Railway Club with the Frank Frink Five, I think, as everyone joked about how Joe Strummer had once drank there... I really, really doubt that that's what Hayden had on his mind, but it was still a nice gesture. The only REAL issue with DOA as they stand is that it's just Joe and the next in a long series of sidemen: it doesn't matter WHAT Dan or James do, or how well they play, they're never going to be Rampage and Biscuits! Which leaves me in the end more sympathetic for them than not.
Anyhow, I guess the spy-dream was actually a way of figuring my insecurities about my writing... I am not now nor have I ever been in the employ of a government agency. I would have less trouble making my rent, if I were.
POST-SCRIPT: Hey: people craving more should know: it's around $15 as a foot passenger to cross the ferry, and DOA play Victoria at Club 9one9 on January 27th. Probably the Salt Spring Island and Cumberland gigs are harder to get to - to say nothing of Banff - but Victoria is probably doable for most Vancouverites. Y'all could just stay up all night and catch a ferry back...
Then again, it will just be the three guys, I imagine, and not the epic sendoff of the show on the 18th, so...