Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Was that a wet dream? (...a strange random queer orgasm in the night)

...So there is some sexual detail in this blogpost, as you may gather. 

I think my last wet dream was in 2008; I was staying at my parents' for a weekend visit, back when both were still alive, sleeping on their couch. I don't think my Mom had had her stroke, yet. I dreamed that a local writer I know (male!) was sucking me off and woke up with a wet spot in the front of my shorts -- an embarrassing thing to have to conceal and clean up when your parents are awake before you! Anyhow, I would have been 40, then; if I have had a wet dream since, I haven't noticed it.

I do sometimes have sexual dreams, but they rarely involve other people. Usually I'm trying to find a place to masturbate (to straight porn; there is no queer element to these dreams), but I keep getting interrupted; I wake up unsatisfied, with an erection, which usually correlates to a strong need to pee. Never do I reach orgasm in these dreams, even if it is ONLY in the dream; they're quite frustrating -- wankus interruptus.  

The other week, things changed up, however. I had a dream where I was having sex with a young Asian-Canadian man; we were in his bedroom in his parents' home. I am not sure if I was also  younger; the dream has no elements of reality in it, so I have no idea who he was supposed to be, or even if I was supposed to be myself. But we were fucking, and he warned me that we should stop, because if we continued, our ejaculations would stain the sheets and his parents would find out about it. There would be no way to clean up and keep closeted.  

I thought about it for a second, considered my priorities, and decided, fuckit, I'm coming! So I grabbed myself, gave a few strokes, and exploded semen all over the bedsheets.

The young man was freaked out. His sister came into the room and he explained to her, begging her to help. I was sitting naked in the bedsheets, enormous gobs of semen all over the place (it didn't look much like semen, but was clear and had the sparkly sheen of a petroleum biproduct). I felt kind of pleased with myself.

Then I woke up and checked my shorts to see if it had been a wet dream. It felt like it might have been -- there certainly was an orgasm of some sort involved in the dream, or the sensation of one (can one have the sensation of an orgasm without it actually having been an orgasm?), even if (assuming orgasm and ejaculation can be separated) I had not actually produced any goo, I had all the other feelings I associate with coming -- the tingling explosion of light shooting up the spine, the burst behind the eyes, etc. 

Anyhow, there was nothing in my shorts that I could find. I would have been kind of impressed and kind of mortified (56 years old and still coming in his pants!). 

At least it wasn't another dream where I couldn't manage to jerk off, though. Those are annoying. 

Post-script: 20 people have read my sex dream since I posted it this morning. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Los Furios with Dragstrip Devils (top), Cawama (middle), Melody Mangler (red) and Justin Sane (brunette), February 24th at the Rickshaw!

Great night last night at the Rickshaw for the Los Furios homecoming show, their first in Vancouver since pre-COVID times. Very full house, more than Mo or I had expected; it was main-floor only, no balcony, that I could see, but it was still pretty packed, so it looks like my press support actually made a difference? (A few people actually cheered when Kyle gave a shout out to "my man Allan" who did the article, so somebody seemed to have read it!). Shot some vid of (Kelowna psychobilly band) Dragstrip Devils (who were fast and tight and playful) and Los Furios (in fine form for their big Vancouver comeback show), but I only snapped pics of (Vancouver/ Latino surf punks) Cawama, because I was saving my battery (but holy hell their cover of "Too Drunk to Fuck" was grand; there is a past clip of them doing it here). I checked out shortly after Los Furios did "Crazy World," which Kyle prefaced with some sensitively-worded stuff about supporting a ceasefire in Gaza, so I missed the last few songs -- footsore and exhausted after a very long day, I stuck around only long enough through "Body Bag" to determine that it wasn't a Nomeansno cover -- but it was really fun to dance to "Revolution Rock," and I learned a few new favourite Los Furios tunes (like the exuberant, punky "One Last Time," which was my fave of the songs they did that I did not already know).  They also did a song off their upcoming album, Old Ghosts -- which should surface on their bandcamp any day -- which gives some sage advice about not opening the door when the doubts and regrets and so forth of your past come knocking. I can't remember the actual chorus now, but I could see Jonny Bones of (fellow ska-punk travellers) the Bone Daddies in the audience, singing along from the gitgo. Bones is a fast study, I guess!

Nice to be back in the Rickshaw -- feels like it's been awhile, don't think I've been there since last Keithmas -- but Squid and the Reverend Horton Heat are both coming soon. It was good to be back. 

All photos by me. Everything on this blog is "not to be re-used without permission," but, like, just ask (Adam PW Smith has professional-level shots if you're lookin'). 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Concert organizer for spring?

I know that immunity from COVID does not last long, but still I figure that my last dose of COVID, in January, gives me a little bit of low-risk concert going for a few months, which I intend to take advantage of, even though I may well have caught that last dose at a concert. Here are some springtime shows I am keen on... 

By the way, no one is paying me to promote anything or guestlisting me for a single show on this page. You're welcome to, promoters, but do not presume that that is WHY I am posting any of this. People may misunderstand, but this blog is NOT a commercial venture, just an expression of my love of music and my desire to support the scene. I have occasionally cadged a guestlisting for things based on this -- things I cannot afford, otherwise, usually -- but that is NOT what this is, today. Just some stuff I am excited about! 

Anyhoo, gonna do Los Furios tonight (see the previous post)... If I am really ambitious it might be a fun appetizer to see Sinead X Sanders at the Princeton starting at 5:30 but that may be pushin' it... After today, the next thing on my radar is La Chinga at the WISE next Friday:

I quite enjoyed La Chinga at Keithmas. They have a very big presence and I have enjoyed some of their music, but whether I go will depend on my mood and if it is sold out. I suspect it might -- we'll see! That plan may also be scuttled by the chance to see Allison Russell at the Commodore, which kind of has snuck up on me. I might suggest that to Erika... no shortage of options! 

Saturday the 24th it is Squid at the Rickshaw. Sold out, we gather, but that one I bought a ticket for. Sounds a bit like Don Caballero covering XTC imitating the Fall. Maybe there will be a few tickets at the door?

Luckily I do not think the other show on my radar that night is sold out, which might suit roots music fans better...

...that being First Nations country artist William Prince at the Orpheum (I wrote about him here when he was last in town). I liked seeing him! And I liked Stand in the Joy best of the music of his I've heard.

Wednesday the 28th, Kitty and the Rooster play the WISE... maybe! 

March 1st I am considering (Ry's kid) Joachim Cooder at St. James Community Hall. I have seen him twice, again doing other people's music. His voice better suited covering the Grateful Dead ("Ripple" at Steve Dawson's Dead tribute at the last Folk Fest) than it did the Dylan songs I saw him do but his kalimba playing at the Dylan event was exquisite and fascinating. I don't have a full sense of what he does -- I believe I chatted with him briefly that night but only to ask what the heck to call his instrument: it was not your run-of-the-mill kalimba, but some sort of mega-sized electric one, quite compelling to watch. I have not figured out if he lives here or just likes it here -- he keeps playing here! -- but if Erika wants to go to this show, I'm down...

...though if she doesn't, I might just do Crummy that night, I think either at LanaLou's or the Princeton. I would love to see Crummy again but the stars have not aligned, it has been far too long. I gripe about neglecting local heroes in that Los Furios piece I did but just because I am aware of the phenom does not mean I am not guilty of it.  

But assuming I am going to miss that, maybe Crummy will be playing the Lou Reed tribute night, March 2nd? Doug Andrew and the Circus in Flames are, and no doubt the Lulu's, with the Eds and Lisa Lloyd... I know I'm gonna get too much Transformer and not enough Blue Mask or New York and NO Ecstasy or Set the Twilight Reeling, though I might ask David M. (if he's playing) to do "Hookywooky" if he's willing. Someone should do "Hookywooky," anyhow. But maybe there are people who are going to take on the Velvets? 

Come early for the meat draw, that was the lesson last time. I am going to keep going to this until I win some meat ("I'm waiting for my meat/ I came early to save a seat/ Down Commercial, the chicken plant stinks/ at least the Princeton has a beer I can drink/ I'm waiting for my meat...")

March 8th I am very keen to see Murray Acton back in action with the Dayglo Abortions at the Waldorf. I'm hearing great things about the revitalized band and very happy Murray has bounced back from his cancer ordeal. Cancer ordeals suck! Maybe I will wear my "Fuck Murray's cancer in the ass" button.

And speaking of the Dayglo Abortions, I don't know if there's a Vancouver show, but Blind Marc's solo project, Isolated Earthlings -- which Marc and I talk about here -- is on Friday, March 15th at Bully's in New West. Can't forget that! Looks like it might be a Car 87 gig... I have not heard them in awhile; as I recall, I saw them open for both The Rebel Spell and Bison, some time ago... I would gladly see them again, but it's Marc I'm coming for! 

There are probably some other things happening between March 15th and the next show on my radar, but Sunday, March 24th, it's Selina Martin at Green Auto. I interviewed her here. If you don't know Selina, I have decided that the first song you should hear is "The Hottest Day," which is kinda Pixies-ish, but her new music is more artful and complex and also very compelling.  Tony Bardach will be sharing the bill, with his newest incarnation of Slowpoke and the Smoke -- really a fun album! More to come on that.

Tuesday, March 26th it's the Reverend Horton Heat and some real cool guests whose music I do not know... that show is also sold out!  After which, there's a local show I am keen to see a few days later -- the MeBats (formerly Stab'Em in the Abdomen), another local band I want to catch again sometime soon (again with the Eds), with aforesaid Doug Andrew and the Circus in Flames, and a newish band called Sudden Darts, which is actually the new project by John Werner, whom I interviewed at some length here. He's one of those mostly-unsung local heroes, playing with the Pack (with Kirk Brandon of Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny) in the UK, the (now retired?) Furies (Vancouver's first punk band), and the Graham Brown Band (Jr. Gone Wild connection, there). Sudden Darts is his rootsy  new project, which I have not yet caught, but I like John a lot, a gentleman and a scholar and a very enjoyable bassist, so... 

Running out of gigs I'm aware of, but for sure, on April 19th, I want to do Steve Dawson's Rogue Folk event. I loved the Dylan thing and am enjoying his music at home (I don't know it all, but I just was spinning We Belong to the Gold Coast; it's great). I probably saw Zubot and Dawson live at 1067 once, but do not have clear memories -- that place was almost always just "going to 1067." 

And April 22nd, I'm wondering if I want to see Helmet again. I last saw Helmet at the Town Pump, playing with TAD, around 1989 or 1990. Another show I might not buy an advanced ticket to, just see where the spirit takes me that night. It's Sinatra's world... do they still play that? 

Also considering Korpilklaani but again, only as the mood strikes me, if it isn't sold out! 

Then it's Gustaf, at the Fox... May 2nd... dance punk, did an awesome job opening for the Sleaford Mods... shot some vid... I could dance to this... they totally upstaged the Mods and even have three more views than the vid of them that I shot that night! 

EDIT: My previous draft hinted at a big-time punk show not yet announced. This is Wait//Less, Dead Bob, and DOA at the Commodore. I have no idea how long it's been since DOA played the Commodore but I'm pretty sure I know how long it's been since John Wright played there, because I was there at the jazzfest in 2006 where Nomeansno did that "Bitches Brew" cover (with lyrics) with support from Italian free jazz band Zu. Which was awesome, but Dead Bob AND DOA at the Commodore...? Yeah!!

After that, I figure it's time to get my COVID booster. It's been awhile!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Los Furios EARLY SHOW Sunday at the Rickshaw (and online in Montecristo Magazine)

The last time I saw Los Furios was one of the happiest concert experiences I've had this century, seeing a local band get a totally enthusiastic reception from an audience that were not local at all. It's also my second-favourite Commodore experience ever, after having seen Joe Strummer and the Pogues there. I used this as a key element in a story for Montecristo this week, because I could and because I thought they rocked that night... I think Los Furios, accustomed to a certain level of being taken for granted locally, might be slightly surprised the press happened, but their story makes a great read. I have no idea whether it will do them good tonight, but the show is on, starting early, and I am going to the Rickshaw  with a yen for "Cantina" and the intention to get a bit intoxicated and dance my ass off! 

I have had internet issues this week. so I was not able to do a decent blogpiece with my outtakes from the interview (and it's a bit late now), but there is another factor in wanting to write about Los Furios, and it has to do with hometown loyalty... read on for more...

(Corinne Kessel, everyone's favourite member of Los Furios?)

Y'see, back in the 1980s, especially in small towns like Maple Ridge, it took a bit more commitment to be a punk than it does now: if you had spiky, dyed hair, for instance, you risked being laughed at, spat at, or sometimes even beaten up. You would be walking alone at night, minding your own business (but looking weird) and a bunch of jock dipshits would drive past you in their Camaro or Mustang or such and -- because any guy who would style their hair must have been queer, which back then was not a reclaimed term -- they'd shout some homophobic slur at you from a rolled-down window, maybe chuck a beer bottle at you or such. If you were walking alone, you'd watch nervously as they slowed their car, idling up ahead,  wondering if they were about to leap out and shitkick you. 

I was spared most of that action, actually; I never looked scared enough for them -- craven cowards and pathetic bullies, the lot -- to be an inviting target, I guess, but I did get punched in the head once for talking back to someone who used a particularly uninventive homophobic slur on me (I shot back, "Asshole!" and he didn't like it). And I did have a bunch of stoners, smoking up in a park outside Maple Ridge Secondary, in their long-sleeved Led Zep tees and ubiquitous AC/DC shirts, pelt me with rocks once, as I walked by them, listening to the Exploited on my shitty Realistic tapedeck. Which story I have always ended with a punch line: I was stoned by stoners, ha ha... 

...But it kind of hurt my feelings. Some of them were kids in my class, you know? The rocks didn't hurt much -- a couple pelted the backs of my thighs and calves and bounced away. When I realized what had happened, I turned and stared at them -- a row of at least twenty kids, throwing rocks at the punk, and I guess they could read my disgust and disappointment, because once I faced them, not a rock connected.  

Anyhoo, experiences like that tend to drive members of the in-group (the punks) together, to help define them against the out-group (which included the headbangers, the stoners, the jocks, and the rednecks, who were kind of referred to en masse and seemed to make up 80% of the population of Maple Ridge. There was no internet, there were no places to buy punk music. If there were punk bands from Maple Ridge, I didn't know about them. Except for the first Ten Feet Tall demo tape. That, I had. Great cover art! 

I think it was actually Kyle Fury (nowadays the frontman of ska-punk band Los Furios) who recognized me from back when, and pointed out that Ten Feet Tall had been his band. I don't think I would have recognized him -- I didn't know him well, never saw Ten Feet Tall play live. But I was glad that they existed, that Maple Ridge was represented, and it's utterly great that they have had the success they've had, even if it's been mostly in other places! 

So knowing one of my editors at Montecristo is partial to ska, and having my second-favourite ever Commodore Ballroom stories up my sleeve (after seeing the Pogues -- with Shane -- and Joe Strummer there, filling in for a sick Philip Chevron, some 20 years prior) -- I pitched a Los Furios story at the mag, apropos of their Sunday Rickshaw show. Really it's just an expression of tribal loyalty -- Maple Ridge homeboys! -- but I sure did enjoy their set at the Commodore, that night. Read about it in the article...?

BTW, my favourite Los Furios release is probably this one. Some of the lyrics to "Cantina" remind me a bit of being stuck in Maple Ridge, as a kid. I think it's a pretty fun piece of writing, and that it's going to be a really entertaining show. Hell, I may even dance... Note, the show is now being billed as an "early show," with doors at 7pm! Apologies in advance for any pressure I may have put on Los Furios to deliver, for their first Vancouver show since pre-COVID (if memory serves). 

Friday, February 09, 2024

Nomeansno/ Mudhoney signing at Neptoon, plus a hyphenation/ compound adjective rabbithole

Dead Bob tour dates for spring! 

So I work as an English tutor, and have worked as an ESL teacher for many years. Every now and then people in these professions encounter a question that provokes us to observe something about language we don't know. Since I've been in this field more or less since the 1990s, that actually doesn't happen very often: most student questions are about grammar points (or mechanical ones, like capitalization and spelling) that I've dealt with a thousand times before, and I can whip out a spiel without thinking. But on Wednesday, near the end of my shift, around 5:45PM, in reviewing questions from a diagnostic test provided to students by a different department, I encountered a sentence that challenged what I thought was a general truth, something taken for granted: that you hyphenate compound adjectives before a noun. 

I will get to Nomeansno (and Mudhoney) presently, but you have to understand: this observation excited me. 

Consider this sentence: "We spoke to the high-level executive." The compound adjective is, in this case, "high-level." You need to hyphenate it because without the hyphen, "high" (here an adverb, modifying level) could also be an adjective, and you could be talking about a "level" (in the sense of calm, stable) executive who also happened to be high (a comma would be unnecessary, but you could perhaps write this as a high, level executive, if that helps you see what I mean; the hyphen helps prevent this misreading). An example on this page also gives a fun example of the distinction between "a man eating alligator" ("I've never seen a man eating THAT before") vs. a "man-eating alligator." No ambiguity is possible if the compound comes at the end of a sentence ("That alligator is man eating" and "That executive is high level") so hyphens aren't necessary there, though I don't think anyone would assert that they're wrong. They're just not important. But before a noun, the hyphen guards against confusion. 

However, I discovered on Wednesday that a bunch of people out there -- prescriptivists; people whose approach to language centers on asserting rules, rather than describing common practice -- do generally say that you should not hyphenate a compound adjective when the first word is an adverb that ends in -ly. Do not hyphenate in the case of "highly placed," for example, wherever it may appear: "He is a highly placed executive," say. It means the same thing, as high- level, nd it's still a compound adjective, but by virtue of the -ly, there is no danger of misunderstanding, so there is no hyphen needed, and some would say the hyphen is even wrong. Which is a rule I had not encountered before, and seems extremely nitpicky. I would argue the hyphen is not "incorrect," just unnecessary. 

Questions arose, primarily, even if you COULD omit the hyphen, why the hell would anyone teach that you should NOT hyphenate -- not that it's merely unnecessary, but actually incorrect? Someone formulated this rule for a reason, but what? I would guess that the problem here is that it is actually sometimes quite tricky to determine whether a compound adjective is actually a compound adjective ("highly placed" is clearly a compound adjective; you need both parts to make it meaningful, as you wouldn't likely go around talking about a "placed executive") or just an adverb and an adjective ("a highly successful executive" for example; no one would even think to hyphenate that).  

But what rule is it -- what feature of creating compound adjectives -- that makes it at least TEMPTING to hyphenate them (leaving aside the question of whether it is incorrect or not)...? Why does it read as intuitively okay to talk about a "nicely-made handbag" (even if a bunch of prescriptivists want to get out their red pencils) but not a "lovely blue handbag?" That alligator page above would explain that it's because "nicely made" involves a participle -- that is, "made" is actually constructed out of a verb, the same way that something that confuses you can leave you "confused" -- and, going against the general prescriptivist grain, they authors of that page DO say you should hyphenate these. But there's a slightly confused tutor here, because one has no temptation to hyphenate "slightly confused," and that IS built on a participle, as well ("confused" is as much a participle as "made"). 

So something more needs to be said, and hopefully something that doesn't involve a further amendment to the rule, which already has its own amendment. It becomes unwieldy to try to explain to students:

1. Hyphenate all compound adjectives if they occur before nouns

2. ...Except when the first part ends in -ly

3. ...Unless that second part is a participle

4. ...Unless that participle is in very common use, as with a "slightly confused Nomeansno fan" or a "terribly bored Mudhoney enthusiast." 

If the presence of participles is not enough to formulate an efficient rule-of-thumb here -- and I don't think it is -- we have to get into the actual construction of compound adjectives. One feature that seems compelling as a lead into a theory (though also not probably useful in explaining the point to people who aren't from here) is that in cases where hyphenation is tempting (even if "unnecessary," etc), the adjective without the adverb would seem funny. In adverb + adjective combinations, you could easily omit the adverb in the following sentences, whether participles are involved... :

A slightly damaged watch

A frightfully exciting film

A noticeably broken window

An extremely confused tutor 

A highly frustrated student 

...Or not:

A charmingly morbid joke

A highly elaborate scheme

A terribly hot day

An extremely sweet candy

A beautifully harmonious piece of music 

I don't think ANY of those register as compound adjectives; there's no temptation to hyphenate them (maybe your instincts differ?). And you can just as easily eliminate the adverbs and produce something meaningful - a damaged watch, an exciting film, a broken window, a confused tutor, a morbid joke, an elaborate scheme, a hot day, a sweet candy, a harmonious piece of music. Right? The adverbs add to the meaning, but you can strip them away and the phrases don't seem weird. 

But if we eliminate the adverb from the following, what we get DOES look pretty weird:

A beautifully made handbag

A charmingly attired woman

A strangely phrased request

A generously given donation

A nicely written article

There is something about all of these that makes them compound adjectives, above and beyond questions of participle use, which is why they may seem to beg for hyphens. While you can see, at this point, why the prescriptivists might just want to stop thinking about all this and say, "Just don't hyphenate if the first part ends in -ly," But the value of the adverb here is much different from the previous cases: we wouldn't normally go around talking about a "made handbag," an "attired woman," a "phrased request," a "given donation" (unless we mean given in a different way) or a "written article." It makes perfect sense to say "That is a nicely written article" (and looks okay to say, "That is a nicely-written article," prescriptivists be damned). Or we can talk about a "poorly written" article, a "beautifully written article," a "confusingly written article," etc -- the adverb doesn't make a difference. But it seems kind of weird to say, "That is a written article." OF COURSE it's a written article; articles are written. If it were unwritten, would it actually BE an article...? Ditto the rest -- handbags are made. Women are, generally, when in public, attired, requests are phrased, and donations are given, etc. Saying something is a donation IMPLIES that it has been given. "A generously given donation" makes sense, but take away "generously" and the whole sentence seems daft: "That is a given donation" means, simply, "that is a donation." No? 

Another observation. The latter compound adjectives can be written in a different word order, which might be key to their construction, since it doesn't apply with the mere adverb-plus-adjective constructions. We can say, "That handbag is made beautifully," "That woman is attired charmingly," "His request was phrased strangely," "That donation was given generously," or "This article is written nicely." We cannot do that with those adverb + adjective combinations: "It is a hot day terribly," "That is a harmonious piece of music beautifully." All this seems key, but I haven't gotten to why, yet...

Anyhoo, there's probably an easy explanation for all this, but sometimes when you encounter a question through the back door -- approaching this not from the point of view of compound adjective construction but hyphenation -- it takes awhile to get clear about what's going on. I will get there eventually. But -- the relevant bit is that I ended up down this rabbithole at 5:45 on Wednesday, interacting with colleagues (PAST our 6pm end-of-workday, I might add) on Teams about it, and it takes me awhile to get to Neptoon by bus, so the Nomeansno/ Mudhoney book signing that I previously wrote about was WELL-underway by the time I squeezed through the doorway. 

All photos by Allan MacInnis, except the last one

I still was able to make a few interesting observations:

1. Aaron Chapman, thanks to his recent weight loss, can now fit into his Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy t-shirt (I didn't get a photo). We chatted about the benefits of weight loss in regard ones vintage bamd shirts. Thanks to a couple years of serious illness - not a factor for Chappy, note - I am about 75 pounds lighter than my peak weight (I was pushing 380 at one point!), but I still can't quite squeeze comfortably into my XL Mama shirt (I tried). As I recall, Elizabeth Fischer of the Animal Slaves and Dark Blue World listed being able to fit in her old favourite clothes as about the only bright side to her illness... 

But anyhow, Chapman, when I arrived, was actually back in the records area, shopping. I myself went back there, once I pushed through the throng. I guess that when you're media -- when you've interacted with Wright and Turner before, when you know some of what they're going to say, you can just sort of listen to them talking in the background, you know? And I wanted to scratch an itch, right a wrong, and do a nice thing for John in one swell foop. 

Y'see, every time I have gone to Neptoon in the last year, I have flipped through the "misc V" rock section to see if a certain underpriced first pressing of All-Night Lotus Party (on Dutch East India), by the Volcano Suns, was still there. I've tried to push it on a few people, including Neptoon's Ben Frith himself ("it's Peter Prescott, the drummer from Mission of Burma!"), but it has remained there for far too long, at the gallingly-low (fuckit, I'm hyphenating it) price of $10. It's a great rock record, and it pains me that the Suns seem to have been forgotten (note: Peter Prescott, since Mission of Burma folded permanently, is now playing guitar/ singing/ writing songs in Minibeast, his new project, whom I'm hoping we'll see in Vancouver at some point; I saw the Volcano Suns once at the Cruel Elephant and was blown away, but won't go into that here. A top ten lifetime concert experience, though). 

Anyhow, I had the idea that I would buy that Volcano Suns record for John, gambling that he might be a Mission of Burma fan. I know I saw Tom Holliston at both Mission of Burma concerts I saw, and on one occasion, at Richards on Richards, ranted at him about how Nomeansno should cover "Fun World," to have him reply that they were, in fact, considering doing "Outlaw." I reasoned that if my gift gesture failed, I could press the album on someone else (Tom, say). But John, when I finally presented him with the record, seemed excited by it (he didn't know it -- I think that's the problem; the Volcano Suns just didn't get the exposure MoB did). Mission accomplished! 

And it was nice to see Aaron.

2. Once the lineup started, it turns out there sure are more Nomeansno fans in Vancouver than Mudhoney fans! I wonder if that would be the case in Seattle? I am fond of both bands, but much more a Nomeansno, man, myself (thought I have seen Mudhoney three times, including a Hallowe'en show with Nirvana at the Commodore way back when, where I much preferred Mudhoney). I'm not sure how many copies of Jason Lamb's book were at Neptoon, vs. Steve Turner's, but Lamb's book sold out, while Rob was getting Steve to inscribe a small stack of remaining copies of his (still in store, note, in hardcover at $40 per, while supplies last). But the reason I know that more people were there for John and Jason, vs. Steve, is that after about half an hour in line to get stuff signed, I looked over and saw Steve Turner sitting chatting with event moderator Grant Lawrence, with no one at all mobbing him, while John and Jason were stamping and signing, stamping and signing doggedly for a still-long, chatty line (that's the original Nomeansno stamp made, I believe, for the "Wormies" single...).  

Well, it happens that I wanted a bit of a longer chat with John anyhow -- to give him my Volcano Suns gift and relay a message and get a few things of my own signed, as well. Best not to have 50 people waiting impatiently behind me. And I had bought Steve's book, and packed a few Mudhoney records, so... I started bugging people ahead of me in line: Are you in line for Nomeansno or Mudhoney? John or Steve? Do you mind if I butt ahead?

So I left the line n short order, and went to hang out in the Mudhoney corner. I had three Mudhoney  records and book signed and was chatting with him about how a founding member of the U-Men, Tom Price, who is in the Monkeywrench with Mark Arm and Turner, is having real trouble with Parkinsons... which he's had for awhile, but it's starting to interfere with his performing. I actually only know a couple of U-Men songs, like "Clubs," which sounds like an amphetamine-soaked, tribal Birthday Party, but there is no question that they're one of the great Seattle pre-grunge punk bands, a band that deserve serious reconsideration, as important to the Seattle scene as, say, our own Slow was (whose influence was acknowledged by Turner more than once the other night). I also got to be on hand when Nardwuar came up to talk with Grant Lawrence and Steve Turner about the notorious "spit on me" episode at a UBC Sub Ballroom Mudhoney gig, which had been rather hilariously related in detail by Lawrence, who was wearing a vintage shirt from that gig and standing beside the man who had designed it, Scott Livingstone (at the left in the picture below). Apparently at that gig, Nardwuar, in his less-polished early days, had gone on too long in introducing Mudhoney, talking about peripheral enthusiasms (not hyphens -- something about free trade or currency exchange?) and was being pelted with pennies from the audience when he opted to strike a Christlike pose and holler, "Spit on me!" -- which the audience did enthusiastically. His mouth was wide open, too, apparently, which detail Lawrence of course included (this was the story of the night, by me)... By the time Mudhoney took the stage, that evening, it was utterly coated in gob... As was Nardwuar. 

Alas, Nardwuar -- present earlier in the evening, before I arrived -- was actually downstairs in the Neptoon basement for some of the initial telling of that story, but surfaced eventually ("I thought you'd left," Grant observed); the guys asked me to snap a photo. I did a few on Grant Lawrence's camera, but also a couple on mine. Livingstone-Lawrence-Nardwuar-Turner: a new supergroup! 

Nardwuar and I chatted a bit -- he was impressed that I had the Compressorhead record (which you may still be able to order from Europe, but it requires some finessing; I encourage you to inquire via their bandcamp) and wanted to talk about (Big Takeover editor) Jack Rabid's last trip to town (Jack and his kids got to visit Nardwuar's star but not to meet the man himself, as he was out-of-town and engaged elsewise. I only managed to connect them to Grant at Zulu). It then became a waiting game, during which I snapped a few pics of John and Jason signing and stamping away, ceaseless in their industry... 

(Note the presence of the wrong Rob Wright, not to be confused with the Mr. Wrong Rob Wright)

But to be clear, I was not the only person who liked both Mudhoney and Nomeansno. People DID come to get Mudhoney stuff signed, and to chat with Steve, just in a smaller number. He was very personable! Everyone was low-key, in a good mood, relaxed and friendly. I'm actually kinda looking forward to sitting down to his book -- I wasn't sure when I went that I was even going to buy it (only to join the many other unread books on my shelf), but I liked his self-presentation, and I really enjoyed his telling one of the other fans that he "blames his whole life" on Scott McCaughey, of the Young Fresh Fellows (and now the No Ones), who nurtured Turner's interest in 60s garage rock by making sure the punk section in the store where McCaughey worked included things like Nuggets and Pebbles comps, which invariably caught Turner's eye. 

Anyone who blames their whole life on Scott McCaughey is ALL RIGHT WITH ME. 

As for getting my stuff signed, I am very pleased to now have the Nomeansno stamp in my book, and John and Jason's signatures. People had some really cool stuff for John to sign, including a copy of the Infamous Scientists EP, Trouble, that I once bought for $10 and had for awhile, before selling it (probably to Ty at the Flea Market). It is probably at least as rare as Mama, and unlike Mama, has not been repressed; unsigned copies on Discogs have sold for as high as $349.99, so a signed one would be worth a fair bit more (OG but original pressings of Mama have sold for closer to $600). 

It is kind of interesting when you read about people who don't like to sign their records unless they're dedicating them to someone, because they don't want people bugging them for signatures just to turn and flip the record. I've never done that. I've sold a few signed items, and even a few signed items inscribed to me, but I've never GOTTEN something signed for the purpose of selling it, scout's honour. So in fact I would have preferred Steve and John sign EVERYTHING to me, you know? (I actually asked Steve, who had signed Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge with a "to Allan," to do the same to the book, "so I won't sell it.") We had a little chat about my favourite Mudhoney song, "Where Is the Future," and I kinda wish he'd put "to Allan" on that record, Under a Billion Suns, too, which I really enjoy (it is quite underrated). 

Un any case, everyone was very friendly amd obliging. Most of what John and I talked about was off-the-record, but take heart, friends, the next Vancouver Dead Bob show is coming sooner than I  had expected... at a very cool location... ssssh.... 

Kudos and thanks to Rob Frith for actually asking me if I wanted a photo taken. I am not much of a selfie-requester, but that's a fun pic! I think I was the only guy in the room with Compressorhead merch... again, see their bandcamp here (vocals and lyrics by John, very much in Hanson Brothers mode, but 100% performed by programmed robots!).

Now about those compound adjectives...