Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs at The Clermont Lounge 2: Lounge Harder

Fucking crap in a hat did I have a shitty Thursday.



Oh, did you think I was going straight into the recap of a great Thursday night punk rock show at Atlanta’s classiest joint? No such luck, junior. You’re going to have to get through a few paragraphs of me bitching first. I have to set these things up, man.



So Wednesday and Thursday sucked at work. This is not surprising or unusual, but the issue was that I was sitting with a trainee who had just taken over. This means that he is qualified to do the job without supervision; so I was just sitting there for twelve hours each day. Trust me – this is even more horrible than it sounds. I couldn’t even really write because there’s not enough room for two people at our desks. I managed to almost finish my recap of the last season of Doctor Who, though. Once I got to the last hour of work on Thursday I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. I had actually gotten some screenshots while watching the last three episodes Monday night, so I thought I could just post those with some witty filler. As you might have noticed, that didn’t happen either. I’ll get to that in a minute.


Another thing that made Wednesday and Thursday less pleasant was the imminent threat of having to work over the weekend. I’ve worked several extra days in the last month and it has taken its toll. When you work twelve hour shifts, your days off become invaluable because the days that you work are worthless (12 hours work + 2.25 hours drive time + maybe 5 hours sleep = suck). Even a single extra shift makes life significantly less pleasant. So I had been looking forward to my long weekend (off Thursday at 5 PM, back Monday at 5 PM) for quite some time. We get them once a month and I would only be overstating things slightly if I said they give you a reason to go on living.


The reason I thought I might lose some of my weekend is a terrible situation a co-worker is in. I’m not going into details, but I feel bad every time I think about not wanting to work the overtime. I should feel lucky I’m not in his shoes. But I still didn’t want to work. And on Wednesday it was said that he was going to take time off to deal with his situation and that They would be looking for someone to work his shifts (three of them – Friday, Saturday and Sunday night). So those of us at my work station spent Wednesday and Thursday waiting for the question.


But it never came.


We thought we might be home-free, and I will say my relief was part that I wouldn’t have to work and part that the guy’s situation must have improved if he was going to be at work all weekend.


So anyway, I finally got out of there Thursday and headed home. The Pig-Dogs were playing that night and me and Mrs. Troublemaker had both been looking forward to this show ever since it was scheduled a couple months back. My Mother-In-Law was going to be keeping Lil’ Troublemaker, so we had a whole night of irresponsible debauchery to look forward to.


We had discussed dropping our son off at the In-Laws’ house around 9 and then heading downtown. Once I got home, I found out the plan had changed and he was being picked up at around 7. This bummed me out. I had been looking forward to a couple of hours of father/son time before we left for the night, but since I usually get home between 6:30 and 7 it meant I’d have time for a hug and goodbye and that was it. But I’m grateful we have somebody we trust to watch our son from time to time and I get that we need to work around their schedule. But I was still kind of bummed.


After Mrs. Troublemaker’s mom stopped by I went downstairs to put up Friday’s Who recap. I had already posted all the figure reviews (which is why they went up as planned), but still had to put together my penultimate recap and its disappointing successor. I sat in my ages-old and still comfortable office chair and reached down to push the power button like I always do: nothing. I tried a few more times because that’s just how man is wired. Still nothing. I checked all of my outlets, changed the power cord, gave it time; everything I could think of – nothing.


While I was totally bummed out by this development, I knew it could be worse. This was probably just a power supply issue. My good friend Jeffistopheles has my computer as we speak and none are more qualified to pull an afflicted PC back from the gloomy jaws of death. I have every faith in the man. So much that I gave him a Doctor Who shirt that I fully expect to see at Dragon*Con.


So my PC was (hopefully) temporarily out of commission, but I do have an old Toshiba laptop my parents gave me that can at least get me online. It can’t handle much more than that, but at least I wouldn’t be incommunicado all weekend. And I could probably at least post the words for my articles (the pictures were all on my regular PC).


Or not. Because when I booted up the laptop I got a message stating that some sort of files were missing and that the original setup disk would be need to repair them. This would not be a big deal, except for the fact that the laptop bag, several cords and every manual and disk related to the laptop got ruined in the flood in 2009.


Note: Holy shit. Remember when I busted my flash drive? That was the day of the Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs show at the Clermont last year. I shit you not. The Pig Dogs/Clermont phenomena is totally fucking up my blog schedule two years in a row. Awesome.


And then work called. Wayne – who is one of the supervisors and a genuinely cool dude (and I cannot possibly exaggerate what kind of short supply genuinely cool dudes are in at the place where I work) – called up and said they needed coverage for the weekend.


Imagine, if you will, Mitch Hedberg calling and asking you to fill in:


Wayne: “Hey, man. We need somebody to come in this weekend.”


Me: “Not interested.”


Wayne: “Not even one, man?”


Me: “No. Totally not interested.”


Wayne: “Okay, man. I’ll move on down the list and get back to you.”


The problem here is that they have this bizarre and indecipherable way of determining who has to cover shifts if everybody else turns them down. I am fairly high on the list of people who will eventually have to cover when it comes down to that because I don’t ever take short-notice overtime if I don’t have to. The way I look at it is money will always come and go, but I’m never going to get the time I missed with my family back.


Naturally, Wayne got back to me. I was going to have to work Sunday night. Yes, it could have been worse – it could have been two nights; or Saturday night, right in the middle of my break. But with all the shit that had gone down, this seemed really bad. Not to mention this was supposed to be my first Easter off since Lil’ Troublemaker was born and I had kind of gone overboard a bit with the Easter basket and we were going to do an Easter Egg hunt and everything.


At this point I had had just about enough and was seriously considering just staying home. Why tempt fate by leaving the house and opening up the possibility for more calamity? This is the sort of mentality I would openly mock when I am at my best, but at that point on Thursday night I was not at my best.


Thankfully, Mrs. Troublemaker convinced me the best thing to do was go out to a shitty strip club and drink a lot of beer while listening to some punk rock.


When we got to the Clermont there were already a decent number of people in there. I don’t know what else was going on, but there was a big enough crowd at the bar that I had to squeeze in to get a couple of adult beverages. Thankfully I didn’t actually have to touch anybody. After our last experience I had thought maybe the lesbians would be back. I mean, if anybody brings forth the same tenacity, charm and provincial wisdom of the Indigo Girls without actually having vaginas and plaid shirts; well it’s the Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs. While there was a large group of females at the bar when we arrived, they were interspersed with dudes. This gathering actually looked like a bunch of people from Bremen dressed up as the cast of Jersey Shore. If your brain can stop screaming long enough to picture that.


Geoff was already down there with the Queen of Crunk so we hung out with them. I really need to run into Geoff somewhere other than shows. The last three times I’ve seen him we haven’t even been able to have a decent conversation. This is all I’ve been able to pick up about his life over the past ten years:


“Hey, man! It’s ______ to see you!


Well, I work at ______ six days a week and then ______ until ______.


I was playing in a ______ band but now I’m ______.


I ______ every day; that’s why ______.


The Misfits suck live.”


You can see where this is not the ideal way to catch up with an old, dear friend. And yes, I know that looks like a shitty Mad Lib. Please feel free to fill it out yourself and leave it in the Comments.


The first band went on shortly after we arrived and I wanted to make fun of them so bad:


See? You can’t just pretend to be the Misfits like that. Unless you’re Jerry Only, apparently (by the way, the Misfits comment above by Geoff and the opening band are entirely coincidental. That’s just what happens when you live a crazy, horror-rock lifestyle!). But I can’t really bag on those guys. They were good. I did joke that they would do a Misfits cover - to which Geoff replied, “Just one?” – and they played a very serviceable version of “Halloween”. They also played “Pet Sematary” at about half the speed The Ramones would have.


In another shared Geoff memory, we saw The Ramones play at Big Day Out years ago – probably ’94 or ’95. They played their entire catalog in about thirty minutes and then came back for eighty-seven encores where they just played it all again, but faster with a cover of the Spider-Man theme song at the end that lasted about twelve seconds.


So anyway, that first band was called Coffin Creatures and they were pretty good. I’d wear a t-shirt. The little girl playing (bass? I can't tell) cracked me up because she looked like a tiny little Monster High doll surrounded by a bunch of Netherworld employees.


So the Coffin Creatures rocked it out and I quickly reacquired the skill of avoiding looking in the wrong places at The Clermont Lounge, which is extremely tricky because it is full of wrong places and they’re constantly moving around.


Evil and KayBee showed up a couple of songs into the Coffin Creatures’ set. They were staying downtown for KayBee’s birthday so we knew we’d be seeing them. I feel bad because I meant to buy her a birthday beverage and completely forgot for what are probably alcohol-related reasons. It’s okay because I’m pretty sure Evil had enough beverage for the both of them.


We had beers and attempted to have conversation and at some point Peelander-Z showed up.


That’s right – Planet Peelander’s premiere punk rock outfit finished up their record-setting show at The Masquerade and then materialized at The Clermont Lounge to brighten up everybody’s night. Evil spotted them first, and narrowly avoided a space suplex from Peelander Yellow when the little man mistook him for a Venusian Cattle Sucker. But all was well and much fun was had. I even got a picture with Red and Yellow:


Since I had already busted the mask out once, I decided it was time to offer my inimitable services to my good friends the Pig-Dogs.


You see, I have a history of introducing awesome bands in important venues. If by history you mean one time and by awesome band you mean Super X-13 and by important venue you mean The Masquerade. It was probably 1997 and for some reason or another I wound up introducing Super X at one of their Masquerade shows. I don’t remember how it came about or why they (mostly Shane) thought it was a good idea, but I did it and it was awesome. I didn’t have the mask at the time, but I did an incredible (and people who were there will verify this if you can find any of them) Michael Buffer-esque introduction of The Kings of Monsters of Rock:


“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls can I have your attention, please?


For the tens in attendance tonight and the millions watching around the world,


The Masquerade proudly brings to you


The WCW Tag Team Champions of the Woooooooorld….


The Bass God Shane Morton


The Guitar Hero Timmy James


The Drum Lord Kelly Sanford


Suuuuper


X


Thirteeeeeeeeen!”


It was so great a certain somebody even felt the need to make up a story about some WCW personnel sitting in the back claiming that Michael Buffer would file a lawsuit over it.


I’ve been wanting to do it again for years because I am a big attention whore and love being up on stage, but the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself. Until last Thursday at the Clermont when I went to Mike and Smedley of the Pig-Dogs and asked if I could introduce them. Smedley was understandably confused but Mike seemed to think it was a great idea. This was especially generous of him seeing as how we’d just been discussing how much his other band sucks (not really – I wrote here about how I actually want to hear more from the Letmedowns; we were talking about that show sucking, though). I didn’t want to do this thing with just half-a-band’s worth of approval so I tracked down Dom and Keefe as well. I like how I said “tracked down” as though more effort was involved than walking across ten feet of sticky floor.


Actually, that was kind of a feat in and of itself. That floor was Waffle House sticky. You know that kind of sticky floor that makes you think maybe they just mopped it with Coke? The kind of sticky that makes you think it must have a purpose? Like, to keep people from running or slipping or something.


Anyway, I crossed the floor and got the enthusiastic go-ahead from the remaining Pig-Dogs. Awesome. I’ve mentioned before the hassle involved in wearing the mask. Not everywhere or everybody is down with some 6’4” dude just putting a purple wrestling mask on and hanging out. But I’m pretty sure they’ve seen weirder shit at the Clermont.


When the Coffin Creatures finished up their admittedly good set I watched while the Pig-Dogs set up, going over what I was going to say in my head. It had been about fourteen years (give or take) since I had done anything like this and I really didn’t want to have my pipes give out or – even worse – screw it up entirely. That last time I had enjoyed the benefit of seeing Mr. Buffer do his thing at least once a week for WCW; now I can’t remember the last time I heard his whole spiel. I also considered not even utilizing the Buffer thing, but I needed something to base it off of this first time back. In the future (because hopefully I will get to do this again) I’ll come up with new, original schtick.


So the Pig-Dogs set up, Mike waved me on and this happened:



While I dig it and everybody else seemed to as well, I can’t say I’m entirely happy with it. I feel like the Pig-Dogs deserve better. I didn’t call each of them out and it just lacked pizzazz. Don’t get me wrong – I think I did okay; it’s just that for Phantom Troublemaker okay is only good enough for things I get paid for. When I’m doing stupid shit for the sake of entertainment I want it to be spectacular.


I also want to mention that before the video started I asked everybody to give it up one more time for the Coffin Creatures.


Which for some reason reminds me of the guy that kicked me in the back.


There was this really drunk little dude with a bunch of shitty tribal tattoos and a tank top. And no – I don’t mean wife beater. He was wearing an honest-to-goodness tank top. In 2011. Anyway, he kept mistaking me for this other guy and slapping me on the back and stuff and then apologizing. I think his little hippy friend thought I was going to beat his ass, but I couldn’t have cared less. The guy was having fun. And to be fair, his friend did sort of look like me; kind of. I think he was balder. The funny thing is, if I actually had been that guy’s friend I think I would have beat his ass. He would have been really annoying if he hadn’t been amusing me.


Eventually he must have annoyed somebody else, too because he got thrown out. Unfortunately it was while I was waiting for the Pig-Dogs to set up so I couldn’t run out and get a picture with him. I just occurred to me that I should have taken a picture of him, though.


The Pig-Dogs really kicked a llama’s ass. Their set was a little different and featured a couple of new tunes, one of which I have here for you:



I totally missed their cover of “Little Red Corvette”. Dammit.


The mics were absolute shit. You couldn’t hear Mike’s vocals or Dom’s banter at all, but it was still a rocking set. I’ve never seen a bad Pig-Dogs show. Well, maybe that time in Gainesville… but compared to that shit band The Irresponsibles that went on before them they were absolutely fucking stellar. I’m not sure you would call The Irresponsibles a band so much as you might refer to them as a group of performance artists who all happen to be on the same stage at the same time. But we will ride again! Or my name isn’t Philip Drummond!


Nobody knows this, so keep it to yourself – at some point during the Pig-Dogs’ set Dom needed a water. I didn’t want to give him the one that was covering up Mike’s dick:


so I went back to their big tub full of ice and started digging through the PBRs to try and locate a water. I took so long doing this that people were actually yelling water bottle-finding instructions at me. The reason I took so long is that I lost my balance a little bit after digging around the frozen, watery… er, water for a minute. I almost fell face first into the giant tub and that would have really sucked so I just stood there holding the sides for what seemed like a second but was apparently much longer because that was when people started telling me how to look for water bottles. I finally suggested the dick bottle, but Mike wanted that one to stay where it was. I don’t blame him. I finally gave up and went to the bar and bought one. Dom owes me a sticker.


Next up was Horrible Idea, who we last saw at The Last Great Watering Hole causing young girls to get elbowed in the eye. I like Horrible Idea just fine. I’m not going to go out of my way to see them, but I’ll be fine any time they open and I’ll stick around any time they close the show.


After the Pig-Dogs were done there was the normal milling about and shuffling of equipment. Mike had a couple of chairs he was moving back to the stage area and was trying to get by me and the missus. If you clicked the above link and read it you should know where this is going.


Mrs. Troublemaker: “Are you trying to get those chairs past us?”


Mike: “Maybe I am.”


Mrs. Troublemaker: “Well I don’t think that’s going to happen.”


Mike: “Are you saying my as is fat?”


Mrs. Troublemaker: “Maybe I am.”


And what ensued was a slap fight so vicious, so epic that I almost certainly made it up.


For some reason we didn’t see Nancy at the Clermont that night. Maybe it was her day off (rimshot!).


At some point during Horrible Idea’s set I realized I had no idea where anybody was. Geoff and Her Majesty had left after the Pig-Dogs finished up and I hadn’t seen Mrs. Troublemaker and KayBee in a while. The last time I saw Evil he had been trying to steal Peelander Pink. I saw that Feature Act was dancing at the bar, so I assumed my wife was over there.


So you know, Feature Act is the youngest, least fat entertainer at The Clermont Lounge. While Blondie is technically the For Real Feature Act; I feel this young lady deserves some credit for looking like she might be able to work at, say, Platinum 21. If she snuck in. My wife spent a few dollars on Feature Act last time we were there, so I kind of thought she might be back over there again. The ability and willingness to light your nipples on fire is nothing to sneeze at. Literally. The wrong combination of AXE Body Spray and Aqua Net could be disastrous if those flaming nipples were sent out of control by a stray nasal expulsion.


Anyway, my wife wasn’t over there – she was sitting in the back having a good ol’ time with KayBee. Just as I noticed them sitting at a table talking, Evil ran up and said something about Peelander Z inviting him on a tour of the galaxy. I thought I should probably get him back to his lady friend.


We went and sat at the table and it didn’t take long to see that three of us were pretty much ready to go. I probably could have hung around longer but I was getting pretty hungry. KayBee and Mrs. Troublemaker were definitely ready to go. The Clermont charm only lasts so long.


Evil stopped on the way out to get tossed head over heels over a table (this actually happened) by some friend of his (who looked like he should be the one called Evil – seriously, the dude looked mean) and we gave him and his lady a ride back to their Inn. That was a no-brainer for me. I see people I don’t even know walking around downtown Atlanta and I want to give them a ride. Nobody should have to walk around that wretched hole of suck.


Note: Jeffistopheles not only fixed my PC, in an incredible coincidence he also gave me a Doctor Who shirt. That’s how you know who your friends are – when you’re exchanging basically the same dorky shit at the same time. Also, between the laptop breaking down and the overtime pay I got for Sunday (tonight) I justified finally buying a new laptop.


I got up early Sunday and hung out with the family. Mrs. Troublemaker put our son off about the Easter Bunny until I got up and then we went downstairs and “found” his Easter Basket, as well as a little something for Mrs. Troublemaker. I got an awesome picture of me and my son at the WWE Fan Axxess that Mrs. Troublemaker put together utilizing her singular and much-lauded photo editing/assembling skills.


Until next time, stay creepy,


-Phantom

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