Stuffin' Briefs

So last night, trying to find a way out of this hole I got myself into I headed out to the French Quarter for some much-needed mosh pit therapy - compliments of Flaw, a Kentucky-based metal band I've loved for years.

Flaw's one of those groups. They got a huge promotional push from the record company when they first came out -- videos, tours, the whole nine yards; but for whatever reason they just never really caught on. They're great live, but as much as I love their first album -- it's one of those discs where you listen to the it and say, "This tune sounds like Korn, that one is Alice in Chains, and the other one wishes it was Tool."

There's a point (especially in hard rock) where certain numbers of copycat bands are accepted and even liked on their own merits (Rancid, Papa Roach) -- but that honeymoon never really lasts that long, and then lot of decent bands who haven't found enough of their own sound to set them apart from their influences get caught in the backlash. As a result, Flaw put out a few albums, had some success, lost momentum, broke up, got back together, changed lineups, broke up, sort of re-formed under the name Five Bolt Main, broke up, reformed, and are currently touring around again.

The thing about the show though was that during all four(!?) of the opening acts people were milling around the place, talking and hanging out -- including the members of Flaw. Now the fact that these guys were just strolling around was kinda cool, but it spoke a lot to not only the fact that they didn't view themselves as prima donnas, but perhaps offered a commentary on how rough it must be to go from being record-company darlings to headlining a hardly-advertised Thursday night metal show for roughly 25 people.

I shook a couple of hands and exchanged some small talk about being excited about seeing the show, but it was hard to say much more -- partially because other fans wanted their chance, but mainly due to the fact that I wasn't sure if I could hold my tongue when it came to guitarist Lance Arny and his particular sense of um,

I mean when it comes to being a member of a touring metal band it's not like there is a set fashion code in place or anything. Maybe back in the cheeseball 80's you could call a guy out for not having enough neon colors in his spandex jumpsuit, but those days are (thankfully) long gone.

Nowadays there seems to be a theme of general dinginess, sleeve tattoos on both arms, and multiple facial piercings -- but it's not like there are any hard and fast rules about it.
To be honest -- most rock shows you see these days feature bands
that look like 3 or 4 Jiffy Lube technicians taking a lunch break.
Plus -- it's not like I'm gonna stand here with my stuck in 1992 threads and try to tell some other dude how he should dress. I really didn't have an opinion about his duds one way or the other. The problem I had was with his head.
See, you kinda gotta make a decision here:
You can't be Harry Knowles and Chewbacca.
You really have to choose one or the other, ok?

I mean lets face it, you're not as slim as you maybe used to be -- so anything that draws the eye out towards the shape of your gut isn't your best play. And not to go all Perez Hilton on you or whatever, but how about mixing in a couple of vertical stripes now and then? Who knows -- Maybe that's what you were going for with the dreads and all, but there comes a point where you sorta treading the line between being someone who wants to have a unique and striking look and putting the thought in people's heads that you don't really wash your hair ..ever.

Sure Frank Zappa might have been speaking the truth when he said that playing on stage in a rock band is the best way for ugly people to get laid, but I think even he would draw the line at a fat guy who doesn't bathe.

I mean, Lance is a nice enough guy when you talk to him who apparently just got married -- so someone out there likes it, but in terms of our relationship wherein you're the one on stage playing moody metal songs with emotional lyrics and I'm the one in the audience trying to take you seriously -- it's not really happening.

Or to put it another way, when you stand in front of the microphone to sing back up harmony on a line like "I need the chance to live my life one more time/Give me the chance to live my life one more time" all I can really think to say back to you is:
Dude -- Saving Throw, Saving Throw!!
[Listening to: Noisettes, "Bridge to Canada"]