++Rock Out with Your Cock Out++
or fear and loathing in Hamtramck


March 5th, 2006

Friday Night Blowout

One thing I may have failed to get across in my assessment of Thursday night is how smoothly everything went. Parking was easy. We were always on time. We never got lost. We never had to make the treacherous but unavoidable U-turn on Joe Campau. We never really thought about it or took the time to enjoy it, but things went swimmingly, as they say. Now I don't know how much I believe in karma, but I should have known that we had a price to pay.

The night started out poorly. Markie C calls me right before 8. He's about to get off work. He'll call back when he's sure and we'll finalize our departure. The next hour or so consisted of nastiest, angriest diatribes from Markie C that you ever did hear. Decorum insists that I don't offer you a transcription, but trust me when I tell you Mark did not get of work on time and he was not happy about it. At one point he actually suggested I leave without him.

Of course cooler heads prevailed. We would miss the 9pm slot, but we had a date with the Amino Acids at 10:15 and that was all that mattered. Just as we're pulling out to get on our way, Markie C gets a call. Steve has decided he'll be accompanying us into the bowels of Hamtramck. We do the math and decide its not a problem, so we swing out to grab Steve and we officially on our way. Steve's short on cash, but I suggest that there are ATMs in most of the bars in Hamtramck. By the time we see the Kowalski sign, the stress from the earlier part of the evening is almost gone. We pull up to Kellys only to realize we forgot our shoe horn.

When I say Kelly's Bar (where the Amino Acids were playing) is small, think really small. Look around your living room and imagine that its the size of an average bar. Now go stand in your shower and pull the curtain. That's the size of Kelly's Bar. And as fortune would have it, 100 of what would soon be our closest friends decided that they wanted to see the Amino Acids as well. And us without our shoe horn. We find a way to wedge ourselves in and grab a spot near the bar. We don't even bother looking for an ATM here. If they would have found a place to put it, we'd never have gotten to it. We console ourselves with drinks. Its at this point I want to commend to Kelly's bar for their shot size. I've had vodka tonics that were smaller. And when Mark drank his third beer and second double sized shot in the half hour we were at the bar, the tone for the evening had been set.

But on to the reason we were here: The Amino Acids. First let me point out that the Amino Acids look like this:

Secondly, let me note that the Amino Acids don't have a lead singer. Instead they've decided to go with a theramin player. The show goes a little something like this. Some dialogue from a 1950's sci-fi movie is played over the PA. The drummer, bass player and guitar take the stage and begin to play some anthemic rock and roll. Shortly after, the Theramin player appears from the back of the room and all hell breaks loose. The rock anthem becomes speed metal. The theramin player moves through the crowd, grabbing peoples heads and raising his hand skyward. Suddenly he's on top of the crowd, surfing the tiny room despite the fact he has about 3 feet to move in any direction before he's into a wall. Finally he's on stage and begins shaking his hands around the theramin. It screams and undulates. Smoke starts to billow from below him. It takes a minute to be sure that this is part of the act. For a second I panic, considering the carnage that would ensue should a fire break out in this tiny overcrowded room.

This goes on at a breakneck pace for about 25 minutes. When everything is over and we spill back onto the street, Mark is drunk and the night is an avalanche coming down a mountain. Given the short set, we've got time to try and catch something else before the 11:30 time slot. We head down Campau as Mark frantically tries to find something that sounds interesting on the band list. Mark suggests we head to Paychecks. Now I know he's drunk. But more on Paychecks tomorrow. We find a spot right on Campau and start to walk. I happen to glance over and notice the Belmont right across the street. 'Hey, let's just go to the Belmont,' I suggest. Mark begins to scream 'That's not the Belmont' I double check and sure enough, plain as day, not once but twice, I read 'Belmont' I ask Mark if that's not the Belmont, then what is. He says the Belmont is nowhere near here. We walk in the Belmont.

Turns out we missed the 10:15 band. We take a quick survey and this time I'm actually surprised I don't see an ATM. But in a bit of fortuitousness Mark and Steve run into some long lost friends. We invite them to hop in my hoopty and head with us to the Polish Sea League. They accept. Our MetroTimes map tells us that the PSL is a bit off the beaten path. But we have the street name, how hard can it be. Well it turns out that the front of the Polish Sea League looks like this:

No sign. No number. Certainly no ATM inside. Just some Molson flags and of course this:

Needless to say it took us a couple time around the block before we found it. Now we had chosen the PSL on a whim. We knew nothing of the band, The Hotness, that we were going to see. We only knew we needed somewhere to go and both Polish Sea League and the Hotness sounded like cool names. Well you've seen the outside of the PSL. The Hotness was completely in their element. Mark contends that had we been at a random bar hanging out and The Hotness had showed up with their brand of bland 70's FM rock, we would have thought them to be a little bit of all right. As it were we had spent twenty minutes driving around to find a dumpy bar with a band that didn't really captivate us. Thankfully we had a helluva night capper in the Sights.

The Sights were at the New Dodge, which is out by itself a ways, but right on Campau. Just so we don't meet any more disappointment, we hit an ATM on the way.

The New Dodge is pretty large bar. About ten times the size of Kelly's. Perfect for the Sights. They had a song on the Wedding Crashers soundtrack, so we figure it'll be fairly packed. Its not as crowded as Kelly's, but again there's still about 10 times as many people here. The Sights are an organ based trio who kick out some good ol' fashioned Detroit style rock and roll. At least that's what they've done every other time we've seen them. Now I can unequivocally say what the problem was. Was it the sound system? Was it the band? Was it our alcohol consumption? Probably not that last one but something was definitely off. It was an apropos ending to the evening. We went back to the car. We weren't disappointed - we still had tomorrow. The bad karma had been exorcised. The Blowout finale awaits.

Posted 1:11pm


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