Mr. Craig's Wild Ride! (+ iPodatry #2)

So, Skeleton Crew had a show bookt for 15 January at Dave's Darkhorse Tavern in Starkville, MS... we had a great show (playing together pretty well despite missing practice since, like, September) with a healthy crowd of enthusiastic + drunken collegefolk. The band's favorite crowd members turned out to be a pair of lovely brunette coeds who shared their love of both dancing + fondling each other, making for a fabulous floorshow for the rest of the crowd + the band... Sorry, no crowd pictures! Thanks to everyone who came out to support the band + bar!

...well, everyone except for Richard. Richard was at the bar when I showed up early Thursday evening to drop off my gear. Richard was at the bar for the entirety of the show. Richard was still at the bar when the staff cleared everyone out so they could close up. Richard was decidedly older - and smellier - than the college kids who peopled the bar all night. Richard was drunk. And Richard needed a ride home... Somehow, the honor of playing chauffeur to an old smelly drunk fell upon me. Yep. Me, the only person there who does not live in Starkville has to drive its streets in the early, early morning, taking directions from a passenger whose command of the English language had been nearly lost - and was certainly tentative even before he started drinking. Our first stop was an abandoned house in the middle of town... not a good start. Then we headed all of the way out into the boondocks to a trailer in the middle of the woods. Luckily, he had found the right place + went inside to sleep it off... I headed back toward civilization (well, suchas can be found in Miss'ip'...), picking up a screw in my tire that popped out as I tried to leave town, leaving me on the side of the highway at 3am... It all workt out from there, but I guess the nugget of truth to take from this is the old saw: No good deed goes unpunished...

Even with all of the drama, I heard some good music while driving all over the Deep South. Here's some of what my iPod threw my way during the roadtrip:

Nile - Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche
Wow... say what you will about metal; this whole album consistently blows my mind and this track is one of the best, creating a mood that's eerie + unique...

Soda Can - Au Gratin
Funky + spastic, these guys are Minutemen-esque in the best of ways... I put 'em in the same musical category as those guys, the Rhythm Pigs, Victims Family, Phantom Tollbooth... y'know, that killer three-piece punk-funk that tends to be manic + groovy at the same time.

Mongo Santamaria - Onyae
From Mongo's classic Afro-Roots, a crucial Cuban jazz collection of Mongo's first two releases as a bandleader on Fantasy... The sessions featured many of the stars of the late 50s Cuban jazz scene + get extra-nasty...

Stars of the Lid - Sun Drugs + The Artificial Pine Arch Song
Both pieces are from The Ballasted Orchestra, a masterful album of ambient musicscapes, texturally reminiscent of Eno's Music for Airports. Cool stuff, though I don't always find ambient music terribly conducive to driving long distances... Aarktica popped up as well + create a similar drone + thrum vibe.

Valis - Universe 2
Wow. Druggy + heavy + named after a Philip K. Dick novel/character/theosophic discussion point... how could I pass that up? How can you? Check 'em out!


  1. Seldom have I looked forward to a blog post the way I've been anticipating this one, because I was there, I saw Richard, and I just *had* to know how that ride home turned out.

    Y'see, before you let Mr. 6.3-alcohol-level crazyperson into your car, I'd spent much of the evening watching his behavior... which was megauberfuxterpated. Within 2 minutes he'd snap from being Mr. Happy Friendly Intoxicated Guy to this weird belligerance, out of nowhere.

    First he walked past me and stuck out his hand, so I shook it, friendly enough. Then a few minutes later he stopped by again and stood there glaring at me like I'd kicked his dog or something. Which I hadn't. At least, I'm pretty sure that wasn't his dog.

    I noticed he was trying to pick fights with just about any guy who passed by, but he was so inarticulate that most of 'em couldn't make out what he was saying.


    "Yeah, they are a good band!"

    At closing he yelled something to the effect of "I don't like none of ya and I'm gon' kick all yer asses right now!" to some guys playing pool, and they went "Huh? You want to fight? Why?" and he yelled "I'm just fuckin' with ya!" and they laughed.

    Then - I guess since *that* comedy bit went off so well - he told some guy who was going home something that sounded like "You're not ever gettin' home, because I'm gonna kill you right here!" and the guy went "Huh?" and Richard mumbled something about getting money in his pocket and buying a hamburger (possibly for breakfast, or possibly to keep as a pet - I can never be sure about anyone who's that far off-the-rails-and-into-the-weeds).

    I noticed he had a tendency to get hostile with males but was really friendly to females (including trying to get in the middle of those cuddlesome coeds, so at least he wasn't *totally* crazy), so when one of your bandmates' kind-hearted wife tried to make sure Richard got home safely, I kinda faded out of range before he could start in on me, but hung close enough to keep an eye on him, just in case. But he behaved, or at least wasn't hostile.

    When you offered him the ride and Richard announced a mental hospital as his intended destination, I wasn't surprised. Sounds like he changed the itinerary on ya, though. Trailer in the woods at 2 a.m., eh? Yeah... seen *that* movie a few times.

    Anyway, I'm glad he didn't try to pick a fight with you, pee in your car, scream about a bug invasion under his skin, declare himself the Official Hamster Warden of Oktibbeha County, or any of the other crazy things I was worried he might do. I mean, he *seemed* harmless, but nobody ever gives rides to anybody who *seems* like an axe murderer, do they? The Hitcher would be one short movie if that was how things worked. "And C. Thomas Howell kept on driving, roll credits."

    Anyhow, sorry about the flat tire at 3 a.m. on the coldest night in forever. Hopefully that used up all your bad luck for a while...

  2. Oh, no... see, it was okay. He promised me - repeatedly - that he wasn't taking me anywhere to get hurt. My response was "Good... I'd hate to have to empty my gun tonight." Of course, I no more carry a gun than an acetylene torch, but he didn't know that. And he ended up being - like the Earth itself - mostly harmless...