(Editor’s Note: Gonzo correspondent G.W. DeVille was assigned to cover the 2 Dash Tone show at Muldoon’s April 21. Instead, he sent us this.)
I met Molly through a mutual acquaintance who had danced with her at a dubstep party. He had brought her over once, but our meeting had been brief and uneventful. She hit it off with a friend of mine, however, and partied with two more. When word of what a good time she was got back to me, my mind was set. After weeks of flirting, it was finally time for us to spend a night out on the town. Like most all magical nights, this one began at BJ’s while playing darts.
She arrived through the front door shortly into our second game. Sitting on the bench she swept in under the scarlet lights, a rising heat and heart palpitations. Her friend Rachel was in tow, difficult to see through the shimmering warmth rising from the bar floor, a smile and a wave instantly comforting in this violent yet pleasurable assault on my senses. “How are you feeling?” she asks, a knowing smile revealing her knowledge of the answer. “I’m fine” comes the response, a surprising trickle of words seeping behind the thousands of pounds of pressurized thoughts coursing through my brain. I was a scuba tank, one of the big 120’s, a massive fucker cranked on 100% oxygen. Good for flushing poison, but this close to blowing everything to kingdom come. Exhilarating.
That first wave felt like fishscale. Electricity coursed through me when I sat on the bench, extremities tapping wildly to the music. “How are you sitting?” Rachel asked, obviously unaware of my highly conditioned ability to maintain. That masking ability is my key skill; anyone can play off being drunk or high. Cocaine is simple, and I can come across strangely silent but otherwise normal on psilocin. Interestingly enough, it is DXM which strains my acting abilities most. Simple Robotussin, a difficult conquer when its dissociative hooks are completely in you. “I’m not an amateur,” I replied, despite meeting Molly for the first time. She of course knew this. Cover blown.
The darts left my fingertips in fluttering little arcs, raining down never where I wanted but well enough to have the untrained eye believe I was even aiming. Rachel joined me against my foe, in light of my recent handicap, and we eventually found ourselves to be victorious. She nailed the final bullseye while our opponent was buying another drink. “Tira Tequila is out there,” he said.
Already shivering inside the bar, we stepped out into the chill to see Tira. “Tira, you’re so beautiful …” I whispered, touching her face gently and playing up my role to the fullest. “I just want to …. just want to….” I trailed away, glancing back and forth from Rachel’s amused expression to Tira’s confused one. “What are you on?” she hollered, oblivious to the multitude of bored police who like to hide in the Forest, just waiting for some drunken girl to dime a fucking freak like me. She spotted Molly instantly, and a sudden wave of sensation enveloped me. “It’s so fun, isn’t it?” she cried, tearing off my tuque and scratching furiously at my head. The cold hit like an ice cube during sex, the contact causing ecstasy. I looked to Rachel in surprise, embarrassment and amusement, beside myself and rolling in the ether. “Doesn’t this feel sooo good?”she asked, moving her attack to my chest and back. Every touch was separate and traceable, scouring lines into my flesh. After the groping, I looked to Rachel and attempted to gather myself. “Do you want to go to 41 West?” she asked.
I wanted to see 2 Tone. I wanted to see live hip-hop in a town desperately white and lyrically challenged, Sleep Close Death’s vacant throne as King of the Mic filled by this worthy successor from the City. But Rachel had become the anchor. She kept me from being completely adrift in the waves, and we had prearranged to go to meet her friends in 41. Besides, I thought, every bill I had seen for this show had Tone last. Surely we would not miss him.
41 and I do not always get along. A bat country bar often populated by townie freaks and old men wanting young pussy, the desert fried vibe was on full blast tonight due to the musical entertainment. Well Worn Boot’s unmistakable print was all over the show. The Sergio Leone props and hip crowd were more than evident that The Boot was in the building. More performance act than band, the spaghetti western theme is integral to the experience. “Cartoon Americana” they have been called, an apt description. They perform in costume, a guitar playing horse and caustic, flute playing cowboy backed by a bizarrely masked baby on bass with an interestingly normal drummer. Thick, acrid smoke fills the front of the bar as they swagger into position to the unmistakable theme of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. From here they devolve into a reckless ruckus, a psychotic high noon showdown between stupid, irrelevant and amazing. They whip through acid infused country rock and folk, tossing lei’s and condoms into the crowd and raising hell.
The desert heat inside me extended to the dance floor, as rattlesnakes and tarantulas scoured for pray. Young bunny rabbits and field mice were lined up, mesmerized with liquor and the stinking vile charm a predator too slow to play with their own peers must posses to continue conning everything into their mouth and still keep the fangs inside with which to bite.
I began to be disenfranchised with my date; so early into the night, and she was leaving me already? “It comes in waves,” Rachel explained, “which can be cued by different sensations. Like you feel nothing, than you sit down and stand up, or hear a certain tone and ‘whoosh’ it hits you all at once.” Of course. Molly was not a passive spectator to this evening. She was a living thing, with her own whims and desires that had to be met to be invoked. I quickly sought Tira out, the feeling of her nails on my scalp letting the tide gently roll in. I sat down and stood up, fearing I would not be able to persuade Molly to crash into me again. Finally in the middle of the floor my anchor turned to me, whipping of my hat and once again going to work on my head. In an expert move she would repeat through the night, Rachel danced and cooed and drew the buzz back through my head into her fingertips, her large almond eyes locking my gaze. In this way she would charm her friend, time and again bringing me back into bliss.
The second act was Driftwood, a bluegrass group on some sort of national tour stopping in our neck of the backwoods. As Memphis by way of Binghamton filled the air, I was amused and amazed at the number of hipster hares bopping to the beat. Were they even aware, I wondered, that people like my Appalachian relatives had been playing this in the hills for generations? Had any ever had moonshine? Would they be aware of the reception they would receive if they were to ever enter a holler in full Bohemian splendor? It was of little importance; none of this mattered. The banjo and fiddle whipped the west into a frenzy, and soon a rollicking, stomping, clapping Kentucky mosh pit had formed upon the floor.
I dutifully began to review act two. Two girls danced near us, whirling Salvo styles in time with the tambourine. “Taking notes, huh? That’s smart,” said one, Black Hair with a Bandanna. “I’m a music critic,” I assured her. It would not do to be seen simply as some lunatic scribbling into a steno pad, feverishly chewing his pen and rubbing a bright yellow lei between his fingertips. Black Hair with a Bandanna and her friend Pixie Cut Headband became heavy on the floor, grinding and clapping and kissing and slapping. “Are they an item?” I asked Rachel. “I think so,” she said. I began to weigh my options, consulting with Molly on what to do next. “Should i just try and squeeze in between, see where the night goes?”
My anchor was slipping. Recovering from a cold and lacking my date’s unique touch, she was slowly dying before my very eyes. This notion brought about panic. “I’m losing you,” I lamented, leaning close to talk. Keeping my arms nearby and pulling in on myself, the warmth building, I pleaded to keep her alive. “What do you want to do?” she asked. “Anything that keeps you moving,” I replied desperately. “I must resuscitate you!” We tossed around going to Muldoon’s or crossing Canadaway and hitting the retirement home. “We can go to Muldoon’s,” she said. “I just need my cover money.” With that she approached a murderous black widow and her fly at the bar, ignoring the vicious arachnid while plying the fly for a few bones. She was truly brilliant, using a mixture of poise and pleasantry that left the poor bugger completely devoid of defense. “I used to shake people down for money,” I explained to the bar bugs nearby. “The trick is to start with violence, see, being too small to be intimidating or fight someone straight up. Tie a padlock to a bandanna, and blackjack that motherfucker in the back of the head, first things first. He will quickly come to the conclusion that this skinny son of a bitch is not worth the $20, simple as death.” While visceral and twistedly fun, Rachel’s method seemed effective enough. No fireworks, but she still worked like a pro. Cover money in hand, we stepped once again into the surprising chill. Away from the dry desert air, Molly recoiled and regrouped, taking on a different form.
"Brian, you have to walk like this!" my anchor called giddily, side stepping across Main. I instantly thought of the crabs one could pull up in South Carolina, needing only a drumstick and some fishing line. Choking back laughter, I explained I could not walk in such a way. She seemed reinvigorated by the walk, playful and exciting and once again charming her friend into giving me some sugar. "I am going to fuck with you," she laughed. "Because you’re rolling!"
Our good vibes diminished quickly upon hitting the door. A line had formed outside, filled with more tools and well drilled holes than a carpenter’s studio. This was obviously not our scene, bouncing social butterflies that we were. The colors were off. BJ’s was red, deep crimson that enveloped me and created a furnace in my temple. 41 West was an arid yellow, painted rock and the sepia toned southwest. Muldoon’s was purple, an alien color and alien scene filled with unfriendly faces. Upon paying our cover, I spotted the man responsible for this mauve madhouse. A stocky and friendly fellow, this pint size powerhouse would be my first choice to battle a vampire menace. Not because his burly biceps could surely sink a stake through the sucker in one blow. No, because he has little to no neck. “Did 2 Tone play?” I inquired, hoping to do the job and cover the story. “Yeah,” came the devastating reply, “but Pardi Gras is on now.”
For reasons unknown, Pardi Gras has found quite the following in Fredonia. Imagine The Maine being played by having baby hamsters bombarded into the instruments by Nolan Ryan. Add a generic Atlantic City styled frontman complete with windswept hair, and the Pardi begins.
We had entered the beehive, and the queen bees in attendance took an immediate dislike to Rachel. Unlike the passive black widow, the bees displeasure extended beyond jealous looks. They battered and berated us, putting forearms and hip checks into every movement in the packed bar. Rachel leading the way, we fought through the stinging swarm towards the band, hell bent on giving them a chance. Lacking a butterfly knife or an over six foot friend, I became wary of daygo fucks in sweat slicked button downs. If these shiny plastic monsters had come at us with my baby in tow, the bees and wasps would learn quickly that butterflies bite. The audible click clack and threatening wrist flick would not deter these drunken fools. They would need a taste, the purple floor painted as blood, grease and hair gel mixed into a sickly slick.
Enormous bro bunnies danced like silly white girls, hopping madly to the music. Their beach muscles made the floor shake, an unnerving and unholy dance meant to draw forth simple minded sacrifices. Soon, three of them had ensnared a not so innocent and most likely un-virgin lamb suitable for slaughter. They surrounded her and pulled her to shreds, passing the pieces amongst them selves in a perverted potluck, still dancing.
The band, the people, the purple, the bees … it was all too much. My anchor snapped me back to attention, suggesting we beat a hasty retreat. Yes, I thought, discretion is the better part of valor. We missed my assignment, and had waded unarmed into a scene and a soundtrack that not even Molly could make enjoyable.
Standing once again in the chill night air, the evening seemed destined to die. Finally, an 11th hour call from the governor put us back on track. Rachel had a friend at EBC, and the band was apparently good. On the corner we spotted Diabetes Duke, her gut hanging under her knotted off plaid top and over her jean shorts. The freak show continued, as I played pimp on the corner and we turned tricks until a green light.
Ellicotville Brewing Company is all class and soft yellows, comforting color more in line with the evening. Nothing special, Windy City alumni alt rockers Balto were wrapping up their set when we arrived. EBC would spell the end of Rachel’s role as focal point and wave charmer; she had lasted far longer than anticipated, and I had cruelly dragged her in my wake long enough. As she left, the Captain arrived, stinking of liquor and upset about losing his crew. I told him all was well, and the night came full circle as the warm red glow of BJ’s enveloped me again.
The Captain was not long with me, striking off to find his mates while I stayed to see Alexis. I found her on the dart board where my night began. We chatted and talked, my date shrinking into the corner. A rowdy crowd gathered around bubble hockey, chanting “U-S-A” as the Miracle on Icechexx was decided.
I took the back way behind the strip club to circumnavigate the Jersey Shore scene currently playing out on Water Street. I emerged at Sunny’s corpse, quickly crossing the bridge into the warmth of the house. A waterfall later, my date slinked back in, wrapping her arms around me as “Contact High” played in the background. She coaxed me into bed, where I awoke the next morning pleased to find her cuddling beside me. Slightly disconcerted, not anticipating her to stay so long, I floated through my day life, putting on the mask and maintaining. I bit my tongue, thoughts still far outpacing words.
The glow began to leave. Desperate to keep my love, I went against all advice and burned, hoping that, like most women, enough of the green stuff would keep her around. It did for a time, as she agreed to stay while the Swords and Creamsicle Cocksuckers glided across the ice and my television. I had become too needy now, my puppy dog need for attention driving her away. She turned on me quickly, cold negativity replacing the fuzziness that had been nestling against my peritoneum. Icy gripped and still in a stupor, my only resort seemed inevitable. Sleep. This time alone.