like a stringbean.

JenCon Show

Our last show.

We filed into Under ACME on Thursday, July 18 with no clue that it would be the last Dromedary show.  In looking at the lineup, there were a couple of bands I don’t remember, so I suspect that I planned the lineup with someone else.  The bands I didn’t know, however, were followed by Kid With Man Head, who had played our June show at Love Sexy, were coming back for another show.  I had hoped, this time, that I would get to meet the rest of the guys in the band.  At the June show, they had run out before I got to meet them all.

Footstone were playing as well – as usual.  It was sort of a dress rehearsal for a record release party; I wanted the two bands to play together in hopes that their fans would mix together a bit, and also in hopes that Footstone would enjoy them.

At this point I was firmly “indie rock,” and found myself moving further away from the musical tastes of the guys in Footstone.  Not that I didn’t love Footstone; they were my favorite band.  But our tastes were starting to diverge a bit.  I was into the sloppier, slacker stuff with noise and feedback.  Footstone was more into the tighter, loud stuff.  I disliked Lucy’s Fur Coat, for example – thought they were a Rocket From The Crypt ripoff.  Ralph and Mark loved them.  I went to see them at Maxwell’s and really enjoyed the show, but when I came back and listened to the CD, I just couldn’t get into it.

Anyway, I was hoping to get the Footstone Seal of Approval on Jenifer Convertible.

And I was pretty nervous, for some reason.  Nervous enough that I sat down at our table and started guzzling beers with Rich, and cannot remember a single thing about Kid With Man Head’s set that night.  Sorry.

Footstone got up and played, and they were absolutely on fire.  They were louder than usual, their songs were faster, everything about them was more aggressive.  It wasn’t as great as that CBGB show in 1994, but it was right up there – and they didn’t play anything that wasn’t either on Lippy or Schmeckle, with the exception of “I Will Not Allow,” which was delivered so well that I actually shivered while they were playing it.

What else struck me about their set was that ACME was packed that night.  Shoulder-to-shoulder people, and after Footstone’s set was over, Rich and I made our way up to the stage to congratulate the band and hug them.

That was a habit of mine, by the way, that I began the night of our very first show.  When the band is done playing, and gets down off the stage and cools off for a second, I go tell them what I thought of the set, thank them for playing, give them a hug and a handshake.

And Ralph was sweaty as all hell, an indication that he was working his ass off onstage.

The club was so crowded that when I was done with Footstone’s post-show thank-you, someone had slid in and taken our table.  This left us right in front of the PA system, and as Jenifer was setting up and Footstone was breaking down, I introduced the various members of the band to one another.  Ralph had already met Jim  (all the Footstone guys had, I believe, since Jim the Journalist had been to several Dromedary shows), but none of the other guys had met each other.

Jenifer Convertible got onstage and I found that I was too close to the PA, and it was killing my ears.  The club was so crowded that it took me a couple of songs to get away from the speakers, and over by the bar, and at some point during their set, Jim thanked Sandy and me for putting out their new record (which, obviously, wasn’t out yet).  Then, they launched into “Taystee Cake.”

“Taystee Cake” has a couple of spots in the song where Lenny is singing the lyric, and Jim and James are singing something different, right after him.  So Lenny says “Hey, that’s a cool shirt.”  and before he’s done saying it, Jim and James are singing “Where’d you get that shirt?” behind him.  Lenny says “You’re so fuckin’ thin!” and Jim and James sing “Like a stringbean!” behind him.

At one part of the song, instead of singing “Drugs and alcohol!,” Jim and James sang “Al is god!”

Ralph said “Hey.  Did they just sing ‘Al is god’?”

I always get kinda goofy about when the bands addressed me from the stage.  On one hand, it was unbelievably flattering that a band would take time out of their set and acknowledge me.  On the other hand, it was sort of embarrassing.  “Al is god,” though, that took the whole “Wild Mike’s” thing to a new level.

After the show, Rich and I stopped off at Grey’s Papaya for a dog, then took the PATH back to Hoboken.  Rich was still hungry, so we ran across the street to Enzo’s for a slice of pizza.

“I’m really nervous,” I told him.


“These are two really good records.”

“So?” he asked.  “Don’t you want to put out really good records?”

“Sure I do,” I said.  “But I can’t help but feel that these records are maybe a step or two ahead of where I am right now.”

“Do you think any indie knows what they’re doing when they start?” he asked.  “I mean, not the bullshit indies that are started by major label people, looking to cash in, but the real ones.  Did those guys have an instruction manual?”

“No,” I said.

“Wow,” he continued.  “How the fuck did they do it?  How the fuck did Dischord figure it all out?”

“I guess they just sorta did,” I said. “It’s funny, though.  When we first started this, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.  And I walked around as if I did, and we convinced bands to work with us, and we made some records.  Now, I have a little bit of a clue, and I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I’m a moron.”

The rest of the ride home, he talked about Brian Eno (his idol) and I pretended to listen.  And after I dropped him off, I drove the rest of the way in silence.

Oh – and Footstone really liked Jeniver Convertible’s set.

~ by Al on November 12, 2009.

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