Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday weekend at Gooski's

Playing right now: Amir ElSaffar Two Rivers Ensemble- Inana (Pi)

I love going to Gooski's on Thanksgiving weekend. It's usually crowded, but the crowd usually includes a bunch of out-of-towners coming back to visit. The turnout is great for anyone playing there on either night. And unlike most people, the smoke doesn't bother me too much. At least not until I put my coat on the next morning.

On Friday night, I dropped by to try and spread the word about the Love Letters show happening there next week (although I didn't have any flyers to hand out) but also to see the Dirty Faces, Brass Chariot and House of Assassins. It's been awhile since I've seen Dirty Faces or House of Assassins, and I've been meaning to see Brass Chariot for awhile.

Once upon a time, the wife and I used to go to Gooski's for Sunday dinner, which usually consisted of wings and provolone sticks, with a pierogie or two switched in for one of the others. I decided to get some provolone to absorb some of the hooch a few drinks into the evening. Little did I know the current variety of provolone sticks are NOT the long skinny variety but the huge muscular ones that look more like those vegetarian field roasts that I saw plenty of last week at work. Or a more apt description is that they look like the scotch eggs from Piper's Pub. I ate three (more than enough) and gave the other two my friend Josh.

That snack came after House of Assasins' set and during Brass Chariot's. HoA is lead by Jason Baldinger, WRCT DJ and Paul's CD employee extraordinaire, and they cranked out a set of raw but right tunes, heavy on the lyrical twists. The lyrics got a little buried, naturally, in the mix, but it made me remember their album from a couple years ago and how the scope of his words made up for any vocal shortcomings he might have. A closing cover of "Turn the Page" was... ah, entertaining. But, brother, if you're going to do that song, remember to end it on "There Iiiiiiiiiiiii go-woh."

I had been listening to Brass Chariot from the other room while eating, admiring how tight and hard they sounded. Sam has been playing guitar for years, long before I came along and started checking out bands, but he fits right in with the next generation cats in this band. And it was great to see him and Ben (bass) standing there in the unlit Gooski's back room. Ben's hair has been a trademark look for years and Sam's mop comes close to the same size and shape. They made the Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" sound like it was their own. Someone commented on how loud they were, but they didn't seem painful to me. Then I realized that the guitars might have been muffled a bit by the power of the drums. But there was plenty of meat and potatoes there.

Crossing the third drink threshold.... provolone settling in, but not feeling like a cinder block, thankfully........ Dirty Faces took the stage in a ball of swagger. Almost didn't recognize guitarist Ernie when he said hi to me earlier, due to the salt and pepper in his hair and on his puss. T Glitter's puss was buried in a sea of long hair, which made me wonder if he had been sitting close to me all night and I didn't realize it. They guys rocked with no inhibitions whatsoever. There was six of 'em onstage, though I don't think I could hear the keyboard at all. The energy never ceased and they seemed to play a good long time, but my eyelids eventually got droopy. Since I had to work the next morning, I cut out before the set was over.

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