Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

Storming the stage with postpunk pirates Lifter Puller

Barone plays both guitar and keyboards, sometimes maniacally alternating between the two within the space of one song. He quickly tires of scaling his amp and leaping to the stage. Even the rope he has been provided with to swing out over the crowd is a limitation upon his need to occupy as much space as possible at all times. Suddenly, compelled by unseen forces, Barone hurtles through the air into the butt of Finn's guitar, and then into a spectacular wipeout through the drums. Monick valiantly keeps time, straining not to whack the civilian volunteers resetting his kit.

Anarchy is too ideologically loaded a word, chaos too grand. But it sure is some kind of terrific mess up there. Overheard evaluations range from an enthusiastic "definitive" to a polite "entertaining." Later those band members sober enough to comment do so sheepishly even after I say it sounded good to me. Still, I'd hate to have a tape of the show ruin my memory.

After the show, people are scavenging backstage for beer--apparently the bar has been moved sporadically this evening to keep drunks on their toes. "There's nothing back here," Monick protests. "If you're looking for anything back here besides us, you aren't going to find it." Craig Finn raises his fist toward me with a wan smile of exhausted esprit. "Aargh." It's almost 2:30 a.m. But thanks to daylight-savings time, in a half-hour it will only be two o'clock. Chalk up another Pyrrhic victory over the end of the evening.

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