The Gentleman Loser

Thoughts and Musings of a Loser



The night was a clusterfuck.

I was going to the Wil-Mar center, a place I always hear about on fliers in cafés but had never been, to see my friend Julie perform in a belly dancing troop.  Do groups of belly dancer call themselves a troop?  Or is it something more exotic, like coterie?  Regardless I got there late and had to stand just outside the door to the main room along with a man and his ever crying baby.

Going from there I went to my favorite block in Madison.  The little one-way stretch of E. Main street just off of the capitol square.  There were two bands I wanted to see, and both of them were playing at the same time in two neighboring venues.

Sleeping in the Aviary was playing at The Frequency and The Gusto was playing at The Corral Room (of course).  So I started out with Sleeping in the Aviary, who were playing their blend of psychedelic power pop.  Interestingly enough, they were promoting at their merch booth a new project (a big surprise for musicians who’s prolific nature makes KMFDM look stingy) called inBOIL.  I didn’t have to even care what it sounded like (it sounds good by the way, or at least as good as ironic country music can) to buy it.  The packaging was a hand-made cardboard book with a personalized title (each copy had a different album name, mine was “Be A Gentleman”).  Morey and I had just been talking about how we were going to release our next CD and this kind of tactic was much discussed, but I digress.


Mid-way through the set I dashed off to the back alley and popped in to The Corral Room (I had been jumping back and forth during the opening bands for a few hours already, and wish I could recall one of The Gusto’s opening bands because they were really good).  The Gusto had gotten a song or two into their set and the crowd was getting rowdy.  That’s the best part of going to shows in that venue, the crowds are always dense and really into the shows.  The Gusto have always been a solid pop-punk band, and the members have been at it for well over a decade now.  Suffice to say, they know what they’re doing and it shows.  The set wound down to one shirtless man and a group of several audience members commandeering one of the microphones to sing along.  I left to go back to The Frequency.

Sleeping in the Aviary played for another half hour beyond that, putting on a long set, perhaps making up for lost time from their much maligned Forward Fest show.  I have a friend who said he once say them do an entire show with the lead singer Elliot having a blanket over his head.  That said I have seen them put on some rather incoherent shows, but this night they seemed…concise.  I don’t know whether I think that made it a good show or a bad show.  It’s just hard to tell with them.

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