Gold Victory

There’s a little town you’ve probably never heard of about 35 miles south-west of Birmingham, AL. A college town, of course, home to University of Montevallo, which has a big philosophy department and tiny underground music sceen. Been playing shows here for years now. You can barely even find the town on a map and there’s usually only one spot in town, if any, for this type of music.

We ended up at a pretty insane lengerie party here one night. Been back enough times over the years to be privy to lots of gossip and the kind of interpersonal information so often shared with travelers. Just ran into an old friend we hadn’t seen in a while, who, after breaking up with another local friend of ours, had apparently stolen another local woman’s husband and pissed everyone off. She tells me she’s off her meds, unemployed, lazy and very happy.

Friend from New Orleans snorted over seven thousand Ridlin last year; prescribed. Twenty a day. Finally took him off that shit. What are people thinking?

This DJ, Isidro, who’s on the gig tonight is wearing a T-Shirt for this insane artist from Virginia we played with six months ago, Gull, who sits behind a drum set in a skull mask, playing really intense, cathartic afro-metal beats and singing through some kind of distortion box. When we played together up in Huntsville, AL, NASA engineering headquarters, he and a friend were touring down to Mexico. Apparently the next day, the played a show here and, after hearing Isidro had a grandmother down in Mexico, invited him to come along. He quit his job, left the house with his girlfriend and left the next day. A life-re-routing decision. What a small world.

There’s this kid Walker Yancy here who’s been playing house shows with us since he was like 10. His mother is a local artist. He’s probably fifteen now.

Pretty much stopped carrying our one-speaker sound system, and looking at this pair of ten-inch “mains”, am second-guessing that decision. But music really doesn’t have to be loud to be funky, or get a story across.

Okay so this university doesn’t have a sports team, so in leu of homecoming (or whatever) they cultivate school spirit by dividing into two teams, Purple and Gold, who compete in the writing and producing of original Musicals, among other things. Tonight the Gold team were having their victory party at our show. The Gold team happens to consist of mainly students who major in business, kinesiology (future gym teachers) and fraternity members.

They’re packing into - and taking over the place throughout the course of my set and enjoying it, in their own confused way. About 45 minutes it this girl comes up and goes, “Can you play some crunk?”, which is basically the black club music popular these days. Then some guy unplugs the PA… during a song! There were so many more of them than Mad haPPy fans I decided to just play some dance music.

About one song into that this black dude who’s been giving me dirty looks since he walked into the place taps me on the shoulder and goes, “When are you gonna be done, ‘cause we have our own DJ.”

So I told ‘em to set up, put on a twenty minute Nusrat Fate Ali Kahn song and packed up. They played the music frat kids are listening to the world over tonight. What does it mean to be the most like everyone else?