The Ramblings of a Gen Xer

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Real Fight Club

When I heard that Orange County old-school punkers, Social Distortion, were coming to Buffalo, got on the phone and called my old-school-punk-rocker-now-gone-lawyer-buddy to see if he was up for the concert.

A short response of "Hell, yeah", secured the deal. 

So on a cold, rainy night two days before Thanksgiving, we made our way down to the Town Ballroom, fortified with Jim Beam, to carry on what us ex-punkers view as a right of continuing manhood. 

Jumping into the mosh-pit. 

After being proofed, not having it then going back to the car in a pissing cold rain to prove to the doorman I was well past the legal drinking age, we made our way into the bar and soon into the main hall. 

My bud, Mike, begun to get this glazed look in his eyes as the opening folk-punk band ripped out their three-cord angst, so started to provokingly bump into other such glazed-eyed concert goers. 

The mosh-pit was fermenting.

A few elbows up and the occasional collisions later, the opening act finished their set and made the way for Social D.  Nothing too intense, much like a first-string offensive series in a first preseason NFL game. 

Heading to the bar for one more boost of liquid painkillers, we downed the round and made our place to the balding spot on a packed floor where the mosh-pit was staked-out. 

Lights went black and Social D hit the stage.

And so did we. Well, not the stage; we hit each other...hard.

Since I was 18, "slam-dancing" was a way of expressing angst so aptly reflected in the music played at the various shows I went to. The Ramones, Violent Femmes, Fishbone, all became the background driving force behind the violent two hours of smashing into fellow moshers. 

More importantly, the same individuals who slammed into me felt the same way. Angry, spiteful and full of young men's "sturm and drang", we hit with elbows, kicked with army boots and grated with spiked wristbands. Bloodied, worn and exhausted, by concerts end, we were the walking wounded. 

Yet, despite this ultra-violence, we shook hands, hugged each other in camaraderie. We knew this battle wasn't waged against each other; we accepted that the enemy was unseen. 

And so we became therapeutic punching bags for one another. 

Not to romanticize the mosh-pit because it could get mean and ugly. Some drunk crazy fuck would jump into the fray, throwing elbows and fists, or the stupid jocks at the edge of the pit pushing the backs of exhausted mosher's into the fracas and laughing at it. 

By show's end, regardless of the random butthole's uncoolness, there was a sense of accomplishment among the participants. All the weight of the world's frustrations and our inability to do anything about it was absolved in those two-hours of moshing, and we felt a sense of relief and release. 

It was our Fight Club and we wore our badges of battle proudly. 

Several decades later on a cold, rainy November night, when the first chords of Social D's frontman, Mike Ness, rang in the Town Ballroom, the ritual of the mosh-pit "Fight Club" broke out. 

I don't remember which song was played when, and only by the intensity of the mosh-pit singled did I recognized a more familiar tune by Mike Ness and bandmates. 

What I remember was the bodies colliding, elbows slamming and boots kicking. I remembering finding myself on the beer-soaked barroom floor three times (receiving a nasty scrape on my elbow on the way down). I remember all the mosh-pit "etiquette" and the same drunk fool or dumb jock doing their idiotic duty. 

When the show was done, I remember feeling exhausted. 

I was bloodied, a mild-separated shoulder, a near-broken nose. My buddy, Mike, twisted his ankle, had a bloody lip, bit his tongue and both of us sucking wind at the end of the show. 

Our "Fight Club" was over. 

The next morning I was sore with a checked-board of bruises all-over my body. I called Mike and he felt the same way, but we were both fulfilled. 

Sure it was great show by old-school punkers and the music was gritty and good, but more importantly, we got out there and slammed for two hours getting out all that angst and other mid-life crisis crap. 

And all the while taking lumps and bruises, we were building on a uncommon way of building camaraderie, reenforcing a sense of manhood, and pounding on that great unseen enemy. 

We rejoined the real Fight Club. 

Matthew LaChiusa is the lead singer for Dick Whiskey and hopes to keep slammin' away until he is in his 60's. The Social Distortion show was amazing and the new material is outstanding. Long-live Mike Ness, the punk movement and venues who still provide that sound. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music of the Dick

Been awhile since there has been a posting on this blog and my apologies for that. Life can get in the way of the simplest pleasures, so taking time with a scotch and soda to write a "Greeting From the Whiskey Bottle" entry is rendered down like bacon fat for gumbo.

The DWhisks have been a busy bunch since the last posting on this blog with a few fun gigs and a couple of dogs to boot. Like the Mojo's gig with half the band missing and the stupid idea to stop at Denny's on the way home after doing shots.

Not saying any of the gigs sucked left hind- tit, but some gigs are a complete hoot and others lie down and barely moan like a drunk Irish girl you went home with on Saint Patty's day.

That's how it goes in the rock 'n' roll world...I guess, considering the gig we had this past June.

The DWhisks played the JackLords reunion gig at Nietzsche's closing up the show for the legendary band and in the process having a grand ol' time.

Kudos to John F Kennedy for throwing the event together and a special thanks for considering us in a line-up of some of the finest Rockabilly and Alt-Country bands in Buffalo, NY.

Plutos to drummer Thomas "T-Bone" LaChiusa for showing up and playing the gig with a flu bug, looking like a gangster zombie, and holding the puke in.

Could have turned real nasty in a drumbeat if you know what I mean.

And more recently, Dick Whiskey has seem to have found a home at the Elmwood Lounge as the band plays every six-weeks in the bar's music rotation. With a recent late June gig with the Seven Ounce Pony's, the band had a great time seeming to find an opportunity to do some originals and play a couple of new cover tunes.

Also nice to the legendary Lance Diamond give us a nod of approval at each gig.

So, the gigs, although have been few and far between this summer, haven't been lacking in energy and fun. With the newly added rhythm guitarist, Michael "Moonshine" Bisson (the bearded guy pictured left), the music of the DWhisks has become more layered and polished. The band is finding an identity and along the way continues to keep having fun, doing shots of whiskey throughout the set and shows a diversity in the music.

Thanks bearded guy on the left.

A summer hiatus? Hell no, just regrouping and writing new tunes and learning a few covers to be ready for a great fall season.

To the music of the Dick!

Matthew LaChiusa aka "The Reverend Johnny Scotch" is the front man for The DWhisks and really enjoys the fog machine at Mojo's. Tune in his "Greetings From The Whiskey Bottle" Podcast by going to Scotch and Soda

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Super Bowl Halftime, Halfass Show

What is wrong with the NFL?

Seriously, the league has a good product, viewership is at record numbers, it has a international following surely surpassing baseball, soccer and all other sports.

Despite all this, they can't seem to get the Super Bowl halftime show together.

In case, you were hidden in a remote cave sleeping off winter, the Super Bowl came and went with an exciting victory by the frozen Cheeseheads of the North, the Green Bay Packers.

Set in between two halves of the great championship game of the Gridiron, is the much anticipated (and sometimes controversial) halftime show. Diverse acts graced this monumental TV program with eye-candy galore, fake dancers acting as groupies and a big finale featuring explosions, fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Great stuff, huh?

Not really. Super Bowl halftime shows suck and this year was no exception.

The LA based, hip-hoppers,
Black Eyed Peas ,were chosen to headline this show. Now get this straight, I do like some forms of rap and hip-hop. It has a place in shaping American music. But their performance on this highly viewed, stage o' stage of events, was a big, stinky turd floating in the toilet bowl of mediocrity. The performance reminded me of badly done hip-hop karaoke at a trashy bar with a poor sound system.

Okay, so if you managed to watch this entire turdy segment, good for you. If you click this pooshoot show off at 5 minutes you missed the addition of guest "musicians" because those associated with the production felt you need more turd to bite off.

Usher falls from the sky in his janitorial whites, awkwardly frees himself from his chains and proceeds to do nothing but splits and sings "ooh, ah, ooh." Leaving one to think, "What the f**k?"

Slash appears from the bowels of Hell to do something on guitar. Not sure what exactly it is but he appears to improve the fine quality of this halftime show.

But what can one expect? When producers chose Christina Aguilaria to sing and promptly screw up the National Anthem, the bar was set low.

So why does it have to be this way?

Are the halftime producers and the NFL convinced this type of entertainment will keep the TV home viewers focused on the set for commercials? Most folks are relieving themselves, get beers & food for the upcoming second-half and BS about the game or the pool they've entered.

Do these producers believe that these halftime shows are generating interest from non-football viewers? The game is the interest not poorly executed music from Usher, Slash and The Black Eyed Peas. The game is turned off when the second-half kickoff happens if not sooner.
Why not bring in a solid act who has some regional ties to the city hosting the Super Bowl? They could play a clean, well-executed set without the high def, badly choreographed groupies infused, overdone fluff that seems to accompany these productions.

The truth of the matter is that the NFL is a multi-million dollar business. That high profile requires associations to be in the same financial class. These partnerships represent a like-mindedness that does not necessarily reflect taste or quality. They represent the bottom-line.

Us fans? Well, we have settle for these halfass, halftime shows with little expectation of a good production.

Oh well, it gives us something else to bitch about on Monday other than a crappy Super Bowl matchup or lame commericials.

Matthew LaChiusa aka Rev Johnny Scotch can be heard on his podcast "Greetings from the Whiskey" Podcast by clicking the following link:
The use of Adolf Hitler in this blog does not mean this site supports the views of this murderous asshole or anyone associated with him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Onto a New Dick Year

I am mystified about how another year can come and go. Not to sound like a toothless old coot, but it seems like we were in summer, enjoying some gigs and BLAMO, snow then ringing in the new and out with the old.

Supposing there has to be some sort of reflection on the year past although I have trouble remembering it going anywhere (now THAT sounds like a toothless old coot). The DWhisks certainly had a fun ride in 2010 with the addition of Bob "Pleather" Rich III and a renewed vigor and quality in the music and performances. So, with that said, I wanted to list what the top 5 moments were for Dick Whiskey in 2010.

5.) The Mojo's Gig in Jamestown-When the band lost bassist Tom Doeseckle, it looked as if Dick Whiskey limped its last gig. The band was saved when Bob "Mystic Cowboy" Kupczyk recruited Bob Rich III to play bass. The band landed a short-notice gig in July at Mojo's and only had two rehearsals to get our new addition up to speed. Mission accomplished in that not only was Bob up to speed but the DWhisks rocked the joint. This gig gave the band confidence that a little spit & polish and a ton of showmanship can get the job done.

4.) The Whiskey Saloon-After the gig in Jamestown, Bro T-Bone and myself decided to swing into an ass-end, townie bar located in Cassadaga, NY called the Whiskey Saloon. We had a good laugh afterwards because we were treated like two gay policemen. This was a classic example of "we don't take kindly to folks like you" and will go down in DWhisks lore.

3.) The 5 am jam at Bob's after Elmwood Lounge-In perhaps one the best post-Wally gigs, the band decided to stop over Bob Rich's pad for a after-gig roundabout and to refuel our whiskey-drenched buzz. When the "session" was over morning light was peaking at us as we left. The evening included the culinary skills of Bill as he fried up some burgers. A night to remember and since never been duplicated--as of yet.

2.) The Rectory Gig-In the words of T-Bone, "The French maid. Need I say more?" This was one of those interesting, not-sure-what-to-expect Halloween gigs that was offered to the DWhisks. Held at the old Saint Francis de Sales rectory on Buffalo East side, the first impression driving up was, well, are we at the right place, but was soon replaced by awe at such a large space. We unloaded our gear, walked in and were surrounded by numerous gay men in superhero costumes. By night's end, the band had every Batgirl and Superman shaking their fannies to the sounds of DWhisks. We had a blast! Personal favorite moment is giving Mike Wrona a gash by throwing my tambourine at him. Hey, the sucker was tossing peanuts at me, I warned him and he got what he deserved.

1.) Hamburg VFW Post 2985 Gig-This band has learned over the past year and getting gigs at bizarre places that no matter what just play hard, have fun and drink heavily. No where was this most evident in the DWhisks' gig for a hockey benefit in the Buffalo Southtowns. From the very first sound-check song, we knew this would be a tough sell to the fish-fry eating VFW patrons as the hockey party was being held in another part of the building. Hecklers and folks with unaccepting frowns abounded but, damn-it, the band held firm, had a shot (or four)of whiskey and by night's end had folks out on the dance floor groovin' to the music. We felt proud by gig's end, especially doing it without ANY rehearsal time, and it proved to us that no matter what its the music that matters-that or the shots of whiskey for liquid courage.

The DWhisks would like to give a mighty thank-you shout out to all the good folks who shared a shot or ten with the band. 2011 is looking like a pinup gal with some great gigs lined up at the Legendary Elmwood Lounge and Club Diablo.

Love to see y'all in the new year!

Matthew LaChiusa is the frontman for Dick Whiskey. His new year's resolution was broken on January 2nd, 2:00 pm.