Show #6: October 16, 2004
Recycled Rainbow 9
the Record Exchange
The Former Yugoslavia
The Black Fives
Leia Alligator’s Puppet Show
The Damn Weiner Kids
6 Volt Haunted House
A Nick Traenkner’s presentation
As previously mentioned, on the same night of that strange Rockwood show, we skedaddled to a nearby house show hosted by a gentleman known as Everyman, which is probably where we should have been hanging out to begin with. Though it was emphasized to us that this wasn’t a “show,” so much as a “collective like-minded art dealie” known as Recycled Rainbow. Whatever it was, we got to know the folks there, handed out some EG pins, and were kindly invited to perform at the next installment of the event in October.
We were told in advance that we had to incorporate at least 5 minutes of a “Classic Literature” theme into our set. We don’t read no books, but I liked the movie “The Grapes of Wrath,” so I figured I could go dressed as Tom Joad. (There are pictures of this somewhere in time and space) I also wrote thematic lyrics over top of existing instrumentals, part of which had me saying the word “Homicide” in the style of Tom Joad, which sounded like “Homa-cide.” We started the set with that, and nobody cared. I asked the crowd if they knew who I was supposed to be, and they answered in near unison “Huckleberry Finn.” I think the alcohol was flowing freely at this point, because I distinctly remember someone doing a drunken drop kick down the stairs into the basement where we were performing.
We were in the habit in these early days of making the trip to Cleveland from Columbus for shows, and then traveling back to Columbus the same night. Probably not the smartest way to go, as we often missed people’s performances and getting to know them better. But hindsight is etc. So unfortunately we didn’t get to see too much of what the other acts were doing, but I remember the house being splashed in psychedelic garb, colors and lights. It was a cosmic freakout.
I do remember leaving on a sour note. While people seemed to enjoy our performance, someone there giddily told me I was like a “White Wesley Willis.” Now, like everyone else in the world, I loved the late great Wesley Willis. I even had the honor of giving him a headbutt at one of his final shows before he passed. But it wasn’t someone I was flattered to be compared to musically. I felt like I was writing legit pop songs over keyboard beats, not just happily yelling over an auto-accompaniment. We also received word later that someone we were acquainted with showed up after we left and insulted some of the guests (and hey, fortunately for us we were named as the people they were there to see!)
I recall being riddled with anxiety in the days after this show, and it was really no one’s fault. I feel like we had jumped with both feet first into doing EG, and I was starting to feel emotionally overwhelmed. I remember crying and telling Mary Alice that I didn't think I wanted to do this anymore, but she was able to calm me down like she seemingly had to do so often in those days. There was wrath, but then there were grapes.
I remember much less about this show than the one where we just visited after the show we did that nobody showed up for. What I do remember is being very stressed out about finding on-theme attire for at least one of us. And then nobody else bothered to dress up. I wore that dress I bought in high school made out of fabric with belts printed on it because I thought it would go nicely at that freaky scene. And nobody commented on it! I think that was the last time I ever wore it, even though it still hangs in my closet to this day.
I also feel like I remember shouting along to "Growing Pains" from behind the scenes (where I was manning the semi-broken slide projector) because that had been going on at Columbus shows and I was maybe thinking the crowd could have been a little more into it? And I think later you nicely asked me not to do that anymore and in retrospect you were absolutely right.
I remember Recycled Rainbow as being a thing that I was introduced to when I was just a baby adult that gave me an unrealistic concept of what artsy adults are like. Which is to say that this crew was far more energetic and cohesive than any other community/collective I was ever even marginally associated with. At that first show I saw Eric Alleman performing the "Red Human-Headed Bull" and was just so taken with the bizarre competence on display. It was very exciting and energizing.
I think I assumed all house shows would be like this--so richly off and yet always striving to just ART as hard as one could--and I could not have been more wrong.