August 18, 2005
w/ The Phonographers
This show marked our first performance outside of the greater Cleveland and Columbus area. It came as a result of obnoxious persistence. I had emailed the venue several times asking for a spot and received no response. So I decided to make a point to email them over and over with the same booking inquiry just to be annoying. To my surprise, after maybe a dozen messages, I received a reply of “How about next Thursday?”
Elbo’s was a cool little venue that’s now been gone for around 15 years. There’s sadly little info or pictures of the venue online, this photo I found here is just of some dudes on the stage. Once the night was booked, they put a picture on their website of me performing at Supraphonic Studios, and they added some cheesy-looking effect to the photo that I’m not sure what to call, but there were like these wavy lines coming out of me. It’s probably one of many pictures that I failed to rescue from MySpace before they migrated their servers and lost most of everything. Kind of like the Universal Music Studios Fire for a lot of us.
We were booked with The Phonographers and BRP, who I believe were both local. I don’t remember anything about BRP, I think they might have been hip-hop. We went on second, and I remember having a pretty good time. We had these soft yellow balls (I’m not sure what their real use would be), but we had them leftover from the “Pee Party” album release show. I took some on stage with me, and between songs I informed the audience they were filled with pee, and I threw them while people screamed and scattered. That’s something important I learned that night - If you say that something random is filled with pee and throw it at people, they will react in kind no matter how ridiculous the idea is. At one point during a song break this table with two girls yelled at me “How about a kiss, it’s her birthday!,” and without hesitation I replied “Sorry, I’m married” in the exact manner that Ken Griffey Jr. said to Hillary Banks when she was hitting on him in an episode of Fresh Prince. We saw them later after the set and I thanked them for coming, and they kind of gave me this look of “We weren’t really trying to make out with you, ya know.”
The Phonographers were young dudes, but damn could they play. They covered the Primus song “Mr. Knowitall” and absolutely killed it. I didn’t keep in touch with either band afterwards, but I saw who I believe was the drummer of the band at a later time. He had run sound for us at a Columbus venue, and later told his bandmate “Hey, guess who I did sound for? The ‘My-my-my Car Phone’ guy.”
I remember that when the bar asked how many members were in the band, I said without thinking it through that it was just me. Mary Alice was perturbed, because this was for the sake of drink discounts, and wondered why didn’t I just say the band had two members. This was back when her involvement was minimal, before she used a digital projector, before she was on stage singing, and largely before having any creative input. Looking back, I can admit to being somewhat insecure and overprotective about the identity and creative control of the operation. Ya know, songs about Urkel and all. But it was a unique arrangement that EG had in those days, and I kind of felt like it was mostly what I had going for me personally. I’m much happier to have a bandmate up there with me now.
I also remember leaving my credit card/tab open there. They were super cool about it, and even mailed my card to me. (I did that another time much later at a place that I can’t recall, and they told me to fuck off when I asked about them mailing the card). This was probably the best time we ever had doing a show in Dayton, and I’ll have more about that later.