Show #46: June 2, 2006
w/ Infinite Number of Sounds
In my mind, there was a black and white flyer for this show with the Infinite Number of Sounds “Radio Whales” logo, with the other band names typed out below, but I either made it up or it was something I threw together. Either way, I made Brent look for a non-existent flyer (sorry dude), but he did remind me of the photos that are still up on the old INS website. Above are two pics David (Dave) took, one of the exterior of the club and one of the unruly crowd. There we are on the left, telling the band they’re #1, and a few friends are also scattered about.
This is one of those shows I think I remember little about, then after some thought I find I remember quite a bit. For one, I remember seeing someone wearing an INS shirt at the show, and I thought that was so cool, seeing that the band was from out of town. That’s something that still gets me; If I see someone wearing an EG shirt at one of our gigs, I think “Tee-hee, really?! That’s so weird! Tee-hee-hee!”
INS and Ocean Ghosts were always great. During a specific point of the INS set, Dave used to do this crazed faced/intense flapping thing with his tongue, and it drove the dames wild. Mary Alice warned this girl we knew at the gig when it was about to happen, and everyone shrieked with delight. The girl shouted out to Dave between songs “I like your beard!,” to which Dave yelled back “I like yours too!,” which caused her to giggle and turn to me excitedly saying, “He said he liked my beard!”
As for the EG set, I remember screaming and shouting the words over the music, which I feel like is something I used to do to overcompensate if I was feeling insecure. There was a video on the website cringe.com of the last part of “Doogie’s My Friend” (no longer there) that I remember made our setup look so low-fi; We were trying to use a new program to show the images, and it had the buttons visible on the screen (Play, Fast Forward, etc), and there was me yelling and laughing while singing the outro. Par for the course back then. This also may have been the show where I accidentally kicked a full beer off the stage causing it to shatter on the floor. I remember going out back of the club for a cigarette and being greeted with applause, and that was certainly good enough for me.
INS stayed over at our place that night, and we were laying there quietly in bed when Dave came to our bedroom door and scared the hell out of us. We had been talking about different things to do for the EG set, and he had come to our bedroom to tell us an idea he had. Neither of us will ever forget the image of Dave mysteriously standing in the shadows like a vampire to softly tell us his thoughts, while we stared back in horror.
The story of this show continues shortly after the fact. For a short time I had a work-study position at Ohio State where I was a “Gallery Guard,” meaning that I sat outside the student art gallery to make sure no one fucked with the art (I mean, come on). I had a young guard mate there named Andrew who was a talented singer-songwriter, who we’d eventually gig with. A friend of Andrew’s had come into the gallery to talk with him, and somehow the subject of Electric Grandmother came up. “Electric Grandmother?,” the friend said, “Isn’t Electric Grandmother that one horrible act with the guy who (assorted insults describing the show that I don’t entirely remember)?” He had seen the show at High Five, and I piped up with a smile and asked what he didn’t like about it. He started explaining what he didn’t like about EG, then paused for a moment, and said “That’s you, isn’t it?” That itself was worth the price of admission, but then he went on to do what a lot of people did back then, which was basically ask me to justify my existence. “I thought you were being horrible on purpose?,” he said. “I felt like I was on this strange acid trip.” I know enough now to know those last two statements are basically compliments, but I did offer that I was not trying to be horrible on purpose.
Andrew got defensive on our behalf, telling his friend that it wasn’t cool to say those sorts of things, which was very nice of him, but it wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before. In fact, I told this story on a blog that was part of our old website, and someone who saw EG in Cleveland commented something along the lines of “I agree with that guy, what’s your problem?” I’ll say this about the concept of being “horrible on purpose”: In the recent documentary about the late great cult sensations Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, a friend of theirs who was in an early incarnation of the group offered that they set up their first show (under a different name) to entertain their friends and be “the worst band imaginable.” As GMPD grew in popularity, there were many out there who still found them objectionable, but they legitimately got better at what they did, and with this a lot of fans felt they had lost part of what they loved about the band - the charming inadequacy of it all. The problem was that they were in fact very talented, and if people fall in love with the “inadequate” version of you, they won’t allow you to get better. With that, the band eventually dissolved, because there was nowhere to go. The same thing has happened to an extent with us, with some people loving the more naive and semi-clueless version of EG, but I assure you we’ve never been “horrible on purpose,” the show was just horrible accidentally, thank you very much.
Now that EG has been long been a duo and looks/sounds much different, I usually try to leave any questions or requested justifications to Mary Alice, because I really don’t know why we do what we do, I just know we’re on an unexplainable and occasionally joyless Black Flag-esque mission to get it done, and saying that totally makes me sound like a fucking badass.