Her Riotous Defects

16 Jun

We were in the middle of a perfect moment when shit got weird.

Smoking some good grass and listening to King Tubby on Pandora. We were waiting on the brownies to cool off. My buddy got the text from his crazy ex. She indeed was going to be at the Of Montreal show.

“Maaaaaaannnnn she doesn’t even like Of Montreal. Why the fuck does she wanna be there? She hates that scene.”

“ You know why man. She’s a fun ruiner!!!”

And that should have been an indicator of how things were going to go (actually ruining the first batch of bud butter should have tipped us off)


Although neither of us said so, we both knew that the care free evening we had planned was going to be marred by his crazy ex.

My boy was in a no win situation.If he was a dick to her an ignored her, he’d feel badly. If he indulged her she’d probably want to rehash their issues. Either way, the show was going to be about her and not Of Montreal.

She was going to ruin the night just by being there.

We tried not to think about it too much, but clearly we were both distracted. We had to make the cabbie turn around and go back to his apartment because I left the tickets on his dining table. There was something off about the night and there was no way to restore the balance. Shit was about to get weird.

Trees is a venue I was familiar with. I spent part of the nineties drinking coffee and reading bad poetry in some of the Deep Ellum establishments. When I was 19 and an idiot, my friends and I would go see this shitty rock band called Pimpadelic.  They played at Trees many a time. Sometimes I’d black out from taking pills and drinking, then wake up as we were driving back to Cedar Hill.

The best show I ever saw at Trees was in 2004. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra came through and laid that shit down. I have never danced so much at a show in my life. At the end of the night we went next door to Cafe Brazil and ran into former Dallas Mavericks great Sam Perkins, getting his attention by yelling “GO TARHEELS!!”

I didn’t for see anything remotely as cool as that happening this particular night. I could just feel the weirdness permeating everything around us.

I’d never seen Of Montreal, but from all the Youtube clips I’d ever seen, they seemed pretty out there. My buddy D.T. Told me he’d seen them a couple of times. I asked him how it was and he kinda smirked and said, “Pretty homoerotic.” [shit gets really wild at about the 9:00 minute mark. The audio of the clip is bad so you may just want to skip to that point.]

I’d heard like three songs that I’d really liked by them, one of them being The Past is a Grotesque Animal on the “Hissing Fauna” album.

[the audio is much better on this clip from an NPR show]

I’d jammed the shit out of their album, False Priest which had elements of David Bowie, Prince, and oddly enough Outkast (maybe not so oddly– they were from Atlanta after all). I was curious about these cats and it seemed fitting that weird shit would go down with them in town.

The opening act was  Kishi Bashi, some Japanese cat who seemed like he was sounding like a mixture of James Iha, Tim Reynolds, and one of those Pure Moods cd’s. We listened to about 2 minutes then decide to wait outside before catching a bit of the second act.

It was this cat from Atlanta wearing a purple jacket and no shirt. He picked up his guitar and started playing a familiar riff. He was starting out with a cover. It was “ That Lady” by the Isleys. White people were loving it. His name was Roman GianArthur, and he reminded me of that dude Calvin from 227.

My buddy and I looked at each other and walked towards the smoking area on the patio to get some fresh air.

And there she was. FUCK!!!!!

She waved. 

We waved and kept walking to the part of the patio where we weren’t engulfed in Dallas hipsters and cancerous cigarette smoke (which wasn’t easy).

“Don’t look at her man. We waved. You don’t have to go talk to her.”

He nodded. I could tell he was annoyed.

We stood outside in awkward agony trying to decide which was worse, seeing that corny ass nigga inside, or being out there with this psychotic ginger broad.

We decided to go back inside.

We gutted it out. His ex would come inside and keep looking at us. We escaped to the balcony and shot the shit until the main event came on.

And it was almost worth the wait.

The stage show was phenomenal. The lighting was perfect. The costumes were perfect. The leader of the band Kevin Barnes had this weird ass haircut where it was long on the left side and buzzed on the right.

The lead guitarist looked like Jeff “Skunk” Baxter Jr. It was like the Muppet Band were cast into a spell that made them human.

They sounded well rehearsed, tight, and funky! Not a false note anywhere. The rhythm section was on point–grooving. They were on tour to support their latest album Paralytic Stalks, not a song had I heard before but I enjoyed everything they played.

It was highly theatrical and impressive–like a mix between Rocky Horror Picture Show,David Bowie, and Queen.Well done but subtle (pretty much like the above clip from an NPR gig). This was just as impressive as a Radiohead or Flaming Lips show, but even more so because it was scaled down. Everything about the show was meticulous and seemed well thought out. A very high energy show.

The stimulating evening ended with one of my favorite songs, one of three I knew;

The Gronlandic Edit.

I looked around to catch eyes with my buddy but realized he wasn’t around. I looked down onto the floor and saw him in a heated conversation with psycho red.

“Well, fuck.”  I thought,I at least was going to enjoy myself.

I walked down the stairs feeling very satisfied after the set. I still had my buzz and the show was well worth the $20 we’d paid.

But not everything was right for everyone. My friend was in a state of agitation I’d never seen him in before, screaming at this poor silly girl, who actually thought it’d be a good idea to show up.

Knowing what it could look like, he being Latino, me being a Nigger, it was best that we kick rocks, and fast.

I hailed the closest taxi and drug him away from his stalker, as she grabbed my arm with desperate eyes, pleading with me to “just let her talk to him. She just wanted to talk with him.”

“Time and place woman. Get a hold of yourself!”

We  got into the cab in a state of disbelief. It was best that we head back to the apartment before things got weirder. I half expected her to be waiting at his apartment with a knife in the parking lot. She was that crazy.

I hate to admit it but I was a little scared. Steve McNair gave every dude who’d dated a nut a serious dose of reality. My own brother had once been stabbed by his crazy, half Mexican girlfriend and he still stayed with her ( he once said to “I don’t think she’ll ever stab me again” ) I didn’t want to be an innocent bystander because two years ago my boy had wanted some strange.

Thankfully she was not there. Going back out for food, however; was slightly unnerving.  Coming back from Taco Cabana we were relieved to see that she wasn’t sitting in the parking lot, rocking back and forth. My paranoia was so intense that I half expected her to be waiting inside the living room of his apartment for us with a big ass Cutko knife.

We did finally calm down enough to laugh about the sheer zaniness of the evening. The only way things could have been more appropriate would have been had they played this song:

Cause she was indeed a crazy girl in desperate need of some help.

Thank God for marijuana and X-Box. And thank God I was leaving for Austin the next day. Shit was getting just a little too weird in the Big D. It was time to make a break for it.


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