Miss Jenn so cooley (heh-heh.... shut the fuck up, I make myself laugh, ok!?) invited me to the par-tay a few weeks ago and I famously waffled for a week before Jenn subtley tightened the screws on my decision with the following, "Sure, I understand that the plane ticket might be pricey and that you can only stay for that one day. So your choices are to come on to B'ham and have a great time or stay home in S.F. and regret it for the rest of your life". Jenn sure does know how to make a situation crystal clear. So, guess which option I took.....
Got up at 3:45 a.m. PST, packed a bag, jumped in the car and drove to the "super dope home boy"'s home town, Oaktown(land.... 'and he's known as such, and this is beat, huh, you can't touch'. That's right; Hammer is from the Bay Area, baby!) got on a plane, made a brief stop in Houston where I found another West coast DBT family member going in the same direction that I was and by 3:00 p.m. CST I was being picked up at BHM by the lovely and talented Miss Jenn along with my new found friend from the Pacific Northwest.
While we drove to the hotel in Hoover I marveled at the thick humidity and green, green trees. I spotted the exit off I-65 I used when I attended UAB and my old apartment complex as we drove through Homewood. We drove past the grave yard that my great grandmother is buried in. I was assaulted with memories on the drive from the airport to the hotel from my days of living in Birmingham some 12 years ago.
When we pulled up to our AmeriSuites hotel and were walking in the door to check in I glanced over my shoulder and there was Mr. Brent Best and the rest of the Drams following us in. See, The Drams made a special 10 hour drive from Texas to play at Cooley's birthday. Think about that. How cool would it be to show up at your surprise birthday party and find out that the Drams were playing.
As we are standing in line waiting to check in, Jenn introduces me to Brent and we strike up a conversation. I tell him how the DBT Yahoo group got me into Slobberbone a few weeks before they broke up. I also tell him that whenever any new folks enter the list and post a request for new music besides the Truckers the entire board explodes with Slobberbone and The Drams. Brent laughs and says that since Slobberbone broke up they've sold more albums than when they were together and he attributes it to DBT gaining the traction they have and the DBT Yahoo list. So y'all need to know that we're doing some serious good for these bands by the recommendations we make on that board. People Purchasing Power!
We get everyone checked into their rooms and I'm way to giddy to eat lunch but I damn sure want a beer so I borrow Jenn's ride to look for an alkeehaul joint. (We're just a wee bit too far away from Wayne's Package Store). As I'm pulling out of the parking lot I see this girl staring at me funny and pulling out her cell phone to make a call. I think, "oh shit" somebody thinks I'm stealing Jenn's car. I roll down the window and introduce myself to The Matador's wife, (Sweet) Kelly. Matt pops out of his car and we have a good laugh then I'm off on the beer run.
The closest place to get beer? Super-Fucking-Wal-Mart. Super-Fucking-Wal-Mart will end civilization as we know it. I live in San Francisco and we just don't have that shit here. We have locally owned little markets on every block so If I want something I walk out of my door and walk to the store (I know that might be a fucked up concept for some. Walking to the store.) and buy what I need. It may cost a bit more but more than likely the dude working there knows my name and needs and I don't have to take a fucking Tram to get from shoe wear to apple sauce. Sorry, but I just needed to go on a Super-Fucking-Wal-Mart rant.
Back at the hotel I enjoy a beer or two and a tale or two with Matt, Kelly and Jenn. Around 7:00 pm we head on over to the party location which is here:
The party was held at the Hoover Met, the Birminham Baron's AA baseball team. Jordan played there when he quit basketball the first time. Really great place for a party. We had the entire stadium to ourselves. Unfortunately, no body got drunk enough to run the bases but I think that's because we drank the open bar dry in about 3 hours. The bar included a keg of Amstel Light and about 8 bottles of J.D.
There were about 60 folks at the shindig. We all gathered and waited for Cooley to come up the elevator to where the party was being held. He was under the impression that he was going to a work party for Mrs. Cooley. As all eyes were focused on the elevator, typical Cooley enters from the stairs. Here is one of the 3 really crappy pictures I took that night:
As this post is already getting a bit long winded, let me see if I can whittle down my relay of the details.
Cooley arrives. Much partying ensues. I meet a bunch of crazy DBT people that I never imagined I'd run into:
Met Cooley's Mother. She's real proud of her son. I told her that a lot of folks around the world were real proud of her son too. She seemed to be having a good time pushing around one of her grandbaby's in the stroller.
I met Shonna's brother and sister-in-law and chatted with them about the Crimson Tide as they drove over from Tuscaloosa where they had been to see the Tide play. Loves me some Alabama Football. Didn't know it was Shonna's brother until the very end of the evening. Also didn't know that he and his wife were the ones that Cooley married on the 40 Watt DVD. Had a good laugh about that. Real good folks.
Met some old friends from Florence who I hadn't seen in years. Their mother was with them and I'm pretty sure she's gonna bust me to my folks as I didn't tell them I was coming in town due to the quick decision to come and the only 14 hours I had there. Sorry mom and dad....
Jenn and Matador put together this incredible slide show of Cooley through the years. Some really great photos. There is one where Cooley is wearing a red dress and make up and he looked a little too good. Kinda freaked me out.
The Freakin' Drams played.
They opened with Greg Kihn's Break-up Song, uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh then followed with a remarkable version of Hall and Oates Rich Girl. I was standing next to Patterson and I thought he was going to crap himself. He said he has never in his life heard any one cover that song. They played for an hour or so. Fucking great band... more on them later.
Let's see, what else.... Had a funny conversation with Jess Bar's wife, Ashley who made the trip over with the Drams. She was also celebrating her birthday. Very cool chick.
Met Chris Pennington who was recording the show. Got to talking with him and found out that he recorded my favorite Archive show, Cooley's House.
Spoke with Jason who gave me the OK to leak this little tidbit on AAW. He just cut a studio version of Dress Blues and it WILL appear on Sirens. Every chance you get, whether it be a posting to a board, an email or if you catch his ear at a concert, thank him for that song.... Then thank him again.
I caught a ride back to the hotel with EZB and his wife Kimberly. The told me that they just finished Kimberly's album and played me a couple of tracks off of it on the ride back. SOUNDS SO GOOD! Buy that one and buy it quick when it comes out.
Also, Brad must laugh himself to sleep every night and wake up giggling every morning because Kimberly Morgan is so beautiful it hurts. I mean, seriously. You are the man, EZB.
The after party was an Almost Famous moment if I've ever had one. And thanks to Jenn, I've had a couple over the past year. But this one had to be the biggest.
They hotel room was packed with The Drams, Jason and Shonna, EZB and Kimberly, Matador and his wife, Ashley, basically all of the rock and rollers sans Cooley and Patterson (understandable when you're that old). I had some of the best conversations in my life over the next 4 hours in that room.
They last of the Drams trickled out around 4:00 a.m. and by 4:45 a.m. I was in a cab heading to the airport. By 12:30 p.m PST I was sitting in my car in the short term parking lot in the Oakland airport wondering what the fuck just happened and if, technically, I was sober enough to drive home to San Francisco. Jubilee Dive guided me there.
Two more side notes:
The Drams, the members of the band, Brent, Jess, Tony,Chad and Keith are the nicest, coolest group of peopleyou could ever hope to meet. I can't say enough about Brent Best. And, MAN, is he hot.... according to Jenn. ;-)
(Jenn just emailed me and said in order to keep the above part in the post I have to admit to my own, nonsexual, mancrush on Brent.... It is true. Brent Best is my fantasy BFF. There, Jenn, are you happy?!)
Hell, I was so impressed with those guys that I thought about changing the title of this blog to Alabama Ass Jubilee or Alabama Ass Dive, but, for apparent reasons, I thought better.
Go see the Drams, go buy another copy of Jubilee Dive, go request them at your local radio station. Do what you can to support these guys, cause they are grade A nice human beings who deserve all of the success in the world.
Lastly, keep an eye out for a DBT music video. That's all I've got to say about that.
Oh, and one more thing. I love you to death, Jenn Bryant. Thank you for an incredible day and night. Without you, none of these bands would mean jack-shit and would not have the success they are having if you were not involved. I truly believe that.
Here's the rest of the week in review.
dbts : Message: Message from Patterson:
"It was five years ago today that we first released SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA. September 12, 2001 was the second worst day imaginable to release a project that we had all worked 6 1/2 years on and all of us feared that it was all some kind of terrible oman. Wednesday's, of course are never release days, as the industry ALWAYS releases albums on tuesdays, however at that point in our lives, there was no industry. We had showcased at SXSW before a sold out crowd, previewing our then almost completed magnum opus before a sold out crowd of industry fucks to no real avail. Folks kept coming up to us wishing us well and telling us how much they liked it, but no one was making any offers of any kind. A month or so later, we received our only bid, and it was so horrifyingly bad, that upon doing the math, I realized that we would be bankrupt within a year if we took it. (At that time all of our income was based on merch sales and the wording of that offer combined with the high wholesale price we would have paid, rendered that impossible). We turned the offer down and set out to find a way to put it out ourselves."
I hope to be posting some writings here, as well as keeping a blog for Gibson.com
_________via dapper dave:
"A large crowd turned out at Tipitina’s that Saturday to see the Drive-By Truckers, and the conversation was all about how to get out of town. The impending hurricane didn’t dampen the audience’s enthusiasm, though. “It was a great night,” says Drive-By Trucker guitarist and singer Patterson Hood. “It was one of my favorite shows we played all year.” The band, the last touring act to play New Orleans before Katrina, hadn’t heard much about the storm before the show. “The next day I woke up in Tuscaloosa, turned on the TV and they were having the evacuation,” Hood says. “It obviously wasn’t going well even then.”
The Drive by Truckers left for Europe two days after their Tipitina’s gig. They watched the situation in New Orleans unfold on the BBC. Even Hood, a fierce critic of the Bush administration, couldn’t believe what he saw. “It went so far beyond the limits of human decency,” he says. “It’s the government’s job. What are they getting paid for?” The band added Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927” to their sets and performed at benefit concerts for the Tipitina’s Foundation in New York City."
Staying Sick - Los Angeles CityBeat:
The Drive-By Truckers – an Alabama-spawned sextet – were the evening’s biggest surprise. Whodathunk anyone could model themselves after Lynyrd Skynyrd’s trio of riffslingers and – thanks to some truly inspired guitarchitextures from Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell (plus pedal-steel player John Neff) – transcend the obvious influence?
Well, having three singers-songwriters in the band helps. As does having actual songs – you know, the kind with verses, choruses, bridges, and witty, keenly observant lyrics about contemporary life in the American South, such as “Aftermath USA,” “Easy on Yourself,” “Goddamn Lonely Love,” “Women Without Whiskey,” and – especially – “Uncle Frank,” for openers. And that’s just the ones I remember without ever previously having heard a note."
Oct 5 and 6 - Musickfest
This benefit will be to help our good friend and beloved Athens musician Wendy Musick, who plays guitar for Southern Bitch, with some very high medical bills. As you know, most musicians don't have insurance, so please come see these shows! There are two of 'em in Athens, and will feature Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians, Will Johnson from Centro-Matic, Don Chambers Goat, David Barbe and the Quick Hooks, Dave Marr, Clay Leverett, Mother Jackson, Kimberly Morgan, Betsy Franck, Diet RockStar, Still Small Voice and The Joyful Noise, and Fest-goers can expect surprise performances by other members of the Athens Music Family.
"Centro-matic's dynamic is intelligent, emotional American rock that mines some of the same veins as My Morning Jacket, Son Volt and the Drive-By Truckers.
The Truckers, who share Johnson's love of Southern Gothic literature and grungy guitars, have become Centro-matic's most visible fans. Leader Patterson Hood even wrote the promotional blurb for ``Fort Recovery.'' The relationship began when Centro-matic passed through Georgia on tour immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.
``We were out on the road at that point and kind of unaware as to what to do with ourselves in the wake of all that mess; whether we should keep touring or go home or what,'' Johnson says. ``We wound up hanging out with Patterson for a few days that week, and I think a friendship was pretty well solidified from that point on.''
``Since then, I think the mutual admiration mountain has only grown higher and higher, with the risk of sounding completely goofy,'' he adds.
The two bands annually arrange their schedules so they can perform together around New Year's. ``It's kind of a family-style thing,'' he says."
Dixie Chicks documentary could be election issues
"The film revolves around the aftermath of singer Natalie Maines' statement at a 2003 London concert, where she said, 'Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.'
It chronicles death threats, political attacks and radio boycotts against the country trio, and that could make the film a political hot potato as well as potential ammo should longtime Democratic party supporter Harvey Weinstein become involved in the fall political campaigns."
Via Fugere. You should go check out all the recipes. Some good ones
Southern Culture on the Skids:
This hearty meal goes well with sports.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a muffin tin with bologna slices (red ring removed).
Crack an egg into the center of each bologna cup.
Sprinkle each with salt and black pepper.
Bake until firm.
Add a slice of American cheese to each cup and bake until melted or you can broil cheese.
Serve with beer and tobasco."
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