Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Merch Rocks & Roles

Every now and then there is a live performance that leaves you completely reeling.

What happened? Where am I? Is this my mini-van? Why is there so foofing much highway construction after midnight?

Merch made it to the Bottom of the Hill and I sat on the floor with a handful of the select. It doesn't matter how we got there and it doesn't really matter whether there is a punch-line or a point or a narrative arc but let's assume you managed to get to the Bottom of the Hill not long after the lead singer of Merch got off his Greyhound bus from Texas.

You part with your hard earned $8 and enter the new world.

It's empty. Emptier than anyone can every remember it being empty. Like that creepy endless hallway in the House of Leaves. Like your refrigerator before a Catalan-American inserts a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Like the tabula rasa engineering reference sheet. Like nothing but a tip-less bartender watching the Olympics and a bored considerate female bouncer waiting for a phone call.

And then there's Merch.

Like the illegitimate offspring of Garrison Keillor and Anthony Kiedis, comes the lead singer of Merch with his uneven striped skull socks and his devoted dreadlocked back-up singer. For some reason the lesbian Wiccan cellist stayed in Texas. The veggy oil powered van is history or at least seemingly only a reason to be stopped in tunnels leading to Manhattan or a distraction for the many cops encountered while touring.

Words are weak but let's keep trying.

Imagine a bearded storytelling grind-core notebook referring oversized hobbit and it's a start. Add a near-deaths Australian traveling vegan guitar strumming emancipated never-say-quit solo rocking incomprehensible lyrics dude and you're a millimeter from start. Stories and rock and a considerate request to imagine a rocking cello part during the slower interludes.