Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tucker Booth attacked metaphorically!

Aight then, it's after midnight and I know I'm not going to be waking up in time for some basketball tomorrow, so I'm fixing to lay into a good blog before bed. Since maestromie, my homie Tucker never blogs, I've gotta relay the sweet sweet tidings delivered at the Venice Cafe recently, just west of the brewery in St. Louis. (The brewery thing is metaphorically instrumental in here.)

Tucker's life is an ongoing escapade of one pretty caper after another, and he recently had his guitar stolen. This is more than a bummer, as he makes his money with his guitar on the streets of St. Louis. So I lent him my guitar for the show, and we planned to duet on a couple rock songs he wrote at 16 years old. This sounded good, as I hadn't played the Venice since 2000, before I emigrated from the motherland.

Understand now that conflict dogs Tucker like scandal on republican. (e.g.) Everywhere he goes, people love him or swing at him. In this way, he's a pretty good barometer for personal issues. If people have some deep-seated crap they can't resolve, they may find Tucker a pretty good conduit for grounding them. Not in a "let's discuss" kind of way, but in a "when jealousy attacks" kind of way.

The night was mellow enough to start. Right off the bat, Tucker drops his own "Having Fun with Poetry," a song that dares the bar crowd to question his hip-hop sincerity. He also panders, dropping a few covers to assuage the typical bar distaste for anything "different". And then he taunts the red-staters, assuring them that all is right with our Lord and Saviour George W. Bush. In usual fashion, one fan polarizes with Tucker, applauds endlessly after every song and buys a copy of the album. Another begs to know if his parents really named him Tucker Booth. He shows her his driver's license.

Now at the other pole;

I'm up with Tuck to sing I Love You, a pop confection he wrote with his high school band, Sweetland. As we're bantering it up before the song, dude with the backwards cap says, "How much for a cd?" Not bad; two cd sales from a crowd of 15 or so. Tucker says, "Ten or best offer." So the dude ponies up eight bucks and gets his cd.

Good feelings, record sales, party times, in front of everybody, the dude breaks the album in half and goes back to the bar.

This was a classic moment. There aren't too many interpretations of what the guy intended to communicate, but the whole place went quiet to figure it out anyway. And Tucker says, "What do you know, it took a year to create and two seconds for a douchebag to break it in half."

Backwards hat mumbles something, and Tucker says, "You didn't even pay the full ten bucks!"

"You said 'or best offer,'" the dude says.

"Well here's my best offer," Tucker says and flips him the bird. We dedicate the song, "I Love You", to him. After the song, the guy following our set tries to cut our mic. What the hell is going on here? The guy says he thought we were going to have words with the activist at the bar.

Yes, cut our mic, we're going to start a bar fight.

After one more song, our followup decides he's ready to take the stage and proceeds with some faithful renditions of Dave Matthews and Foo Fighters. Great, now we have testosterone at the bar and top 40 at the mic, and strangely enough, they're totally there for each other. Strange coalition. We later learned that the guy who booked the show had intended Tucker to be the headliner.

Oh well. The live art showcase with brothers Jim Mahfood and DJ Mahf was commencing at the Red Sea and we hit that up. It definitely saved the night.

Nietzsche once said there was "too much beer in the German intellect." The same might be said about the St. Louis economy, or the American political discourse, or whatever; I don't wanna discourse about aggression towards "different" in the Midwest. I'll leave that to you. But man, talk about a microcosm of America.

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