Last night, I went out for the first time in a long, long, long (I have a newborn), long time. My neighbors’ favorite musician was in town for an impromptu gig at the local dive bar, the Lizard Lounge. Hankering for a night out (at a non work-related function), Donnie and I said “We’re in!”
Now, I never really knew exactly what is considered a “Dive Bar.” Other than what I’ve seen on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” But even on that show, it’s mostly Diners. As we pull up, I notice my neighbor’s car is the nicest one in the lot (maybe even within a 3-mile radius). We didn’t get to park too close because of the special parking spaces right up front for motorcycles only.
There was a sketchy-looking fella in a Toby Keith hat wandering around outside asking passersby about the location of the nearest ATM. Seems legit.
Playing a shoot-out scenario in my head with sketchy-looking Toby Keith as the lone gunman, we paid our $10 cover and went on in. One foot still in the doorway, Donnie got the “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” look on his face. There wasn’t a clean-shaven face in the place. Not even Bradley Cooper stubble. We’d stepped into Duck Dynasty.
We made our way to our table to join our friends and have a few drinks before the show started. A few drinks turned into 3 pitchers and the four of us wondering if the opening act was going “open” before 11 (we had a curfew with our sitter).
Finally, the bluegrass band of Calamity Cubes took the stage. I’m not much for bluegrass, but I’ve also never seen it live, so I was open-minded. The lead singer looked Al Borland with raspy voice and bad attitude. I liked him. The standing bass player stood 2 inches shorter than his bass and looked like he hadn’t slept in a week but rather thrived on a diet of cocaine and whiskey to maintain his scraggly, thin-boned look. The banjo player (because what is a bluegrass band without a banjo?) had a voice like Bob Dylan and 5-inch beard with an on-again, off-again hat that hid his long-hair like a magic trick.
“Ok, they look like a hillbilly rock band, but how’d they sound?” you wonder. They were AWESOME. Their songs were meaningful and they were expressive. They were IN it! I bet my neighbor $10 that the standing bass player would hit his head on the bass during one of his head-banging solos. Didn’t happen. He defied all odds because his head got very close and he didn’t look sober enough to control that. For the grand finale, they came out to the crowd and walked among the many beards. The bass player actually stood on top of his bass at one point. Boy! These guys were entertainers.
Scott H. Biram was next. I didn’t know what to expect except he was a one-man band who played “Trucker Heavy Metal” and apparently the “H” stands for “F you.” Considering I have an affinity for french indie music, you can imagine, this was not really my style.
Let’s just say, “I’ve never heard anything like it.” He was very talented, funny, entertaining and the music was really unique.
Here’s a sample:
We only got to hear a few songs before our curfew. The time came right in the middle of a particularly throaty-screaming song (shucks). Not something I’d listen to every day, but seeing more YouTube clips, I may give him another chance.
So, for our first night out in a long time, I’d say this was a success. We didn’t get shot by the sketchy-looking Toby Keith; I guess he was the roadie. And, thanks to the solo cup in lieu of a beer glass, I was able to inconspicuously refill with tomato juice instead of beer. What? I have a newborn (and I had to work today!).