As I lay on the couch today, nursing a hangover and resting up for the second night of the Suburban Home Records Sweet 16 Anniversary Weekend at 3 Kings Tavern, I can’t help but ask myself ‘what went wrong?’ Sure, we did some pre-drinking but we also ate a full meal at The Hornet before heading over to the party. Sure, we drank non-stop for quite a few hours but we did throw back a water every so often. Sure, that shot for last call was probably unnecessary but I remember everything from Joey Briggs through Two Cow performing The Lemonheads‘ It’s a Shame About Ray and ending with a cover of Rancid‘s Ruby Soho. The 2:00am walk back to the hotel should have been sobering as well. So what’s up with the hangover?
Oh yeah, I think my headache can be explained by what happened when we got back to hotel — when we ran into a few of the artists (we’ll leave out the names to protect the guilty) and got wrapped up in the afterparty. It started in my room and was quickly moved to another and what seemed like only minutes later, we were getting noise complaints and it was time to call it a night. It was 5:00am. Happy Birthday Suburban Home!
The day started out with good intentions — drive downtown, check-in to the hotel (instead of cabbing back and forth from Lakewood both nights), meet up with some friends, grab a bite and be at 3 Kings by 7:30pm. But like most things with multiple people and heavy drinking, good intentions went out the window early and by the time we got red wristbands and black stamps, it was 9:45pm. Bummed to have missed Arliss Nancy, Shane Sweeney‘s solo set and Florida‘s Have Gun Will Travel, we were stoked for the acts to come.
Joey Briggs set the stage, showcasing the prerequisites for artists involved with the weekend’s festivities — guitar, tattoos, country/folk songs and a punk rock attitude. Briggs meet these requirements and then some, sharing stories from the road, political rants and overall frustration with the music industry as a whole. Not being too familiar with his solo material before last night, I believe most of the songs were from his latest release, Politics, Touring, And Self-Loathing, with a few The Briggs songs mixed in for good measure. A great way to start the night.
Michael Dean Damron
The hurley, burly Michael Dean Damron opened his set with a little help from his friends. Micah Schnabel and Shane Sweeney provided bass and backup vocals and Dave Murphy worked the kit while Michael Dean delivered a heartfelt Angels Fly Up through a curtain of sweat and hair. Dave and Micah stuck around for a ‘song for my good friend the devil‘ before leaving the man and ‘his big dick‘ alone to work his magic ‘making women’s panties drop‘. The humor didn’t end there but the rest of his set took a turn toward a darker, more serious nature. The government (fuck ‘em), cowboy screwing mothers and men with black tar problems made the evening news look positive in comparison. All of this delivered in that signature, rough voice along with the pure size of the man delivering it made it obvious Michael Dean really could ‘lick any sonofabitch in the house’. But when talking to him at the bar later in the night, the man was nothing but positive words and big hugs. Plea From A Ghost is one of my favorite albums this year and Micheal Dean‘s set was a real highlight last night, especially when Sweeney came back out to close out with CCR‘s Long As I Can See The Light.
Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys
Lenny Lashley and his piss poor boys were the only band on the bill I had never heard before. What started out as classic country in the vein of Hank Williams quickly turned into a punk rock show. Transitioning back and forth as they saw fit with the greatest of ease, I have to say I was impressed with the amount of talent on the stage. Lenny looks more in his element on the Ramones/Pogues influenced material, but damn if he ain’t country when country is what’s called for. Songs about being born on the wrong side of the tracks, whiskey, pills and bad luck continued the theme of the night. They wrapped things up just after midnight with their new single, Can’t Take Anymore.
Two Cow Garage
By the time Two Cow Garage led the crowd with a sing-along Happy Birthday to Virgil and Suburban Home Records, everyone was feeling good. The boys did a great job working their way through The Lemonheads‘ breakthrough album It’s a Shame About Ray, an idea that I’m guessing was hatched during some late night bender. An idea that turned out to be more difficult than planned. ‘I have a hard enough time remembering the songs I wrote, much less those written by some heroin addict‘ The girls came up to show their support during the Julianna Hatfield parts, but that didn’t stop the guys from going on about how hard these tracks were to learn and play. Overall I have to admit I would have rather seen Two Cow do their own material but I guess that’s what tonight is for. The highlights included My Drug Buddy with Lizzie Huffman, Mrs. Robinson and Rancid‘s Ruby Soho. The set ended at 1:00am on the dot, allowing time for every to get nice and liquored up before last call…
Alright, time to get moving — it’s time to do it all again!
Let The Night Sleep Without Me
All For Me Grog
The Sun Will Shine
Bottom Of A Beer
My Own Enemy
So Let Down
Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys:
Beat On The Brat
Whiskey & Water
Wrong Side of the Tracks
Shot Of Bourbon
Leaving In The Morning
Can’t Take Anymore
Two Cow Garage:
The Lemonheads’s It’s a Shame About Ray