A collection of retrospective humor vignettes designed to enhance immune systems everywhere -- (particularly the one inside my spousal unit).
"There's nothing happening now that I haven't already experienced, thoughtfully considered, then made fun of." -- CGiven
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Bang Camaro's first appearance at New York City's CMJ at Crash Mansion!
knew around 2005 that Bang Camaro was
magic. From the moment its songs were featured in Guitar Heroand Rock
Band until their BMA-awards and world tours – that band knew the depth of my
But until last night, I had no idea, their
blog is only a month old with roughly 2,200 views, more than 1,000 of which took
place last night, once I posted about Bang
to all of my new Stranger-Bots from On Time Marketing Dot Biz, let me say,
straight from the heart: I have hundreds of stories about Bang Camaro.
Let’s get started, shall we?
instant my son Nick gave me the date for Bang
Camaro’s CMJ Show at New York City’s Crash
Mansion, I knew the rock gods had smiled on my family. The date was November 3,
which was Nick’s brother, Jake’s, birthday.
instantly informed my school principal I needed a sub for that day, wrote a
note excusing my daughter from high school, notified their dad’s boss of a family
catastrophe, booked hotel rooms in Chinatown, and instructed the birthday-boy
and younger brother Zach to skip work and college.
Given Family-Camaro was down.
were SO down, we forgot to wish Jake a Happy Birthday that Friday when he and
Zach rolled into my driveway near Worcester, Mass, to rendezvous. Two hours
sparked a robust Mom-rant. “Really
guys?Rush-hour traffic in NYC!! Just load the Blazer with your gear and-- ARRRGGGhhurgle-gurgle. . ."
2:57 PM, we were off.
rolled into Chinatown just after 7 PM, in time to discover my overnight bag was
still sitting back in my driveway. “But Mom!”
Zach helpfully noted, “Bang Camaro’sMerch Table is only a block away. You can
buy yourself some T-shirts. Jake and I wear a large.”
“I wanna wear their POSTERS,” said Abby, which is when
the birthday boy announced he was hungry.
“I can’t BELIEVE the last
time I ate was yesterday morning,” he said over his growling stomach.
“Jake, HERE,” said Abby, passing him
her Halloween stash, hoping to stave off another Mom Rant. But vegetarians are pretty
sketch about rat by-products, so off Dad and Jake went, in search of a snack.
Tick tock, I shouted into the night,
tapping my wristwatch.
8:03 I’d panic-phoned both of them, twice. “They
go on in 27 minutes and we still have to FIND Crash Mansion-- ARRRGGGhhurgle-gurgle…”
sprinted back to the hotel by 8:20 where Jake promptly stashed his piping szechuan
noodle into the mini fridge. (I’d made him too nervous to eat.) Off we all skittered
to Crash Mansion.
was personally too nervous to feel badly about Jake’s hypoglycemia or
his sister, not yet 18, stashed securely inside our hotel room alongside the
szechaun noodle. But then, she had Halloween candy, Guitar Hero with Pleasure Pleasure plus a pink IPOD
loaded with Nightlife Commando, Swallow the Razor and Bang Camaro’s title song (Bang Camaro)
so there was little to feel badly about.
line to get into Crash Mansion snaked
and coiled around Bowry Street so I was terrified we’d be turned away. But once
we reached ID-checking Personnel, we discovered a fun rock rule: Military ID
gets bearer and family shoved ahead of everyone else.
The night only got better from here.
inside, we got stamped and banded, which is when I panicked to the Stamping
Banders, “It’s almost 9 o’clock. Have they already gone ON?”
“HA ha,” they laughed, “plenty
of time. George Clinton doesn’t go on
group rolled its eyes then threw off jackets to reveal Bang Camaro Tees. “We are not here
for George Clinton.”
we trucked, to larger spaces.
Crash Mansion’s interior had a subdued
but electric atmosphere, if that’s possible: upscale bar, floor pillars and Greek columns, marble
countertops, all ensconced in probably tons of floor space, but there were too
many people to really tell.
Crash Patrons sported mad hair-fashion and clothes and shoes. And they smelled
good.Another portend of things to
I surfed the room to get a bead on my family, I found Sull, Nick’s roommate,
plus hordes of familiar Camaro-faces, but before I could greet them, I was
distracted when an amp came alive with Nick’s voice. “Um, could we get a little more on this wedge, please?” he said,
pointing to Andrew, of Percussion.“Yeah, that’s better. Thanks.”
child said “please and thank you” during sound check. If maternal joy were
fatal, I’d have died right there on a floor-amp.
the stage moments later were Bryn Bennett (of the newly-launched start-up
‘Eerie Canal’ which released an amazing video game DREADLINE www.kickstart#115B9CA
-- go watch the promo) along with Camaro-co-founder Alex Necochea and Maclaine Diemer who, together, comprised the lead/rhythm section. Bringing up the rear were fifteen choir members who launched into the chorus of Lady Lightning. Well! Their sound.
had to clamp both hands over my ears due to an amp the size of two Buicks located by my left cheek.
wandered to the Merch Table for my NY wardrobe. Eleven t-shirts later, the
Merch Girls gave me Complimentary Autographed CMJ Posters, one for Abby, and another
which adorned my English classroom days later, surrounded by homophones.
passed the time [while the first band played] chatting with Chris Faraone from
Boston Weekly Dig (author of the acclaimed
book 99 Nights with
the 99 Percent released at Good Life in March of
him I was the Mother of Bang Camaro
as well as an ex-investigative journalist and cover story
writer/correspondent/freelancer for the Phoenix,
Wo-Mag, T&G and ex-editor of the 50+Advocate,
adding that Bang Camaro is comprised
of 27 indie Boston bands, to include Taxpayer
and The Vershok, which I slowly
spelled out, “V – E – R – S – H – O – K” explaining it is an archaic Russian
unit of measurement… which is when Chris excused himself and I never saw him
matter, Bang Camaro lit the stage
moments later. That is when Jake,
Zach and I worked my fists to get them to make rock-out devil horns.
had practiced this in the car. “Mom -- if
your ring and middle fingers touch your thumb, you make a devil’s face.We don’t want that. We want, Rock Out…
press your thumb over your ring and
Camaro launched ‘Rock of Mages,’ my
fists were screaming “Rock Out,” my
sons were screaming, “YOU’RE MAKING THE LETTER ‘Y’ IN SIGN
rolled up front with my girls. I remembered them from the Boston Music Awards. They
had awesome names, Alyssa and Meredith, which I’m sure they still go by today.
They danced. They head banged. They were way cool to stand next to.
being right up close to that stage was even cooler. There’s something about
proximity. These were gifted
performers. I’d long ago recognized the Camaro’s musicianship, and their live
act had such resonance. But it was their absolute unity that was striking. This
goes beyond experience, stage presence, or even choreography.These guys were lit from the core by a deeply-known
joy to be doing what they loved. You could taste it.
maybe that was the sweat and beer in the air.
minutes later, I was out of breath and voice and hydration. “Alex – can I have some of your WATER?” I mouthed. He smiled and
handed me his litre bottle, which I drained.
girls gasped. “You got to drink BAND
water. It doesn’t get cooler than that.”
Camaro-Crowd cleared Crash when the set was over… vacuum’d Clinton.
label rep accompanied by a reporter started interviewing the Birthday Boy,
thinking Jake was Nick.Jake
let ‘em. For quite a while.
there was a second show in the making at Union Pool, a truly unique club scene.
It was an ex-distributor of pool supplies… or maybe they distributed actual
pools – I don’t remember. But it was a wondrous and dimly lit labyrinth.
this point in the night, only Jake, Zach and I represented my family’s Camaro Great
Race. Everyone else was comatose from the NY debut.(Actually, it
was the candy corn.)
chase was rewarded by Union Pool’s outdoor patio fire pit, the Poe-esque
Heartbeat of the place. Inside, winding hallways meandered in repeating
patterns, delivering revelers to multiple party-spaces. It was the Wonderland of Rock.
found Nick quickly.He was talking
to a girl who was busy noting that the place was “SO#$&’ing crowded,
they#$&&*’inghad to$#^*’ingopen the $#*&’ingcoke bathrooms.”
“Nick, what’s a coke
“Hey, Nick’s Mom!” called Sull, Nick’s roommate.
“Hey, Nick’s Roommate!”
“How come Mr. G isn't here?”
“Sharing candy corn w/Abby plus tonight is Jake’s birthday and we’re celebrating! Hey, Sull, what’s a coke
“It’s not what you think,
Carolyn, it’s a euphemism. See, the renovations to turn the pool business into
a club didn’t allow for huge, public-style multi-stalls, so they added strings
of individual bathrooms. Which, due to Bang Camaro overflow tonight, the floor
manager had to open.”
“Sull, is that true?”
was still laughing when he skipped over to warm his hands over the fire pit.
wait for their set was long – and the stage space was a postage-stamp for 24 guys
and their equipment.
there were Alyssa and Meredith. I took my place to their left. And this time, we
weren’t just near the front. We were the front.
THIS close to the moment -- a cramped, compacted moment -- carried new
responsibility. We caught falling amplifiers, mopped beer-spills off cords and
cables, used our hair and skin-pores to absorb the beer sprayed directly at the
band, so as to protect their guitars.
never before been close enough to feel the Camaro Choir-Spew, refreshing fountain’d plumes of beer, emitted in poetic arcs from mouths of vocalists.
the set was over, it was killer trying to get the crowd out.Last call was long gone yet the pulse
of the room throbbed on.
to Camaro-dehydration, I never got to enjoy a coke bathroom, but I knew Bang Camaro would bring me new ops for rock
experiences in the future.
took until Wednesday for me to teach with working vocal cords. My students
listened to Camaro MP3s, performing literary analyses on lyrics. (Eleven year-olds
can discern a rich array of metaphor and nature imagery from the title song
the faculty at my school canceled their New Year’s Eve Plans to hit the next
Camaro show. We were first in line at Boston’s Middle East Downstairs.
told, it was a successful Birthday Show for Jake, plus my charter school, to this
day, continues enjoying Bang Camaro
a final shout-out to On Time Marketing Dot Biz. Thank you for spiking my site
hits. I am right now giving all of you the letter “Y” in sign language.