Rally, Shmally, We Came Here to Rock!

>Friday night LAZERWOLFS played a show at this biker rally thing at Rock Creek, and it was Sid’s debut on the drum throne for us. In case you missed it, Bubba, our regular drummer, has encountered some legal difficulties that make him unable to tour with us, and may have made his services unavailable, period. As it turned out, we found out a couple days prior that he could have played this show, but we went ahead with Sid just to get a warm-up in for tour, which we hit the road for on Tuesday night. Bubba got to be the photographer. Anyway, in a lot of ways this was just an awesome show. It was fun playing with Sid, plus Bubba got onstage and sang Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” with us, which was hilarious and a blast. Then, after our set was over, Bubba came up and we debuted two new songs off the new album, which just came out this week. Anyway, here are a couple shots from the show:

I created a Flickr page to start storing all of our live shots for LAZERWOLFS; for a slideshow of all the shots from this particular show, you can check them out here.

The show was a great warm-up for tour, which is what we wanted it to be, but I think the rally — at least through Friday night — was a bit of a bust. It wasn’t that bad, but I know they weren’t even close to covering costs yet. Personally, I think they were a bit ambitious for the first year. I would have limited it to one stage for bands, with fewer bands. Not only that, but I suspect the organizer’s financial model included a certain draw based on bands getting people to buy tickets, and I know none of our friends are willing to drop $60 to see us and camp out all weekend. I think a few of the bands could have gotten a decent number of people to come in for one night @ $10 (though I realize single-night passes would be difficult in an environment like that, but logistically with some thought I think it could be pulled off). I really think they needed one or two recognizable headliners, supported by quality local indy bands, to draw people in. I would have had single-day tickets available. I also would have made beer stations available close to the main stage. To get any booze at all while watching the main stage you had to walk a good 100 yards easily, so the great setup (huge stage, great sound and lights) they had there was pretty much a waste. Most people lingered by the small stage that was right next to all the beer stations and the main bar, regardless that sound off that stage was terrible. One thing about the Testicle Festival folks, they make it so that you never walk more than about 20 feet and you can get a beer. But it was fun for us, it served its purpose, and aside from blowing the generators twice during our set it went pretty smooth. Playing with Sid is different from Bubba, obviously, but it is still fun and still a kickass rock show.

It’s a Great Time to Be a Geek

A few weeks ago I saw IRON MAN, and thought it was pretty awesome. In the great Marvel movie tradition, one of the highlights was a scene that is shown after all the credits are over; in the scene, Tony Stark returns home and his security has been breached, and NicK Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. is waiting for him. Nick is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, which means we are talking the Ultimates version of Fury. In the scene, he berates Tony for outing himself as Iron Man, that he doesn’t know what he has gotten himself into. Then he tells Tony that they are thinking of putting a team together . . . I walked out of the theater vibrating with stoked-ness.

Another little clip I saw online didn’t help; in this image from the Iron Man movie, we see what looks like Captain America’s shield in the background. Dig it:

CAPTAIN AMERICA is quite possibly my all-time favorite superhero; it would be either him or BATMAN.

Finally, last night we went and saw the new INCREDIBLE HULK movie, and I loved it. The movie has moments where the principal characters discuss how Bruce Banner became The Hulk. They reference a “supersoldier program” that was undertaken during the 40s, and that it has never been successful since. At the end (spoiler alert!), General Ross is sitting in a bar, getting sloshed, lamenting how his efforts to rein in The Hulk have failed. A figure walks in and starts talking to him. It is none other than Tony Stark, as portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. In it, they talk about Ross’s “problem” and Tony concludes by saying, “We are putting a team together. . . . ”

So what’s the big deal about this? The team they are talking about is THE AVENGERS, my single favorite superhero group ever. This team has had many lineups, but a key member is Captain America. Captain America was the recipient of the supersoldier serum in the 40s, and fought the Nazis in WWII until he was thought killed in action; in reality he was dropped into the Arctic Ocean while defusing a German missile and frozen in ice, only to be found and thawed out in modern times by, you guessed it, The Avengers.

Now there is talk about casting Captain America, and THOR, who was also an Avenger. Believe me, my geek nerves are on edge. After Lord of the Rings, I didn’t think I could ever get really fired up over a pending movie again, but this one may top it. I was into these characters long before I ever stumbled on Tolkien, and it’s only been recently that Hollywood has been starting to get them right. ’08 election? Pffft. This is the story of the year to follow. . . .

In closing, here is a picture of what Sid gave me for Father’s Day (my dad bringing me Captain America and Batman comics as a kid is what inspired this whole rant, to be honest). The shirt has the same image of my framed poster, autographed by Jim Lee, the artist. And Sandra Hope, the colorist. What a great kid I have.

Jim Lee was in Missoula a couple years ago as part of an event at Muse Comics. When his flight out of San Diego was canceled, he chartered his own to make sure he and his crew made it on time. That, to me, is class. It was a great event. The guy is a legend in funny books; he’s done all the big guns: X-Men, Superman, Batman, etc. Here is Jim making a sketch for Sid (Sandra is seated down the table from Jim). That was a great day.