the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Don't mean a thing if you don't take a swing

Did I ever mention the time I almost got crushed at a big-band swing concert?

I, for one, was a huge fan of the neo-swing revival that took place a few years ago. I'd always been a fan of '40s swing, and newer bands like Roomful of Blues, and then I started to find bands like Big Rude Jake, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Lavay Smith and the Red-Hot Skillet Lickers, Royal Crown Revue, the Atomic Fireballs...and cool daddy Brian Setzer brought a whole fuckin' orchestra on the scene!

Brian Setzer has always been ultra cool, and anyone who doesn't think so needs to meet me out behind the gymnasium for a good, old-fashioned rumble. Look at the hair, the tattoos, the Gretsch guitars painted to match his hot-rod cars. Then listen to what he does with the Gretsch. So when rockabilly cat Setzer decided to add a 17-piece orchestra to the mix, how could it not blow my little mind? The Brian Setzer Orchestra (BSO) delivered, baby, and wildly exceeded my expectations.

We had the chance to see the the BSO at the State Theatre in Detroit, and we bought tickets for the floor so we'd have a better chance at some up-close viewing. Yes, it meant we would have to stand all during the show, but we were prepared to tough it out for the love of all that is swingy. One of the fun things about swing shows was that a lot of folks would come decked out in '40s and '50s regalia, I mean, these folks would really do it up. The hairstyles, the vintage clothes, the accessories, the attention to gave a rockin' visual accompaniment to the music. Sure, I might have to endure some close-quarters Lindy Hoppin' action, but the crowds at these shows were generally all on the same page, and there to enjoy the band, the dancin', the cash bar, and the general ambience.

By the time BSO came on, with giant tikis on the stage and Setzer's sparkly silver Gretsch cranked up, the floor was so packed in that there was little real hope for the Lindy Hoppers. Jim and I were each one person back from the stage, and just as squished and wedged as two people can possibly be, provided those two people wish to continue breathing. It wasn't an uncomfortable, awkward wedgedness, though; everybody was so in love with the music that there was a feeling of camaraderie among those of us crammed against the front of the stage. There was a young couple directly in front of us, and the girl was so tiny that I was extra careful not to crush her; it seemed like the neighborly thing to do.

It was one big swingin' love fest...until The Tough Cunts showed up.

The Tough Cunts were two girls, and I use the term loosely, who looked like softball bitches on steroids. Normally, I wouldn't hold that against someone, and I wouldn't have held it against The Tough Cunts until they shoved the fuck out of me to get to the stage. I was mindin' my own business, havin' a tiny dance in my little, no-arm-movement space, and enjoyin' the fuck out of Hey Louis Prima! when I was suddenly and rudely cast aside like half of the Red Sea. The Tough Cunts wanted to be against the stage, and only the tiny girl in front of me was in their path. Tiny girl held onto the stage fiercely, though, and The Tough Cunts had to resort to their secret weapon: Moshing.

Yes, The Tough Cunts moshed at a swing concert. More particularly, they moshed in the direction of tiny girl, and slammed into the poor little thing so many time I knew she'd look like a California raisin the next morning. Finally, tiny girl snapped and started to shove back. It was a valiant effort, I'll give her that, but it was like a canoe battlin' two freighters. Physics just wasn't on the side of tiny girl. She was clearly going to be smashed into even tinier bits by The Tough Cunts if someone didn't intervene.

I don't know if it was his sense of chivalry, or just the fact that a good concert was bein' fucked up for him, but at that point, Jim bellowed in a voice that can best be described as the voice of and angry, vengeful, Old-Testament God with a bullhorn:


Tiny girl and The Tough Cunts froze; The Tough Cunts looked almost sheepish and melted back into the crowd, totally un-Cuntlike. Setzer didn't miss a beat, but he clearly heard it and looked down at Jim with a mixture of surprise and amusement. After the show, two other guys who'd been near the stage came up to Jim and commenced with the back patting and the "Way to stick up for yourself!"

The moral of this story? Make sure at least one of your friends can sound really authoritative and annoyed, like God with a hangover and paper cuts.

25 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate tough cunts too. They're EVERYWHERE (male and female). That's why God invented Jim (for you) and poison oak in a plastic bag that you can totally smash against 'em without them knowing a thing (for me).

12:48 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Ooooooh, Dazed! That idea is so evil and mind if I borrow it?

12:56 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Froggylady said...

I love swing music! And dancing...but's a secret. So glad that Jim put the tough cunts in their place.

12:56 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Kat - swing dancing is nothing to be ashamed of. Now if you'd said clog dancing, then yeah - I could see the need for secrecy there.
And he definitely took the wind out of the Tough Cunts.
*waits for queef jokes to fly*

1:06 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Those mean ole grrrrls! Get 'em Jim! Throw a mattress at 'em if you have to!

1:33 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Kranki said...

All I gotta say is AMEN!

1:41 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

I once was punched in the face by an out-of-control swing dancer.
Rule #2 : give the Lindy Hoppers LOTS of room, especially the inept ones.

2:04 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Mr. B - unfortunately, we didn't have the mattress with us that night, dammit.

Kranki - we'd protect you from the Tough Cunts, too.

Emily - I WONDERED why we hadn't seen the Tough Cunts around again. Thank you!

Opera gal - I can guarantee that if I tried any o' that, I'd hurt somebody, and probably myself, too. I do not dance.

2:29 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger SierraBella said...

"... when I was suddenly and rudely cast aside like half of the Red Sea." Good stuff!

Good for Jim.

2:42 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Sierrabella - heh, thanks! And see? I didn't even go "there" with the Red Sea reference.

I'm maturing nicely, I think.

3:07 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Maven said...

At first I was thinking "Tough Cunts" was a rather odd name for a 1940s Retro Swing Band...

Yay for Jim!

PS: I love the portable poison oak therapy!

PS to the PS: If you're doing laundry for someone and they really are deserving, you can toss the poison ivy into the dryer, so it coats all of their clothes in the itchy oils.

5:31 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger eclectic said...

See, you just don't expect the mosh pit at a swing gig... and you definitely don't expect bullies. My grandpa played piano with the Tommy Dorsey band back in the '20s and '30s, so I'm genetically engineered to love big band and swing. I'm so envious of you and Jim!

5:39 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Bone Machine - Little Moe and the Atomic Two-Tones. I love 'em already for the name!

Nugget - Hey, if there can be Red-Hot Skillet Lickers or Swingin' Armadillos, why not Tough Cunts?

Eclectic - very cool about your grandpa! I bet he came away with some pretty interesting stories.

7:26 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger I'm not here. said...

M_D's two words of wisdom:

cattle prod

7:49 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger I'm not here. said...

Talking about self in third person: kinky
Talking to self in middle of subway with half a cantalope on your head: priceless. ;o)

7:50 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Squirl said...

This is a great story. I love the way you tell it and I love what Jim did. I've seen him when he's annoyed and I know what his voice sounds like. I hope it's a lesson that the Tough Cunts won't soon forget.

7:53 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

M_D - Bucky thinks the cattle prod is always a fine idea, too.

Squirl - oh yeah, those Tough Cunts had their, uh, tails between their legs.

9:02 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Maven said...

Hehehe, Tough Cunts sounds more grunge or punk or maybe even new wave... but 1940s swing? I loved the qualifier about "softball" too, I could SO visualize that!

9:19 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger SWSNBN said...

Ok, I don't even know where to start.

Good story. I don't have the voice of gun, but I do have one hell of a high pitched scream and I use it on people who are being asses at the only concerts I've ever been to.

And who might that be, you ask??

It would totally be THE CHERRY POPPIN' DADDIES. Cause I'm over here in Oregon and they come from Eugene. I've been going to shows since I was 15! They are even playing on the 1st of October, at our Eugene Celebration thing.

Steve Perry (the lead singer, and no, it's not the guy from Journey, dammit *grin*) came into my work the other day to mail something. I just stare at him when he's there. He's shorter than me and I think balding, but who the hell can tell onstage! Plus, his stage presence. OMG!

Anyhow, this is rather long, but I will be posting a story about the celebration after I go, so keep watching.

11:26 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger SWSNBN said...



What the fuck is wrong with me today. I totally meant the voice of god, not gun. :p

11:27 PM, September 13, 2005  
Blogger Candy said...

I am so taking you to see Reverand Horton Heat.

And I dont sound like a vengeful God, but I look like the Devils Mistress, so it will be all good.

Loud is good, but people get out of my way faster when I am quiet. heh

1:21 AM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

JessRabb - I KNEW you and I would have something in common!!
OK, people, JR has spoken - the Reverend was around LONG before these "neo-retro" outfits (and btw, SWWNBN I could tell you a really unpleasant story about the CPD's I know someone who played with them - they are a-holes of the highest order)

and when the Rev speaks, you should listen - psychobilly at its finest!!!
I've seen him, oh I can't even count ex of mine toured with him. hes just amazing

9:17 AM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Nugget - oh, softball all the way. Hardcore.

She Who...I've heard that Steve Perry (CPD) is the world's biggest flirt onstage. We weren't close enough when we saw 'em to know for sure.

Jess - you are ON! I love the Rev! I'll be right over for the Psychobilly Freakout.

Opera gal - Hey, we can ALL have a Psychobilly Freakout.

10:01 AM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Bone Machine - it's not unhealthy. ;)

2:46 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger SWSNBN said...

Whfropera - Yep, I've heard such things, but it's not like I'll ever know the guy in person to know if that's true. He's always super nice after the concert about signing, lots of things. I've got tickets and drumsticks, and maybe a pic of my boob signed. I couldn't resist, I'm still juvenile occasionally.

Bucky - Oh yes, he certainly is. He gets this sexy grin on his face and uses his hips in all sorts of wonderful ways. It's psychotic how many girls just freak. I mean, of course I'm one of them, but it's really outta control. *grin*

10:28 PM, September 15, 2005  

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