Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Slaughterama 5!!!!!

Slaughtered it at Slaughterama!!
Well, the blur of Orange and Bling has settled into concrete in my middle. Everyone around me can’t move either. We let the television do the talking. Scratchy throats and circles under our eyes, the last 72 hours have been filled with adventures. 
Let’s pull this string of memory and follow it to some sort of story. 

The event officially started with a tall bike alleycat on thursday. Stories of pooh bucket fishing, teetertooter riding, and beer bonging were heard. Then we all met at a lookout park for the official Meet and Greet ride to the Byrd Theater for Rev. Phil’s screening of Pornography of the Bicycle. It was sweet to see all these familiar bicylistas from random events throughout the last six years. I saw a few folks I knew from living in Richmond 5 years ago, and other steel thighs from around the east coast. The most heartwarming is seeing the young bloods and their matching homemade crew shirts, their attention to details, and excitement in their eyes. Not long after meeting, the red and blue fury came chasing our tails with the wrong pickup lines, so we bolted. We waited across the bridge for the heavy boombox bike, the flat tired zoobomber, and the Rogue with the broken leg. Cyclists spilled out into the intersection, taking the time to light up another cheap Virginian cigarettes and scope out the opposite sex. This early in the weekend, the mystery of whom cupid aimed your arrow had yet to unfold, and the faces of the crowd were being sorted and categorized. We arrived at the theater in packs, piled up the bikes. Bike piles matched the crews temperaments. A small-bike pile from Zoobomb. A tall bike pile from Cutthroats, a mixed pile here, a track pile there. Like haystacks after the harvest.
A few drinks next door and the line begins to stack behind the velvet rope. We pile in to the beautiful room and let the heckling begin. Richmond loves to be lewd and loud. The Porno isn’t so dirty until the end, but it does pry wide open the concept of bicycle porn. I think there will be many innovations in the field in the future. A good night, the hugs from long lost friends, and a few dollars lost at ceelo, I headed home.

Friday was the big day for me, with a show at the Bike Lot and a pallet stage to build. The bike lot is awesome. In Richmond, rent is super cheap and there are many buildings vacant and awaiting inspiration. These kids own a bunch of garages turned into practice spaces and the clubhouse for the Cutthroats. They have been welding all sorts of fancy inventions, from a surf bike that is a giant surfboard on a bike that you steer with your foot that looks like a foot, to a car bicycle. There is a 9 foot bowl and sweet murals. Two big busses painted electric tourmaline made for transporting books and bikes to the people. We had a lot of help from other folks and made a really rad stage, sturdy enough for the raucus ramblings yet to come. 
The bike lot was the last stop of the scavenger hunt, and by the time Show Me The Pink returned to the spot, those damn bikestacks were everywhere. More this time. AND the Muppet bus from Portland carrying 16 zoobombers had arrived! This is epic for me because Zach, the drummer of SMTP and I were founding members of Zoobomb, and he is the founding member of The Cutthroats, and I came out to Richmond for my bicycle missionary tour, attending the first ever Slaughterama as sole representation of Zoobomb. It was a huge circle that came back with back-up. 
So the place was packed. Kids carrying around 12 packs and bmxers and skateboarders cheering eachother on at the ramp, boxing matches going on in the pallet ring covered in cardboard, musical jams coming out of the bookbus, and bicyclists of the Apocalypse assembled to create a new world, in their vision, in the name of F.U.N. The boxing matches brought the thunder and raised the adrenaline. Event goers raced around, bumping into eachother, stumbling around, and raising their fists to Cincinnati’s The Read, and freaking the heck out for Matt+Kim. I walked around most of the night, soaking it in, caught in a dream state. Then it was time to play. Oh my gosh I haven’t had that nervous belly ache in so long! The feeling where you thing you have to pee or throw up or have someone throw a water balloon at your face. Oh well. My ninja training has taught me to subside those feelings and tune into a normal heartrate. There was a Little Hug Chug (little hugs are plastic bottles with colored sugar water)before we started to determine the winner of the scavenger hunt. Competitive eating is always a great idea. Well, kind of. I had the trauma-rama moment like in seventeen magazine where I was ROCKING OUT and I slipped on the "little hug" rug. Flat on my back. Shazaam. I tried to pull it off into a back roll, but you can’t fake a fall. It was cool to have all the Portlanders there, singing the words when I handed them the microphone. They know all the words god bless em. Shortly after our set the red and blue came once again to chase us off into our beds.

The Saturday of Slaughter
I slept in until 1:30 pm because I was depressed. On the way home the night before I was riding my bike home, alone, at 3am, and my week elbow collapsed on me as I was crossing Belvedere. I had to cross the street with my arm all fucked up, until I could get to a safe place to pop the sucker back into somewhere it belongs. It scares the hell out of me. I cried on my bike all the way home, thinking about losing my lower limb, not being able to use it, the cost of surgery, the sadness of being in a place where I can’t go into the doc’s office for an adjustment because I spent $800 on a plane ticket here. It was hard to wake up in the morning. I mean Slaughterama is one of my most sacred and religious events, like all extreme mutant bike events. It’s magic will propel me through the year. It’s like getting money deposited into your bank account. And Oh My Gosh am I good at competing. I have either won or come in second to 7 out of 8 derbies I have ever tried. I have jousted and rodeo biked and won chickenfightdragracing the first time it debuted in NY. Last Slaughterama I attented, The Sprockettes performed a sweet show. I love these bike events. Now I have to come up with a different way to look at it. My little ego needs to take a nosebleed seat in the arena. Well, let’s take my recent obsession, chinese medicine, and see if I can’t help other fallen comrades in the ultimate bike battle. 
I brought my dit dat jao, some analgesic pads, alcohol pads, gauze, sprain potion, essential oils, arnica, and light in my hands and vowed to circle the pack of rabid contenders to make me feel useful.
I rolled out with JK and I was eager to cross the Bell Isle Bridge, a rollercoaster leading to the meadow filled with spots of people with matching jacket clusters. The bridge offers an epic show, with a birds eye view of the hubub. Immediately I saw bmxers jumping up to my level, flying the bike to the side, flipping around, like swallows flying by to say hello. Then I heard a roar, the tinny directions from a loudspeaker, intermittent sirens, and see all the hundreds of gawkers and showsters, already tearing into cardboard reservoirs of cheap beer. The bikestacks today were adorned with clan flags and team colors. I went straight to the zoobomb pile. This was definitely my team. We were lucky to have Captain Fun, whom had won the St. Ratricks Day Belt Buckle in Chicago, the raucus Rev. Phil who is known for his voracity. Then we had the tallbike-Rat-in-zoo’s-clothing, Sauce. He’s no newby to the East Coast challenges. Then We have Dutch, a superhero with a baby backpack and a GO! motive, Shawn, the nimble ninja, barely legal Fiona, Dang ol Dogeye, Bringin’ It Buffalo Dave, Above all that, The Great Shanzini had snuck into a Cutthroats meeting like the secret agent that she is, and gleaned a plan of attack by knowing what Team Zoobomb was up against. She formulated the teams and spouted inspiration. She was a super warrior too. She competed in every event she could, repping her hot pink and black one piece spandex. I know that this team was of high caliber, and they had traveled the furthest to get here, so their minds had already melted together into one group pack, ready for torture. 
Let the games begin!
Beer Relay, Slow race, and Bell Isle Egg Race. 
The Egg Race was super rad. 144 eggs. 75 participants. 69 eggs for hurling. Amazing. Not only did you have to circle the site with the egg intact, then you had to end with a foot down derby with the egg safe. One guy on a tallbike was carrying it in his mouth. The crowd was hurling the chicken periods. Exploding in a protien bomb.
The whiplash apparatus this year was the best I have ever seen. There is usually some bike tubes and tires with bungeess and lots of ties. Very janky looking. Half the events that feature this end up jimmyrigging the apparatus halfway through the event. Not this one. Cutthroat genius Evan had gotten some old GWAR props and made the bungees with a monster in the middle, so the two competitors were pulling the monsters arm when at the apex of stretch. It was effing metal. 
I ran into the props guys from GWAR later that day and he complimented me on my performance the night before. OH mY GoD!! Then he gave me a small packet of blood to help others visualize the Slaughterama (GWAR is the source of the name Slaughterama!!). I gave him a calendar and thanked him. Then went to the zoobomb HQ to splatter it across Josh’s spandexed chest. It splattered all over me and my hat too. SAVAGE!! 
Zoobomb had placed in the top three in each event, so then it came the championships. Jousting was equipped with handfuls of flour. Great innovation.
Then for the Chariot wars. The track is a figure eight, with the probability of crash the reason for the design. Holy cow. Great tragedies. Gabe and Shannon were at high performance. Gabe’s jam is the Chariots. He has held Chariot wars for two years in Portland, encouraging animosity and challenge. Shannon’s aerodynamic suit and understanding of the leaning, they took off. They took first or second, and the last determiner was the PiggyPile. Teams had to pile as many members on their bike as possible and travel 20 feet. 

And the winner is.........ZOOBOMB!!!
That’s right. Number one. Trophy up in here.
Oh, and I met a cute boy who gave me a feather then a kiss. Swoon.
Gotta do taxes.

Tod Seelie is the best photographer I have met.

You tube it:

Show Me The Pink's Magical All-Star Reunion Farewell Tour

Woops. I was supposed to fly out of Richmond on the 22nd, not the 23rd. That makes the total cost of my trip to the east coast double what it should have been. I paid twice both ways. I am stoked because I get to kick it in New York for two days, ride bikes, and practice kung fu on rooftops. Blessing in a three hundred dollar disguise.

Every day was a different kind of pleasure.
We played with our old friends, Polka Madre, a gypsytastic ensemble that totally rocks and knows how to party! I practiced my spanish in the schoolbus they traveled in while we drank whisky out of a bum jug. I go ape shizzy for klezmer rock punk stuff. And to top it off, WE PLAYED WITH A MARCHING BAND!! If you know me, you know that this is super exciting. I didn't stop moving the whole night. Our man JC set the whole thing up, and he played "Shoop" and I rapped along before our set. Then the next morning we went to The Modern Diner and ate great greasy grub, then took a picture just like we did two years ago. We always laugh a crap ton in the parkinglot there. We got back to HQ and played a game of memory dance chain and took off towards Philly.
This hot hunk of a man lives in Philly and I couldn't wait to see him. It was a long trail over bridges and through the tolls. We stopped in NYC to pick up Japuncles Ian and Riley, and caravanned towards the city of brotherly love. The show was incredible!!! We rushed in, played a sweaty show, Cutthroats crowdsurfed and provided bottles of liquor. When Japanther played, the water pipes from the ceiling busted and it was like someone supersoakered the whole basement. Here is Santana crowd surfing amidst the water.

Here's the Dan's (whose house it was. The Dan's Party) holding up the pipes:

from sigur.rosenthal on

New York:
Monday! Monday! Monday!
At this point the weekend was over but our weekend continued. I was anxious that no one would show to the show as it got later, but I forget that NY is a late night city. In one five minute time period, all of my friends from all over the country showed up at once. I got tackled by two Oaklandians while two Utahns were honking and screaming my name. When I got around to everyone with a huge hug, six bike homies showed including the secret hunk who said he wasn't coming to NY. I was so shaky. I spent the whole day forgetting about him and feeling empty, and BAM! surprise. Of course it all happens at once. I had to freak out and hide behind the van for some five element qi gong. Homies from Seattle, homies from Richmond, lots of blokes came out of the woodwork for the show.
Inside, Riley had installed his conceptual art series of life size drawings of the Golden Girls wrestling the Sex and the City chicks. That was the backdrop for the show.

images from dirty dirty finger on
We went back to Lori40's house and fell asleep with cold fried chicken in our bellies.
I haven't been to Ohio since I was 2 years old, so I was interested to check it out. We sure were tired from playing hard four days in a row, but we put on our whore make up and tightened up our tour version of a Sprockettes song to perform for the 80's night dance party. We had good times catching up with old friends, and I got my first shower of the week.
Oh my goodness!! We roll up to the Bike Haus in the Golden Nugget and there is already a big party with couches outside, a grill in process, and a keg underway. These kids have so much flava! A group of them had just been exposed to extreme bike culture via B.I.K.E. the movie and their attendance of the Slaughterama. They had made a bike gang because they were sick of being called fags on their bikes. Then they saw the movie and one of their friends told them about his homies The Cutthroats and Evil Fool's Day. They came out and were totally blown away. Their energy was fabulous. First song into our set, the crowd broke the keyboard cord. Thrash city! I was really stoked because we had never been there before, but the kids knew our songs!! Mad Love!
We woke in the morning with some mermaid coffee and hightailed it for Shannon and Zach's old town. Somewhere in Kentucky we get a call saying that we don't have a show at all. We devise a secret plan to show up anyways, act oblivious, and try to get on the bill. We show up and the booker shuts us down. We even left Zach in the car for the full femme effect. We talk to the manager and blame it on our pretend booker. The manager is the owner of The Claremont. Yes, the legendary strip club, and they can throw us on the bill. Shannon is so stoked, and we send word through a connect in Richmond to get the myspace word out. No show to a legendary venue. Tight! We got to put our whore make up on next to actual strippers. Shannon got to try on a skirtbelt thang to sexy up her outfit. We took shots of SoCo with the girls. The show was hilarious. Shannons mom and dad were there, stoked, and probably had kinky sex later that night. Emy channeled her inner stripper and was taking the stage to town. It was great.
We all went on a shopping spree in little five points the next day. I got a huge crystal and a cd. This is the first cd I have bought in like five years.
We are set to play this show in an airplane hangar and the sweet kids reminded me of Portland real bad. Stinky farm punks rule. They made us a huge pot of spaghetti and we let everyone spray our stencils on their clothes. The first band gave me the warm fuzzies-I-want-to-cry-because-life-is-beautiful-lip-quiver thing. It just solidified my belief in RAD America. After the show we went to the Phag Pharm to stay on 30 acres of beautiful green country. We wake in the morning to a full spread of grits, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and coffee. We took a walk to the family graveyard and Zach got attacked by red ants. It was so refreshing to be away from the noise and chaos of the city. After a quick look around the town we headed out for our last show in Asheville.
It was raining and the sky was flashing red lightning. We showed up to the venue and there was a big bonfire and a screening of "The Colossus of the Rails" movie venerating the cowboy hat train moniker guy. I had him sign my book and Zach bought two of his stencils. We played a full octane show. We had so much to give. It was our second to last show ever and we had been amassing positive power the whole tour. I kept looking up from my keyboard and seeing huge smiles and being able to play harder and dance higher. The kids really liked our show, and many lamented our demise. I got to see Kirsten from Utah as a surprise and oh boy that was great!
Around 1am we pulled out into the fog for a night jaunt back to Richmond to relieve Zach's mom of babysitting duty. I slept the whole day. So did most of us, except the super mom Noelle, who took Starlet to the Children's Museum after driving all night. Trooper!
Our last show and I felt hollow. How could such a cool part of my life be about to close? I had grown so close to everyone in that van, staying up late with the parents, and realizing that all my bandmates are the people who have been there for every cool crazy thing I have done. We have good mojo together. Well, at least we get one more blast. Polka Madre returns, bleary eyed from a four shows in two days jam in NYC. We drink a Sparks together and set up. The place is super small, and we have to set up in front of the doors, so as people showed up for the music, we had to let them in from back stage and shove them into the audience. It was neat. It was like they were in the band for a second. We played pretty well. I tried to keep looking up and soaking in the lovely faces that would be in my last show ever memory file. Then Polka Madre played and I ended up dancing on the bar in my high heels and prom dress. It was RAD! Then Noelle got my attention and it was obvious that she had talked to all the people around her, because she wanted me to crowd surf and everyone was looking at me with their hands up. I loved it! It was so exhilarating. I haven't really crowdsurfed since I was a teen. Tah dah. The end.
Now I'm about to go to New York for a couple of days for bike adventures and the gateway home. I am so stoked, because The Deralieurs are playing a show in two weeks and I still have to learn the choreography.
Life in the Fast Lane.