Thursday, June 21, 2007

From Russia With Love

And Not Much Clothing

Well, those Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave The West behind
Those Moscow girls make me sing and shout
And Georgia's always on my-my-my-my-my-my mind

- The Beatles, "Back in the U.S.S.R."

We in the West were lied to during the Cold War. No, not about the Russians' superpower ambitions and nefarious plans for world dominination. But about their women. The West always promoted the stereotype that it was gamine French filles, zaftig German frauleins and fiery dark-eyed Iberian senioritas that were the definition of feminity and beauty, while Eastern European women - especially Russians - were depicted as hairy-legged peasants, with babushka headscarves covering their unwashed hair and knee-high Army boots covering their bovine legs like Loweezy the cartoon hillbilly wife of Snuffy Smith (pictured below).

No doubt this Western disinformation campaign was waged to insure that our military men and spies didn't succumb to their feminine charms - like James Bond with Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi, Miss Universe 1960) in 1963's From Russia with Love - and trade state secrets in exchange for some slavic nookie.

In fact, the West has had a virtual epiphany since The Fall of the Russian Empire -the revelation that Russian women are perhaps the hottest in the world, and Russia's greatest national export. This fact has been hammered home to me over the last few summers as an endless wave of young nubiles from the former U.S.S.R. cross the pond as part of a summer jobs program with Baltimore's hotels and restaurants trade.

"Da, we from Omsk! How you tell?"

I see it firsthand because I work at a downtown public library where these women flock to check their e-mail on our free-access computers. You know they're different right away because of their attire - very stylish (jeans are always name-brand or vintage) and at the same time very minimal. (It is not uncommon to see a 20-something Russian gal wearing Daisy Dukes so short that half her ass cheeks are hanging out. A distraction, needless to say.) The hair is often colored, with henna highlights not uncommon. And they are all, without exception, drop-dead beautiful like runway models. There seems to be no Coyote Ugly factor in the gene pool.

The beauty of Russian women and their exodus to The West as mail-order brides (an industry that continues to thrive on the Internet with over 500 sites) so concerns the Russian government that in 2005 Russian nationalist (i.e., "fascist") Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested imposing huge penalties on any woman who choose a foreign husband over a Russian one. A member of his party explained their bid for the loser male vote:

"Our wonderful women are the best in the world...Wherever I have been, I have rarely seen beautiful girls, only in Russia and some other Slav nations." (Going by Eli Roth's gorno - or, gore porno - horror feature Hostel, I believe he's referring to the babes of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.) By the way, Zhironovsky thinks the beauty of Russian women is matched only by the virility of Russian men - he famously was caught drunk on video commenting that Condolezza Rice was a slut who needed to come to his country and receive oral sex from Russian men!

Russian men toasting their virility

Of course, it has been suggested by those same women that if more Russian men took showers, held jobs, and stop being a bunch of Vodka-soaked drunks (e.g., Vladimir Zhironovsky), they might be more willing to stick around and not marry any man they meet on the Internet who promises to get them out of Russia.

Until that time, let us enjoy the domestic bliss that comes from this exotic import. And let Russian men continue to drown their sorrows about the ones that got away.

Related Links:
Business Proposal (Baltimore Sun)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Baltimore? What's That?

Doesn't Really Matter, Doesn't Really Matter

I love this guy! Jon Corun, the VJ alchemist behind AV Club manipulates Scarface clips with DJ Yummy's "Baltimore What" remix to represent, Charm City style. What's your name? Where you from? Doesn't really matter!


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tennis Channel Scores: Game, Set, Match

The 2007 French Open

I got Comcast Digital Cable with the Sports Pack mainly to get the Fox Soccer Channel and GOL TV. But with most of the world soccer seasons over (except for the lame-ass MLS), I've been watching nothing but tennis on The Tennis Channel. And I gotta say, I love it. Especially their inaugural coverage of the 2007 French Open. Not only is it the Tennis Channel's first French Open, it's their first live broadcast of a Grand Slam event.

In January, the network inked an alliance with ESPN through 2011, under which ESPN2 gains the right from Tennis to present French Open coverage, as well as new-media capabilities. In exchange, Tennis nets 100 hours of live and taped coverage rights to the Australian Open from ESPN. Together, Tennis and ESPN2 will provide around the clock coverage during the tournament’s fortnight of May 27 through June 10.

It's a big assignment, but they've aced it, presenting a slick, intelligient and informative package that more than holds it own with more experienced networks and cable channels. In the weeks leading up to the happenings at Roland Garros, Tennis Channel played all kinds of specials about the tournament, its history, great past matches, and Rene Lacoste and The Four Musketeers. And now that they've nabbed the uber-suave Bill Macatee to host the tournament, it's great - already much better than NBC and the USA Network coverage.

Besides John McEnroe (though I actually prefer his brother Patrick as a color commentator) and Aussie highlights recapper Meike Buchan (a seasoned pro who's not very hard on the eyes, as seen at left - a fact not lost of FHM magazine, which placed her No. 40 in its 2003 100 Sexiest Women in the World list), they've brought my celebrity lookalike Martina Navratilova (below right) in to do commentary and she is really good (picking up broadcasting as easily as she picked up tennis titles), as one might expect with all her expertise. But what really sets her apart is that she's not afraid to tell it like it is. She's diplomatic, but when, for example, she sees Serena Williams repeatedly not move her feet and try to cheat her way through games solely on power - she calls the former French Open champion to task on her lack of technique.

About the only weak link are the painfully glib "Paris culture segments" offered up by the always giggling bimbette Roshumba Williams, who in between her carefully rehearsed (and over-stressed) French pronuciations acts likes she's still what she is, a former model (and author of The Complete Idiots's Guide To Being a Model) doing vapid soundbites for Entertainment Tonight and the Oxygen Network (where she's in the cast of the hair show Tease).

Macatee politely indulges her, but its clear that he views her pieces as ephemeral time-killers. She is nothing more than a trendy haircut with a nice smile. And I've counted as least three times that she's described wherever she is, be it the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter - as being, like you know, a "surreal" experience. Please, tennis Channel, don't dumb the coverage down to this level.

And I could do without French Open Tonight's “Maria’s PowerShots of Paris” segments, which supposedly highlight the work of photographers from around the city of lights but basically are just an excuse to sell advertising to Canon and hype Canon-shilling spokesmodel Maria Sharapova, the tournament's No. 2 seed.

From Russia - But Not With Love

And speaking of the media's current darling, I have a bone to pick with her. If I hear one more tennis "tourist" spout off about how hot she is I think I'll scream. That kind of line is for people who don't follow tennis and think all Russian chicks are the next Anna Kournikova - who, by the way, wasn't all that cute and never won anything anyway. Maria is a fiery competitor - I'll give her that - but how the media can spin someone who's 6 feet tall, flat-chested, pimply-faced, with shoulders wider than an NFL tight end, and whose body is 75 percent consumed by mannnish legs as somehow "sexy" is beyond my comprehension. Yes, she's blond, but she's built like Baby Huey. And that primordial grunting! So annoying! As are the clenched fist pumps and the looks over at her Daddy between every friggin' point.

Don't Believe the Hype

And while the warrior spirit is admirable, it's also ugly at times. In the third set of her come from behind win over Swiss underdog Patty Schynder (one of my faves, admittedly, and possessor of one of the best and fittest figures on the women's tour - not to mention a mysterious and controversial past that included a dalliance in 1999, when she was 20, with then 42-year-old trainer/coach/faith healer Rainer Hennecker, who supposedly brainwashed her and put her on a strict diet of orange juice and Baunscheidt acupuncture), Sharapova showed that she may be a winner, but she lacks class.

Sharapova came from a set down and saved three match points before beating No. 15-ranked Patty Schnyder in an exciting and controversial clash, 3-6, 6-4, 9-7. Schnyder served for the match three times, at 5-4, 6-5 and 7-6 in the third set. She was one point away from ending the match in the 10th game and again in the 14th -- and she also was two points away from victory on 11 occasions.

Talk to the Hand

But there was some controversy in the 15th game of the third set when, with Sharapova serving at 30-love, Schnyder held up her hand to signal she was distracted by a shout from the crowd. Schnyder watched the serve land in the box, complaining to the ump that she wasn't ready. But the umpire ruled she was ready and gave the ace to Sharapova who moved 40-0 in front and soon won the game. The fans booed in sympathy with Schynder, but Sharapova, the competitive bulldog, simply moved to the ad court as if nothing at happened. A class opponent would have sided with Schnyder - who clearly stopped play and made no effort to hit the ball - and played the point over. It's called sportsmanship. My God, I even saw feisty John McEnroe do this in a "Champions" (seniors) Tour game this year. And you know how competitive McEnroe is!

Anyway, it made me think back to one of two black marks in Justine Henin's permanent record (the other being Henin's retiring from her 2006 Australian Open final against Amelie Maresmo). Remember in the semifinals of the 2003 French Open when Serena Williams held up her held to indicate she wasn't ready for an Henin serve? Henin claimed she never saw it and won the point. Henin left with her first Grand Slam title, while a clearly pissed Serena left the court in tears. The incident has dogged Henin's stature ever since.

Or as Sharapova's countryman Vladimir Nabokov so eloquently put it: "Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it." In this case, a bad smell, because her actions stunk.

But back to the present moment...As Sharpova and Schnyder met at the net after the match, there was a mix of boos and applause from the Roland Garros crowd. For her part, Schnyder (whose best result at a major was reaching the 2004 Australian Open semifinals) showed class at the end. quoted her as saying, "At the end she was the big champion and I'm the little one who couldn't win."

Sharapova, perhaps a little guilty, excused herself by saying cooly, "It's pretty hard being a tennis player and Mother Teresa at the same time. You're fighting for every single point out there."

"Grrrr! Don't call me Mother Teresa!"

Yeah, whatever, Miss Canon Sure Shot. At the end of the day, Patty still has the greater body of work, looking more like a woman than a duck:

Patty Cake: Prettier than any Canon Power Shot

And if Sharapova is lucky enough to advance, I'm sure Serena Williams will once again hand her her ass in a one-sided massacre.

Marble Bar Poster Art

After blogging about the Chelsea Graveyard/Slickee Boys Memorial Weekend show at the Ottobar, I got nostalgic and dug up my Marble Bar memorabilia. Recalling that at 2005's Marble Bar 20th Reunion some guy had given me a CD full of scanned pix of old posters and calendars, I finally loaded it into the computer for a look-see. I'm posting some of the best here because, well, no one else to my knowledge has put them up there. So, for history (and old Marble Bar-ers)'s sake, here 'tis. I will try to update with more as time allows. For best viewing results, click to enlarge all posters.

Some of these were made by the bands themselves, but the calendars and Alcoholics posters were all probably made by George Wilcox or his bro David (Steptoe T. Magnificent) Wilcox. Some of these are for shows at Oddfellows Hall or D.C. bars, but they date from the Marble Bar era and feature Bawmer/Marble Bar bands.

I like seeing the listings of what bands were around during this time. Take this August 1980 calendar.

It features The Alcoholics, The Bollocks, The Breakers, The Casual Carriers (Annapolitans), The Catholics, The Dark Side, The Enzymes, Judies Fixation (from Annapolis), The Reason (rock critic J.D. Considine's band), Off the Wall, The Original Fetish (D.C.ers who secured a whole weekend slot), Reesa & The Rooters (from Philly), Root Boy Slim, The Sorrows, Tiny Desk Unit (from D.C.) and national acts like bloozers John Lee Hooker and Big Walter Horton and NYC's The Boyfriends. But who the hell were the RBT Band? (Oh wait, RBT has a MySpace page that says: "rbt formed in binghamton, ny in 1979 and attracted a large following throughout the northeast, playing landmarks such as CBGB, Maxs Kansas City, The Marble Bar and every other rathole from NYC to St. louis MO." They apparently had a Northeast college radio hit in "Facts and Figures" and opened for Iggy Pop and The Romantics. And I think RBT stood for Resonated Brain Tissue.)

This is the famous flyer that lists all the bands (local and national) who played at the Marble. Click to enlarge.

This poster announces the grand opening on May 13, 1983 of The Galaxy Ballroom, which was located upstairs from the Marble Bar on the main floor of The Congress Hotel. Onyx Azza's band provided the musical entertainment. Friday the 13th? A sign of things to come?

And this was the flipside of the above flyer:

BOY MEETS GIRL (June 1982):
This poster was probably created by the band. Who would be, left to right: Tom McNickel (guitar & vocals), Vickie Ruth (drums), Ceil Strakna (guitar & vocals) and Ira Kessler (bass). I know Ceil was a graphic artist, so maybe she designed it.

God I loved this band, and was lucky enough to get to have them on my old Johns Hopkins University radio show (this was way before Marc Steiner's WYPR crew moved in on Respectable Street - back when the station had a 5-mile broadcast umbrella and was staffed mainly by Towson State rejects!). If my memory serves me well, The Parrot Club was what became the Trenton Street Station and is now something called Wall Street. It was on Maryland Avenue across from what once was The American Revolution (or American Rev, for short), yet another rock club in that block between North Avenue and Lafayette Street, across from the gay biker bar The Gallery. Later the American Dime Museum and Atomic Books took up residence on this happening block. Anyway, I still think their music was phenomenal, as the band was blessed with two outstanding songwriters, McNick penning classics like "You Better Look Both Ways (Before You Cross the Street To My Love)" and Ceil's "I'm the Girl with the X-Ray Vision" ("I can see right through your lies"), and both having a knack for timeless cover material like Johnny Cash's "Jackson." Bassist Ira Kessler went on to join the band Elements of Design.

Sadly, a UK band called Boy Meets Girl (a duo consisting of keyboardist and vocalist George Merrill and singer Shannon Rubicam) appropriated the name from across the pond in the mid-80s; these pretenders to the throne are best known for writing two number one hits for Whiteny Houston: "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)."

JUDIE'S FIXATION (April 1983):
The great Annapolis punk rockers circa 1978-1980 and back for a return engagement in 1983. The lineup was Brian Jones (guitar), GC Murphy (bass), Jacques Strap (drums), Phideux Phlech (guitar) and Ben Wah (vocals). Side project Oral Fixation was a JF spinoff with roughly 10 members. The outstanding artwork was by Craig W. Stitchcomb.

I really like this one. Looks to be a depiction of St. Vitus Dance singer Tommy Reed, Alcoholics frontman Dave Wilcox (Steptoe T. Magnificent) and the way out frontwoman of Washington, D.C.'s Pin-Ups.

I recall that my old band Thee Katatonix were once scheduled to open for The Pin-Ups (or the Stuck-Ups, as my ex used to call them), who cancelled because they thought their gimmick - a mostly Girl Group of three gals and one guy, wouldn't work playing with our lineup of three guys and one gal. So the male Kats (Adolf Kowalski, Little Kato Kowalski and Tommy Gunn) put on dresses while Katie Katatonic dressed up as a guy (as pictured below). (Shame we can't fit into those dresses anymore!)

Boys will be girls at the Marble Bar

Tommy, Katie, Kato & Adolf as The Spit-Ups

We called ourselves The Spit-Ups and each one of us played an instrument we knew even less about than our "expert" axes - I think I played guitar instead of drums, Kato pounded the skins, Katie sang, and Adolf played bass. I guess the joke was on us because the cacaphony we created wasn't much worse than a regular Katatonix set. Today, of course, our Spit-Ups sound would have been called "experimental" and we could probably get regular gigs at The Red Room and High Zero Festival.

Ha! And here's the flyer for that abortive Pin-Ups show, featuring George Wilcox's flattering cartoon renderings of the band that made we mutants feel like we were beautiful mutants.

The unnamed dude on the end was our roadie/bodyguard Al Brown, brother of Danny "Danimal" Brown (a Dundalk pal of Adolf's who once played with future Go-Go drummer Gina Schock in a combo called Scratch 'n' Sniff; Danny would also play with The Injections, as well as Thee Katatonix - everyone ended up in Adolf's band eventually!)

THEE KATATONIX (August 1980):

My old band. Ah, memories. This was an Adolf Kowalski original from 1980, with lettering courtesy of Dave Wilcox, appropriated image courtesy of National Bohemian's "Land of Pleasant Living" Troubadour, and featuring two of our then-current slogans: "Be vile for awhile with Thee Katatonix" and "The band that adds assault to insult." The latter proved rather prophetic on August 11, as our gig at Scandals in Washington, D.C. erupted into a riot and the promoter went to jail. We hung an American flag behind us, prompting somebody in the audience to comment, "I think they're political." Our set at this time also featured Adolf donning a strap-on dildo and then slicing chunks of it off and tossing them into the audience during our ditty "(I Sure Miss My) Foreskin." Perhaps that was construed as political by the inside-the-Beltway sophisticates as well. (By the way, we were anti-circumcision before it became trendy.)

THEE KATATONIX (January 1980):
Our first gig of 1980 and our first performance with new guitarist Kato Kowalski. It was also notable for being the first time we blew out a PA system, curtailing our already short set just minutes into the show. For some reason, Judies played first and Thee Katatonix became instant headliners (maybe they knew the PA was ready to blow).

On the bright side, this was the promised follow-up to an abortive gig that brought my future girlfriend, Amy Davis, together with her future hubby, Null Set guitarist Mark Harp. She had come to check out her Dundalk High schoolmate (Class of '76!) Adolf's band the week before when we were slated to play with Da Moronics at the Marble, but Katie and I bailed and Adolf ended up playing the gig with future Moronic Don White on drums and Danny "Danimal" Brown on bass. Amy ended up hooking up first with the Null Set singer Bil Dawson, then with Harpo two weeks later. Of course, it took me 25 years to finally hook up with her! I always was kinda slow - especially on the beat.)

5th anniversary poster designed by Danny of Lungfish. Adolf dated Onyx Azza. Onyx and Danny later had a baby. Three degrees of separation. That's Smalltimore. Danny's art later surfaced at the American Visionary Museum of Art, so consider it visionary.

Seattle's Sonics, San Fran's Dead Kennedys and Texas' Fabulous Thunderbirds were the big national draws this month, as well as Edith "Edie the Egg Lady" Massey's birthday party, which I believe also had a tie-in with the release of Polyester.

I went to that Dead Kennedys show. That was the one where Jello Biafro was almost electrocuted by a haywire mic. I think a make-shift version of "The Name But Not As Lame" Katatonix played behind Edie Massey at her b-day bash. That was after the original lineup, but before the classic 80s edition that had Mr. Urbanity (Charlie Gatewood). I believe this was the same band that went up to NYC to play with Edie at The Mudd Club with Sam & Dave. That lineup would be "Danimal" Danny Brown and Adolf K. on guitar and keyboards, "Reverend" Jack Heineken on bass and Big Andy Small on drums. Here's the Kats poster:

Edie Massey wasn't the only celeb to celebrate a birthday at the Marble, as Root Boy's July 17, 1982 belated b-day bash attests. (He was actually born July 9.) Root Boy passed in 1993, but he sure lived every day like it was a party.

Poster "doodlings" by Dave Brubaker. The big out of town bands this month were from D.C.: Velvet Monkeys, Tommy Keene (I was at that show, of course!), Tru Fax and The Insaniacs (I went to all their Charm City gigs) and Keith Campbell's Black Market Baby.

Locally there was AR-15, Dave Cawkwell's post-Accused ensemble Mission, Mikel Gael's Nuvo Blind and Leslie Miller's Question 47.

The checkered demon in the Inner Harbor? I love the S. Clay Wilson Zap comics influence on this beauty from the pen of George Wilcox!

I wonder what the video/film nights were all about. I recall seeing I film I acted in, which starred Adolf Kowalksi, down at the Marble (Chocolate Asphalt?). Wonder if it was from this period.

ALCOHOLICS (July 1982):
I guess that's supposed to be George Wilcox's brother Dave, but it sure looks like Adolf Kowalski to me. Were they beconing one and the same, like Bowie and Iggy during their Berlin infatuation?

Note the announcemet for an outdoor show at Chick's Legendary Records in Mt. Washington (a rare opportunity to see Midnight To Six clubbers in broad daylight!) Also note the gig by Switchblade, Tex Rubinowitz's rockabilly band from D.C.

ALCOHOLICS (June 1982):
Baltimore's "most staggering band" delivers their 100 proof rock and roll in yet another George Wilcox-rendered beauty.

I like this one because it names all the band members (what ever happened to Teddy Boy?) and I think the girl was inspired by one of Dave Wilcox's honeys (Jackie the bartender?), of which he had many. Note the band's gig with pre-Slim Man Timmy Campanelli's Boot Camp at the upscale (before the Marble Bar crowd wrecked it!) Girard's, which burned to the ground and is now City Cafe. I saw Boot Camp open for either Devo or The Tubes (it was some unholy union like that) at Painter's Mill. (I think Bob Lopez intro-ed Boot Camp and was pelted with pennies!)

Here's an Alcoholics clip I found on YouTube: Alcoholics - "Rotten Women"

MARBLE BAR CALENDAR (March-April 1981):
Love this one's Bg Daddy Roth Ratfink influence. Note Marble Bar owner Roger Anderson 's birthday announcement for March 14. March 1981 was a big month, with Polyrock and Julian Cope's The Teardrop Explodes highlighting the bill, followed in April by The Dead Kennedys and The Sonics.

Philly's popular Reesa & The Rooters (originally from South Jersey) drove down I-95 to make their debut at the Marble Bar on May 31, 1980 and would play there a total of eight times that year They played four more gigs at the Marble Bar in 1981, including this one with D.C.'s TruFax & the Insaniacs. Reesa Laskey sang and played guitar, her brother Larry played guitar, Cherie Rumbol played bass and sang, and Bob Z played the drums (as did a cast of thousands!). Reesa was also in Suburban Wives Club, who may have played the Marble as well.

Reesa (who now goes by the name Reesa Marchetti and is a prolific writer, editor and Webmaster - check out her site) wrote of her first experience at the Marble thusly: "When we arrived at 306 W. Franklin St., Roger, LesLee’s husband and co-owner of the Marble, led us down the short flight of stairs to the basement of the Congress Hotel. My brother and I toked regularly then, so when people began filling the hall and blowing quantities of cigarette and marijuana smoke, I felt like I had stepped into a comfortable shoe."

On her website (a treasure trove of 80s music memorabilia), Reesa added:

I often said to the audience that they were the real Rooters — and Marble Bar audiences were the best. Their enthusiasm, acceptance, and wild dancing from the first moment we played there made me want to stay.

That feeling, combined with another news story, inspired me to write “Runaway Housewives.” The lyrics had Cherie asking, “Will they be in Baltimore?”

The Rooters had a great single out, "Ultraman in Surf Villa," (b/w the then-topical "TMI" - for Three Mile Island) which came on red vinyl. Reesa notes in her journal that she met Edith Massey at the Marble and sold copies of the single to the Egg Lady to sell at Edie's store in Fells Point. She also noted that: "At every show, I would see at least one guy in the crowd who resembled the punk-cartoon Ultraman drawn on the record sleeve by our friend, Debbie. In Baltimore, a young man who identified himself as Adolf Kowalski fit the bill. He attended all our Marble shows, and at one, his group, Thee Katatonix, also performed." Adolf and Reesa got along very well.

At another show, student Joe Clem asked Reesa to record a music video at Dundalk Community College. When the Rooters played the Marble in August 1981, they stayed overnight to do a live taping at DCC, as shown below:

Reesa & The Rooters - TMI (3:17):

Reesa & The Rooters - Vix Bidet Party (2:53):

Reesa & The Rooters - Nervous Breakdown (3:56):

BAUHAUS (November 1982):
Going for a bit of the Factory Records drab minimalism in this one.

999/ORIGINAL FETISH (April 1980):
999 - the band wot did "Homicide" - plays Bodymore, the city that made Homicide (and homicides) famous. I liked Original Fetish; before the Slickees took over, they were the DC band at the Marble. Singer Oxy Scrubbs had a (big) presence and I loved their singles "I Want To Be Gay," and "Studio 54."

HUEY LEWIS/GONG (September 1980):
Great shows. One big, one small. I was a big Gong freak in those days, but never heard of this Huey Lewis guy, who back then wasn't even hip enough to be square. LesLee Anderson loved him though, and recalled in a City Paper article on the Marble Bar that "About 12 people paid a $4 cover to see them on a Tuesday night. But I want to tell you, they played like they were in a stadium." I actually pissed next to Huey in the Marble's ramshackle bathroom, so I got to see The News up close and personal. (I remember I used the toilet and Huey relieved himself in the sink - guess he had to go!) Also in the bathroom that night was my Katatonix bandmate Adolf Kowalski, who had a more memorable encounter with Huey. In that same article ("Glory Hole," 12/6/2000), Kowalski told the City Paper "I was in the bathroom smoking dope or something and writing on the wall HUEY LEWIS SUCKS when in walks Huey Lewis. I just brought my hand down and said, 'Hey, how ya doin?' and gave him a Katatonix button, which he put on his coat."

I HATE 98 ROCK CONCERT (September 1983):
98 Crock was and is the enemy of all good taste. A noble cause, this concert.

CHURCH OF THE SUB-GENIUS (September 1983):
Another great cause was being celebrated upstairs from the Marble in September 1983: a Galaxy Ballroom service for J. R. Dobbs and his Sub-Gs, probably sponsored by The Jockee Clubbe.

I like this one with xeroxes of buttons like the kind we used to buy at Lookinglass.

This one hails the fact that "the Marble's getting a new air conditioner. God bless America!"

This one's pretty slick. Must have been produced by this DC band themselves. I'm pretty sure we (Thee Katatonix) played with them at Oddfellows Hall in Towson, too.

This show featuring Residents guitarist Snakefinger was pretty wild, plus Snake showed those weird-with-a-beard Residents music videos. Snakefinger had gone solo and released his one-of-a-kind cover of The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" around this time. A cover like no other - I remember plopping that 45 on my stereo and not being sure exactly what speed to play it (45? 33? 78?) - it never sounded remotely "normal"!

More nice futuristic artwork at the top of this one by George Wilcox (makes me think of that Gentle Giant album with the big troll head on the cover). I see Thee Katatonix had worked their way up to having a regular Wednesday night slot, the Alcoholics had dibs on Thursdays, while Rude Shoes (an early collaboration between future Mambo Combo and Shameless Mooks bandmates bassist Beefalo Bob Friedman and drummer Hoppy Hopkins, formerly of Da Moronics) ruled the Sundays.

Sunday May 30 was the infamous Flock of Seagulls show. The Seagulls reportedly didn't didn't think too highly of the Marble Bar, as Tom Cohan recounted to the City Paper: "Their manager came in and said they weren't coming off the bus-- the sound system was terrible, and they thought the place was a hole...[Marble Bar owner] Roger [Anderson] got in this guy's face and started screaming, 'You better hold up to your contract, or you can get your asses back to England.'" CP scribe Brennen Jensen added, "A cowed gaggle of Gulls eventually took the stage. (Postscript: Years later, a fading, feather-bedraggled Flock played the Barn on Harford Road.)"

The note at the end reminds readers that the pride of Derry, Northern Ireland, The Undertones were coming in September 1981. I love the Undertones but can't remember if I went to that show. I must have! What else could be more important? (Oh yeah, I was in Law School. Bad idea, that.)

MARBLE BAR CALENDAR (April-May-June 1981):
Love the Krazy Kat drawing! Many big shows listed, including NRBQ, Psychedelic Furs, 999, Dead Kennedys and Gong.

The President and The King!

MARBLE BAR CALENDAR (September 1980):
Chick Veditz of Mt. Washington's Chick's Legendary Records was an early champion of the local music scene - especially his good buds The Slickee Boys - and it was only fitting that he got his own night there. Every Thursdays Chick played tunes and girls got in free. Cheep cheep!

Far-out, man. the Kats go psychedelic.

Hot as hell at the Marble this night.

As Scott Williams recalled, in a December 2000 letter to the Baltimore City Paper about Brennen Jensen's Marble Bar article "Glory Hole": "Holdsworth's bass player announced after a 30-minute delay that due to the lousy sound system they'd be coming on in a moment, but, 'We're never going to play this scumbag hole again.' The place just erupted with cheers."

Marble Bar Band Links:
DC and Surrounds Bands
Black Market Baby
Chelsea Graveyard
Thee Katatonix
Thee Katatonix Videos on YouTube
Mambo Combo/Rude Shoes
RBT (MySpace)
Reesa & The Rooters (Relive the 80s)
Reesa & The Rooters (Terminal! Mag, Nov. 1980)
Reesa's Marble Bar Journal
Reesa & The Rooters Videos on YouTube
Moronics singer Bill Morierty's Poetry
Slickee Boys (Twin/Tone Records)
Slickee Boys (Wikipedia)
Slickee Boys (Ear Candy Mag)
"Suburban Wives Club Can't Be Beat" (City Paper 1985)
Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital (Mark Jenkins & Mark Anderson)

Related Marble Bar Links:
"Glory Hole" (City Paper retrospective)
Marble Bar Documentary (Richard Taylor)