Friday, October 9, 2009

Ghostland Observatory and Southern Comfort...? It Somehow Made Sense Tonight

I remember where I drank the Southern Comfort, but I don't remember where I was when I barfed it back up. It was junior year in college, the year everything was hilarious. A few of us, I'm sure Sarah included, were over at Debbie and Jennifer's apartment, and for some reason we were drinking Southern Comfort. That's where it started. Where it finished, I don't know, but I'll assume a toilet in a dorm somewhere in Beloit, Wisconsin. Classy times.

I have had a few tastes of Southern Comfort since then, but it's never really sat well with me; not in my stomach, and not in my mouth. I don't like the taste, even when masked by lime or sweet tea or coke or a bitters in a Manhattan. I just don't like it. What I do like, however, is everything else about the company. Southern Comfort (minus the taste of their product) rules!!!

No, this isn't my new corporate sponsor...I'm not that famous! Yet... Really though, I'm just being honest. Southern Comfort has the most ridiculous, generous promotions ever. I've been to three concerts put on by them in the past few years, and they do it up. The first year they brought The Flaming Lips to Willow Island in Madison, and the second year (last summer) they did a festival with The Black Keys, GZA, and The Roots. Both events were free and included plenty of free beads and posters and other "swag," as those in the industry might say. So, needless to say, I got excited when I saw there was another Southern Comfort show coming up; especially since one of my favorite bands, Ghostland Observatory, would be playing.

Contrary to my previous SoCo-related experience and knowledge, this was not a free show with beads. This was much, much more, my friends. Not only was the show free, but each person was handed two free drink tickets as they entered the venue. There was a little table where a girl was handing out shots of Southern Comfort (also free), plenty of posters and cds being handed out, also for free, and, of course, beads. Oh, and then! Then...I saw in the distance a table piled high with...SANDWICHES. No, I'm serious! They had four varieties of sandwiches sitting on a table for all the world to eat. And these were no weak, crappy sandwiches, man; these were made on a beautiful, thick, multigrain bread with fresh tomato and lettuce atop deli turkey, roast beef, or ham - plus a veggie option. And you could have as many as you wanted! Finally, somebody got it right. Why can't there be sandwiches at every show? Thank you, Southern Comfort.

Almost as important as the sandwiches was the music. DJ Lord, previously of Public Enemy, opened the night with a crazy-energetic two hour long set. He played a ton of old school hip hop which was fantastically threaded together. It seemed effortless to him. At some point, he changed the mood of the music by playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Sweet Child of Mine," "Enter Sandman," "Girls" by the Beastie Boys, and a couple of others along those lines. Genia commented on how he must have been playing to all the white people in the audience. Hahaha! Oh Genia, you slay me.

Taken from me blackberry...

DJ Lord finished his set with an insane few moments of "It Takes Two." His moves were like the effing 1991 Chicago Bulls; smooth, sophisticated, sharp, and occasionally, behind the back. He was like a well-oiled-one-man-machine. Or something. That's just what it said in my head...I don't know. Whatever, DJ Lord did it up.

When Ghostland Observatory came on stage, the room filled with multi-colored lasers and bass that I felt in my heart. Physically. I will absolutely not do Ghostland justice by trying to describe what happened. Seriously, I'm not even going to try. I can say that both Mike and I agreed that we were happy to be sober. I felt that way because I knew it was purely the music that was leaving me speechless and practically breathless. And dudes. They covered Prince. They did "Nothing Compares 2 U," which was unbelievably beautiful. That was followed by a quick, staccato "Erotic City" - fantastic. The last one they did was "Darling Nikki," which was thrilling to me at first, but later made me feel incredibly uneasy. I mentioned to Genia that it was sort of scary, to which she agreed. Nevertheless, when music has that much of an affect on you, whether positive, negative, or, well...scary, that's some powerful stuff there.

Note: I did not take any of these pictures. Good job, everybody else.

It's no easy feat to bring together and thoroughly entertain the diverse population of Madison: frat boys, hipster hairdressers, stoners, rainbow hulahoopers, and piano teachers wearing mom clothes because they just got off work and didn't have time to go home. But Ghostland did it. We all danced hard under those lasers, transfixed on one of the most brilliant frontmen I've ever seen. This man is Perry Ferrell rolled up in Prince and Freddie Mercury with a side of Dio. Plus about a zillion other geniuses. And, on top of it all, he's the sexiest dancer you'll ever see. Shakira wishes she could move her hips like this. His gyrations, marches, prances, and leaps made him look like a genius ballet dancer who was rejected from Julliard by professors who just didn't realize he was ahead of his time. Sucks to you, Julliard, now he's in the Ghostland Observatory. And he's taking over bits of the world, one at a time.

Huge, gigantic thank you to Christopher who introduced me to this band a little while back. (Holy eff, I just got a reminder from one Mr. Kaleb about how he included a Ghostland track on a mix cd years ago! Thanks, Kaleb, and my sincerest apologies for not knowing what's cool. Damn.) And also, I guess, thanks to Southern Comfort. Even though your booze tastes like ass a little bit, I really do appreciate your marketing efforts. Like, really a ton. I'll continue coming to your shows to receive free stuff and watch brilliant music, as long as you keep providing me with these opportunities. That's fair, right?

Oh dudes, one more thing. The other guy in the band wears a cape. He sort of flips it back behind him when he sits down at the drumset. Dreamy, huh?

Now, go ahead and watch some of this. And we'll talk soon, and I'll have nothing to say because I'm still in awe. Go ahead.


valerie said...

i have a couple of ghostland observatory tracks in my itunes, and i renamed the genre "a robot making love to a tree" because they describe themselves as such. it's pretty perfect. i should have gone to this show. i am so stuuuuupid.

jx said...

oh, it WAS such a dreamy time.

i thought the soco part was overly pushy and creepy, though. it grossed me out a lot.

the sandwiches were stellar, yes. and cool of them to pay cab fare home.

nicely written, reem. it was so amazing that i don't think i can even talk about it. words just do not come.

hairdressers? haha!

Reem Tara said...

Jess, you didn't think Southern Comfort was absolutely amazing?? You didn't love every single little thing like I did? =) I'm being sorta sarcastic. The corporate shit is always creepy, especially at this moment when DJ Lord was playing and this giant SoCo-emblazoned backdrop lit up behind him...yes, weird. I guess sandwiches is pretty much how you win me over these days...

I didn't mention this (again, because I had no words to describe), but your dancing/imitating the dancing on stage was another one of my favorite parts of the night. I mean, I just couldn't even attempt to describe that one...

SophisticatedBrew said...

Sounds lovely! Not the memory of barfing up Soco though. It's funny, I don't really remember ever drinking SoCo, but I'm sure I did, and I'm sure I barfed. However, a free show, shots, and sandwiches? Hello! I don't know this band, but now I am curious. Sounds like a good night.

Sara Ashes said...

very well done, sissy! it made me go look to see when they might be coming to Atlanta- sadly i will not be in town. but i really loved your description of him in particular. i love when true rock stardom happens before our eyes. its may favorite thing ever. i saw it last week with the Dead Weather- that Allison is something else.

jx said...

oh my EFFING god, reem! inEFFINGcredible, reem.

i was pining for aaron's sexiness and the overall laser awesomeness tonight so i was looking up videos on youtube, as lasers and this sexy man are kind of new obsessions of mine. i then recalled that i had never watched the video clip you put on here so i came back to check it out. i cannot believe that clip!!! i've watched tens of clips on youtube and you, my friend, found THE most amazing, mindblowing one ever. i will always watch every video you ever post and trust your taste and judgment henceforth. always and forever. you must have watched many many videos to come across this rare gem and i thank you for your perseverance. this video displayed like, his full repertoire of hot moves (i'm tempted to spell hot with two t's even). if i were a cartoon robot, smoke would be shooting out of my ears and my eyes would be all googly with my heart popping out of my chest boinging off a springy coil. since i'm human, however, i'm only internally on overload and am able to keep it relatively contained. but man, it's there. it's alllll stirred up.

this is beautiful reem. thank you so much.

jasonk said...

just had the same experience in Orlando Thursday night. Amazing. Just downloaded the show too.