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Atomic Chakra

January 29, 2009

My favorite nights when we play at Lincoln’s are the ones where there’s either:

A) a beautiful, warm night with tons of people and amazing, talented musicians and everybody’s getting drunk and having a good time,


B) a bitter cold winter night when nearly nobody shows up and the few weirdos who have the courage to creep out of the woodwork come in and all twelve of us are getting drunk and having a good time.  (Put Atomic Drawers primarily into the second category.) 

The latter was the case last night at Lincoln’s.  The crowd was sparse but enthusiastic, the talent level was truly all over the board, and one singular personality changed the complexion of the evening with her completely deranged, take-no-prisoners hippie performance art. 

Our set was pretty fun and much tighter than I expected.  I thought we’d bomb (I always think we’re going to bomb) but it came together pretty well, with a tender, romantic song about a guy drowning his girlfriend called A Good Idea, Billy’s Patio Song, then I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (a nod to our one-year anniversary of playing at Lincoln’s), followed by Where is My Mind.   

We then announced to the crowd that we’d be playing Pussywhipped every single time we take the stage until Dash Rip Rock schedules a Denver show; however, I was kinda bored with the song before we even finished it, I mean fuck, we play it all the time, so I don’t know if that pledge is going to hold up.  Maybe we’ll play a different Dash song every week, or a cover that Dash also does, or a song that kinda sounds like Dash, or a song that we think Dash should cover, or a song that reminds us of Dash, etc….

On to the the Main Event:  An older lady with a, uh, rather distinguished face and spastically wiry hair, sporting a long mohair-ish coat (I think–I’m really not sure what the thing was made out of, maybe discarded toupees?) with flourescent ribbons all over it, had been at the bar all evening.  She initially had waved her arms about rhythmically and spun around in widening circles during John’s opening set, all the while shaking ceramic fruit-shaped maracas.  Bananas, apples, you name it.  She was especially giddy and animated during Good Lovin’.

After John’s set, she then left for a few minutes and returned with her whole arsenal:

1 tamborine

1 bright-blue medium classical acoustic guitar

1 medium conga

1 three-foot rainstick

Various and sundry additional music-making miscellanea.

Oh, the rainstick–Atomic SuperFan Kelley, while doing spinning leg kicks during our set, knocked a drink straight into the rainstick.  Hilarity ensued when Kelley tried to clean up her mess and dry off the rainstick.  The rainstick appeared to have suffered no permanent damage, although there were a few tense moments.

So the hippie chick gets on stage.  She’s flanked by a lady with a pink headband and a gigantic stand-up bass to her right and another lady with a briefcase full of harmonicas to her left.  Let the performance begin!

I’m no poet, nor do pretend to have any true apprecation for the form (that’s a lie, but the truth is not important to the story); however, in her first number, I did hear a few references to rainbows and numerous references to spirits, and quite possibly some bird sounds, perhaps an eagle or a Phoenix.  She recited as she hit the bongos and spun the rainstick.  The big bass meandered.  The harmonica filled the space with, well, harmonica sounds. I couldn’t really discern a rhythm, but I think that’s because I’m not nearly in touch enough with my inner Chakra.  

The effect was quite hypnotic for our table.  Bicycle David, 80’s Alternative Guru Stephen, Band Mom Michelle (I’ll quit smoking when it’s time for me to quit smoking, but thanks) Crazy Kelley, Billy and I were taken aback at first, but towards the end of this opening poem, we were won over by the performance and clearly on her side, over the din of the angry young gentlemen sitting in back at the bar screaming, “JESUS!  YOU SUCK!!!”

We applauded enthusiastically and it bolstered the lady’s confidence.  She started into her second poem, guitar in hand, again speaking about spirits and rainbows and beatniks with the backbeat of dadaist bass and harmonica when suddenly,


I went outside for a smoke.  I was fucking sick of it. 


I think they were offstage by the time I came back, but I wasn’t really paying attention at that point.

Thanks to the aforementioned folks for coming out to see us this week!  We truly appreciate it, especially on such a cold and windy January evening.  I can’t believe it’s been a year since we started playing to live audiences, friends, and whoever else will listen.  Also we can’t give enough praise to John for organizing and Chris and Rebecca for the unmatched mad bar skillz that they possess. 

Best bar in Denver, hands down.   

Oh–my new guitar has a name.  Loud?  Check.  Blonde?  Check.  Ladies and Gentleman, this is my new guitar, Crazy Kelley.  Crazy Kelley, these are the blog readers. 

See y’all next week.


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