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2 Live Drawers

April 3, 2009
Banned in the U.S.A.

Banned in the U.S.A.


We at Atomic Drawers have set many goals for ourselves and our band, and while #1 Opening for Somebody Famous and #5 Getting Paid US Dollars for a Gig are far up the list, a lesser known aspiration (#7) is for the Atomic Drawers to be the 2 Live Crew of Acoustic Folk Rockabilly bands. 

We moved closer to #7’s reality on snowy Wednesday evening at Lincoln’s Roadhouse this week.  We’ll not name names or point fingers for the sake of general happiness, but we were told by a person of authority that (and I’m paraphrasing here) our stage performance is too ribald for his taste and that we needed to “…tone it down.” After a heated conversation in which threats were made on both sides (no, Billy, we’ll not be crushing any skulls on the concrete), apologies were made and everything breezed back into normalcy.  What we can take away from the episode is this:  Atomic Drawers has managed to truly offend somebody and have them call us out on it.  We knew we were capable, we just didn’t know we’d move towards #7 dream reality this early in our flegdling career.

After threatening to walk out, then calming down, then practicing and scratching one song, then Billy talking me into not leaving because it all just felt like bullshit, we took the stage at around 9:00, with, MUCH to our surprise, the extremely talented and cool Mark on mandolin and Young Aaron on bass.  After a short a capella chorus of “Banned in the USAenriched with some choice commentary about the earlier blow-up, I warmed up with the first few chords of Where is My Mind, which we hadn’t planned on playing.  The Aaron looked over and said, “I love that song.”  So, we played it.  I was sloppy, but Billy, Mark, and Aaron and were outstanding. 

Next we did I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.  It’s usually an easy three-chord song that I strum through while Billy sings and plays lead.  Add in an accomplished bass player and an outstanding Mandolinist, and it becomes something else.  Aaron kept us in rhythm while Billy and Mark traded leads, played leads together, and just about blew the goddamned roof off of the Roadhouse.  We played and played, and for the first time ever, a guy in attendance later told me, “I didn’t want that song to end.”  I don’t know that we’ve ever gotten that feeling on stage.  And all without any curse words.

Next we were joined by Lance on the washboard and did a full-bore T-shirt (plenty of curse words)  and finished up with a new thing we’ve been working on.  We said we’d play Pussywhipped until Dash Rip Rock comes to Colorado, but it does get kinda old.  So, we decided to strum the chords to Freebird and sing the words to Pussywhipped over that.  We call it FreeWhippedBirdPussy.  It was all over the place and made very little, if any, sense.  I heard the following comments about the arrangement afterwards:

“That was the worst shit you’ve ever played.  Like cats on a chalkboard.  Never, ever do that again.”

“Dude that shit rocked!  Y’all should play THAT every week!”

I’m not sure what it all means.

I do know that with Aaron, Mark, and Lance, we had a LOT of fun. Thanks to John from Acoustic Music Revival for hosting the festivities.

Thanks Stephen, Steve, Kelly, Michelle, and Lindsay for coming out on a nasty night!  We would suck even worse if not for our dedicated friends.  Thanks Jenny for Managing!  We’re playdough in your hands.

Thanks to everybody at Lincolns–JimBob for having us (and the free hat and t-shirt!  Hellyeah!), Lance for buying (then accompanying), Chris for pouring, and Lisa for serving and for being a Pixies fan. 

Rebecca, we hope you feel better!

Until next time, thank you for ____ing at the ____shop.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Johnny B. permalink
    April 3, 2009 10:52 pm

    Joe and Billy…

    Two of my favorite music friends I know… and sorry I missed your performance last Wednesday! Plan on being there again come this coming. Fact of the matter is is that a FANTASTIC new woman has come into my life and last Wednesday just didn’t “fit” for that night.

    Best Wishes to you Both,


  2. July 5, 2009 8:33 pm

    I am webly challenged. i finally had the time to read your (our)webb stuff. I know we had our band contractual differences. I had heard that you were seeking knew representation, but this? I have been replaced by Jenny? that attention, only for herself profit seeking narsacistic (sp?) band grubbing….ladaladalada…she has been playing nice with me since we met only to steal my profits from the band’s success? it’s like i can’t trust anyone…..
    The bands unavoidable success being semi- realistic…and after seeinig your fan recognishion at the rocks, I am now willing to discuss a new contract with new percentages.
    Gentleman, let’s talk.

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