The Spin arrived for night two of Blue Raider Alumni Weekend at the Mercy lounge still shocked that Lake Fever impresario and Out of the Blue lead guitarist John Baldwin had been seen without a pompadour. Last time we saw the boy, he looked like Morrissey and now he looked like Mr. Brady --it's amazing how the January death of "World's Most Badass Barber," Leonard Maynor, has sent shockwaves through the music community. Our pea-sized brains were still so overwhelmed that we were standing in line next to Richie Ghostfinger for a good five minutes before we recognized him --sans moustache! Minds. Officially. Blown. Seriously, folks, between the death of Michael Jackson, Baldwin's mini fro and Richie's freshly shorn upper lip, our entire world has been turned upside down.
Luckily for us, there was plenty of booze and rock 'n' roll upstairs just waiting to make everything OK. We arrived on the top floor of the Cannery building to find a packed house--any hope we may have had to not sweat our ill-defined genitalia off was quickly dashed. The Black Lips brought a crowd of rabble rousers out for the festivities, with keffiyeh-adorned hipsters crowd-surfing without irony at one point in the set. More importantly, though, the Lips made a perfect soundtrack for the veritable class reunion on the back porch. We saw Velcro Stars Keith Prat and Shane Spresser, Joey, Kelly, Bingham and Eric from Glossary, and a bunch Southern Girls Rock 'n' Roll Campers from way back --kinda like a Sir Pizza staff meeting except nobody smelled like sausage. And it was great to see everyone supporting their friends, even if we heard some grumblings of crab-ass bullshit through out the night. (Of course it wouldn't be Nashville if somebody wasn't complaining about some other band's success.)
Crustacean-influenced behavior aside, most of the crowd were ready rock the fuck out --including one very genteel-looking, very hammered yuppie girl that kept slapping our collective ass every time Those Darlins started a verse. Eventually, she bought us a drink, though usually we prefer booze first and the ass-slapping from a total stranger second --call us old fashioned, but that's how we roll. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say that Those Darlins spanked the crowd the way that lady spanked us. From their badass cover of the Sonics' "The Witch," to the chicken-shaped pinata during "The Whole Damn Thing," the Darlins were cranked up to eleven and the crowd was with them every inch of the way. The hipsters were on a rampage, as evidenced by the 29-and-a-half cases of PBR that bartender Drew Mischke reports passing over the bar. Yep, those kids went and drank the whole damn thing.