Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Cactus Club

Morning in a Motel Six just NW of Milwaukee, first thing in the morning now so this may only make a little sense. The Cactus Club has rebuilt it music room, torn out walls and ceilings, built a big, tall, professional-looking stage, the kind with big speakers built-in - it's all very professional-looking, where it used to be just bands playing on a floor, then bands playing on a tiny little riser in the corner. I have to say, I prefer the new way to the old way.

And is it this new way that brings all the rocker kids out? Is it Dianogah? Or some magical ingredient we're all dying to know? At any rate, the place was packed with rocker kids, pretty girls, older long-haired leather rockers, guys with hats, wierd hair, etc. It was very smoky in the bar and I was tired, so tired! But still it was a good night, we ate the club's funny little pizzas, drank drinks, watched the rockers appear. They looked like the guys in The Strokes! And their girlfriends! It was quite a scene.

The first band played, three young strokes-like guys, sounding like Alien Ant Farm or maybe it was just that big fancy bass. I saw them and thought, huge! They should be huge! They have their finger on the pulse, these young guys. We're far too old and funny-looking to be anything like the strokes, but these young guys, they can do anything!

I did not mention how cold it is in the out-of-doors. Cold! Cold enough to die! Loading in was terrifying! Loading out was somehow not as bad, but still, it's cold. We pulled in and I thought, is this some sort of "Xtreme Rock Tour" reality show? Why are we driving around in such adverse conditions? Why not wait until April?

But it was warm in the club when Dianogah played, so we stayed inside. It's fun touring with Dianogah. We played maybe two weeks with them quite a few years back? Three weeks? One week? I don't know, I don't know. But that was fun, and now it's more fun - I like them and I like their music. I watch them and I think, huge! They should be huge! They sound like Alien Ant Farm.

We played our rock show and - and I like that stage. It's a perfect size for three people, you're packed together in a comfortable way, all the amps are blasting right in your ear, it's fun. All the other bands played for about three hours apiece, so we could only play about five songs, but still it was fun, we played alright. We played alright, then we stopped! And socialized! It's so nice, touring with folks you like to socialize with.

But socializing only lasts so long, and at some point I wandered back to the bar. What a bar! What the fuck happens when the Strokes kids get drunk? The Cactus turns into some kind of climbing-on-the-bar, beefcake-dancin karaoke joint! Every new rock song that comes on the jukebox brings more of the rockers up onto the bar, rubbing against each other like penguins, touching each other, the ceiling, breaking bottles and lights and - and the hearts of all the little rocker girls! It was rock-rock-rockin!

Tonight in Minneapolis. There they get you drunk. This will be fun, I'm sure of it.

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