Cowboys & Aliens

Greetings, Earthlings! It's The Unvarnished Truth here.... your spaceblog to the stars!! And since there are no stars in the blog this time, you'll have to settle for the homegrown, celebrity snake oil charm of your ol' Sawbones. I KNOW! Good deal, right?

Over the May 2nd weekend, I'd read in our local newspaper, the Dustbowl Picayune, that we were to perform that very Saturday at the Calgary International Beerfest. Panic is a great motivator, so I dusted off my hat, pressed my coattails and we were off to The Town Of Cows.



Fuzzy Math & Lizard Tears


This is one of those gigs where the "normal" way of doing things doesn't apply. We were to play three small sets on a coaster-sized stage in a giant hall with beer tents for neighbors and hour and a half breaks in between. It's an interesting formula: band plus booze plus time equals.... well, you do the math.

Our stage was sponsored by Mill Street Brewery. This meant free brewskis whenever we wanted. The danger here is not the stereotype musicians getting too pissed up to play and thereby making asses of ourselves. Au contraire. It's actually more like being too logy to perform, as the effects of daytime beer are wont. But this wasn't our first barley rodeo, as your Punch Drunk heroes are veterans of dealing with such sudsy "adversity". Life is hard, innit?

And to further your crocodile tears over our hardship, we were also provided delicious comestibles from Ed's, a popular Calgary eatery. Once again, we wouldn't dare let this handicap affect our performance. That would be a slap in the face to the patrons who enjoyed our music and bought our merchandise.... not to mention just plain gauche. We're anything but in bad taste!


Mark from Mill Street Brewery and lovely (& PDC tatted!) Ed's staff... fine and foolishly generous folks



The Black Swede Returneth (With A Vengeanth)


A welcome return to the fold was our good pal and road manager, Jeff Nyback, who, for the last year, was knocking on death's door. Death couldn't be bothered so Jeff got better and joined us for this gig. He brought the usual display of good humor and professionalism, not to mention his infamous sidekick, Flasky! Ahhh.... all was well in the PDC world. 


Jeff with aliens                              Jeff alienating Sawbones



Kooky Kalgary Karakhters


At events like this, one is always amazed by the breadth of interesting people one meets. Like The Iceman. He delivers ice. Yup. But with an ever-present smile and quick business card. Or how about our Kazakh/Korean soundman, Mikhail? Dude has a wicked Russian accent and even speaks German to boot. To paraphrase USA For Africa, He is The World!


Sawbones and The Iceman                                       Mikhail (Mike), the production polyglot and the unilingual me



Exhausted Captain (But Not For What You Think.... Or Maybe It Is)


The award for going above & beyond the call of rock 'n' roll duty goes to our own beloved stand-up skinsman, Cap't Sean E. Watts. He not only played with the requisite energy needed for a typical Punch Drunk Cabaret performance with little sleep, but also had a show that night in Calgary with another act. All I can say is his wife must be pleased with the man's stamina.


Goggle-absconding cutie                                              Bird's eye view of Bandmeister/Cap't pre-show pow-wow





The show itself was surprisingly not affected by all the potential monkeyshine. In fact, with each raucous set came an incremental excitement that peaked in set three with a giant crowd surrounding our humble stage cheering us on with drunken delight. And though they didn't come to see us per se, people were actually loose enough to dance, much to our drunken delight!


PDC doing what we do best in spite of our liquid handicap              Bandmeister shamelessly plugging our wares



Phrases Overheard at The Calgary Int'l Beerfest


 - "endless trim"

 - "oh my god, the trim"

 - "hey check out that trim"

 - "what's trim?"

 - "shut up, Sawbones" 





Thanks be to Mark & Tom from Mill Street Brewery for treating us like the poor, thirsty musicians we are. Also to Ed's Calgary (Patrick and lovely staff) for treating us like the poor, starving musicians we are. And Kazakh Mike for sound sound.


And that's the unvarnished truth.