Always Ready, Ever Stalwart! AKA we played the Cactus Club! 


Fill your Hands!

Fill your Hands!

I just got home and boy does my back and right knee hurt. But we’ll get to that later!

Tonight we played the Cactus Club in Bay View. I personally have great memories of seeing some of my favorite bands play here including Northless and IfIHadAHiFi as well as some great touring acts. The venue itself has played host to influential acts like The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age. So when we were asked to participate in a show by our friends Elusive Parallelograms we jumped at the chance. We’re always looking to play new spots and we’re always hoping to impress or at the very least surprise someone and gain a new fan.

To help us achieve this we brought in some heavy hitters. Mike Ritter and Kevin Christensen who we all know from Dead Man’s Carnival. Kevin plays percussion with The Extra Crispy Brass Band and Mike has been in the Jazz scene in Milwaukee for a while now. Needless to say we had some of the best with us and they made us sound great. We actually got compliments from our sound check! It may have been our finest hour but don’t quote me on that.  And all this on the tails of just ONE practice the day of the show. Granted Mike and Kevin listen to our songs and had played with us a bit during the February edition of Dead Man’s Carnival on NTSC’s solo song Porno Polka and on a freestyle with Spade One and the song Sausage Fest.

To say we had a good time playing with them at Cactus Club is an understatement. The level of class and professionalism exhibited by both was to say the least exemplary. Which only served to contrast what happened later that evening all the more. Oh no this isn’t a blog rant about Crown Larks who drove up from Chicago and played a great set. Nor is it about Slow Walker, who got the house lights to ‘twerk’ if you will. And it is definitely not about our friends Elusive Parallelograms (who, incidentally, employed the skills of DJ from IfIHadAHifi on drums this particular evening). Nope not about that.

Some guy and his buddy decided to have a two man mosh pit during the 2nd to last song of the night. Then when he got up and tried to molest a friend of mine/fight-dance with her….he was rebuffed. Note to dudes: aggressive dancing is still aggressive before it is seen as dancing. So my friend, who I’ve met only a few times decided to come stand next to me. Now, I am the Brumeister. I’m 6’4″ (taller than Nick V. 4 Life) and I have at times approach three bills. I’m just not the sort of guy you’d think, “hey there’s a guy to engage in a physical confrontation”.

Before I go too far I should tell you many years ago I was a peon for a large corporate venue here in Milwaukee. While I was assembling light cubes for Hannah Montana (yeah I know) I tore a disc in my back and it leaked fluid onto my sciatic nerve. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. Since then the discs in my back will just pop out whenever they want. It seemingly has nothing to do with anything. This past week had been one of those weeks where I couldn’t event bend to tie my shoes. Standing up in the morning requires Xtreme grunts of agony mingled with regret of a wasted youth. You might say, hey that’s a lot of information to give out about yourself. What if someone tried to use it against you? Well here’s why:

So in this story I am not 100%, Hell I’m not even “mobile” in the truest sense of the word. I can’t bend down to tie my shoes. And so this guy’s male psyche has been touched off by a combination of booze, aggression and rejection. He wants to tangle with someone. His buddy tires out and Suddenly! He’s on my legs trying to take me down. For a moment I was like “Hey buddy!” but then I felt him twisting my knee to get me down. That’s when I realized this wasn’t a fun time happening but a guy looking to let of real steam. I had time to hand my beer off to my friend and then I was down wrestling this drunk. I credit years of watching pro-wrestling and my time in Judo under Sensei Sanfillipo. The guy never had control of me and I spun around until I was in a full mount sitting on top of his stomach. If I’d wanted to, and believe me the thought was there, I could have pummeled this guy’s face. Instead, and I have witnesses, I asked for my watch and my beer and my hat. I got them all back then I got up. Slowly, because my back hurt.

But the knobshine wouldn’t stop! He started fucking with my shoelaces. And I thought he was trying to tie my shoe for me but he ended up trying to pull my other leg out from under me! One thing led to another and I grabbed him by his collar and started dragging him to the door letting all his friends know that he had to leave. A knot of people started to form around this guy and we got him to the bar area when he started to go wild again. I’d had enough and I grabbed one arm that was out, his right, and put the point of pressure on my chest as I slid my left arm around his neck and applied pressure to his neck. If I couldn’t choke him from this position I figured I could easily apply a cross face chickenwing. The only problem my back was too messed up to apply the torque needed to make it work. Thankfully, his friends rushed in to take him out.

All this on my “night off” of security. As I type this before I pass out I know both my knees will bruise and I’ve aggravated a sprain in my wrist from a slip on the ice. My back is still not healed and it may be worse. I have a poetry reading to host tomorrow at 2pm (you want to be nice and cordial when hosting poetry reading and bad backs don’t make that easy) and a Heavy Metal show where I get to be security. And yet this was one of our best shows to date. GO FIGURE!