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the reunion, pt. II
05 June, 2009: [155/365], 18:25.36 [Friday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

A hauntingly familiar screech of feedback streaked through the air, followed by more electrical squealing and buzzing, though less intense, as the speakers from which they were born had seen better days—back in the era of disco. The sound tech hobbled onstage to test the lone mic, whose cord was frayed and just another element of the elaborate fire hazard in which we’d be trapped this evening. “Uhnng, ch-check, check one, chehhhhhh…” The poor sap couldn’t even finish the sound check before passing out. His eyes were black from burst vessels and crusts of dried blood could be found under his nose and on his upper lip. This, I thought to myself, could either be the greatest show I’d ever seen in my life, or the one that would finally put Skid Viscous in a federal prison. I was betting on the latter, of course.

Unfortunately, if there was going to be a pyrotechnic disaster (which, by this point, was simply an inevitability), I would have a great deal of difficulty escaping for my life. The foundry was packed well beyond capacity, and on top of that, many of the windows and doors were barricaded shut. How Vert12 managed to snag a permit to play at a condemned building was far beyond my investigative grasp. Also unfortunate was the realization that I was most likely the only one to notice this.

It wasn’t an earth-shaking revelation, since the vast majority of the crowd was made up of shiftless young adults freshly dropped out of their unaccredited technical schools, VCR repair too advanced for them to understand. Many of these guys appeared to be part of an honest-to-god movement to revive the mullet as an unironic, legitimate hairstyle for the masses; other demographics were represented, if marginally: bros, stoners, and the “trenchcoat” crowd which I’d believed to have gone extinct six years ago. Among them was the occasional spineless, irresponsible mother or father who had been coerced into providing a ride. Noticeably absent was the untapped demographic of women aged 18 to 36. Noticeable, but not shocking.

Finally, another forty-five minutes after the sound tech was dragged offstage by Okemah paramedics, a lanky man appearing to be in his late thirties emerged. He was disturbingly thin, and his embarrassing make-up clown mask couldn’t hide the sagging skin, wrinkles, and pock marks marring his face. Despite his visible ribs, he carried a worrisome gut, indicating a heart condition just waiting to manifest at the most inopportune time. It was when he introduced himself as “Skidzz tha MurdaMasta” that I finally recognized him as Skid Viscous, and my stomach turned at the sight of him. He had aged sixteen years in only four.

My stomach turned again when it came to me what Skidzz was trying to offer. Vertigo12, while completely forgettable in their previous incarnation as a scum-metal band, was announcing its new packaging as a gangsta-punk-masked metal clowncore outfit, resembling a certain greasepainted duo from Detroit.

To be continued.

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