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Rockin’ at the Strip Mall
February 6, 2003 — 2:03 am

Tuesday night I went down to Springfield, VA, to see a Chris Connelly show with Jon, a friend from BYU. Surprisingly, Connelly wasn’t the headliner (he played third out of four acts), despite being the only guy onstage that night I’d ever heard of. I only really knew him from a CD he made with Bill Rieflin, even though he’s worked with several bands I’ve heard of, like Ministry, Pigface & The Revolting Cocks. And I only really know of Bill Rieflin because he recorded two CDs with Robert Fripp & Trey Gunn and is involved with Guitar Craft.

The whole show was pretty good, particularly Connelly, who has a very Bowiesque voice complemented with just his simple but powerful rhythm guitar accompaniment. I bought a few of his CDs while I was there. The opening and closing bands (Ego Likeness & Voodou) were both differing blends of goth/punk-metal, and were both pretty engaging, although this particular musical universe is pretty much unexplored by me . . . I like what I hear, but it’s not the kind of stuff I’m going to rush out to buy — there’s just too much other, better, stuff to buy first. Voodou was from North Carolina, and although the lead singer had a kind of Siouxsie Sioux-ish mournful wail, her “thank you” at the end of each song was amusingly perky-Southern-chick-ish instead.

The second act was a techno-DJ/MC duo (I think the DJ was King Rhythm and the MC was Megatron, both from Baltimore, but I’m not sure). It would be fun to mess around with the kid’s techno DJ gear, and I’ve always had a soft spot for free-form poetic rap (Jon and I discovered we had both dug The Numbs, a freestyle hip-hop group that was pretty good and fairly incongruous in a Mormon college town like Provo). I think sticking to a simple rhyme scheme is a big weakness in freestyle rap, though — if the ideas stop flowing, you end up doing stuff like rhyming “Tony Danza” with “Bonanza,” as our Tuesday night MC pal did . . .

The venue itself, Jaxx, was just wacky — basically a hair-metal club in spirit, it was located in what looked like an abandoned supermarket in a suburban strip mall (in the same strip as the Fabric & Carpetland . . . or was it the Carpet & Fabricland?). Band names covered the walls in fluorescent pink and green — Slayer, Dokken, Steve Vai, etc. Jon pointed out Vanilla Ice’s name on the wall, too, who seemed to be the only non-cheesy-metal guy represented. Maybe he’s the owner’s cousin. Or maybe the fact that he was cheesy trumps the fact that he wasn’t metal.

It was a pretty skimpy turnout for a four-band concert with names that are at least somewhat recognizable. Maybe it was the fact that it was on a Tuesday night in the suburbs, but we’re probably going to catch Pigface there next month, so we’ll see if attendance picks up for that.

Jon and I have kind of a weird history. We were both freshmen at BYU, living in the same dorm complex at the same time, eating at the same cafeteria every day, working (as volunteers, of course) for the same off-campus student newspaper, with at least one close friend in common — but we don’t recall ever having met each other. The other night we even figured out that we had both attended a small ad hoc committe meeting to review BYU’s then-current dress & grooming standards. But we don’t remember meeting. Later, after we had both served missions (Jon to Germany, me to Florida), we returned to BYU, where I ended up working for the same company (Retro-Link Associates, apparently now called MARC Link), as Jon and his wife, Erin. In fact, Erin became my supervisor at one point — though Jon and I still hadn’t met. We finally met at a mutual friend’s sealing. Afterward, Jon & Erin & I headed to a restaurant and ended up talking for hours. So much in common, but so little history together.

I had only been a libertarian for a couple of years at this point, and it’s Jon who loaned me my first copy of Liberty magazine, where I’d later end up working as an assistant editor (and where I’m still a contributing editor, although I’m no longer an employee). I loaned him Reason and Leonard Peikoff’s The Ominous Parallels (he had spent a couple of years in Germany, after all).

Jon and Erin live not too far from DC now, but I rarely see them — before Tuesday night, I think it had been over a year and a half . . . Hopefully, that will change a little in the future.

— Eric D. DixonComments (1)

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1 Comment
  1. […] Jon and I (more about Jon and I here) headed over to the Blogorama Thursday night, and had a great time, even though we barely made it […]

    Pingback by The Shrubbloggers » Merry ‘Rama — November 1, 2012 @ 11:40 am

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Eric D. Dixon

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