Picket the tickets

Matt Hogans’ Danelectro: Up where it belongs.

Matt Hogans’ Danelectro: Up where it belongs.

Photo By Mark Lore

Service with a smile
I recently purchased a pair of Old 97’s tickets for $25 apiece … very reasonable, I thought. Yet, by the time the service charges were applied, those little pieces of paper that allowed me to go see the band I love totaled more than 35 bucks each.

I know this isn’t some new phenomenon, but I just have to wonder why Ticketmaster is getting paid when I’m the one who hunted and pecked away, under the threat of being booted from the system (you must complete the transaction in two minutes, or you have to start over). It was like playing one of those online video games with some kid from Japan. I was sweating. My heart was pounding. A finger cramped up on me.

I won … sort of. I made it through without having to start over, but when all was said and done, my total came to $73.35. Now, I’m not the most math-savvy person you’ll meet, but I don’t think that added up. And do you want to know what I did? I just ranted for three paragraphs in this column!

I feel much better, don’t you?

Master of tickets
It was worth it, you see, because the Old 97’s is one of the best live bands I’ve seen (right up there with the Reverend Horton Heat). It’s like watching a punk show. It’s sweaty. They flub notes. There’s no meandering stage banter.

Before the show guitarist Ken Bethea was floating around the lobby, so I decided to chat it up with him. Helluva nice guy. Great guitarist. I asked if he would sign my ticket stub, which he kindly obliged: “KEN,” it reads in bubble letters.

I thanked him … not for his time, but because I turned right around and threw that stub on eBay to help compensate for those stupid service charges. Ha! Who’s the Ticketmaster now, Ticketmaster?

[Editor’s note: Mark Lore didn’t really try to sell his ticket stub on eBay. For more editor’s notes, see Letters.]

Working-class rock, indeed
I also tried to soften the blow by attending a free show—not only a free show, a Bruce Springsteen tribute show. The way I look at it, for what it would have cost me to see the real Boss, I actually came out ahead about $100! Again, I am the Ticketmaster!

The Devil rules
Greg Ginn formed Black Flag some 30 years ago. This is also the guy who started SST Records—the once-prominent indie label that put out releases from everyone from Sonic Youth to the Minutemen. The guitarist has since played in a number of projects—including Jambang and the Taylor Texas Corrugators—and is a little less punk, a little more jammy these days.

Ginn is currently touring the States with the latter two bands, including a stop here in Chico on Wednesday, July 2, at Nick’s Night Club with Chico’s newest all-female punk rockers, Trucker’s Wife. Devil Kat Rock’s Katie Perry is not only slinging the guitar for Trucker’s Wife, she booked all 37 dates of Ginn’s U.S. tour. OK, maybe Katie Perry is the true Ticketmaster …

Shakespeare on the night club
All the way from Glen Rock, N.J., comes noise-pop five-piece Titus Andronicus, named after one of Willie Shakespeare’s early tragedies. Never mind the fact that the band’s debut record, The Airing of Grievances, received an 8.5 from some dweeb at Pitchfork—this is good stuff. It’s poppy when it needs to be poppy, noisy when it needs to be noisy. (Take it from some dweeb at the CN&R!)

The band will perform Aug. 2 (a Saturday) at Nick’s Night Club with everyone’s favorite Chico-gone-Santa Rosa duo The Americas (not to be confused with that metal band from San Diego), and a new local project called MURDER.

Taking his place
Matt Hogan’s Danelectro now hangs behind glass at Duffy’s Tavern, right above Jesus swinging the bat. It couldn’t be a more appropriate location. Thanks to all who came out and celebrated.

Also The Picketmaster