Nothing to do in this burg

We were somewhere around Barstow when, um, wait a minute. Start over. Call me Ishmael.

Now, careening around town in a big white whale while all messed up on weird plant-derived compounds and shooting off an Army-Navy surplus harpoon gun at other big white whales and road hogs might not be such a great idea, at least from a law-enforcement standpoint, but it’s worth a passing chuckle. Or maybe it isn’t.

Anyway, it was that time of the night, when the stupidest notions get the biggest laughs. Promoter Jerry Perry and your faithful scribe were standing on the sidewalk in front of Old Ironsides, maintaining a low profile to avoid getting hassled by a certain overzealous local bandleader who had attached himself, remora-eel-like, to bassist Gabe Nelson following a particularly scintillating Anton Barbeau set, the closing performance at the Erik Kleven tribute show. Barbeau, Nelson, guitarist Dave Middleton and drummer Creed Maggiora had just torn a swell swath through Barbeau’s catalog of hits with the kind of unrehearsed glee that really good musicians can pull off. For no real reason, Perry and I were thinking out loud, with days of the week for themes: erectile dysfunction on Monday, abstinence on Tuesday, excessive masturbation on Wednesday—you know the drill—bukkake on Thursday, dress like a bear and maul the French maid on Friday, soixante-neuf on Saturday.

Perry had been busy rattling off some of his upcoming local band-tribute shows—for starters, he’d booked a homage to the late pop genius Elliott Smith for this Saturday at Old Ironsides (see this week’s Music Pick for details). The following Friday, October 27, he’d booked his annual “dead rock stars” show. It was the last available October date he could grab this side of Halloween, which was already taken for a Lipstick disco night. The lineup features American Karma, Pets, the Kimberly Trip, Saucer, Dre, Va Va Voom, We Prick You, No Admission, White Russians and more, maybe including the up-and-coming combo Smooot Valley High (9 p.m., $8 cover). Perry even mentioned a few shows in the future, like a David Bowie tribute in January and a show-tunes night in April.

Some of the same acts on the Elliott Smith tribute bill this weekend will be playing two early shows at the new nitery R-15, which joins a Cafe Bernardo in the space formerly occupied by Sammy Chu’s and Icon, next to Empire at 15th and R streets. The Friday lineup runs from 4 to 9 p.m. and will include Todd Wilkinson (Team Sleep), Helper Monkeys and Daycare (both acoustic), Ted and Kortnee from the Devastates, and Evening Episode. On Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., the club will feature the Helper Monkeys’ Jeffrey Valentine, David Houston, Agent Ribbons, Spider Silk Dress, Pets, Anton Barbeau, Sherman Baker and Nick Swimley, and Liani Moore. Best of all, those shows are free.

Speaking of free, the Festival of New American Music will commence on November 2 at CSUS. Visit for details. Whew. Santo Domingo!