Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I’ve been to a few shows since I consulted you last, two of which I thought never possible beyond the viewing of an anthology DVD or a pixilated clip on YouTube. I’d gamble that you never anticipated the resurrection of these ticket stubs:

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It could be that I’m partial to this band because they are from Texas, or because I’m an ‘eighties baby,’ but The Toadies were one of the most accessible surviving bands after depression took Kurt Cobain, and massive celebrity stole Pearl Jam. Even after the pumpkins were smashed and the grudged fans of grunge denounced Corgan as a traitor, we could still find our reckless voice in the Toadies. They may not have stringently adhered true to the original members, but they survived through their overplayed albums. They didn’t morph and continue or dabble in avant-garde minimalism, breaking new ground and changing their names – even though we secretly all wished them to at the time – because they didn’t have to. Maybe they didn’t want to. Possum Kingdom and Tyler were the anthems of our high school days, and with hits like those, the Fort-Worth rockers lived on without discrimination …

… Until one day, years later, when Toadies tunes can barely be seen from under gathered dust, they decide they want to give faithful fans what we had almost given up on. This is no ‘Hell Freezes Over’ where you leave the show, plagued with the reality that you’ve given your first born child for a nosebleed ticket to see some endangered bald eagles push out raspy melodies about their old lives in fast lane. No. This was The Toadies, the same as you dreamed they would sound when you were too young to go the first time around.

A few days later, thousands of beer drinkers and hell raisers gathered in Houston’s massive Reliant Stadium for some Texas Size Rompin’ and Stompin’ Barndance and Barbecue, otherwise known as the closing performance of the 2007 Rodeo. The final day of the month-long Houston tradition – and my personal favorite – showcases the biggest, baddest and most reckless rodeo event each year, the extreme bull competition.

What I find so entertaining about this competitive display of testosterone and stupidity are the rodeo commentators who belt out energetic yee-hawing expressions that make Harlem's Showtime at the Apollo seem conventional. Ya’ll get up and show this cowboy some love for his hurtin! and That bull just planted him like seed corn! This year, neither the commentators nor the rough riding cowboys trampled by massive mammoths could satisfy this fan-filled stadium. We were there for one reason, and one reason only:

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That Little Ol’ Band From Texas closed out the Houston Rodeo line-up and gave us all their lovin’ with their signature chest-length beards, faux fuzz guitars and cheap sunglasses. What else would you expect?

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When our great president gets exhausted from all the talk about threats of ‘Nucular Weapons’ and the ‘War on Terruh,’ I imagine he settles down at his Rancho Texicano and turns up the dial for some ZZ Top Six Pack. His favorite singles? Gun Love, Bang Bang, and I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.

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Blogger Van said...

You can get most of the songs off of the unreleased Toadies album, "Feeler" from this site. This is the album that the label rejected and made the Toadies put out a different one (Hell Below/Stars Above). I personally like Feeler better.

7:14 AM  

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