“Sage Against the Machine” at the Horseshoe Tavern, July 8

WHERE’S SUGAR BEAR?  DP bassist Jay “Sugar Bear” Larson was not present last night.  I am a little pissed.  I endure countless ignominies following this band around, documenting.  In exchange I was promised complete disclosure, except for bedrooms.  I would write the book and then make enough money to go back to grad school.  I’ve been in the hospital for 4 weeks after a speaker tower fell on me at a DP Rehearsal.  It was a little bit my fault.  I was dancing to HipHoperation and that song makes me lose it a little.  I stumbled and next thing I knew i was in front of my building, propped against the glass window next to the buzz-in door.  It was nice that they left me close to home, and I believe them about my wallet falling out while I was being carried to the van.  I never expected a visit in the hospital but I had email!  They could have sent me a note!…

So last night, instead of Sugar Bear there was a very, very happy little mustached man playing bass.  He looked like he’d just won the lottery and I would agree.  If he’s not a temporary replacement, congratulations,  sir.  You’ve joined what is probably the most awesome band in Canada.  And I didn’t think it was possible, but you’ve managed to make DP look even more ridiculous as a line-up of men.

My gut says Sugar Bear is gone.  There had always been tension in the band between Sugar Bear and JC Penny but I was saving all that for my book.  It’s not fair.  Pardon my writing, dear readers.  I am upset.  I am a little pissed.  I’m a trained journalist, a Ryerson graduate!

Okay.

About 100 people crowded the back room of the Horseshoe Tavern last night.  The freak violent storm that swept Toronto just an hour before surely brought down potential attendance, but in a way it made those there a little more alive for the evening.  Lead Vox JC Penny was like a retarded Steve Tyler, pardon the slur but no other term fits what this man did to himself and to those looking at him last night.  It’s a little bit perverse, dirty, childlike.  The fluorescent green bike helmet didn’t help.

They made mistakes.  Lead guit Lovely Louie nearly assaulted rhythm/keys Yoko during Bomb Ardier.  There was a bad oops and Louie bolted across the stage at Yoko which was terrifying.  Louie is a big man.  Yoko is a tiny man.  But Yoko is a “head-down” musician and didn’t notice so Louie had time to diffuse.

Drummer Candy made everyone’s heart fibrulate with his kick and most of it was thrilling.  The mysterious bassist backed everything up just fine.  He looked like he was at the best smurf party ever.

The set ended and some brave people approached JC Penny and stammered praise.  A mob surrounded the merch table.  Ghandi would have been pleased.

Then it was all over but the summer is young and it belongs to Sage Against the Machine.  The most important record of the new millenium made by brilliant men who are nonetheless assholes.

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