Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Nurse the Hate: Cowslinger Set List

I had received numerous requests online for songs for the Cowslinger set list or questions as to what we might play this Friday night.  Let’s not get into titles.  I will lay out what I’m thinking for a set list based on what the songs are about. 

  1. We used to spend an unbelievable amount of time driving around the country in a van.  I always identified with truck drivers as part of our sick underground “fraternity of the blacktop” as we all pushed well beyond normal limits to make our routes. Friday night in Columbus and a Saturday in Athens Georgia?  No problem.  Got to leave Athens in time to get home in Cleveland by early afternoon?  Yeah, we can do that.  Right by the counter of every legit truck stop are the dodgy off brands of speed available to help make that 3a-530a shift happen.
  2. When I was a kid I used to drive past a restaurant on the Sterrettania Road exit in Erie PA that was close to my house.  I never ate there.  I never walked in the place even once, but I did eat at a lot of other truck stops across this country.  This is a combination of all the truck stops I ever went into but I placed in that one restaurant I didn't.
  3. There was an evening in which I ran into a lovely woman that was in a group project of mine in college.  I was a total degenerate at this point, able to consume amounts of tequila that would fell a large brown bear.  This poor girl, a petite girl with a perfectly chipped tooth and fabulous brown hair, fell into my world and started to have tequila with me.  I walked her home and disaster ensued. 
  4. My hair stylist a couple of years ago was late for our appointment one Saturday morning.  I don’t normally get out of the house if I’m home on a Saturday morning, so I was greatly annoyed at her tardiness.  When she finally arrived and leaned in to cut my hair I noticed the unmistakable scent of sex and day old gin.  She was clearly 20 minutes late because she was enjoying intercourse with whomever she had taken (or was taken) home by the previous evening on some type of gin bender.  
  5. There are television ads which in the industry are referred to as “PI” or “per inquiry” ads.  This means that the advertiser does not pay a set rate for the ads, but rather pays the television network an agreed amount for anyone that responds to the ad.  In the early 90s there was a never-ending ad series for a Time Life book series about the Wild West.  The books came in fake leather covers to make them look old fashioned.  I always wondered who bought those books and who was that mesmerized by the Old West.
  6. In a roundabout way this song is about a former band member that spoke in legendary terms about his Los Angeles punk rock days.  One day while having dinner at his home, his mother informed us that he had actually moved out there on a Friday, called home crying on a Saturday, and flew home on a Sunday.  His LA Punk Rock Days ™ were actually an LA Punk Rock Weekend.  The stanza about the pale girl dressed in black isn't about him.  It's about a pale vegan girl that is much more vicious than she appears.
  7. One of my great fears is to wind up in one of those cars I see at inner city stop lights where the speakers are banging out chart busting hits that other people enjoy but make me break out in hives.  I have almost no connection to popular culture at this point.  I don’t say this as a badge of honor, but rather as a warning.  It happened to me, it’s probably already happened to you and if it hasn’t, it will.
  8. Link Wray was the greatest rock musician of his time.  That’s not a debatable point.  It’s just the way that it is.
  9. I wrote this one sitting on the steps outside the Moto Lounge in Jacksonville FL, probably the club with the best pinball machine selection we ever played.  Sometimes when it seems like everything is going wrong and there is no hope to be had, you can look at a sadder sack than you standing in line for a lottery ticket.  You know, and they know, there is no chance they will come up a winner.  They never have and they never will.  That doesn’t mean that they still won’t play the lottery.  It’s when folks who play the lottery stop is when you know their hope died.
  10. This is one of my favorite songs to play.  It makes a bunch of photographs that I have in my head flip past my brain when I sing it.  It can’t possibly mean the same thing to anyone that listens to it, but the hook is so good that you can’t help remembering it.  A girl named Alena, a masseuse with a terrible soul, gave me one of the best lines in it.  "She said I know, what you'd expect?" 
  11. We used to have to kill time in weird places before gigs on the road.  I was usually the Pack Leader and came up with the stupid ideas.  One of our favorite things to do was to go to the dog track in Nitro West Virginia, the single best place to people watch in America before a big corporation messed it up and put table games and video poker in there.  It was like a circus sideshow on meth.  By the way, if you need a winner at the dog track, Leo is your guy.
  12. There was a kid that lived down my street that had this piece of shit old Mustang.  It wasn’t one of those classic ones from the 60s either.  It was one of them from the late 80s that hair metal fans that put dream catchers on their rearview mirrors that doubled as roach clips drove. It was the kind of car that always had Winger blasting out of it.  The car sucked.  It had a specialty license plate. 88 Stang.  What a piece of shit.  That kid loved that car though.
  13. The first time we ever played this cover was when we played a gig with SCOTS at Champaign IL at Mabels that Sasha the Mensch booked.  SCOTS was really dragging having spent the day at a Rolling Stone magazine photo shoot.  Their “Dirt Track Date” (a great record) had come out and was making some noise.  They were groggy and road weary.  We, on the other hand, were in great shape playing our first show.  We came out on stage with that perfect buzz of three beers and kicked into an Aerosmith cover at the end.  We made it fucked up like one of our songs.  You could see the crowd bob their heads, into it, but not sure of what it was.  When Leo and I sang the chorus you could see guys nudging their friends finally recognizing it with broad smiles.  We kept playing it after that as it’s fun as hell to play.        

That’s what I’m thinking.  We’ll play more if we have time.  I might also feel like the vibe of the place is different than this list and toss this out at the last minute.  Don't worry though, it will be fine.  Come get some.


At August 16, 2018 at 9:23:00 AM EDT , Blogger Unknown said...

brilliant as always.

At August 16, 2018 at 10:45:00 AM EDT , Blogger Cy Zibrik, MPA said...

In regards to #4, that’s on you as no man should be going to a hair stylist. Men go to barbers. At least I did, until I no longer needed to.

At August 16, 2018 at 10:54:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I absolutely LOVE to overpay for haircuts. I can’t pay enough.

At August 16, 2018 at 12:49:00 PM EDT , Blogger andrew said...

I was hoping to read an intro from the old Grog Shop one Thanksgiving Eve where you said "For some people, tomorrow is all about food, football, and family. But for the Miller family, it's all about Strip Bars, Liquor, and Fireworks."

At August 16, 2018 at 1:20:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

We are a traditional American family.

At August 16, 2018 at 8:36:00 PM EDT , Blogger Scotty Johnson said...

I approve of #11. Still a good spot for people watching.

At August 17, 2018 at 9:44:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I agree, but a certain seediness that I always appreciated seems to have disappeared.


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