Christmas in Jersey, Fiskadoro Style

Over the just-past holidays, Lake Jackson-by-way-of-NJ duo Fiskadoro (Richard & Jen, now sadly minus former member Travis Kerschen) headed back up northeast to play a show booked in their hometown. And when they got back, Richard sent an email detailing the show in all its bizarro glory.

And heck, I figured that was worth posting up here, so here it is (don’t worry; I checked with Richard first):

fskd show #20
crossroads

garwood nj
12-22-10

pat dinizio
version 1018
fiskadoro

while back in the north we decided to play a show. our friend gary richardson booked the show for us.

in some ways it was our worst show yet. in others it was great in that it showed we can play through adversity. we were borrowing equipment from gary & his new band, version 1018, jen borrowing gary’s bass and i was borrowing his guitar player’s gear. but said guitar player arrived late, well into our set, so i ended up just singing through a ton of reverb & echo while jen played bass & our loops/samples played on.

our setlist was:

    this city is on fire
    johnson space center
    calle ocho
    safe
    dead_eaters
    no rest

we came out with our coats and scarves still on and just crashed into the set. in a strange yet not really satisfactory way, we managed to pull off the first 5 songs.  i tried to really concentrate more on my singing and filling instrumental spots that just seemed too spare without guitar with extra lyrics. i know i quoted liberally from the clash’s “washington bullets” in our song “safe”. and i also quoted from our own “see jungle” in another song. “this city is on fire”, a new song of ours which is already dubbed out and spare and features improvised vocals worked really well in this format, yet i don’t think most of the audience realized it. though as the set wore on they started if not getting into it, at least sort of enjoying it and definitely not hating it.

after pulling off those first 5 songs, we knew this line-up of ours was not capable of pulling off “no rest”, jen starting telling me that as the beat was kicking in; i looked to the soundman to tell him to shut off the backing track, and he was deep into a jackie collins novel or something so we realized we had to persevere.

JEN: the most difficult thing for me was realizing that i had no pick, as i had never once played without one before. somehow i managed, but before the next show i am buying a 100-pack of picks and scattering them throughout my belongings.

i didn’t get as stressful a vibe from the show, but i realized that that’s because i was just doing what i always do, playing my ridiculously simple basslines. rich had a much more difficult job adjusting to his new role as guitarless frontman, but he channeled strummer, mackaye, and the other great punk showmen of our time, and i for one could not take my eyes off of him. after the show, the one person that i knew well there, who had never seen us play before, said that he was pleasantly surprised at how good we were. most of the audience were older people that were there to sit and eat dinner and see pat dinizio. they gave us an especially big round of applause after “safe.”

version 1018 played immediately after us. our set times were really tight, due to mr. dinizio’s insistence he had to play at exactly a certain time so he could finish his 2 fucking hour (what?!? who does he think he is, lamonte young?) set by 10 p.m. and hit the gym. this was the debut of version 1018, and they were great. i’ve been friends with gary for over 20 years, and this is the band i’ve always wanted him to be in. a dub-damaged experimental band that is weirdly accessible. the closest thing to compare them to would probably be early shriekback. y records years era.

pat dinizio (of the smithereens) finished up the night. he weighs 350 lbs now. yeah.

afterwards, we went to the crowne plaza hotel bar in clark for an after party that was featured in page 6 of the new york post the following day.

the moral of the night was despite nothing going our way and no hope for great success we fought on and went down fighting instead of crawling up in a ball and giving up. in its own way, it was our most noble show yet.

Yeah, my Christmas can’t top that.


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