The best band you’ve never heard of, Kerry-Bush I, and a Bavarian Ballyhoo

by Ted Holteen

R e-reading the above tease, I am struck by how presumptuous it is to assume that you've never heard of the Supersuckers. I'm sure many of you are as excited as I am that we are finally being graced by an A-list band that, if given the chance, just might blow the roof off the little ol' Abbey Theatre tonight. That's the good news. The bad news is, there is a great deal of truth to that line as well, as I have been stunned by the number of people in this burg who don't know who the Suckers are. Understand – I am the last to pass judgment on people for their musical taste or knowledge. Or at least I should be. For me, music has yet to even near the golden age it achieved when the great Stephen Foster penned his simplistic yet heart-wrenching opus “Suwannee River” in 1851, back when Victoria thankfully still kept her secrets to herself. But back to the Supersuckers .

Geography has almost nothing to do with the style or ability of a given band, but if you must know, they're from Tucson and now based in Seattle. Happy? When I first heard them, I assumed they were rednecks from Mississippi or Looziana or some such swamp. Like Foster, however, a Pennsylvanian who wrote songs of the South, the Suckers are tricky. They're kind of in the alt-country-punk gang, but with better straight-on rock 'n' roll mixed with some pure country sounds that end up sounding pretty damn alright. And while their CDs are all worthwhile (how often can you honestly say that about an artist?), really, I'm just thrilled to have the chance to finally see them live. You should be, too. That's tonight, (Thursday, Sept. 30), following the big debate.

Ah, yes, the debate. I don't want to spend too much time on Thursday events that will be over by the time many of you read this, but it is the President of the United States that we're arguing about, and with the sad state of heavyweight boxing nowadays, it'll probably be the best fight we've seen in years. I wonder if it's on TV?

A few weeks ago, I was asked to help out with an Oktoberfest celebration taking place on Saturday, Oct. 2, downtown on Main Avenue. (It will be October by then.) Possessed of a tremendous ego and constant desire to be the center of attention, I said, “OK”. Not a big fan of the Germans, however. I haven't gotten over them invading my ancestral home of Sweden shortly after the Swedes declared themselves neutral so they could keep smoking hash and having sex with the forerunners to today's supermodels. If that hadn't happened, my grandfather probably would have never left and now I'd be smoking hash and having sex with actual supermodels. So I don't like the Germans. But I do like the nearly German-free San Juan Citizens' Alliance, the group that is putting on the shindig. Mayor Joe Colgan will open the festivities with the ceremonial keg-tapping at noon, kick-starting an orgy of polka and beer and German foods like bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and chili. Also, there will be four bands (two of which are polka bands!), a tug of war, arts and crafts, Klackers, and lots of schnitzel. As to the aforementioned beer – all four local breweries will be pouring on Saturday, so choices abound. It's a full-on street party, and it doesn't stop when the sun goes down. On Saturday night, four decidedly un-German bands will keep it going – pay attention: Singer-songwriter Melissa Crabtree is at Carvers, Liquid Cheese will play at Steamworks, the Summit features Motion For Alliance , and the Abbey welcomes back Nosotros for an evening of fiery Latin rhythms. And not a stitch of lederhosen to be found. Surely even the most discerning music fan can find something he or she likes. In fact, make a point of it.

With the influx of hate mail I've been receiving, I should at this point print my pre-emptive apology to all of the fine people of German descent who are no doubt oiling up their Lugers in the hopes of meeting me in a dark alley. I am well aware that none of us are responsible for the sins of our forefathers, and it should be known that I really don't hate German-Americans, just Nazis and people with an invasion complex. To their credit, Germans have given us Mercedes-Benz automobiles, the aforementioned bratwurst, and that delectable Heidi Klum. So please, lighten up. Besides, for Germans to take offense at an ethnic slur is kind of like the pot calling the kettle fuehrer. Ich bin ein satirist, remember.

Seriously, keep it coming. . You heard it here first – Kerry by a TKO in the 7th.




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