Given our slow pace of show bookings these days I never thought we’d get back to Longview. I’m really glad we did. The venue was the Chinese Gardens, which is a combination Chinese restaurant, dive bar and show venue all in one. It’s a strange place. As a musician I think “I would never eat here”. As a diner I’d think “I would hate to play music here”. As a dive bar patron I would wonder “why am I here?” It’s all part of the strange charm that brings us back to Longview so often. After huddling around a mobile phone at Dustin’s place to watch the History of Rap parts 2, 3 and 4 we commenced the soggy load in. The show started early and on time. That is not typical Longview, but in our advancing years we all appreciated it. As referenced earlier, I did not partake of the food selection however Justin had a boat of fries and Dave had some form of seafood. I thought they were nuts, but they said it was quite tasty and no one got sick. Appearances can be deceiving. Many familiar faces trickled in throughout the evening, most far older looking than the last time we’ve seen them. Faster Housecat was up first and sounded pretty good. They are from Portland, but I wouldn’t know because the only shows I go to these days are our own. The Slow Death was on tour from Minneapolis and sounded great. Definitely one the better bands I’ve heard recently. Very good songs and ripe with terribly, terribly amusing in between song banter. As they were winding up their set a large bearded fellow smiled and me and said “I have a pocket full of stink bombs for the next band.” I said “that sucks, because I’m in the next band”. He smiled and slipped away. I felt safe in the fact we were in a Chinese restaurant located only a few miles downwind from some paper mills. Also, we’ve had at least two shows that I can recall where I’m absolutely certain someone shit their pants and we made it through that show. Really, how bad could the smell be? After their set the singer of The Slow Death approached me and said “I heard one of you guys choke-slammed my friend in the band Off With Their Heads.” My first thought was “oh no, this dude is pissed.” It probably showed because he immediately followed it with “whatever happened I’m sure he deserved it”. Dave copped to the crime and we all got a good laugh about it. We even heard a story how the two of them (who turn out to be best of friends) had nearly fought at a wedding once. Anyway, we finally played and it was good. Real good. Not a packed house, but the folks up front were very energetic. The downside of a rowdy group on a slippery floor is the constant microphone-to-the-face beating that Dave took. People pointed. People fell over. Brady sang a song. Matt shouted “everybody better run for your life” ad-nauseam. I’m pretty sure the stink bombs were deployed. It was typical Longview wackiness. We played a lot of songs and eventually there was an “encore”. It wasn’t really an encore, it was just Brady demanding we play ‘Kelvis’. We aim to please and to be honest, it’s flattering to have people ask for your songs so we indulged. Unloading was unpleasant and wet. Again, typical Longview. Many thanks to all who attended, Eric for setting up the show, the other bands for being good, and the Chinese Gardens for having us.