Sloppy Seconds - Live in Logansport (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sloppy Seconds

Live in Logansport (2019)

live show

Each time we see Sloppy Seconds is a slightly different experience, but this time around it was really an adventure. Honestly, that’s what we were hoping for. Winter was slow to release its icy grip on Michigan this year, and we were ready for our first road trip of 2019, even if it was only a three hour drive to rural Indiana. The show was in celebration of the third anniversary of The Record Farm (a brick and mortar record store), and was at The State Theatre of Logansport on Saturday, March 16th.

We left late morning, so we could take our time meandering down. About an hour into our trip we stopped in a Lake Michigan resort town for lunch at nice lakeside bar. That was when I was reminded that a lot people were already out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. A couple of green beers went down really smoothly with my excellent reuben. At some point, I also slipped some green beads with a Guinness shamrock around my neck. Lunch was really a preview of what was to come.

Allow me to break my normal pattern and skip to the end of the story. When I got home the following afternoon, I was telling Mrs. Trauma all about the show. I said that my one regret was that I didn’t get a photo with Clownvis. (More on him later.) Then I looked in my phone and there were no less than three pictures of Clownvis and I. It’s not really very surprising that I didn’t remember. My eyes were barely open. I was wearing several sets of beads and a green top hat. The memories have been coming back in hazy images…

We made it down to Logansport about 3:30 pm, and parked and stowed our belongings at our deluxe accommodations. (The Super 8 Motel.) By 4 or so, we were at the first of many dive bars that we would hit on our two and a half mile walk to The State Theatre. (It was also where I added my second strand of beads, and a “kiss me I’m Irish” button.) Believe it or not, there was no Uber or Lyft in town, only a really sketchy cab service called Mom’s Taxi. (We’ll briefly touch on that again later too.) I’ve always found Indiana folks to be quite friendly, and this hardscrabble little town was no exception. (For those of you keeping track at home, we went to the Bungalow, Logan’s, Corner Pub, Krieg’s, Polsinelli’s and the Avenue.) We enjoyed drinking with the locals. My one actual regret is that I was having so much fun that I skipped dinner. In hindsight, that was probably a poor decision.

By the time we got to the venue a few minutes after 8, we were already in fine form. The State Theatre is really something to take in. It’s a mostly restored relic from another era. Its high ceilings and spacious interior were a nice change of pace from the typical cave like punk venue. The beers were cold and reasonably priced too. I was able to catch a bit of The Tentakills, a four piece instrumental surf band from South Bend. I enjoyed them, and like all the openers, I will eventually listen to them with a clear head.

Clownvis Presley, (that’s right, an Elvis impersonator clown), was a performer as well as the MC of the event. He was essentially the hype man, and would also sing a couple of songs between acts. He was a great host, and it made for very little down time. Clownvis was a nice guy, and I had a very normal conversation with him despite the fact that he was wearing clown makeup and dressed like Elvis, and I was an oversized leprechaun. My personal Clownvis highlight was his new Christmas classic, “Don’t be a Bitch (Or You Won’t Get Stuff for Christmas)”. Clownvis is obviously a novelty act, but that doesn’t make him any less entertaining.

Brother O Brother is a two piece garage rock band from Indianapolis. For only two guys, they made a lot of noise. I might describe their sound as lumbering. A lot of this night was about catching up with people, so I only caught a bit of their set. (See above comments about The Tentakills.) The opener that we caught most of was Kokomo’s Harley Poe. These guys (and girl) play catchy, horror themed folk punk. Imagine the Violent Femmes at their most aggressive singing songs about grave robbing. It was punk played on a multitude of acoustic instruments. The singer’s voice had an undeniable Gordon Gano quality. I could definitely see myself listening to more Harley Poe.

I’ve seen Sloppy Seconds a bunch of times. These days, I usually stand in the designated old man spot behind the pit. This time, for some reason that I can’t remember, we ended up right in front of the stage. As most of you know, that makes for a great view, but it’s not the best spot for sound quality. Rather than keep track of the setlist, or even take coherent notes, I just threw myself into the show. (I can tell you that they opened with “I Want ‘Em Dead”, “You’ve Got a Great Body, but Your Record Collection Sucks” and “Why Don’t Lesbians Love Me?”, and the encore was “Jani is a Nazi” and “Human Waste”.) Like the rest of us, Sloppy seconds is at their very best at a certain level of drunkenness.

I believe that on this night they were at their optimal level of drunkenness. Especially larger than life frontman BA, who had several loose, humourous interactions with the crowd. I saw some video of the event, and it was easy to spot myself in my stupid green hat. Still, it was so cathartic. It was good to see fellow travelling strangers pumping their fists and singing along at the top of their lungs. It really reminded me of what made me fall in love with punk, 30 or so odd years ago. I never get sick of seeing the boys from Sloppyville, and I hope we get to join them on the road again later this year.

The music was great, and so was talking to like minded people. It was good to see the hosts, the guys who own The Record Farm and Failure Records & Tapes. (Failure put out a Sloppy Seconds/Dangerbird split 7” in 2017, and is reissuing the You Can’t Kill Joey Ramone 7” in time for Joey’s birthday.) Meeting Clownvis was a surprisingly normal experience. Catching up with the guys from Sloppy Seconds is always a treat. We tried to pry their 2019 touring schedule out of them, so we wouldn’t accidently plan a family vacation for the same time.

After the show, we somehow stumbled into a Mom’s Cab. For $6, cash, they took us back to the Bungalow, the bar we first started at. Amazingly, a few folks from earlier that afternoon were still there. Things got a little blurry after that. I’ve had better mornings, but I’ve had much worse too. Some greasy Chinese food for lunch set us straight. It’s really hard to separate the show from the whole experience, so I won’t even try. 9 out of 10, would definitely do again. It was a really a great time. I’m proud that Punknews was able to be a sponsor of the event, even if the sole representative of the organization didn’t know when to say when. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for next year.

Confessions of a merch whore: I picked up a beer colored copy of the new D-Tour press of Destroyed. This is an album that I’ve bought at least four times now. For those of you who don’t know, Sloppy Seconds’ 30 year old 1989 debut LP is one of the greatest pop punk records ever made. If you’re not listening to it, you’re missing out. I also picked up a copy of the A Very Clownvis Christmas 7” in classic black. I meant to buy a couple more things from the Failure booth, but as I said, my thoughts weren’t very organized.