Well, good Christ! Another smashing success! The Joyless House minstrels made merry and high times were had by all. The brave attendees of the third installment of the Evenings with The Brothers Connolly series: Joyless In Door County, held at Sturgeon Bay's Jaycee Hall, all proved willing vessles for the Joyless Spirit. They knew the drill like it was an old family tradition: have a strong drink, add some hypnotizing aural ambiance . . . then just lay back and let the spirit do its work. Let its soft murming tickle your ears . . . words of encouragment and promise . . . feel its clammy breath on your skin . . . feel the vibrations humming in your bones . . . finally, let it enter your body . . . give in to the urge primordial! A hot time indeed. If you missed it, that's okay; when we at Joyless House assume our rightfull place atop the mountain of new-cultural-awareness, you can all lie and say you were there; tell your kids you were cool. Though, of course, every time you do, a hollow pang in your soul will remind you of the artistic ecstacies you declined. THAT IS YOUR PUNISHMENT! You will be like Peter, the cock's crow ringing in your ears. But you will never be the rock of our church. No, never.
OK. Right. So it was a good time. The star of the night may have been the venue. Jaycee Hall in SB has the timeless feel of the VFW in Algoma or the Eagles Club in GB. None of the pretensions of the modern sports bar or rock n' roll club. No TV. No gimmicks. Just a big, solid, well-stocked bar and plenty of space. The onus is on you to fill it up. Let's see what you've got, kid. Everyone was much heartened by the warm pop and fuzz of vinyl playing over the PA. We were treated to selections by the Zombies, T-Rex, Abner Jay, Os Mutantes, the Gories, the Gentrys, Oh My! Such a shame it ever had to end, isn't it kids? Then Dennis Klapperich took the stage and played his trademark set of razor blade-worthy originals and covers. Dennis sings like a pre-pubescent angel. I always love to watch the reactions of people who have never seen/heard him play. It's like: holy shit, what is he doing working at a stupid factory? He could be making money doing this! I get this sometimes: "you're a writer? What are you doing working here?" Well, it's because you don't read, asshole!
But it's a good question. "What are you doing HERE?" It just may not be exactly the right question. The response "because you don't read" is a little too easy, too Bukowski. It's like, I'm working here because the public are a bunch of idiots and don't know what real art is. In Dennis's case; they'd rather listen to Ariana Grande or the Eagles on their cell phones than actually attend a live show or buy a record. (Stoning Josephine by Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones coming soon!) But, again we're answering the wrong question here. The onus is on you! If you're a talented musician, then why aren't you playing? If you're a writer, then why aren't you writing? If you really love something, you will make it your life. If you have to work a factory job to get by until your true passion pays off, then that's just the fucking breaks! And maybe it never will pay off. I don't know if you've noticed, but America is not all that interested in fostering artists. America is all about what sells. Well let me be clear:
I don't give one fucking shit if I make any money! I couldn't fucking care less!!!
Yes, it bothers me that people don't seem interested enough to seek out and support original, honest work. But that's what we at Joyless House are out to change. And at Jaycee Hall on 7/17, we won a few good converts. After Dennis did his beautiful, Peter Brady-inspired thing, I got up there and read from the novel. Then, because no one threw me off stage, I played some songs. The crowd was enthralled, I assume, though I'm not sure; I mostly kept my eyes closed.
It was fun! It was different. It was not overly well-attended, but if you think we were discouraged, you're dead fucking wrong. I was inspired by the wonderful, beuatiful people who were there. They were kind enough to let us inside for a couple hours and baby, it felt GOOD, didn't it? Wether the rest of the world or the old US of A will ever wake up and get hip, who fucking knows. We'll always have Jaycee Hall. And anyway, we'll never stop trying.