09.15.07: !OUCHO! Fest, The Mutiny, Chicago

For the last nine years, Joe Sepi and his band (appropriately enough entitled *joesepi*) have hosted !OUCHO! Fest at our favorite dive bar in Chicago, The Mutiny. The gist of the whole deal is this: lots of bands, free admission, and free grillin'. Apparently the owner of the Mutiny makes an annual trek into Wisconsin to buy a shit-ton of sausage, and the Mutiny faithful reap the benefits. This year, we were fortunate to be one of the bands invited.

We made our way down to Chicago with a van filled with nothing more than guitars, pedals, the synth, and some cymbals and hardware, as there are so many bands playing that for the sake of expediency, all bands use the same backline. We normally detest this practice, as playing through other people's gear seriously changes our sound most of the time, but in this case, the spirit of the proceedings (a bunch of folks just getting together to eat grilled meat and play rock and roll) was more important than us having "our sound" exactly the way we wanted it, so we were happy to have a light load to carry this time out. Also in the van was our pal Christopher McGarvey of Chicago's A Vast Amount of Scientific Data, as he lives in Milwaukee and needed a ride down.

The Mutiny is just the way we left it last time--a fucking hole in the wall, and we couldn't like it more this way. We each hooked ourselves up with their huge $6 mugs of Pabst (which are about the size of half a pitcher), and took in the tunes, notably great bands like the aforementioned AVAOSD, The Chrome Robes, Century Rocket Building, .22, and *joesepi*, all of which were completely outstanding and filled with rad dudes. Hot hot photos of them all can be found here.

One big plus that !OUCHO! has over your typical Mutiny gig is that the crew brings in actual sound guys and monitors. This didn't help us on stage very much, as all i could hear was Yale's guitar and a little bass, but still, it helped greatly for the audience, and for the bootlegs being recorded of our sets by the sound dudes. Listening back to the recording of our set, it's as i thought when we played--not our best night, by a long shot. Tones were weird thanks to the foreign gear, and many many things were out of tune during many many parts of the set. Still, troopers we are, we slammed through and made it entertaining, and at the end of the set, no one apparently had noticed that it was an off night, because we were the recipients of many handshakes and accolades. Hey, cool, i'll take it. These positive response was received despite my insistence on renaming nearly all of our songs as slams on Chicago sports teams. "This next song is called '200 Million Dollar Payroll and the Same Record as the Milwaukee Brewers.'" "This next song is called 'Rex Grossman is Wisconsin's Favorite Quarterback.'" Etc. People laughed more than scowled, apparently.

We took off for home around 1 or 1:30 AM after an evening of grilled meat, awesome rock (from everyone else), and lots of quality time with Chicago pals like Faiz (formerly of Danger Adventure, who was playing with *joesepi* that night), Zach of the ex-Hit Commission of Champaign, and many many others. We're looking forward to bringing A Vast Amount of Scientific Data up to Milwaukee on November 2nd, and looking forward even more to showing them a good time at the Church of Murray afterward. Bring it on, Chi-town!