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Hold The Pimp Juice 

Nodders, Mad magazine and righteous whiners

The band Mastodon played Tremont Music Hall last Wednesday. Never has a band had a name more descriptive of its music. The Georgia-based group is almost prehistorically heavy, featuring two lead guitarists -- both trade rhythm duties when called for -- a machine-gun drummer, and a bass player with more bottom end than Kirstie Alley.

Turnout for the buzz band wasn't huge, but those in attendance were oblivious, feverishly a) nodding their heads a la college-rock types, or b) moshing like a caveman who had just invented fire.

I've always been of two minds regarding moshing. Part of me thinks it's a cool release of energy, kids burning off some steam of whatever hot water -- parents, bills, girlfriends -- they've recently gotten into. The other part of me thinks it's just a bit goofy, and, well, sorta prehistoric. (Note: Yes, I have moshed on a few occasions, and always enjoyed it). Worst, however, is people who don't know how to mosh, like the guy who spent most of the Mastodon show flailing around in a pair of flip-flops, looking like a pitchman for Abercrombie and Twitch. Most other moshers had the right idea, however -- blue jeans, boots, a T-shirt affixed with the logo of some cool band like Cephalic Carnage or Dethro Bodine.

I was one of the aforementioned college rock-type guys, feverishly nodding my head in the back, appreciating the band's calculus-level math metal in my own little way. If I'm going to break anything at a metal show, it's going to be my eardrums.

The Charlotte Comicon Comic Book Show took place last weekend in the Four Points Sheraton hotel in downtown Charlotte. You've heard of the popular Charlotte comic book store Heroes Aren't Hard to Find (who were at the convention but didn't sponsor it)? This was "Heroes are Reasonably Hard to Find, Thanks to a Lack of Advertising and Available Signage."Now, thanks to characters like The Simpsons's Comic Book Guy, we picture book fans sometimes get a bad rap -- we're all living at home, none of us have girlfriends, and we're spending our time sitting around arguing about whether Wolverine's adamantium skeleton would set off Spider-Man's famed spider sense.

And while this comic show was a little heavy on the superhero comics, there were some other top-notch goodies for sale -- the first issue of Mad magazine, "Sex Stars of the 20th Century," and some of the best of the current "adult comics": early copies of Eightball, Love and Rockets, and Neil Gaiman's Sandman, all of which, if I'm being honest, have entertained me more than the last three Booker Prize winners.

Granted, there weren't a whole lot of women here, but then again, there's not exactly a lot of women lining up for such "masculine" pursuits as 50 cent Hot Wings Night and Sports Trivia at the local watering hole either, now is there?

Sports Talk radio station WFNZ held their annual "Whiner Roast" at Pepperoni's in Park Road Shopping Center on Thursday, a yearly event wherein the station plays the best calls to their famous bitch line for the entire four-hours of the station's popular "Prime Time with the Packman" show. Most calls fall into a few simple categories: people calling out other people's favorite teams, people upholding the honor of their recently-called-out favorite teams, and people making fun of the show's staff, particularly two people who go by the monikers "Hayseed" and the "Queen City Bastard (QCB)."

Boy, you haven't heard so many whiners since...since...well, since the new arena deal went through -- which, incidentally, was another big topic of conversation, as was Robert L. Johnson's tabbing of the talentless hip-pop rapper Nelly as a quote "minority owner."

Though I look forward to having the Bobcats in town, I'm with the whiners on this one. Our mayor goes public with the declaration that John Edwards doesn't have "Charlotte and North Carolina values," and then we get a rubber-stamped, misogynist part owner who sells an energy drink called "Pimp Juice?" It's enough to get me a little "Hot in Herre" under the collar.

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