Savage and the Big Beat 35 Weekend

30 Mar

For Savage and the Big Beat, the 35 weekend starts on a Thursday. We are set to play at Sweetwater Grill and Tavern with Biographies, Senor Fin, and Black James Franco. Telegraph Canyon was supposed to close the set, but someone at 35 told them they weren’t Wilco and couldn’t play on the main stage after Sarah Jaffe, so they quit the festival altogether and went back to drinking cheap champagne in the greenroom of Trees, talking about how great 2010 was. Telegraph, you can go fuck yourself.

Before we play tonight, though, we need to practice.

I wait for Max to arrive.

He does.

He is as tall as I remember him. I inhale deeply, looking out my window as the musical beast approaches.

“Ready to practice?” I whisper. Max stops and peers into the window. He sees me standing there and mouths a curse word.

“Unlock the door,” he says.

“Ready to make music?” I whisper.

“I can’t hear you. Open the door.”

“Will we make sounds, then?” I ask.

He starts banging his keyboard against the front door. It’s frightening the cats, so I run down the hall and unlock the door.

“Savage and the Big Beat!” I yell as I throw the door open. The door hits my foot and I yell for a second really mad and by the time I shut the door and calm down, Max is in our practice space getting set up.

Ryan shows up and gets behind his drums. We all get our gear red-e 2 go.

“You guys ready to make some music?” I ask.

Suddenly, there’s a sort of hissing sound coming from under the desk in the practice space. Slowly, toes and knees come into the light, then a shock of thick black hair.


It is Roy Robertson of Pageantry fame. He hits his head on the desk, but does not react.

“Did someone say make some music?” he asks. He gets to his feet like a cartoon snake being charmed. He continues to wiggle around like a snake as he makes his way around the room.

“I said that,” I say.

“Who said that?!” Roy asks, spinning on his heels toward me.

“Me?” I say.

“How long have you been there?” He asks.

I look at Max and Ryan.

“The whole time,” I respond. “I’ve been here the whole time. I’m the one that said ‘make some music.'”

“Well isn’t that cute,” Roy responds. He does a little twinkly gesture with his fingers, then turns the twinkles into claws and takes a swipe at Ryan and makes a soft growly sound. Ryan makes a face and is confused.

“You guys set to open for us?” Roy asks, turning to Max and I.

“We’re not opening for you. We’re closing our own showcase,” I say.

Roy rips his sunglasses off of his head. His eyes are wide and terrifying. He takes a deep breath and begins to bellow “YOU. ARE.  ALWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW–”

I’ve never heard anyone extend a “w” sound like this, but Roy does it, his mouth pursed into a tight, lower-case “o.”


Max gets his phone out to see if his fiance cares if Pageantry plays at their wedding.


“Well, okay,” Ryan says. “Thank you for letting us play with you guys.”

“Oh hey, no problem. No problem. You guys got merch? You can sell it next to ours if you want.”

“Oh that’d be great,” Ryan says.

“Yeah, no problem, hey good luck tonight,” Roy says. I reach my hand out for a shake and he steps past it, getting very close to me, my hand now on his hip. “Shall we dance?” he asks. His voice smells like steamed vegetables.

“Sure, if y–” I start to do the Charleston, but my guitar falls off. It hits the ground with a terrible clang. Disgusted, Roy puts both this hands in the air, does a couple of bird sounds, and trots out of the room and out of my house. I don’t hear a car start. I look out the window. Roy is jogging down my street, hands still in the air. He turns right onto Wisteria and then he’s gone.

“Ready?” I ask, picking my guitar up.

Max and I head to where the artists pick up their wrist bands. It is in a parking lot in a poorly-lit part of town. As we pull into the lot, Max’s headlights dance upon the gravel and chain link, then on a security guard who waves the light away and yells something like “So bright.”

Max stops the car.

“Leave it running,” I say. “In case we have to get out of here in a hurry.”

Max nods solemnly. He is covered in sweat. “Reach under your seat.”

I do. I feel something cold and heavy. I pull it out.

“My god, Max, why do you have this?!”

“Keep a gun in your car, keep a soul in your body,” he says, then does a little kiss thing at me.

“Lord,” I mumble, then carefully put the gun back under my seat and get out.

“Do you want the gun?!” Max calls out to me from the driver side window.

“What?! No!” I whisper yell. “Don’t say that.”

The security guard is still blinded by Max’s headlights, so I walk by him without explaining why I’m here. I hear him say something about the eyes of God.

Beyond the gate are food trucks and a table stocked with youthful volunteers and a box of wrist bands.

“Savage and the Big Beat,” I say. They give me my wrist bands and I return to the car.

When I get there, Max is dancing around next to the car, singing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and waving his gun around.

“Max, what are you doing?!” I ask. Then, softer, “You can’t have a gun out here.”

“Bossy” He whispers, pouting. He tosses the gun in the backseat and gets into the car.

We reach the venue and unload our gear. It’s all next to the fajita station, so we won’t lose it. We’ll just smell our way back to it.

We have a tremendously sexy show for like eight people.

This post is too long

The next night, Savage is set to play a houseshow. An UNOFFICIAL 35 SHOW.

There was so much sweat and a we played a Queen cover and the whole room shat at once and the shit made the room foul and  Max became ill, contracting dysentery, and Ryan said why did they do that and I couldn’t get the heart to tell him that they did it because they love us because I was afraid Ryan would come to fear love and the great tragedy of this world are those who are afraid to love.

It was rainy and stormy. I saw a car accident.

The end.

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