Wednesday March 3rd, 1999 at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS
The Believe It Or Nots, The Electron Volts, Proudentall

Wednesday night shows are hard for me to get to. This time I arrived in the club paying me buckages in time to hear someone from KJHK announcing The Believe It Or Nots and talking about their debut CD coming out "in a week." Yeah for plugs.

I made my way through the club (about 80 folks there) and up to the stage where I was joined by about another 20 folks. That number would soon swell to nearly 40. The band opened with Blackberry Sage which wasn't nearly so gripping as their opener a few weeks ago, and in general tonight's set wasn't nearly so upbeat as last week's. Greg was less active, tunings took forever between songs, there was no silly extreme pop from their take on Journey's Don't Stop Believing or Frere Jaques. But the band played well despite some minor inebriation and the number of folks up front grew up during the entire set.

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The club had a bit of an odd atmosphere. Since this was a KJHK wattage increase party, there were a great number of KJ DJs there who were all a clique I wasn't a part of. I did run into my ever expanding circle of acquaintances quite a bit though and was introduced officially to a few I knew only through their bands as well so it wasn't one of those shows where I sit in the corner and watch folks.

The Electronvolts were up next. They started off with a cover of I Wanna Be Sedated but with different lyrics and different solo. Things continued on like that. The band is three piece with a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer who stabbed at backing vocals. Mike from The Revolvers was playing bass for them and looking fairly uninterested but relaxed. There were a few times a caught him grinning - I think he was thinking about something else though. The band is actually pretty good but the formula pop punk and punk rock of Lookout! days past isn't my bag. They ended with a love song in tribute to Kim from The Muffs which was fun.

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Next were Proudentall. I hadn't seen them before but I do have the split with The Anniversary and I've been listening to it quite a bit lately. As luck would have it they started off with Say Something from that 7" and had a friend on trombone join them. It worked wonderfully adding a contrasting drawn out brassy tone to their notey guitar syncopation. The trombone player split after a song (to return for the final number) as the band ripped through short songs full of energy and originality. They were just great. No long drawn out songs. No loud soft pedal stomping. Interesting arrangements. I was just floored. The second guitarist reminded me a lot of Matt from Sohcahtoa. His wasn't playing was rhythmic and was there entirely to make songs interesting. He wasn't playing to hold the songs together, he was there to tear them apart.

In the middle of the set (and if I remember right, in the middle of a song) Matt looked down at me and said "Don't believe what no KARMA told you" . [OFF TOPIC WARNING] When I first met the no KARMA kids the topic of KC bands came up and they were saying how difficult it was to work with Proudentall. I asked Matt Paper Brigade about this and he somewhat agreed but was definitely nice about it. I guess somehow this all got back to Matt from Proudentall and irked him. I thought it kinda odd and shrugged it off.

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After the band played I tried to track down the sweaty members of the band to thank 'em and had a chance to talk to Matt a little. He was more than nice actually so whatever reputation they may have, I didn't have to confirm it. In fact they offered me a ride to their next gig in Lincoln. Hmm I've never been to Lincoln...