Neighborhood Texture Jam = Show Not to be Missed

Previous Trivia Answer: Woodrow Wilson.

Today’s Trivia Question: Who was the bassist for the Jimi Hendrix Experience?

Right after the Chess Club (CD release show), I headed over to the NTJ gig at the Hi Tone. I only heard about the show because Doug Walker, the instrumentalist for Chess Club, told me about it; otherwise, I was heading home.

For those that are dead, or just don’t visit this site a lot, I’m a big fan of Neighborhood Texture Jam. They are not only a band from my youth (I stumbled into their first album release party, for Funeral Mountain), but NTJ is also a band from the annuls of Memphis alt rock/punk history. I think I will have a serious conversation 50 years from now about what it was like to Joe Lapsley and the boys, and I will have to wax eloquent for hours on end.

For free beers, of course.

OK, if you want to see photos of what I am talking about, check out the images available here.

Still with me? Good.

I actually overheard a conversation with Joe before the show. He was pumped for it, in the same confident, yet true, way an artist may approach his piece. He was wearing what looked to be a rented tux, and the nightstick in the cumberbund made immediate sense.

NTJ performed a rock opera for the first 35 minute. The 1st act was about the racial riots in Philly in the early-70s. A chorus from a song in the 1st act went something like: “We know know to get the job done; nightstick in the cumberbund.” Did I mention that Joe had a nightstick in the cumberbund of his tux.

The 2nd act had something do to with an Oedipal complex, but I couldn’t be sure.

The 3rd act featured a 7-foot model Japanese carrier and Joe singing an entire song while poking his eyes out with sharpened drum sticks and using blood bags for effect. The very last song involved Joe singing it as a ghost, hidden under a white lace sheet, atoning for his sins and wishing all of us to avoid them.

After the rock opera, Joe said, slowly into the mic, “Thank you for listening. Now we will play our entire regular show.” He then immediately changed into a Manhole shirt (club from Chicago), and NTJ played an entire show, even more intense than usual.

All in all, a magical evening.

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