Scribe's Report 08-11-03 - DEVOtional 2003

PHOTOS from this DEVOtional 1

MORE Photos from this DEVOtional

Photos from LAST YEAR'S DEVOtional

Pic at right by Atom Funway

Being "Bob's" little bitch for 24 years pays off in weekends like this, Praise "Bob" and The Hypno-Toad.

Hearty and congested congratulations to Rev. Toth Wilder, Rev. Scott Orsi, Rev. Mike Pilmer, Gerald V. Casale, and the other inner DEVOtees for making this the best DEVOtional yet.

Casale is one of the original members of DEVO, and the other main spokesfreak and songwriter with Rev. Mark Mothersbaugh. He hung with the DEVOtees all day, sang DEVO songs with all of the bands, answered questions for a couple of hours, and generally was a great sport and a really raunchy, funny M.C.

This whole DEVOtional was heavy on the raunch, partly due to Casale's free expression of his core philosophy (best summed up as "Three Way Is Best"), and partly to the various bands, especially The Punk Group.

I am VERY impressed with The Punk Group, which is only two guys that sound like nine. Reminded me of The Swingin' Love Corpses, or perhaps Spinal Tap, that's how tight yet disgusting and hilarious they are. My favorite song by them was "Fat Girls on Bicycles, Trying to Lose Weight." Lyrics "worthy of Deedee Ramone."

The Cleveland band CD TRUTH gets better every time I see them. This 3 piece band (like most of the bands at the DEVOtional) does mostly original music, but is also known for drastically stylized covers of DEVO songs. An impromptu collaboration with Casale at the end of their set was possibly the high point of the event in terms of sheer infectious energy. The Amino Acids drummer, Senator Speck, got so excited that he was tearing monitors off the stage and slinging them around as a form of "moshing."

The Amino Acids, darlings of 6X-Day, turned in a sterling performance devoid of the technical probs which beset them at Brushwood. In other words, their set was only about 20 minutes long even though it includes 15 songs. (They play rather... high-tempo, one might say.)

My friends, let me brag. I was made an Honorary Amino Acid and was given AN AMINO ACID MASK! Technically it isn't a mask at all, but one of the old "skins" molted by one of the actual band members. I wore it while dancing, usually on the back of my head so that from behind, to someone on drugs, I looked like the hallucinated product of a bad freak-out on the way. To someone not on drugs I looked like a hippie in a crazy shirt with one of those French mime face masks of white plastic and anonymous features on the back of his head.

I delivered a slightly DEVO-slanted version of a crimped and shortened Standard Stang 2003 Rant, which includes some strong language about current events which prompted Jerry Casale to warn me that I was gonna get myself arrested, talking like that.

I pose these certain questions about current events, which could be taken out of context as very inflamatory. Casale thought that was a bad idea because, in his opinion, the U.S. is now THE WORST IT'S EVER BEEN, facism-wise. He reminded me: "I was at Kent State that day and I saw my fellow students get shot... AND I CONSIDER IT TO BE WORSE NOW. MUCH WORSE."

However, Jerry is not running for office, planning an assassination, or fleeing the country, so I think he's exaggerrating still. If people REALLY BELIEVED that things are as bad as they like to say, they'd be doing something more drastic than griping.

I think things are much worse than even Casale thinks they are, AND HAVE BEEN THAT WAY ALL ALONG; it's just taking everybody awhile to admit just how far gone it really is, and to admit JUST HOW SATISFIED THEY THEMSELVES ACTUALLY ARE WITH IT. Because all anybody's doing so far is griping. Me included; it's just that my gripe encompasses my fellow gripers too. (That's the EASY part, see!)

I still say, if you want to fight the Conspiracy, work at making YOURSELF STRONGER, so that you don't depend on anybody else for basics. You can't beat it, but you can distance yourself from it and make yourself less dependent on it. I know that isn't funny, but hey.

The Lime Spider, a nice bar in Akron where this was held, finally drove us all out of there at about 3 a.m., after a truly inspiring final set by The Spudboys, the premiere DEVO Research and Emulation band, joined by Casale, who had morphed by then into The DEVO Elvis, so to speak. By that, I mean his grossly sexual gyrations, and the crotch-based poses that he struck, were very distinctly of an Elvisian nature.

Gerry Casale and I went through a lot together some years ago, while getting one of their music videos produced. I was finally able to determine that one of the Bobs we both know is NOT the same one that got rich on a popular TV show. ((*WHEW! I'd angrily parted ways with the Bob we both knew.))

We/I missed Gadgetto due to car trouble. I saw him last year, and I had really wanted Princess Wei to see this mysterious performer so that she can help me guess what's inside the strange black box he carries onto stage, and from which come such weird musics. Shunned tonalities as if from the hoary shores of a forgotten time of Lovecraftian namelessness. I am afraid to ask to have a look. He's a very grim looking East German (or something) who apparently speaks no English.

Rev. Onan Canobite was also there, although he didn't perform. He was there with his DAD! Yes, Rev. Onan Canobite came to the DEVOtional with HIS OWN "GENERAL BOY!"

Akron's most prominent Connieite, Rev. Genina Grinder, and her hale beau Rev. (GOT-DAMMIT IT'S ON THE TIP OF MY BRAIN!) made the scene, and helped us jerk back and forth all night, along with Rev. Blain, owner of the coolest Bulldada Museum-House in the area. I also met a long-lost Cleveland Sub who can fix Lonesome Cowboy Dave's computer. And Starwood siren Rev. Burns.

And I am sure that every fellow there will remember, forever, Rev. Samantha, Devo Art Girl SubGenius, from Arizona. This preturnaturally vivacious young lady, we saw, can not only BREAKDANCE but bakes a mean "Pole N Hole" donut! Good golly miss molly. NGOGNGOGNGOGN, ooo la LA. Be still my heart. Oh you kid.

Pic by Jimi Imij

Perhaps most important news of the whole DEVOtional to SubGenii:


This worthy had VANISHED from 6X-Day celebrations at Brushwood very early in the proceedings, after having been seen wandering off into the woods in a severe Rogue-SubGenius level of intoxication. Until he resurfaced at the DEVOtional, it had been assumed that he had gotten lost in the woods and simply died of exposure, been killed by a bear or starved to death. (It happens to some kid or another every X-Day Drill, but nobody's ever made a stink about it.)

He told me that he has a love of wandering -- I guess you would call that a wanderlust -- and that he had gotten into his car and started wandering around Amish country near Brushwood. Where he never managed to wander back to was Brushwood itself.

He must have eventually wandered to the right place, because since then he has acquired what is evidently a NIICE GIRLFRIEND.

I have a huge stack of CDs that were given me by various groups and individuals at the DEVOtional, which I need to sort for Hour of Slack, and about 100 WeiPhoto shots to make available to the bands, and I am going to have to THROW together an emergency rerun Hour of Slack to be mailed out TODAY somehow, or tomorrow, but, at least I helped get my mother-in-law moved, and my feet survived the all-night dancing, and I got my car to the shop, indeed I was able to DRIVE it there rather than have it towed. (Late note: severe oil leak caused permanent engine damage. The StangMobile has made its last trip to Brushwood, I fear.)

And the MINUTE I get this emergency rerun-Hour of Slack dubbing, I'll finish and mail out the SWAG and SECRET EMAIL CODES and ANSWERS that have been stacking up here since before Starwood.

I've been getting a LOT of mail of both kinds but I swear I will get to it... I SWEAR it! But the swag that I've been paid for will definitely go out first. We have SENSIBLE PRIORITIES here.

That's why I spent so much of the day LOUNGING with the SPACE PRINCESS.

That very last Futurama last night... it brought tears to our eyes, BECAUSE IT WAS SO FUCKING GOOD*, and because it ended JUST the way we most wanted it to. Wei actually bawled and bawled. It was so sweet.

I now have every single episode, numbered and titled, on VCD. Matt Groening has made his fellow 1980-starving-artists very proud indeed, as well as just unbelievably fucking jealous.

* The Robot Devil character and in fact this whole episode owe a lot to a movie called "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," itself a real classic of bulldada starring Hans Conreid, written and designed by Dr. Seuess.

NEXT EVENT: IndyVival is imminent!
(hotel discount deadline moreso)

Sept 20th, at beautiful Radio Radio, in Indianapolis

Featuring: Rev. Ivan Stang, the Duke of Uke, sTallio, Destination
Earth!, terrifying surprises yet to be announced, and

(Check out the great article about Dr. Howll at:)

Other events all weekend! Watch and for breaking news and updates.


The deadline for the discount rate (Ramada, $55 per night) is August 19th

BONUS SECTION: Long-Lost Photos from AKRON Devival 2002

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