12 August 2007


Time again for the extremely infrequent visit to Sacramento's oldest club -- opened in 1939 -- The Torch Club. Needless to say, I had to have a respite from the ugliness, the disaster that this nation has become, however briefly. So bear with me as I try to transcribe these nearly undecipherable scribblings in my beer-stained notebook ...

4:50PM. A typical scene: ten minutes before the "blues jam" is due to commence, and there's a grand total of seven people in the bar, and the four nearest are carrying on an overly-loud conversation about ... real estate. How exciting. Complementing the stupidity of it all are the well-stewed bikers who are now trickling in, wrapped in faux-leathers and carefully composed scowls; the outlaw aura is rendered slightly less convincing by their cell phones, and by the ubiquitous squinty-eyed over-concentration they display as they force their pudgy fingers to manipulate the tiny little buttons ...

5:00 PM. The "house band" should be launching their half-assed assault on the historical fundament of American blues music right about now, but so far there's only a drum set and an amplifier set up on the stage. It doesn't bode well, but then nothing ever does around here ... Four dollars for a pint of Guinness -- I find myself digging through the change in my pocket, hopelessly wondering if I have enough money left to buy another drink ... Tattoo people just walked in, so perhaps the afternoon isn't a complete wash after all.

5:05 PM. I'm disappointed to see that the bulbously curvy bartender is still sporting that stupid bobbed haircut. It's The Bicycle Thief meets T-Bone Walker in a dingy downtown club. How revolting.

5:30 PM. The bald-headed security guy just turned on the jukebox. Hmmm ... Ah yes, the harsh and beat-to-crap semi-street people have finally arrived, the Torch Club's primary clientele. The real estate buttheads are getting pretty drunk ... You've never seen so many pony tails and bald spots in one room -- I love this place.

5:50 PM. The "band" starts playing, only 50 minutes late ... somebody, anybody, please punch me in the head as hard as possible. Please! I can still hear this unconscionable affront to taste and decency. I do love this place, but I seriously wonder why I ever bother to come here. Jeeze, I can play 12-bar blues as badly as these fuckers ...

6:15 PM. To be completely honest, these guys are god-awful hacks, this bar is a funky nasty mess, the patrons have lived very hard lives ... but I haven't thought about NeoCon aggression or constitutional destruction or Presidential orders or the likelihood of being locked up in a Halliburton-constructed prison -- among other horrors -- for at least an hour. So, it's time well spent, I suppose.

6:30 PM. OK. I'm so bored I could spit. The idiots on stage are the drunkest people in the joint ... I'm done.

Well, that was fun.

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