Downtown Music

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July 4, 2005 // UPDATED 1:56 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

May I speak to Satan, please?

When I was 17, a bunch of my friends went to see GWAR without me. It didn't really hurt my feelings, though, because I had no idea who GWAR was at the time, and these friends of mine had cars and lived in L.A. proper and were getting to go to all sorts of things I didn't get to go to. Also, in my defense, GWAR was still a relatively new band at the time with only one album out - 1998's "Hell-O" - and not the huge household name they are now.

A couple of nights later, around midnight, my friends Emek and Kevin called me up raving about what a great show I'd missed. "There was blood everywhere!" they said, launching into descriptions of giant dancing milk cartons with missing children's faces painted on the side, a mock battle held on stage, beheadings and copious amounts of fake bodily fluids splashing all over the place.

"Boy, that does sound cool!" I said, and added, "Hey, have you guys been crank-calling my parents and leaving messages from 'Satan' on their answering machine?"

Of course they were, which somehow ties this episode with the present - or at least the whole answering machine part does. I had set up an interview with Oderus Urungus/David Brockie (GWAR's vocalist) for a Monday afternoon, which is usually my most hassle-free day of the week. When the time for the interview came around and passed with no phone call, I decided to hook my tape recorder up to my portable phone and go do some gardening.

Hours were spent with me in the garden, digging up weeds, shaking worms and slugs off my mud-covered hands, rearranging clematis and morning glory vines to make for more appealing shapes, deadheading daisies and phlox, etc., etc. My son and daughter ran back and forth over the sprinklers while I did so, screaming loudly every time the cold water touched bare skin. It was an idyllic afternoon, one that would have been made even more perfect if Brockie had actually called.

The next day, my husband and I went grocery shopping with the kids - and, oh yeah, we went to the bank, too. When we got home, there was a message on the answering machine from Dave Brockie. "Hey, you know, I got my days all confused," the message said. "I guess I was supposed to call you yesterday, but if you want, we can talk today." He left a number, which I promptly called.

"So hey, you wanna do this interview?" Brockie slurred when I called him up. "I can do it after four, if you can call me back."

"No problem!" I said.

Of course, when I did call him back, three hours later, there was no answer. I tried again, several times, leaving very polite messages, until finally I decided to call it quits. I called the number one last time, and when the machine picked up, the 17-year-old in me blurted out, "Satan!" and hung up the phone. It was immensely satisfying. The end.

P.S. Oh, before I forget - also performing with the Sounds of the Underground Tour are Lamb of God, Clutch, Opeth, Poison The Well, From Autumn to Ashes, Unearth, Chimaira, Norma Jean, Every Time I Die, Strapping Young Lad, Throwdown, High On Fire, All That Remains, Devil Driver, A Life Once Lost, Madball and Fear Before the March of Flames.

• Th July 7, 11 a.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N. $28.50 to $32.50. (651) 989-5151,

Rock on and on and on

Can you imagine what the 1970s would have been like if there had never been a Robert Plant or a Led Zeppelin? Music might have continued to go in the direction of the intellectual Genesises (Peter Gabriel's, not Phil Collins') and the twiddling Renaissance-Faire-rock of Jethro Tull, instead of on the fast track to the cool psychedelic-blues rock that Zeppelin put us on. Robert Plant may not have the fantastic hair and physique my babysitter used to rave about anymore, but the voice is still his.

• Su July 10, 7:30 p.m. Historic Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S. $50 to $85. 339-7007,