Show #36: DeKalb, Ill.

"Dude, we miss you out here. There is a cornstalk with your name on it."

So ran the mediocre joke that I emailed to my former booking agent on the occasion of my second show in DeKalb, Ill. DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, the venue Otto's, and not much else. I hear there is a highway tollbooth in DeKalb as well. There may also be an adult novelty shop, but rumors of this shop go unconfirmed.

At Otto's, I played with the YoungBlood Brass Band, a brass ensemble armed with funky beats and, often, an M.C. I'm not sure why my precious art-rock trio was booked with YoungBlood, but I enjoyed their funky tunes and live hip-hop stylings. Also, if ever a man was built to play the tuba—the largest instrument in the brass family—it is the large member of YoungBlood pictured above. During its set, members of YoungBlood complained about the post-Katrina Disneyification of New Orleans. I support these observations, but, as we were playing in DeKalb, Ill., I wondered aloud about the YoungBlood Brass Band to the stage manager.

"What's with this brass band?" I asked the stage manager. "Are they from New Orleans?"

"No," said the stage manager. "They are from Wisconsin."

"Oh," I said. Why are these Wisconsinites bringing a New Orleans vibe? I thought to ask the promoter. Indeed, I opened my mouth to inquire. Instead, I asked myself: "Why should it matter what genre the musicians of Wisconsin celebrate?" I promptly closed my mouth.

As the YoungBlood Brass Band burrowed into the funky guts of their set, I performed a bit of algebra. Before the show, I thought, I expected an audience of cornstalks and tumbleweeds. However, a crew of 10-20 interested persons showed up instead. The population of DeKalb is approximately 40,000. This is .005% of New York City's 8,000,000 people. That means, if I played in New York City, this 20 person audience would expland to 4,000 people. As there was a show booked for New York City on the last day of my tour, I smiled and looked forward to meeting these 4,000 people.


  1. #1

    If what I hear is anything to go by, Antelope has as much promise as a dead fish. Art rock? Fart rock more like. On the positive side, what lovely sunglasses you are wearing on that photograh. How much did you pay?

  2. #2

    Thanks for the comment about my sunglasses, Ernest---if that is your real name. When I drive around the country shilling "fart rock," I wear sunglasses that I purchase at local gas stations. I try to pay under $10 but, if I want to treat myself, I spring for a $12 pair.

    Also, Ernest---you wrote to praise sunglasses I was wearing in my "photograh." I think you meant to type "photograph." When publicly expressing myself, I try to avoid typos. It isn't always easy to avoid typos. I have made many typographical errors in my life, some of them on this very weblog. Perhaps there is one in this very message that I have missed! However, when trying to be funny or clever in written correspondence, you may find that even the smallest typos undermine a potentially witty point you are trying to make. You are a very witty individual. For this reason, I would recommend a spellcheck. Godspeed.

  3. #3

    For hating you so much, he really does keep up with the entries.

  4. #4

    That Ernest again. Just the kind of comment I'd expect from his kind.
    Whatever doesn't sound like Beethoven, Coltrane or the Beatles is a subject of a vicious criticism. Can you get it into your head that it's INDIE – young people's genre of music where entirely different standards apply? Antelope's music may not be great but it's not vulgar while its flaws are inoffensive, it's quite listenable actually. Which is to say, in his own right, Justin Moyer is as a DC musician as Leonard Slatkin is. Do you think you could reconcile yourself with that? .So get real and get some typing lessons. Your spelling is a disgrace indeed.

  5. #5

    Ernest, must you really discolor other people's existence with your putrid bile? Beaky, on the other hand, as this thread has demonstrated, is the master of tact and diplomacy.

  6. #6


    I save the special moment to read your blog for the halfway point in my work day. 'Tis the high point of my 8hr shift. I laugh out loud with my co-workers wondering what the f#$%! Your reply on "photograh/photograph" was awesome! Can't wait for your next post.......................

  7. #7

    Peggy, thanks for being so understanding about my solitary vice. You free for a drink sometime your gorgeous person you?

  8. #8

    Spellcheck or not, I piss on Antelope from a great height - first shower they've had in weeks, I'm sure.

    Kerry, instead of saving that "special moment" to regurgitate nonsense, next time please save your breath to blow your special someone, or something.

  9. #9

    Beaky, how can a human being - if that's what you are - be so thick?

  10. #10


    The photograph is of a large man playing a sousaphone,
    not a tuba. A trivial distinction, but I thought you would appreciate
    it as you seem to be meticulous with your language.

  11. #11

    Thanks for the correction, Jon---if that is your real name. I had thought to identify the instrument as a sousaphone, but, in a moment of journalistic overconfidence, thought, "Of course that instrument is a tuba!" I stand corrected. The distinction is not trivial, as John Philip Sousa will attest from the hereafter. Peace be unto you.

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