Musk turns three at the Midway
Plunge into Death
“I’m not the official door guy or anything, I’m just the DJ’s boyfriend.”
Inside, among the rickety stacks of speakers, wobbly ceiling fans, and strings of Christmas lights, a small crowd packs into the dark, remote Midway Café like distant cousins at Grandma’s third wedding. Australian indie-rock godfathers the Cannanes have popped in, and they toss off playful jabs at old friends R.E.M., to the gaggle of jeans-and-shirt-tucking fans in the house rubbing shoulders with the usual Musk crowd of unclassifiables (dreads, Brazil soccer jerseys, and short shorts — check) on the dance night’s third birthday a week ago Wednesday. The Cannanes rhyme “Australia” with “failure” a few times in a song, with great success. A neglected FotoFind console looks a little lonely.
There are booty-dancing cuts from the ’80s, white girls hitting body-lock poses, and a sign slung on the taps that reads “$2.50 Cans of Mystery Beer.” Musk founder and de facto Plunge into Death honcho Dave Geissler (who used to blast Captain Beefheart while on duty at Hi-Fi Records) presides over turntables and humbly shrugs off congratulatory hugs from well-wishers. (“Ouch . . . my back . . . totally sore,” he winces, fresh off a solo bike tour of Europe.)
A swerving conversation at one end of the bar about the existence of hippie communes in Ohio ends inconclusively as Plunge into Death’s Jesse Hubbell emerges from the basement in a pink blouse and skin-tight, stone-washed Jordaches and parts the crowd like a dinky Red Sea. The CD-R backing tracks start, and Plunge’s cheeky Miami sex-bass operatics take over while Geissler’s disco Steven Seagal moves stir up a campy and vaguely creepy environment in which to get winks from strangers (first-hand observation). The set is done in 20 minutes, and the room flips into basement-dance-party mode.
Even though the Cannanes have taken off in their mini-van, a faithful few remain spinning around the room to Devo’s “Gates of Steel,” and locals are still stumbling in through the door. It’s 1:15, and someone remembers the anniversary cake hidden under the bar.
: Live Reviews
, R.E.M., Captain Beefheart, Steven Seagal, More