IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!! GJ Willis' Art Notes

The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday, July 18, 2004


For the first time ever I attended Artscape on a Saturday. I was going solely to see The Violent Femmes. I decided not to take my chair along for the trip. I wasn’t too sure what the atmosphere would be like for the Value City Stage. I wasn’t sure if it would be a laid back chair crowd or a mosh pit.

O’Malley’s March was the opening act for The Violent Femmes. I should say now that O’Malley’s March is a local Celtic rock group headed by, Martin O’Malley, the mayor of Baltimore. They took the stage at around 6 and seemed to never leave. I noticed every now and then the Mayor took a sip out of a white cup. You couldn't quiet tell if it was booze or not in the cup. I assumed it was booze.

The Mayor’s band was quiet good. This has been the second time that I have seen his band. I’m not a fan or anything. It just seems to me that if a hot happening band is performing at Artscape his band usually opens up for them. Abuse of power? I don’t know.... To tell you the truth I was surprised they didn’t “happen” to open up for U2 when they performed here a few years ago.

The one memory I will carry of his performance is of the little children and the curly red haired woman in the pink top who got up and danced to each song that the band played.

The Mayor finally left the stage at around 8pm. At first I was really into his Celtic Rock Music. Then after a while as it started getting closer to the time that the The Femmes should be on stage I started to hate them.

The Femmes finally took to the stage at around 8:45. Before they came on I soon realized I have no idea what they look like today. For all I know they could be all old, fat, bald guys.

I was a little worried when I saw these three middle aged men take the stage. I was crest fallen. Two of them wore glasses. The other one wore shades and a wide grin. One of the bespeckled men looked a lot like the blond haired guy from the X-Files, Lone Gunmen. The other bespeckled man wore a cowboy hat and a blue Hawaiian shirt decorated with white lizards. As soon as they kicked in with there first song I knew that the Lone Gunman looking man was accoustic bass player and group leader,Brian Ritchie. The guy in the cowboy hat was lead singer, Gordon Gano. The happy man in the shades was drummer, Victor De Lorenzo.

They sounded just as I remember. However, they were much older. I didn’t take my camera to the show. However, I found a website that shows how they look like today. Yes, I felt a little distraught with Gordon wearing a cowboy hat. It could only mean one thing. Gasp! Gordon Gano....is bald! Gasp! How can I go on!

For the concert I was about nine feet from the stage. I was so close to the stage that I could have screamed out, “Gordon take your hat off!”, and I believe he would have heard me.

A bizarrely creepy occurence that happened just before the show started was that it looked like this girl who was standing right in front me was giving a blow job to her boyfriend. I didn’t know for sure. It was one of those deals where it looks like something is going on but you don’t want to stare. Even the guy standing by me said to his friend, “Hey are those two??” I have to say I was very happy when they finally left. I almost wanted to applaud. Who does that just before a concert?

Back to the Violent Femmes, according to legend they do not have a play list. If you want to hear a song you just shout it out. Brian Ritchie, according to legend tells the group which songs they are going to play while on stage. So everything is always spontaneous. However, I have to say I did feel a wee bit paranoid when they played Fat then later played Black Girls(Is it a tongue and cheek song or do they really like black girls better than white girls?). I’m sure it was just a random selection of songs. But still......

Overall, the show was kick ass! There was a mosh pit and body surfing. The show had to be stopped for a bit because the security had to eject a fan from the audience. I don’t know what happened but it sure was exciting.

This was the most exciting Artscape concert I have ever been to! I was dancing and singing in public! The Violent Femmes rocked the house!

Some of the songs they played on Saturday were, Out the Window, Waiting for the Bus, Fat, Country Death Song(Whenever, I listen to this song it makes me wonder if Gordon has any daughters, and if so what do they think of this song?), Black Girls, American Music, >Gone Daddy Gone, Kiss Off, I Held Her In My Arms, Jesus Walking On Water, and Add It Up. They did not play Children of the Revolution or Nightmares.

Towards the end of the show Gordan Gano did take off his cowboy. He still had a full head of heard. No bald spot to be seen. Yes, I did breathe a giant sigh of relief. The Violent Femmes are not all old, fat, bald, senior citizens, yet.


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