Note: The Wave is a jitney that rides up and down Washington Ave. dropping people off whereever they please. It's cool if you're drunk. It's the worst place on earth if you're not.
4:11 p.m.: So Friday night, Houston Press music editor Chris Gray called and said, "Hey, I had an idea. Why don't you ride The Wave for an hour and do one of those timelines you always do. It could be good." It seemed like a solid idea at the time; drunk people usually do all sorts of nonsensical tomfoolery worth writing about.
But after about four minutes riding on it, it very clearly was a sucker deal. There's all types of amazingness going on outside, and we're stuck in what is essentially a moving vomitorium. It smells like a frat house in here. This is the worst. We've been hustled, big time. Gray might as well have been like, "Yo, we're all going to this really great strip club tomorrow. You should come. It's gonna be great. Oh, but you can only hang out in the restroom."
4:19: Singer Kam Franklin is aboard The Wave. She's very good at what she does, and reasonably famous within the parameters of Houston. There's something surreal about being on a small-scale bus and seeing a small-scale celebrity. She might as well be holding a tiny bottle of liquor and wearing a tiny hat. That would have been bananas.
4:30: There's an ad for Wunderfood on one of the interior panels of The Wave. They make healthy food. That seems an awful lot like wasted money. Are guys really getting on The Wave at 1:30 a.m. all drunk and shit like, "Man, I could really go for a Broiled Whitefish Dinner"?
Of course not. Drunk guys don't concern themselves with a dish's nutritional merits. On the contrary, their only concern is that it's hefty and cheap. (They feel the same way about their women.) That's why Taco Bell serves tacos inside of tacos for 59 cents.
4:30:04: By the way, if you've ever eaten Taco Bell outside of the 11 p.m.-4 a.m. timeframe, consider yourself awful. Just plain ol' awful.
4:32: A girlfriend and boyfriend are both wearing Kangol hats. That's cute. So now the question becomes, Which one do you want to punch more?
4:39: Did you ever notice there's a place on Washington that sells tombstones? True.
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4:42: Bart Maloney just got on. Do you know who he is? He plays in a bunch of Houston bands. And, from afar, he seems like a genuinely nice guy. But, man, he is very, very scary. It's because of his unwavering dedication to his greaser look. Every time we see him, we think of Keifer Sutherland in Stand By Me. We've never not seen him dressed like that.
When we first started seeing him around town we thought, "Oh, that has to be an act he's bothered keeping up since he plays the pedal steel and all. He probably has a closet full of Dockers at home." But it seems less and less likely that that's the case. Matter of fact, at this point, it's bordering on the supernatural. Example:
As soon as Maloney stepped onto The Wave, Patsy Cline's super eerie "Walking After Midnight" came on. How does that happen? That can't be a coincidence. Not one other time riding this godforsaken vomitraption (vomit + contraption) did a song from that era come on. And what's more, he didn't even appear surprised that that happened. He just started singing it to himself as he swayed into his seat.
This has to be proof positive that Bart Maloney's existence is governed by some sort of dark, metaphysical being. This whole thing is very disconcerting. Heretofore, should you see Maloney anywhere (like at the Continental Club or Walter's or a seance), or if you happen to have to message him online or reference him at anytime, you no longer refer to him simply as Bart Maloney, but as The Legend Of Bart Maloney.
We will officially add this to the Aftermath Catalog of Musician-Themed Hypotheses and Theories*. Can somebody get started on printing up some The Legend of Bart Maloney T-shirts to sell at the next Umbrella Man show, please?
*Other musician-themed hypotheses and theories:
The Bun B Law of Inevitably: Which states that if there is a live hip-hop show taking place in Houston, Bun B will make a cameo.
The Bun B Pork Chop Hat Hypothesis: Which postulates that Bun B is so cool that, should he decide to wear a pork chop on his head at one of his shows, it will immediately become en vogue.
4:51: Had to hop off The Wave to get some fresh air. Fat Tony is playing at Pearl Bar. Nay, "playing" is the wrong word; Tony is putting in work. His live show right now is bonkers. You can't overstate how well he's doing.
We've seen him live a few times in the past, but it was nothing like this. We were uncertain as to whether or not we thought he should win the Best Underground Hip-Hop award for a third year in a row - he didn't put out very much new music this past year, instead choosing to focus on his forthcoming debut album-- but it's pretty clear that if somebody else is going to win it, they're going to have to tear it from his clenched, bloodied fists. The boy is bad.
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4:51:04: If anyone is going to wrestle it away from him, it's going to be either Hollywood Floss or B L A C K I E. That category is a three-horse race. And if Tony does pull it out for the third straight year, we will spend the entire next year campaigning to change the title of the award to The Fat Tony. The Super Bowl trophy is named after Vince Lombardi. Why should this be any different?
5:01: B L A C K I E is doing his human-tornado thing at Salt Bar. You know what's cool about his shows? They exist in a vacuum separate from time. There's no beginning or end, there just is and isn't. A lot of times, you can look at a dude and decipher what point in his live show he's in, like, "Yeah, he's looking a little frayed, he's probably about halfway done with his set."
You can't do that with B L A C K I E. He's shirtless and covered and sweat and looks on the verge of passing out? Fuck, man. That's not telling me anything. He might've not even started yet. You might as well say you're looking for a Mexican with brown hair and brown eyes.
5:14: Back on the Wave. We got a seat this time, which is only a good idea in theory. Apparently, the "All Passengers Must Be Seated" mantra isn't in effect today, which means the bus is crammed with people standing in the aisle, which means every so often someone's butthole will rub right up against our shoulder as they shift about during turns. Excellent.