The Napkin’ Mini-Tour of Terror

napkinsGreetings! I come to you in the best of spirits tonight, as we’ve actually had two nice days in a row, and our basement is finally starting to dry out! Also, it’s skunk season, and one of the Kelp kanines was recently sprayed; I admit that the fact that this is good news says more about how bad this particular dog used to smell than how good it smells now, but that still spells progress as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of progress, former Wellfleet resident (and member of the much missed No Sientos) Eben Portnoy has hit on a catchy idea: he’s currently playing a series of shows in which the members of his band the Napkins are being killed off one at a time.

This is clearly a charming and innovative concept. After all, how many times have you been watching someone singing, thinking, “gosh, I wish he’d blow up”, only to have that not happen?

If nothing else, this is a promotional gambit to be reckoned with, and Eben’s press releases about these shows have been a gold mine of interesting reading. Why, last week, in a fit of press agent zeal, he even invented the word “triumphance”, as in “it is with a heavy heart that I bring you this news [of the impending demise of the Napkins], yet with a heaviness imbued with a shining glimmer of triumphance.” If only Colonel Parker could’ve lived to see this!

Portnoy went on to say that the band would “eviscerate themselves in a gruesome public display during their mini-tour of terror” to promote their new Cd, “Love Hurts”, “a fresh- sounding EP primed to jump-start the posthumous careers of this hot-blooded young band.” Now that’s promo!

My next door neighbor Denzel O’Sullivan was on hand for the first show last Friday at the Berwick Research Institute in Roxbury, and said that the announcer Mike Gibbons “told the story of the Napkins and their pact with the devil to become the world’s greatest rock and roll band, but failed to read the fine print regarding a sacrifice of blood. Then, during the climax of the final song “Maya”, as Eben sung out the words “with a whole lot of blood!” again and again, bassist Nick Sherman’s chest hemmoraged and, sputtering streams of gore, soaked him, the stage, and the crowd. As he grabbed his chest the pool grew and darkened. He finally collapsed, twitching, with the ending of the chorus; but, loyal to his band, he finished the song before passing out.”To which one can only add, yay!!!

Then, last Tuesday at the Midway in Jamaica Plain, tragedy struck again: after the Napkins had (surprisingly) made it safely through their set and while the next act (the Put Out Kings) was doing theirs, Eben was himself suddenly accosted and then dispatched by the Put-Out Kings lead singer, who apparently also pulled out his intestines.

I know some of this seems a little far-fetched, but these young men are not, as far as I can tell, the sort to play fast and light with the truth -if Eben says the other band pulled out his intestines, they probably did. He does later go on to write that “my nose is filled with the smell of rotting meat and my vision grows dark” and signs the release “Hail Satan!”, but I think you can put that down to youthful exuberance.)

By the way, who told the new editor that i wasn’t writing about local music? I didn’t appreciate that one bit, and I know one of you did it, and when I find out who, they’re gonna get a whuppin’. Now I actually have to write about local music, right here in the local music column, and you know darn well that’s no good for any of us. How humiliating! Just leave the new editor alone!

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