Out Of The Frying Pan

Pat Moschiano performing with Frying Pan at Skylark Lounge in Rochester
Pat Moschiano performing with Frying Pan at Skylark Lounge in Rochester

Pat Moschiano organized a gig for four bands at Skylark. The show was dedicated to Dave Ripton and the proceeds went to his favorite charity, AA. Pat’s band, Frying Pan, went first. He was backed by Phil and Ken from Margaret Explosion and Brian from Nod (on the drum riser). Pat delivers his Kerouac-like lyrics like Mark E. Smith from The Fall or James Murphy in LCD Soundsystem while the band mines Chicago blues. We were thrilled to be able to hear the lyrics this time.

The place had filled up by the time Annie Wells took the stage, with people who had not been in the same room together in a long time. Stan Merrill showed me his scratching technique for making swinging sixties style movies. He moves his finger up and down on the lens dial as he shoots. Don Blair gave us a recording of Ripton reading four poems in the 80’s in this very same room. The place was called Mothers. Annie played three of Dave’s songs but it was hard to hear them. Still this one was the best thing I heard all night.

Margaret Explosion played next. Ken’s electric bass gave us an especially full sound. I set about half of Brian’s drums aside and played the rest. I kept getting my foot stuck under the bag of sticks that was hanging off the tom tom. We are used to playing without a sound system so Peggi’s sound is a 50/50 mix of natural sax sound in the room and the pickup to amp with some digital delay. Here the room sound was lost and her pickup collected the whole band and sent that through her effects and out her amp (which was miced) and into the PA. We could have made it all work with a sound check but none of that mattered. We were there for Dave. Through tears Dave’s daughter told us the last place she went with her dad was to Margaret Explosion at the Little.

I looked through my pictures of Nod before the gig, inspecting Brian’s kit before sharing it. I did a file search for Nod and came across a photo I took years ago of the Penfield Road underpass. I was confused as to why that photo was in with all the Nod photos and then realized the graffiti on the bridge read “No Draft.”

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