Something Smells, and It Isn't Athens

by Harlem Shakes

22 February 2007


Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
Diary #6

The van smelt funny today.

When last we spoke, the subject of our discontent was THE NOISE. The noise is the total lack of silence on tour, and its result is mild insanity. But today we couldn’t help but shout over the constant chattin’ and iPod shufflin’ that something smelt awful—not funny… awful. Thevandra has become a moving dungeon, a pit of sounds and smells that puts Hades, or CBGB‘s for that matter, to shame.

But, at last, we arrived in Athens.

Out of the underworld we soundchecked with a wonderful sound guy and girl who gave us a lovely, leisurely run through our monitors. The sound was fantastic on stage (the sound at the 40 Watt Club tonight, and Common Grounds last night, have been some of the best of the tour). Come showtime, we were joined by the lovely voiced Larkin Grimm for our song “Red Right Hands.”

Then, on “Old Flames,” Greg from Deerhoof set up a second drum set and improvised. The joy was impossible to describe, and the fans in Athens were warm and responsive. It was absolutely our best show of the tour—if not our best show ever. Once the show was over, some concert-goers engaged in wine-fueled squabbles perilously close to our equipment, but, besides the pushing and shouting, Athens, Georgia, had been nearly perfect.

But, the fates are whimsical. Here’s a scene: you’re in the backseat lying down; windows wrap around, and there’s the sound of the engine… and then Todd backs the van into a parked BMW. You’re in the 40 Watt parking lot and a man who sells Polish Sausage (with, apparently, “Comeback Sauce”) is screaming at you. “We need to find the owner of this BMW,” he roars. A crowd of vagrants gathers around (not kidding). 

Todd, who, thanks to his new Airborne addiction, has had 4000% of his daily vitamin C is acting with a rare mixture of fear and tenacity. His already complex relationship with Jose receives added tension as Jose is the overlord of all things van-related.

Well, just as the crowd (led by the sausage salesman) begins circling Todd and chanting pagan war-prayers, the owner of the BMW appears. Strangely enough he begins apologizing to us. Apparently he was a friend of Kendrick’s and so now he “owes us dinner” or something.

Aware that our band is cursed, the club owner says, “I would rather be tied to the soil as another man’s serf, even a poor man’s, who hadn’t much to live on himself, than be King of all these, the dead and destroyed.”

Huh!?! With that, we leave you internet, until next time (wednesday) which will be our last time. And then it’s over. We love you, and we love Georgians!

Love, love,  love, 


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

'Fire Emblem Heroes' Is a Bad Crossover

// Moving Pixels

"Fire Emblem Heroes desperately and shamelessly wants to monetize our love for these characters, yet it has no idea why we came to love them in the first place.

READ the article