Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nap Justice! The Story of NAP JUSTICE

Once upon a time, my goals for playing music were fairly ambitious, and not in any way matched by the amount of work necessary to meet that goal: 1) get as many people as possible to hear my band; 2) get signed to large indie label (dream destination: Touch & Go); 3) maybe get to a point where i could make a living playing in my band. Real life and a desire to not live in abject squalor during the 4-5 months i wouldn't be on the road per year doing the necessary touring in order to achieve those goals soon forced a harsh, severe re-evaluation (not to mention the fact that our music is in no way marketable. At all). Today, when it comes to playing the rocks and rolls musics, i have modest goals: 1) write and record the best music possible; 2) get it heard by as many people as possible who would enjoy it; 3) make as many like-minded friends around the country as possible. That new #3 is a goal that i always had but didn't realize until, well, i had achieved it. Now, i understand that the most rewarding part of playing in an independent rock band is realizing that it's a fantastic excuse to meet and visit an incredible network of like-minded fools across the nation, if not the world.

Two bands that qualify as "unstoppably crucial pals" are also our labelmates on Latest Flame Records: Seattle, WA's Police Teeth and Kentuckiana's Waxeater. Along with our other LFR pals Trophy Wives, we've formed the unofficial nucleus of what we consider "less of a label and more of a street gang." That street gang's name, other than "Latest Flame Records," is NAP JUSTICE, and NAP JUSTICE laid down some amplified law on Saturday, while Police Teeth and Waxeater were in town.

After a wildly entertaining Friday night show at the Cactus Club (which included local noisemakers Absolutely, a band you should probably get on board with right now), we prepared for a basement show at the HiFi home base, the Church of Murray (a makeup for a scheduled Madison show with Zebras that was canceled due to Madison cops being lame, which is hard to say in the wake of their overall awesome behavior during the WiUnion protests), by spending the day consuming heroic levels of alcohol and meat, occasionally taking a break to walk down to the street fest on North Ave. to see Scarring Party and Call Me Lightning. By Liz's estimation, the party consumed:

1 bottle of Everclear (mixed into "doom punch")
2 bottles of cheap bourbon
2 30 packs of PBR
1 30 pack of High Life
Assorted other sixers of higher quality beer
Many, many meats

which sounds about right. Later in the afternoon, a couple Waxeaters and Police Teethers crashed into mid-afternoon nap mode to recharge for the actual show, only to be eventually stirred from their slumber by the Church of Murray's across-the-street neighbors--an Axe* of dudebros who had decided to let a hippie jam cover band set up on their porch. As we tried to enjoy the outdoors, The 311 Matthews Traveler laid down the most "mellow" of jams, harshing ours with atrocious renditions of the usual hippie nonsense - Dave, Sublime, and countless blasphemous renditions of CCR tunes.

Slowly but surely, our patience wore thin. Each rendition of a watered-down lite rocker was punctuated with a "YOU SUCK!" or a "STOP PLAYING!" from one of us (usually Yale), or a "BONNAROO!" volleyed at a wasted hippie staggering away from the dudeporch. When Bronaked Ladies dared to sully "Folsom Prison Blues" with their inoffensively offensive hemp-rock, it was decided that a retaliatory strike was needed--nay, mandatory. (EDIT: Yale has sagely reminded me that it was actually a mashup of "Folsom Prison Blues" and the "Beer Barrel Polka." Information presented without comment.)

The Wizard fetched a practice amp and Police Teeth drummer Richy (derisively referred to by his bassist Chris as "the best guitarist in our band") plugged in just in time to join Hurl Jam on a run through "Mary Jane's Last Dance" by Tom Petty, easily outshredding the acoustic guitarist across the street. When the Petty waned, Richy launched immediately into the opening riff to "Paranoid," inspiring a full Church of Murray balcony singalong. NAP JUSTICE was on, and into their third tune, a gut-busting rip through the opening strains of Slayer's "Raining Blood." By this time there wasn't a dry eye or upright torso in the house, as everyone was doubled over in pain from abdominal-toning laughter.

Once Richy was done, PT guitarist James took over for some AC/DC and some other classic punk i can't remember. Waxeater's guitarist (and one of our most essential band pals) Rob Montage began to assist on snare drum as Richy dangled a grill lid for use as a cymbal/cowbell. Our friend George, who had made a trip away from the house, returned with the following report: "you can't hear anything but your guitar anywhere except directly in front of their house. It's pretty impressive."

Eventually, the band across the street cracked and responded with their take on Cee-Lo's "Fuck You," which James simply played along to. After that, they were done, and NAP JUSTICE had prevailed. Latest Flame Records: less of a label, more of a street gang.


Chris and i lose our collective shit while Richy lays it down (not pictured: [B.]O.A.R.)

James and Rob take over

Grill Cymbal!

Moral: Do not mess with Latest Flame bands. Because we're fucking assholes.

After the NAP JUSTICE set, the proper basement show was on, which was totally fine, save that part where HiFi only played two songs because the Wizard stormed off the stage for some reason. Eh, whatever, at least we got that out of the way before tour.

*yes, an "Axe" is the proper collective noun for dudebros. Just ask Neil Hamburger.


  1. If your goal as to make me miss Milwaukee like whoa, CONGRATULATIONS JACKASS MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  2. absolutely is fantastic, i am glad you also think so.

    this is also a really great story, and i am sad i wasn't able to be there that day. true super heroes!