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It's A Dog's Life


SLAP THAT BASS Clout's Joe Rizzo pounds out the riffs at Tremont Music Hall

On Saturday the clouds parted and the rain stopped just in time for the 2002 Skyhoundz Hyperflite Canine Disc Championship, at McAlpine Creek Park. Unlike most little league games, the folks who brought their "kids" out to compete on this day were mostly there to have a good time. Around 22 dogs competed. The competition consisted of two 60-second rounds in which the dogs were awarded points for distance and whether the catch was made with all four paws on the ground or in the air. In the end, scores ranged anywhere from 0 to the mid-20s. The competition started around 11am and by then the temperature had risen just enough to make things pretty steamy, prompting one competitor to make a beeline for the lake instead of chasing his frisbee. Another competitor was delayed when a toddler ran across the field. The mid-sized pooch, named Bella, was oblivious to what was going on for the most part and successfully snagged her disc while the father of the kid ran across the course and scooped up the child. Afterward, someone in the crowd offered the fella an extra leash. And speaking of scooping things up; I had the joyous experience of becoming familiar with something called the "Mutt Mitt" -- a dandy invention for dog owners. The mitt is actually a small plastic bag that slips over your hand, and then...well I guess you can figure out where I'm going with this, so no need for all the dirty details. In the end, a hearty black lab by the name of Miles took the first place plaque with the aforementioned Bella coming in a very close second. As for the rest of the furry four-legged competitors, official Certificates of Participation were handed out. Hmmm. . .since when did dogs learn how to read?

Saturday night a hundred or so folks filled the Casbah at Tremont Music Hall (that's the small room near the main bar, in case you were wondering). The show featured sets from hard hitting acts Defusion, Clout and 14 Feet Wide. Both Clout and 14 Feet Wide have plenty of reason to celebrate, which might have explained the good-natured atmosphere. Clout has steadily progressed in gaining regional recognition while remarkably maintaining the exact same line-up they began with nearly five years ago. And 14 Feet Wide recently reunited after nearly three or so years of being defunct. So despite the heavy sounds, most everyone on hand was exceptionally laid back, especially in between sets when a lot of folks took advantage of the mild temperatures outdoors and opted to use the patio furniture outside the front door of the club. Of course it would't have been this type of show without at least several folks slamming into one another while the bands played. During Clout's set, one rather large fella decided to let loose and join in on the hangbangin' and such, causing a table to topple. As soon as the song ended, however, the polite mosher picked up every single one of the beer bottles that had fallen to the floor and tossed 'em in the trash. But then an even bigger fella with absolutely no manners decided to join in on the mayhem during the 14 Feet Wide set which closed the night. This big bruiser knocked over tables, banged on the bleachers and did the rebel yell thing over and over. Funny thing is, another relatively lowkey guy in the crowd was wearing a tee saying "Drugs Love Me," when it was the big hyper guy who was obviously the object of their affection.

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