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Take Me Out

We trace Franz Ferdinand's family tree, talk with Idlewild and dig the truth behind Brian Jonestown Massacre's St. Louis cancellation

So I was more than a little surprised to see Newcombe -- with full band in tow -- outside a club in the heart of Chicago's Wrigleyville, directing one of his signature tirades at a bouncer. (If you've watched the 2004 documentary DiG! or seen BJM live, you know no one in rock & roll is more pompous, violent, self-aggrandizing and certifiably insane than Newcombe. He has called himself the son of God and is notorious for hijacking shows with his long-winded rants.)

As he ends this particular verbal barrage, a couple of kids recognize him and offer to buy him a drink before the show.

When he steps out with the random dudes to a nearby frat-friendly watering hole, I discreetly follow, figuring I might slip in a question about the fate of the Creepy Crawl show. But first I must endure another Newcombe rant, this one occasioned by Hurricane Katrina.

"I got some inside information at a show this week, man," Newcombe says. "It's fucking bad there. They still have all these bloated corpses floating around and when they find them, they tie them to trees and they stand them up and mark them by spray-painting them with an 'X' so they'll be found. Only it's so hot and they've been there so long that the bodies are starting to explode. They've got to pick them up with rakes. It's disgusting, man."

I nod my head in agreement. "Hey Anton, by the way, what happened in St. Louis? I have a few friends who were supposed to see your show there."

"Oh, yeah," he says. "Well, we've been touring a lot, man. And my management company's a little worried, man, 'cause I'm a little loose in the caboose. You know, it's all a little scary, 'cause we're getting Nirvana-popular."

Back at the nightclub, I catch the show (tickets aren't exactly Nirvana-scarce). Predictably, Newcombe interrupts the set to deliver a solid twenty minutes of verbal diarrhea that careens from Jessica Simpson and Johnny Knoxville ("That goddamn fucking fuckhead") to admonitions to the audience to stomp a heckler to calling a bandmate a "cocksucker." The band, meanwhile, steps to the side of the stage for a smoke break, looking like a bunch of bored factory workers waiting for the work bell to ring.

And oh yes -- although the Creepy Crawl's Parks said he "was hoping that wasn't the case," the Brian Jonestown Massacre show originally scheduled for September 27 is indeed still cancelled. -- Rick Sharp

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