There was a cinder block cube of a bar on the west side of Grand Rapids called Putt Putt’s. My uncle tells me that when I was little he used to take me there and set me up on the ice machine while he played pool. He bought me Shirley Temples and taught me to make noise when the other guy was about to shoot. You can’t get mad at a little kid for wrecking your shot, right? This was the 70s, so who knows?
My other childhood story of Putt Putt’s involves my dad getting arrested there after getting into a bar fight. I’m not sure whether this is an actual memory or that the story is so vivid that my brain concocted a visualization, but I can picture myself looking through the back window of a car as my dad is hauled out of the bar in handcuffs, struggling, and the cops macing him in the face before they shoved him into a patrol car. The unfairness of getting maced while cuffed still infuriates me, forty year later.
Why was I there? Who’s car was I in? My mom’s? Did somebody call her from a payphone to come pick him up? No idea.
But since then I’ve never really hung out in pool halls. Dressy Bessy makes it look like a lot of fun though!
Putt Putt’s is still there, by the way, but it’s been overhauled. It now has windows and food and outdoor seating. It looks respectable. Their burgers get good reviews online.
But I’m never going there. I know there are ghosts.
Dressy Bessy is back with their first single off their upcoming Yep Roc album, Fast Faster Disaster. All the charm that brought this band national attention in 2005 with Electrified is present in “Tiny Lil Robots,” an ode to parenting complete with a “Little Miss Fucking Sunshine” shirt.
And I’d still rather listen to Dressy Bessy than Coldplay.
It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out to a club on a Monday night. Say I’m old, call me lame, whatever. The fact is that it’s hard to get me out on a Monday night. I’m lazy and sleepy.
But I’ve wanted to see Dressy Bessy since I heard 2005’s Electrified. I was turned on to that album, like so many others, by Ken Tucker’s fantastic review on NPR wherein he favorably compared Dressy Bessy to Coldplay (“On the other hand, what person with a healthy heartbeat wouldn’t rather listen to this?”)
We’ve got some great photos of the show after the jump…
I first heard about this band via Ken Tucker’s Fresh Air review wherein he begged his listeners to buy Electrified instead of Coldplay’s latest schlockfest. Which, of course, I did as would anyone with a pulse. According to their label, they’re currently working on a 2007 release.