For the past several years, WCSB 89.3 FM, one of Cleveland By God Ohio’s toweringly excellent college radio stations, has thrown an extremely cool Halloween party. They’ve hit upon a winning formula for booking it: the headliner is invariably a beloved classic punk band - past bill-toppers have included The Dickies, The Avengers, and The Angry Samoans. Second on the bill would often be a classic Cleveland underground band reunited for the occasion, then the rest of the bill would be filled in with contemporary worthies. It’s free of charge, and always a very popular night out, with the best, brightest, and weirdest of CLE’s freak-scenesters doing their best to outdo each other in insane costumery and irresponsible drinking.
So OK, I wasn’t present for this, so some of the “specifics” of this post are cobbled from Facebook reportage shared by party-goers during and after the event. If I screwed up any of these pieced-together details, that’s all on me. This year, the party apparently got too popular. After the venue had already hit capacity, there were still hopeful revelers lined up around the block, waiting hours to get in, in costume, in frigid Ohio winter weather. This could be due to the booking of The Dead Milkmen. That band famously went, in a mere 5 years, from being the smartass Philadelphia maestros behind THE surprise underground hit album of the ‘80s with Big Lizard in My Backyard to the 120 Minutes darlings who came astonishingly close to achieving actual mainstream success with Beelzebubba and Metaphysical Graffitti. This would have been a hotly anticipated show even if it wasn’t an admission-free bacchanal. BUT - in Cleveland there always seems to be a “but” - right before they were to take the stage, the power went out in much of the city’s Near-West Side, including the newly-chic Gordon Square neighborhood where the party was being held. The Milkmen attempted a drums-and-a-capella singalong to mollify the capacity crowd - some of whom, being, you know, punks and everything, had reflexively jumped to the conclusion that the police had shut off the power to stop the show and were getting all pissed off - but it really didn’t work, and sadly, the theater was cleared out.
But for all their bird-flipping, wiseass posturing, The Dead Milkmen are clearly some damn cool guys:
Hello Loyal Listeners,
As you all probably know first-hand or have heard, the Gordon Square community of Cleveland was hit with an untimely and unfortunate power outage in the Gordon Square and Ohio City neighborhood on November 2 just before The Dead Milkmen were to take the stage at the 2013 WCSB Halloween Masquarade Ball at the Cleveland Public Theater – something WCSB and The Dead Milkmen felt completely terrible about for everyone involved.
The Dead Milkmen being class acts drove themselves and their equipment up to the WCSB studios and did their ENTIRE SET (encore included) live over the CSB airwaves for the entire city to enjoy. They even stuck around and answered some questions after their inspired performance.To make sure no Dead Milkmen fan missed out on this historic (and odd) evening, we have extracted the audio and posted it here for all to enjoy.
If you don’t love this, I don’t want to know you.