Sunday, February 10, 2013

New stage but familiar place and Amy Winehouse meets Jane's Addiction meets the Carnie Bums

Last night the Carnie Bums braved the cold and headed up to Westminster to play Blitz Sports Bar.  Blitz used to be the site of Captain Jack's, an old regular stomping ground for the Carnie Bums.  Since it changed hands, the new place added a nice, much larger stage and new lights and PA system.  From the stage, the sound was great and the Bums had a fun time on a Saturday night.

This show allowed us to spread out and play some tunes we haven't played in a while.  We played a few songs that haven't seen stage time with us in over a year and still allowed us to rock some standard Carnie tunes.  We closed the show with our newest cover, Amy Winehouse's "Rehab."  Not necessarily a tune that fits our style, we gave it the Jane's Addiction treatment and added a long tribal bass and drum solo in the middle.  Still a bit of a work in progress, it definitely has the potential to shine.  Blitz also has a great sound guy, John, who was amazing to us all night long.  He even let Spazz borrow his wool "breasts" scarf that sure looked interesting on Spazz during a little hippie segue that occurred in the second set.  Speaking of hippie segues, it sounded like a jamband show for a little while as we jammed our way through a segue of three songs with plenty of impromptu jamming in between.  We sandwiched a cover of Psycho Killer between Conspiracy Theory and Heinz 57 Blues with lots of open ended jamming in between.  The fun part about long gigs like this is that there is time to stretch songs out, and we certainly took advantage of that.

Up next are two great shows at the Oriental Theater and the 12 Volt Tavern.  Details are available at and you need to check us out at one of these shows.  We are going to have some promo offers for these shows and we will make sure we try to bust something unique out at both shows.  For now, we need to sleep off the late night with an afternoon nap.

2.9 Blitz Sports Bar

Set 1: Tramp Stamp, Western Dreams, Me and My Uncle, Roses are Free, I Will Survive, Let the Dice Fly High, Colorado Burning, Like a Rolling Stone, London Calling, Travelin, Hypocrite>Undertow, Teen Angst, Colfax, Sabotage
Set 2: Ace of Spades, Conspiracy Theory>Psycho Killer>Heinz 57 Blues, Roadhouse Blues, Vacuum Tubes, Seven Nation Army, Are You for Real?, Rehab*
*first time played

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New songs, new instruments, new headaches?

The Bums went up to the mountains to play Mary Jane ski resort.  This gig has become a regular winter time event.  This is the 5th time the Bums have gone up to Mary Jane to play at Pepperoni's, the pizza shop at the base of the Jane.  We normally run these gigs without a set list, instead we write up a song list of available songs and call things on the night.  We can then call songs based on the crowd, based on how tired we are, or in yesterday's case, the importance of the bass in a song.

Poor Doc Treble.  He spent the morning skiing, set up the stage, was on little sleep and was rewarded with a bass that failed him.  His bass kept cutting in and out and lacking any power.  We changed a 9-volt battery, we changed cords, we put his bass through the PA; nothing really worked.  By the end of the night we had to stop the set early because his based simply stopped working.  The flaws of an electric instrument, sometimes the gremlins of electronics rear their heads and change our plans.

It didn't keep us from having some fun and trying new things.  Before the Bass took a dive, we introduced a Doc Treble original into the Carnie canon.  "Colorado Burning" made its debut to a positive crowd and a fairly flawless first time played.  In addition, Doc Treble took lead vocals on the other new song plays, Operation Ivy's "Knowledge."  Dr. Spazz introduced the mandolin to the Carnie Bums as he played his new mandolin during "Dynastar Man."  The gig also brought the Mayor of Mary Jane out to dance.  He brought the band some of his stickers and danced to several songs before requesting "Mary Jane's Last Dance."  While the band had never played that, we figured out most of the right chords and the Mayor helped us with the lyrics, so we got through a verse and a chorus and promised that next time we visited the Jane we'd have it ready.  We also promised to bring a bass that worked and to play much longer than the two hours we played.

Set list
Pepperoni's at Mary Jane Ski Resort
Sabotage, Should I Stay or Should I Go, Sympathy for the Devil, 40 Gate, Colorado Burning*, Gin and Tower, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Godzilla, Ball and Chain, Knowledge*, Dynastar Man#, Jumping Jack Flash@, London Calling, Colfax, Teen Angst, Seven Nation Army, Ten Sleep, I Wanna Be Sedated, Mary Jane's Last Dance&, Roadhouse Blues, Fight for your right, PBR

* first time played
# Spazz on mandolin
@ with Mini Smitty on Drums
& Unfinished

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reintroducing the Carnie Blog

What the hell happened?  Basically life and laziness.  After a long fog of not bothering, we are going to try to bring back the Carnie Blog as a way to say hi and update everyone.  We will try to get some pics up, set list updates, etc.  In the mean time, what did you miss?.....

The original Carnie Bums went from four to two.
Stevie McSilk AKA Smitty joined the band on drums.
We played as a three piece, it was fun but not full enough.
Doc Treble brought the low end.
We were happy.
Now we totally rock.

Seriously, if you haven't seen us in a while, we are a lot different than what you may remember.  We have a full sound, a pounding rhythm section and the C-dawg and Spazz focus just on guitar (well Spazz is trying to bring the mandolin in to the fold).  Our set lists are growing and changing.  We are up to over 20 originals and countless covers.  Many old covers we used to do are retired (sorry Substitute, I've Got a Feeling, What I Got and more), some came and left (About a Girl, Highway to Hell, Thriller) and many have replaces them.  For our show next week we have 50 songs on standby and will play the whole show without a setlist and the Carnie Wheel.  The Carnie Wheel spins and we play a song in that genre.  Good times are had.  We have more than 50 songs in our show list, but we didn't feel like practicing all of them.  Also Doc Treble sings, so we have three singers again.  Really it's like a whole new band or the first few minutes of putting on clean underwear after wearing the old pair for too long.  It's a nice feeling.

We have a lot of shows, so here they are:

1.26 Pepperoni's (base of Mary Jane ski resort)
2.9 Blitz Sports Bar Westminster
3.23 The Oriental Theater Denver
4.13 12 Volt Tavern Arvada

Check us out soon and let us know what you think.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Transition has been the name of the game for the last few months as the Carnie Bums have been initiating Doc Treble into the band.  Songlists are growing, some songs are fading, others are rising; it's a pretty fun time.  We've been playing a bunch of shows lately, private parties, bars, ski resorts, and real rock clubs to get some chops.  With new members in a band, you gotta test it out and see how it drives.  This version drives pretty well.  We are pretty stoked.

We are in transition about venues to play as well.  We are looking to move into some of the ski towns and take advantage of the great love and support we get from the skiers.  In addition, our old staple, Capt. Jack's is no more.  It's now Blitz.  They've got a great new owner and the place is working it's way into being a successful sports bar in Westminster.  Not sure how/if we fit into the plans of the new atmosphere, but we played for the new owner last night and had a great time.  If it was a send off, then it was a good one.

2.4 Blitz
I:  Gin and Tower, 40 Gate>Old Habits, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, I Wanna Be Sedated, PBR, Roadhouse Blues, Big E, Ten Sleep, Roses are Free>Colfax
II:  GODZILLA, Psycho Killer>Heinz 57 Blues, Travelin, Seven Nation Army, Carnie Bums, Chocolate>Are You For Real?>Born on the Bayou, Killing in the Name of
III:  Tramp Stamp>Punks in Oklahoma, Ball and Chain, Jumpin Jack Flash, Undertow*, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Middle Ground, London Calling>Rocking in the Freeworld>Teen Angst
* New song/First time played

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Great Weekend

NOTE: For some reason this never posted and I just realized now....

When the Carnie Bums have a great weekend, we really have a great weekend!  The other week we threw down almost 4 hours of music over two days, drank plenty with old and new friends, and gained a bunch of new fans.  You can't have a better weekend than playing at two cool and very different venues.
First, we played the Buffalo Rose in Golden.  This is probably the largest stage we play on and was probably the best performance we have ever done there.  We did a very tight 45 minute set and had our old friends the Mean Toad play before us.  We had old friends in the crowd and had a buddy film the show with a high def. camera.  We can't wait to get the final results and when we do we will post it.
On Sunday, we then played Pepperoni's at the base of Mary Jane for their closing of the season.  The place was packed and we had a great ovation.  We played with no set list, took requests and played whatever style the crowd wanted.  We gave out shirts, go lots of tips and had a ton of new people come up to us and compliment us on our playing.  We have literally become the house band for Pepperoni's and plan to make more trips into the mountains to play next ski season.  Even better, we got a new member of the Carnie Bums to sit in with us.  Smitty's son (mini-Smitty) has come to a few practices and is a drummer himself.  We were able to have him sit on the kit for Jumpin Jack Flash while Daddy Smitty shook a tambourine.  He did pretty good and got a huge ovation from the crowded bar.  A new rock star in the making.
Set lists-Buffalo Rose 4.840 Gate, Western Dreams, Carnie Bums, 7 Nation Army, Middle Ground, Punks in OK, PBR, Colfax, Jumpin Jack Flash
Pepperoni's 4.10
(set list is an approximation as we had no list and just played songs as called from the stage)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sorry 'bout that

This blog has been inactive for a while, but the Carnie Bums have been very active.  Sorry about that.  It isn't out of malice or spite, simply laziness.  We will update soon.  Sorry 'bout that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poetry and the Luck of the Irish on St. Patty's Day

Normally the typical revelry of St. Patty's Day does not include a poetry open mic and folk acoustic set in a coffee house, but that is what Spazz did to celebrate St. Patty's Day.  I booked a gig following a poetry open mic and got spend my day being Irish with a Guinness and some acoustic tunes.

I played Five Leaves Coffee house which is a cool little place in Englewood.  Their large latte's are HUGE and the place feels very inviting.  The poetry was very well done....I half expected a bunch of beatniks with sub par rhymes, but the poets they had were true craftsman of their trade.  I enjoyed it.  My set was a lot of fun.  Most people stuck around and gave me the time of day.  Good banter from the audience and I even got heckled when I played John Lennon's "Luck of the Irish" for St. Patty's day.  A true Irishman took exception to the line "Wish they were English instead."  Fair enough.....they aren't exactly allies.  With my buddy Dave in the house, the obligatory Tramp Stamp>Everlong>Tramp Stamp was thrown into the mix to his delight and my wife's chagrin.

I should be booked there again, once they do their next round of bookings I should be receiving an email.  A mighty fine St. Patty's day and no hangover for work the next day.

Five Leaves Coffeehouse 3.17- Ryan Shane Spazz
Somewhere Between, American Slang, You Don't Deserve Me, Simple Lines, Luck of the Irish, Atlantic City, Goodbye (Doesn't Mean the End), Tramp Stamp>Everlong>Tramp Stamp, I Saw Jesus>Long Black Veil, Everyday Hero, This Land is Our Land