Eight-Armed Twirling Yuppie Machine

El Mysterioso (which is not now their name but was their name, or something like that)
Bamboo Terrace
Saturday, Oct. 6

Now that I've reached the advanced age of [advanced age here], I find it a drag to go to shows filled with kids. Kids are just so exuberant. And short. And young. And they're always feeling one another up in public because they have nowhere to go to be alone with their equally young significant other, so you always find them stuck on one another like barnacles. They come in pairs, these young people. And the ones that don't, well, I don't trust them either. They're probably up to something. But old-people shows are even worse because instead of a bunch of kids acting like kids, you have a bunch of old people acting like kids. Such was the case Saturday night at Bamboo Terrace, where I saw this fabulous band that at one point was called El Mysterioso but apparently is no longer. I want to stress that the band was great. Love the band. Would see the band again. It was the crowd that gave off a decidedly Yuppie After Dark vibe, and there's just something so sad about old people letting loose and acting like they did when they were kids.

Exhibit A? The Yuppie Girl Twirly Dance, in which a woman in a sensible haircut and tight shirt puts her arms above her head and twirls them about while gyrating in a vaguely belly-dancing fashion. Exhibit B? Yuppie Boy Getting Some Tonight Dance, in which a drunk yuppie boy who, at one point, had a lot more hair stands behind the Yuppie Twirly Girl, arms akimbo, and kind of swings his hips from side to side. Make no mistake. This is a mournful mating ritual.

The dancers were distracting, but not so much that I couldn't enjoy the band formerly known as El Mysterioso—a blend of mariachi and rock whose songs are sung in Spanglish and heavy on the word corazon. It's campy—the musicians were all wearing thick, black costume mustaches, and most of the stuff they said from the stage was in jest, but the songs are well-crafted, and the band was captivating.

“This next song is about a girl I once knew,” said singer Gus Contreras. He said this before many of the songs. He also said, “Thank the bartender for my pia colonics!” A few of the songs had portions that sounded heavy and intense, la Tool, but that probably had more to do with there being three guitar players than with anything else. Guitarist Terry Karges Jr. said the songs were fairly simple, but they sounded complex, and the drummer, Murdoch, avoided standard rock beats, instead playing something like a shuffle beat on each song.

I didn't have much time to think about the drum beat, though, because right as I was asking my friend what kind of beat it was (“It's some kind of Latino beat!” he offered), the dancers did something that demanded my attention. First the Yuppie Boy broke away from the Yuppie Twirly Girl and moved horizontally to his other Yuppie friends and then, in a jovial roustabout manner, messed around with his friend's hair. His friend, in turn, messed around with Yuppie Boy's hair, and I just bet they were in a fraternity. Meanwhile, Yuppie Twirly Girl sat on her female friend's lap and the Yuppie boys sat down at the same table. Then, like an Eight-Armed Twirling Yuppie Machine, all four of them began swaying back and forth with the music.

“This is a song about a girl,” said singer Contreras, but this time he added another line. “Her name is Cerveza.”

Again, my attention was drawn back to the dancers. Yuppie Boy had resumed his position backing Yuppie Twirly Girl (she couldn't fight it! She had to stand up and dance again!), and I noticed there was something weird going on with his shirt. It was sitting abnormally, and there was something blinking underneath it. Was it, perhaps, hung up on his cell phone or pager? I think, most likely, it was.

The whole scene made me long for barnacled kids.

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