The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of New Brunswick, or, The Fatal Voyage of Ghoul Lagoon The Band

by Madison James

The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of New Brunswick, or, The Fatal Voyage of Ghoul Lagoon The Band

Like all great epics, this one also has a prologue, as there's a lot of shit to explain before anything about the title makes any sense.

Prologue: Sunday, September 19th, 2021, or, the inciting incident:
The setting for our story is the sleepy side of the bustling college town/hospital city of New Brunswick, NJ. The local hip call it No Funswick as, like with rivaling football teams, the hip of any hip city here are divided. There are those here for business and opportunity, seeing themselves as artists constantly plagued with the doubts that come from it, hoping their craft and love of themselves will be enough to overcome the confines of a rented basement stage, and then there are people like Brandon and David. I've known the two for a while and have been friends with them for just as long. They're new to town but no stranger to the haunts. They're clever goofballs in search of whatever may scare them and open to what might. They love art but love to put it down to drink a Peeber or six. The boys host shows in their converted basement, decorated with amplifiers, keyboards, and whatever halloween decoration they can grab. They call this space Ghoul Lagoon. They started hosting shows in August of 2021.

Outside of the rivaling, self-serious hip are three other kinds of people here. There's:
-People who see what we do as a morbid curiosity, mostly meaning well and peeking their head in here and there, maybe hanging around but no intent to do anything but that. Hip enough to know there's free beer and enough not to give a shit about your pedals. They're usually the best to talk to.
-People who know but either don't care, just want nothing to do with it, or are morally opposed because most of the people smell bad or are too loud or gaudy for their palette. North Jersey types typically fall around here
-People who have never heard of a basement show and came here to go to college or because the rent is cheap.

I typically date somewhere between the first and second bullet point, but today we will be talking exclusively about that third bullet point. New Brunswick is, after all, a college town. Rutgers literally consumes the place next to the Johnson and Johnson empire. It's that red R and that ugly fucking PS2 model looking headquarters that I see over the horizon heading back from somewhere I like to make me sad that I'm home. Off topic, people going to college, yes. So, I'm sure you're familiar enough with the idea of a frat. You're reading this zine so I can basically confirm you have no interest in any of it or you're from one and fled to the scene for safety. Your secret is safe with me, no sweat. So Frats exist. They suck. Toxically masculine culture, old times ritual bullshit, rich white guys, blah blah blah. The parties can be fun if you're new to beer but after age twenty, you're the equivalent of the suck up to the quarterback that plays bench for the season. It's sad. The venn diagram that compares people that would go to Ghoul Lagoon and a Rutgers fraternity probably intersects with vital organs, probably body hair in most cases, and maybe, MAYBE an intrigue in social events. The two intersecting is rare, but not impossible. This is not an impossible story.

Around Sunday, if I remember correctly, Brandon receives a message via the venue Instagram account from a coordinator of a certain fraternity that I will keep nameless for the protection of the embarrassed (let's call them Gabba Gabba and Mike for the sake of keeping our story a story). They are looking for a band to play their frat. Not just any band, mind you. Mike is looking for Ghoul Lagoon to play Gabba Gabba that upcoming Friday night. There is no Ghoul Lagoon band. There never was. After this message and a handful of chuckles and winces, Ghoul Lagoon was not only a band but they had a gig that Friday. This is where I enter as the drummer of the band. I don’t know this yet, but in about 24 hours I will.

Monday, September 20th, or, the call to adventure:
Outside of being annoyed for lack of sleep after staying up too late watching Whitest Kids U’ Know skits, I would otherwise call Monday the 20th as a completely normal work day for me. The wave, I was predicting, would probably be uneventful, which for a Monday is totally fine by me. Tuesdays are typically my Monday in tone and spirit, so I always welcome the mundane to set a tone for the rest of my week. I was heading over to Ghoul Lagoon to just kind of hang out. Throw a few back, talk shit, maybe pizza (question mark), but otherwise I was very eager to go through the motions. It’s the second to last day of summer, something otherwise meaningless to us who don’t go to school, so the air is cool and the events of the evening were shaping to be familiar and unchallenging. As I was walking up the street to see the whole cast outside on the porch, half with beer already in hand and the others smoking cigs or something else. Joe, Jared, Brandon, and David were already snickering and laughing about something and seeing this sight made me have no doubt I’d be snickering soon as well.

“So somebody wants to book Ghoul Lagoon”, Brandon prefaces.
“Oh cool, who?” I follow.
“Gabba Gabba”
“Huh, who are they booking or trying to book?”
“Oh no, you don’t understand, they want to book Ghoul Lagoon”
“No I don’t”
“They want to book Ghoul Lagoon to play their house”
“...”
“This Friday.”
“This Friday?”
“Yes, Ghoul Lagoon is playing Gabba Gabba on Friday.”
“... the band?”
“The band.”
“...... so the house is playing a show?”
“Yeah, want in? We have no songs yet.”
“Of course.”

Just like that, the alliance was finalized. Sealed by cheap beer and the dreams of fake blood, we were a band. We had less than a week to become not only a band, but a gig worthy band, set to play for the damning eyes of the boat shoe clad elite of Gabba Gabba. Mind you, we had no intention to do anything but that. Nobody was snickering over how excited they were for this opportunity, they were snickering because this is the funniest shit to happen in the venue’s existence so far and the lengths they were willing to go to commit to this goof. I can’t blame them. I mean, they booked a venue to play a show, we were gonna take the shit out of it.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “wait, this sounds kind of mean”.

Like, some poor shlub outside of our stupid little cloud of pretention, obviously not too keen to the ins and outs of the world we inhabit, probably heard about Ghoul Lagoon in passing, messaged one of the folks they knew was attached to that name, and asked them to play a show off the virtue of hearing the name. I mean, shit, how many bands have you gone to see that have like two voice memo recordings on Bandcamp or something because one of your rat friends said “their recordings suck but they rule live”. A rather honest, beginner mistake that us seasoned cacti people are not only raising our sniffling, red noses at, but are going as far as to punish them by putting together a joke band just to rib at them for not being as fucking cool and finger-on-the-pulse-of-da-CuLtUrE or whatever ego dick stroke, right? Like, fuck these people.

Well, no, you’re wrong, and you’re presumptuous. Put this piece down and think about your problematic thought processes, you piece of shit.

Ok, a bit much, but like, they messaged the venue Instagram page, a page riddled with nothing but fliers detailing events taking place at “Ghoul Lagoon”. This practice is pretty common in New Brunswick for the quote unquote happening spots. I’m not sure how big it is elsewhere. I think Albany does it? Not important. The point is, they’re throwing money foolishly, and we are doing them a service of playing a show, hell or high water (keep reading).

It’s agreed we’ll practice at 6pm the next day. The wind blows a little cold through our collective messy sets of hair as we triumphantly cheer to being the funniest assholes this side of French Street.

Tuesday, September 21st, or, our collective minotaur in the way:
I woke up hungover and went to work. That was my minotaur. Ok? Just wanted to get that out of the way. I’m a product of years of manual labor so this was minor. We all have one for today, this was mine.

It’s the last day of summer and it’s definitely getting out her yayas before fucking off completely as the sun is going down. I arrive at Ghoul Lagoon around 6pm with basically no idea what is going to happen. I’m eager, but also I agreed to play drums with little to no skill playing drums. I hold skills like that in the regard of “knowing how to do ________ conversationally”. Regardless, my conversational drumming skills made me feel intimidated. On top of that, there’s the humongous, swollen elephant of a question filling the air of the room: What the fuck are we going to play?

Ask yourself: If you had four days to assemble a band and be gig ready, even as a joke, what would you do? If I hadn’t lived out this exact prompt in my past, I wouldn’t have any idea. I did it once when I was 18 to open for John Galm after a friend helped book them and I thought back to how I did that. Essentially, I bought a capo and just did D-Bm-Em or G-A in various placements while screaming diary entries. It worked for four songs. I was even complimented, being told I wrote akin to AJJ (insert joke). This is all well and good for guitar shit because it’s easy to fake guitar shit. You can’t put a capo on a drum kit.

I took to Instagram to ask my friends what they would personally do in this situation and it was just kind of agreed upon that there’s one genre that anyone can bullshit: grind and hardcore. Think Anal Cunt live footage. There was no fucking way they were doing anything besides the motions and people fucking love them. We were all in agreement we should go in that direction. We had all had what could be best described as a “fucking day”.

What followed was about a long barrage of noise from all directions. It sounded like noise but it was hard as hell. I just did the same “cymbal, cymbal snare, cymbal, cymbal snare” hardcore beat, occasionally rolling the snare at various speeds, sometimes beating the floor tom. Brandon took vocals and was screaming his fucking head off about whatever topic one of us threw out. David was hitting some wild little arpeggios and beating the E (tuned to C) to hell. Jared and Joe were shredding the wildest, fastest octaves they can, occasionally sweeping or tapping incessantly. These boys, by all measures, are poets in both the literal sense as well as their philosophies and ambitions. It’s a very inspiring energy to have the pleasure to surround myself with. This was all obviously a joke, but it’s rare to have a crew of people so excited to commit to the bit that they’re blowing their throats and ears to do it. We occasionally pause to sync up little bits and pieces, but unquestionably, this was a noise assault. We decide to take a break somewhere around 7:30ish and are greeted by a police officer who mozied into the house. There was a noise complaint filed by somebody and after knocking for about five minutes just straight up entered to find somebody to threaten. He let us off with a warning and an ominous “I don’t want to come back here.”

By all counts, this was a great success.

Wednesday, September 22nd, or, a taste of a much wider ocean
After the grandiose blowout of the day before, in terms of both tetanus and dispatchment of local law enforcement, we all agreed to maybe turn down the amps today. This led to the reveal of something horrifying that was inevitable: maybe we weren’t that good. We shrugged it off and just kinda winged it like we did the day before. It was like learning to ride a bike again but you swapped your arms. There were all sorts of ideas. I even tried a different beat than the same one over and over. We were all good at what we were individually doing. For some reason, something wasn’t working??? We were doing the same thing but with a day under our belts, what the fuck? We should be experts at this shit. We literally did it already. What the fuck? What the fuuuuck??? We called it for the night around two hours of droning and the introduction of a Korg oscillator. We collectively regrouped on the porch, discussing what the hell was going on. The magic that filled the air the night before seemed to have gone with the summer. It was the first time in years I realized the season changed. Over cigarettes and PBR, we conferred the possibility that our ship wasn’t airtight. Maybe we weren’t the best band in the world. We’d make fools of ourselves in front of the whole frat expecting Ghoul Lagoon the Band. It took repeating that sentence to remember the original goal here. We were clowning, who the fuck cares if we sounded good? Or even cohesive at that? Then and there the conversation shifted entirely. We were back, baby. Rock and roll was going to live on and for some reason there was going to be a drum machine now. We discuss samplers and potentially autotune. If we can’t be cohesive, we can be fucking obnoxious. The goal was reset back to default. Life was good again, for now.

Thursday, September 23rd, or, oh god oh fuck we hit a fucking iceberg where the fuck did that iceberg come from holy fucking shit
Brandon gets a text from Mike. Their “basement flooded” and they don’t know if they can host the show. The whole corporation launches into disarray. Days of planning, gone to the shitter, and after the hurricane we had in town a week or two before, it seems plausible. Brandon, a venerable gentleman, offers Ghoul Lagoon itself to host the event briefly. I’m exhausting the spaces that like me enough still. It’s a shit show, even moreso than the potential shit that’s coated in the basement of Gabba Gabba. No response regardless. It’s over, but for why. What did we do to deserve the injustice that has befallen us? Well, y’know, discounting the straight up lying and plans to be discourteous and ruin the entire event for our own amusement over a simple misunderstanding. There it was, the misunderstanding. Did they get wise? Did they potentially actually look at the profile and something sparked. Two brain cells kissing and grabbing each other’s asses and boobies and penises passionately and with the urgency of living in the ever romantic now over the fact that we were fucking lying in their head as we were devastated. I’m being dramatic, but like, there went our friday plans it seemed. We stayed optimistic hoping the Gabba Gabba boys would never lie to Ghoul Lagoon the Band like we lied to them and that they’d sort the whole junk out. Surely, there had to be a beacon of hope left. We hit the iceberg, but maybe, just maybe, we could save this ship.

Friday, September 24th, or, everybody drowned and died, the ship was an unsalvageable wreck, and also the ocean was filled with spiders and shit like that
Not a fucking word. There was no longer a show. There was no longer a Ghoul Lagoon the Band. There were no lessons learned. We left the experience worse than we entered it. I was shot to death and left to bleed in the fast food chain parking lot at 3am and nobody gave a shit. The chuckling ceased. Were we the villains this whole time? I think we might actually be bad people or something. What the fuck could be taken from this sad wreck? Well, nothing. What did we actually lose if there was never anything there? At least we got a good laugh right? Right?

The more I reflect, the more I think this choice was made in vain. Maybe in a perfect world where art wasn’t prompted from the challenge of fulfilling a need. Who are we but entertainers at the end of the day? We didn’t mean any harm, we just wanted to help. Why would I have said I had songs when I was 18 to play a show if not to help? We are people pleasers that love a stage. We all are at the end of the day. A lot can be said about Ghoul Lagoon the Band regarding the human condition, you know? The grift wasn’t for gain. It was pure and light and it was something that we all wanted to chase the best we could, but we simply flew too close to the sun in pursuit of glory. Icarus, forgive us, for you died in vain as we did.

What the fuck am I saying? This was all a joke. The joke didn’t land and we carried on, but what’s a good story without the dramatics. The painful lessons learned and the ways we changed as people at the end. This wasn’t a journey, it was a trip to Little Caesar’s and back. We stayed the same but came back with a pizza. Want to know how I know this? About a week later somebody offered Ghoul Lagoon the Band an opening slot at their show in Asbury Park. Want to know what we said? Keep an eye out for fliers to find out.

Fin

The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of New Brunswick, or, The Fatal Voyage of Ghoul Lagoon The Band

by Madison James

The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of New Brunswick, or, The Fatal Voyage of Ghoul Lagoon The Band

Like all great epics, this one also has a prologue, as there's a lot of shit to explain before anything about the title makes any sense.

Prologue: Sunday, September 19th, 2021, or, the inciting incident:
The setting for our story is the sleepy side of the bustling college town/hospital city of New Brunswick, NJ. The local hip call it No Funswick as, like with rivaling football teams, the hip of any hip city here are divided. There are those here for business and opportunity, seeing themselves as artists constantly plagued with the doubts that come from it, hoping their craft and love of themselves will be enough to overcome the confines of a rented basement stage, and then there are people like Brandon and David. I've known the two for a while and have been friends with them for just as long. They're new to town but no stranger to the haunts. They're clever goofballs in search of whatever may scare them and open to what might. They love art but love to put it down to drink a Peeber or six. The boys host shows in their converted basement, decorated with amplifiers, keyboards, and whatever halloween decoration they can grab. They call this space Ghoul Lagoon. They started hosting shows in August of 2021.

Outside of the rivaling, self-serious hip are three other kinds of people here. There's:
-People who see what we do as a morbid curiosity, mostly meaning well and peeking their head in here and there, maybe hanging around but no intent to do anything but that. Hip enough to know there's free beer and enough not to give a shit about your pedals. They're usually the best to talk to.
-People who know but either don't care, just want nothing to do with it, or are morally opposed because most of the people smell bad or are too loud or gaudy for their palette. North Jersey types typically fall around here
-People who have never heard of a basement show and came here to go to college or because the rent is cheap.

I typically date somewhere between the first and second bullet point, but today we will be talking exclusively about that third bullet point. New Brunswick is, after all, a college town. Rutgers literally consumes the place next to the Johnson and Johnson empire. It's that red R and that ugly fucking PS2 model looking headquarters that I see over the horizon heading back from somewhere I like to make me sad that I'm home. Off topic, people going to college, yes. So, I'm sure you're familiar enough with the idea of a frat. You're reading this zine so I can basically confirm you have no interest in any of it or you're from one and fled to the scene for safety. Your secret is safe with me, no sweat. So Frats exist. They suck. Toxically masculine culture, old times ritual bullshit, rich white guys, blah blah blah. The parties can be fun if you're new to beer but after age twenty, you're the equivalent of the suck up to the quarterback that plays bench for the season. It's sad. The venn diagram that compares people that would go to Ghoul Lagoon and a Rutgers fraternity probably intersects with vital organs, probably body hair in most cases, and maybe, MAYBE an intrigue in social events. The two intersecting is rare, but not impossible. This is not an impossible story.

Around Sunday, if I remember correctly, Brandon receives a message via the venue Instagram account from a coordinator of a certain fraternity that I will keep nameless for the protection of the embarrassed (let's call them Gabba Gabba and Mike for the sake of keeping our story a story). They are looking for a band to play their frat. Not just any band, mind you. Mike is looking for Ghoul Lagoon to play Gabba Gabba that upcoming Friday night. There is no Ghoul Lagoon band. There never was. After this message and a handful of chuckles and winces, Ghoul Lagoon was not only a band but they had a gig that Friday. This is where I enter as the drummer of the band. I don’t know this yet, but in about 24 hours I will.

Monday, September 20th, or, the call to adventure:
Outside of being annoyed for lack of sleep after staying up too late watching Whitest Kids U’ Know skits, I would otherwise call Monday the 20th as a completely normal work day for me. The wave, I was predicting, would probably be uneventful, which for a Monday is totally fine by me. Tuesdays are typically my Monday in tone and spirit, so I always welcome the mundane to set a tone for the rest of my week. I was heading over to Ghoul Lagoon to just kind of hang out. Throw a few back, talk shit, maybe pizza (question mark), but otherwise I was very eager to go through the motions. It’s the second to last day of summer, something otherwise meaningless to us who don’t go to school, so the air is cool and the events of the evening were shaping to be familiar and unchallenging. As I was walking up the street to see the whole cast outside on the porch, half with beer already in hand and the others smoking cigs or something else. Joe, Jared, Brandon, and David were already snickering and laughing about something and seeing this sight made me have no doubt I’d be snickering soon as well.

“So somebody wants to book Ghoul Lagoon”, Brandon prefaces.
“Oh cool, who?” I follow.
“Gabba Gabba”
“Huh, who are they booking or trying to book?”
“Oh no, you don’t understand, they want to book Ghoul Lagoon”
“No I don’t”
“They want to book Ghoul Lagoon to play their house”
“...”
“This Friday.”
“This Friday?”
“Yes, Ghoul Lagoon is playing Gabba Gabba on Friday.”
“... the band?”
“The band.”
“...... so the house is playing a show?”
“Yeah, want in? We have no songs yet.”
“Of course.”

Just like that, the alliance was finalized. Sealed by cheap beer and the dreams of fake blood, we were a band. We had less than a week to become not only a band, but a gig worthy band, set to play for the damning eyes of the boat shoe clad elite of Gabba Gabba. Mind you, we had no intention to do anything but that. Nobody was snickering over how excited they were for this opportunity, they were snickering because this is the funniest shit to happen in the venue’s existence so far and the lengths they were willing to go to commit to this goof. I can’t blame them. I mean, they booked a venue to play a show, we were gonna take the shit out of it.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “wait, this sounds kind of mean”.

Like, some poor shlub outside of our stupid little cloud of pretention, obviously not too keen to the ins and outs of the world we inhabit, probably heard about Ghoul Lagoon in passing, messaged one of the folks they knew was attached to that name, and asked them to play a show off the virtue of hearing the name. I mean, shit, how many bands have you gone to see that have like two voice memo recordings on Bandcamp or something because one of your rat friends said “their recordings suck but they rule live”. A rather honest, beginner mistake that us seasoned cacti people are not only raising our sniffling, red noses at, but are going as far as to punish them by putting together a joke band just to rib at them for not being as fucking cool and finger-on-the-pulse-of-da-CuLtUrE or whatever ego dick stroke, right? Like, fuck these people.

Well, no, you’re wrong, and you’re presumptuous. Put this piece down and think about your problematic thought processes, you piece of shit.

Ok, a bit much, but like, they messaged the venue Instagram page, a page riddled with nothing but fliers detailing events taking place at “Ghoul Lagoon”. This practice is pretty common in New Brunswick for the quote unquote happening spots. I’m not sure how big it is elsewhere. I think Albany does it? Not important. The point is, they’re throwing money foolishly, and we are doing them a service of playing a show, hell or high water (keep reading).

It’s agreed we’ll practice at 6pm the next day. The wind blows a little cold through our collective messy sets of hair as we triumphantly cheer to being the funniest assholes this side of French Street.

Tuesday, September 21st, or, our collective minotaur in the way:
I woke up hungover and went to work. That was my minotaur. Ok? Just wanted to get that out of the way. I’m a product of years of manual labor so this was minor. We all have one for today, this was mine.

It’s the last day of summer and it’s definitely getting out her yayas before fucking off completely as the sun is going down. I arrive at Ghoul Lagoon around 6pm with basically no idea what is going to happen. I’m eager, but also I agreed to play drums with little to no skill playing drums. I hold skills like that in the regard of “knowing how to do ________ conversationally”. Regardless, my conversational drumming skills made me feel intimidated. On top of that, there’s the humongous, swollen elephant of a question filling the air of the room: What the fuck are we going to play?

Ask yourself: If you had four days to assemble a band and be gig ready, even as a joke, what would you do? If I hadn’t lived out this exact prompt in my past, I wouldn’t have any idea. I did it once when I was 18 to open for John Galm after a friend helped book them and I thought back to how I did that. Essentially, I bought a capo and just did D-Bm-Em or G-A in various placements while screaming diary entries. It worked for four songs. I was even complimented, being told I wrote akin to AJJ (insert joke). This is all well and good for guitar shit because it’s easy to fake guitar shit. You can’t put a capo on a drum kit.

I took to Instagram to ask my friends what they would personally do in this situation and it was just kind of agreed upon that there’s one genre that anyone can bullshit: grind and hardcore. Think Anal Cunt live footage. There was no fucking way they were doing anything besides the motions and people fucking love them. We were all in agreement we should go in that direction. We had all had what could be best described as a “fucking day”.

What followed was about a long barrage of noise from all directions. It sounded like noise but it was hard as hell. I just did the same “cymbal, cymbal snare, cymbal, cymbal snare” hardcore beat, occasionally rolling the snare at various speeds, sometimes beating the floor tom. Brandon took vocals and was screaming his fucking head off about whatever topic one of us threw out. David was hitting some wild little arpeggios and beating the E (tuned to C) to hell. Jared and Joe were shredding the wildest, fastest octaves they can, occasionally sweeping or tapping incessantly. These boys, by all measures, are poets in both the literal sense as well as their philosophies and ambitions. It’s a very inspiring energy to have the pleasure to surround myself with. This was all obviously a joke, but it’s rare to have a crew of people so excited to commit to the bit that they’re blowing their throats and ears to do it. We occasionally pause to sync up little bits and pieces, but unquestionably, this was a noise assault. We decide to take a break somewhere around 7:30ish and are greeted by a police officer who mozied into the house. There was a noise complaint filed by somebody and after knocking for about five minutes just straight up entered to find somebody to threaten. He let us off with a warning and an ominous “I don’t want to come back here.”

By all counts, this was a great success.

Wednesday, September 22nd, or, a taste of a much wider ocean
After the grandiose blowout of the day before, in terms of both tetanus and dispatchment of local law enforcement, we all agreed to maybe turn down the amps today. This led to the reveal of something horrifying that was inevitable: maybe we weren’t that good. We shrugged it off and just kinda winged it like we did the day before. It was like learning to ride a bike again but you swapped your arms. There were all sorts of ideas. I even tried a different beat than the same one over and over. We were all good at what we were individually doing. For some reason, something wasn’t working??? We were doing the same thing but with a day under our belts, what the fuck? We should be experts at this shit. We literally did it already. What the fuck? What the fuuuuck??? We called it for the night around two hours of droning and the introduction of a Korg oscillator. We collectively regrouped on the porch, discussing what the hell was going on. The magic that filled the air the night before seemed to have gone with the summer. It was the first time in years I realized the season changed. Over cigarettes and PBR, we conferred the possibility that our ship wasn’t airtight. Maybe we weren’t the best band in the world. We’d make fools of ourselves in front of the whole frat expecting Ghoul Lagoon the Band. It took repeating that sentence to remember the original goal here. We were clowning, who the fuck cares if we sounded good? Or even cohesive at that? Then and there the conversation shifted entirely. We were back, baby. Rock and roll was going to live on and for some reason there was going to be a drum machine now. We discuss samplers and potentially autotune. If we can’t be cohesive, we can be fucking obnoxious. The goal was reset back to default. Life was good again, for now.

Thursday, September 23rd, or, oh god oh fuck we hit a fucking iceberg where the fuck did that iceberg come from holy fucking shit
Brandon gets a text from Mike. Their “basement flooded” and they don’t know if they can host the show. The whole corporation launches into disarray. Days of planning, gone to the shitter, and after the hurricane we had in town a week or two before, it seems plausible. Brandon, a venerable gentleman, offers Ghoul Lagoon itself to host the event briefly. I’m exhausting the spaces that like me enough still. It’s a shit show, even moreso than the potential shit that’s coated in the basement of Gabba Gabba. No response regardless. It’s over, but for why. What did we do to deserve the injustice that has befallen us? Well, y’know, discounting the straight up lying and plans to be discourteous and ruin the entire event for our own amusement over a simple misunderstanding. There it was, the misunderstanding. Did they get wise? Did they potentially actually look at the profile and something sparked. Two brain cells kissing and grabbing each other’s asses and boobies and penises passionately and with the urgency of living in the ever romantic now over the fact that we were fucking lying in their head as we were devastated. I’m being dramatic, but like, there went our friday plans it seemed. We stayed optimistic hoping the Gabba Gabba boys would never lie to Ghoul Lagoon the Band like we lied to them and that they’d sort the whole junk out. Surely, there had to be a beacon of hope left. We hit the iceberg, but maybe, just maybe, we could save this ship.

Friday, September 24th, or, everybody drowned and died, the ship was an unsalvageable wreck, and also the ocean was filled with spiders and shit like that
Not a fucking word. There was no longer a show. There was no longer a Ghoul Lagoon the Band. There were no lessons learned. We left the experience worse than we entered it. I was shot to death and left to bleed in the fast food chain parking lot at 3am and nobody gave a shit. The chuckling ceased. Were we the villains this whole time? I think we might actually be bad people or something. What the fuck could be taken from this sad wreck? Well, nothing. What did we actually lose if there was never anything there? At least we got a good laugh right? Right?

The more I reflect, the more I think this choice was made in vain. Maybe in a perfect world where art wasn’t prompted from the challenge of fulfilling a need. Who are we but entertainers at the end of the day? We didn’t mean any harm, we just wanted to help. Why would I have said I had songs when I was 18 to play a show if not to help? We are people pleasers that love a stage. We all are at the end of the day. A lot can be said about Ghoul Lagoon the Band regarding the human condition, you know? The grift wasn’t for gain. It was pure and light and it was something that we all wanted to chase the best we could, but we simply flew too close to the sun in pursuit of glory. Icarus, forgive us, for you died in vain as we did.

What the fuck am I saying? This was all a joke. The joke didn’t land and we carried on, but what’s a good story without the dramatics. The painful lessons learned and the ways we changed as people at the end. This wasn’t a journey, it was a trip to Little Caesar’s and back. We stayed the same but came back with a pizza. Want to know how I know this? About a week later somebody offered Ghoul Lagoon the Band an opening slot at their show in Asbury Park. Want to know what we said? Keep an eye out for fliers to find out.

Fin