The venue is outrageous, and that’s an understatement. Really, it’s an amazing place. A wall outside is painted with coming attractions. Inside, it’s like a high school theater was transplanted into a swirling psychedelic trip. By the bar, there’s a freakish pyramid of Raggedy Anns. A giant Cabbage Patch doll, a bobble-head style Roseanne Barr and two shelves lined with painted wooden ducks are highlights among the decor. A few cats are roaming around, and we’re told not to pet the calico. It has its own chair bearing a note with the same warning. The best part of Super Happy Fun Land, however, is Poopy Lungstuffing.
She’s a soft-spoken lady in that childlike Joey Lauren Adams way, and her speech is fragmented and adorably awkward. With baby bangs, pigtails and a colorful skirt poking out from beneath her dress, she’s like the female Robin Williams in Jack. She bartends, and she’s welcomed us with a seemingly never-ending supply of vegan chili (with Fritos, even).
Before the band’s set, David, a self-described “insecure security guard,” performs. The sound guy backs him on a laptop that emits screeches, buzzes and other strange noises. David’s performance is outside-the-box, to say the least. He’s not singing, but speaking sort of theatrically. At one point, he pretends to slit his wrist. He calls out Haley, who’s across the venue on a couch, and announces he’s painting himself blue for her (to match her hair). He pours blue paint all over his face.
A few people already know the joke.
“Right! Fish,” he laughs.
He then enlists the audience for a conga line. Attendance is scarce, but a few people and more than half of the Back Pockets follow him as he gallops through the venue. They stop in front of the stage, where he has everyone huddle together for the grand finale. He’s grinning and looks absolutely pleased with his bizarre display.
The crowd grows a bit, and they play. The set seems fine to me, but toward the end, Emily’s turned her back to the audience. She does that when things don’t go well. She packs up her banjo before “Love Like” is over, but David and Heather are still drumming along with several engaged people. While getting a beer after the set, Poopy says something about playing the ukulele. I ask her if she’ll play for us. “I’m big in Finland,” she says.
I laugh, then Trevor tells me Poopy is a YouTube star. She has more than 700 videos of her playing the ukulele, he says, while Poopy sings the Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes.” Talk about surrealism. Where am I again?
The band played and slept at Super Happy Fun Land before, so we stay there. I find out the bus key is broken. Emily and Billy are in the middle of an intense-looking pow-wow onstage. Everyone else is in a good mood though, and I join them outside for several rounds of “I Used to Hump,” a game they made up.
Basically, whoever’s holding the glowstick (yes, a glowstick) has to divulge an embarrassing sexual story. I’ll blame the PBR and say the details are foggy, but I will say that everyone offered at least one surprising—and even a little disturbing—tale. And one of them led us to Pink Roulette, the gay version of Chat Roulette.
After several lewd encounters, we decide Chat Roulette is a better option. We’re all hovered around Haley’s laptop, screwing with random users. We move the party inside for better lighting and we end up putting on a short play for some guy who’s stuck with us for more than 10 minutes. The band has an impressive arsenal of costumes, but Super Happy Fun Land’s props are astounding. One by one, they bring an odd item into view, and we drag a giant mushroom in for the closing scene.
In the morning, we have access to the van. Nobody fills me or anyone else in on how the key situation was remedied. Billy pushes the button to open the door by sticking a pole through the open driver’s window, and we board.
Our next and final stop is Little Rock, Arkansas. On the way, we find out that somebody (who will remain nameless) peed in the corner of the bar at Super Happy Fun Land. One person was awake for the whole thing, and he says David led the sleepwalker to the bathroom by the light of the glowstick. Wow.
Nashville has more dive bars than ATL now that sucks. tbh i think that new…
*Christ, Lord sorry
"Punk" style like this seems like it is the polar opposite of punk. Bradford Cox…
They're kind of starting to look like a joke of themselves. Song's good though.