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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

Column: The Alligator Funk-House

This past weekend was odd for me. As I mentioned last week, I had contracted the Black Death or some similar plague. I was on antibiotics and sober from Sunday to Sunday, which is probably a record for me. (I juiced a lot as a child.)

Since I’ve decided not to study or do homework anymore, being sober left me with a lot of free time. I almost took up juggling poisoned knives as a way to kill time (and maybe myself), but instead I decided to go out to see some live, locally-grown Davis music.

It was all right. There was a guy playing guitar. He was better at actually playing the guitar than he was at explaining the jokes he made between each song. For the most part, it was an enjoyable experience. I got to meet some cool people and all that, be social, get out of the house … yada yada yada.

While I was watching this guitar player attempt to explain himself to me, I got to thinking about the live music scene in Davis. Granted, I’m not the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to who’s playing the latest cool electro in the latest cool underground electro club, but I discovered something amiss with the music scene here in Davis.

“But Will,” you might interject, a look of utter disbelief plastered across your face, “what the fuck are you talking about? We’ve got some kind of club at that one Thai place, there’s country night at The Grad, Sophia’s has some shit sometimes and G Street has a stage with a stripper pole. By Baphomet’s perfumed beard, what could Davis be lacking?”

Well, friends. I’ll tell you.

A blues bar. Yes, I said it.

Once I leave college and pursue my fortune as a railroad baron or as a captain of a whaling ship, perhaps I’ll return to Davis and create just such a place.

I’ll call it The Alligator Funk-House.

It will be a place of true grit. The walls will be covered in antique pictures of men who either killed alligators for a living or were killed by alligators. There will be dim lighting with booths in the corners where scoundrels will speak in low tones about loose women and – you guessed it – alligators.

The bouncers will never speak. They will be titanic figures cloaked in shadow. They will either nod to let you in or shake their finger menacingly at you like T-1000 does in the steel mill. All the waitresses will be intoxicatingly beautiful she-devils with low-cut blouses and silver tongues.

The best part of The Alligator Funk-House, however, will be the music. Five days a week, there will be strictly blues. Real blues, man. Real blues. Musicians will have to have cool names, like Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters or Lead Belly.

There will also be room for jazz as well as some electrified funky music on Saturdays. A true funk night, not like that cheap shit G Street tries to pass off. AC/DC mashed up with some club jam is not funk.

The Alligator Funk-House will be a place for a good time. Pints will always cost a dollar, and the whiskey will always leave you with a warm feeling. It will be a place for dancing, for talking, for smoking big cigars and gambling with gold doubloons that were fished out of the gulf. It will be a place where the music will play into the night, where the fireflies will float in on lazing breezes that roll in from over the Caribbean Sea. Where one drunken misstep will leave you deep in the bayous, where the alligators pick bones from their teeth with other bones.

Goddamnit. I’ve made the place too cool. Now they probably won’t let me in.

WILL LONG wants you to remember the old saying, “When in Davis, do as the Romans did.” He hopes your weekend will be filled with revelry and debauchery. He’ll be working hard to make Marc Antony proud. (The Roman, not the Puerto Rican). Will can be reached at wclong@ucdavis.edu.


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