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My Crappy Courtroom 

With daytime TV as his guide, Todd Lamb examines the recent changes in San Francisco's favorite noise band, Erase Errata

Wednesday, Aug 18 2004
Nobody loves Judge Hatchett more than me. What's not to love? She's America's most powerful daytime TV judge. Her show comes on during the afternoon -- 4 o'clock -- so she's working hard making decisions about breast-implant cases and fender-bender settlements while you're at your cushy desk job eating bagels. Judge Hatchett tells it like it is. She's no-nonsense. I must admit, I look up to Glenda Hatchett's hard-edged style. During the past few weeks of watching her preside over her courtroom, I've decided that I need to be more like her. I believe I can match her brash disposition. Hatchett don't play. And now, I don't play neither. Order!

Let's stop the dillydallying and bring in a rock 'n' roll case: Erase Errata's new lineup vs. Its original lineup.

I'm such a hard-ass judge that I don't even hold court hearings. I just shout things at the defendants and the plaintiffs. Here goes: I've seen Erase Errata many times. I've loved the band each and every time. I own the records and play them frequently. But now things have changed. The lineup is different. I've seen EE twice with the new members -- most recently two weeks ago as part of a Tuesday night residency at Café Du Nord -- and was horrified on both occasions. The band has moved lead singer, trumpeter, and clever comment-maker Jenny Hoyston to rhythm guitar, replacing her on vocals with a boy-toy, tight T-shirt, poopyhead lead singer. Sara Jaffe, the spectacularly technical guitar player, is no longer in the band. Order! That's not the Erase Errata I've known and loved. Bailiff, bring me the sealed envelope with the verdict in it, bitch. Thank you, bailiff.

Verdict: guilty of not rocking hard enough. Under California Rock Law Section 8675309, I sentence you -- the band Erase Errata -- to a rock rehabilitation program. Silence! I'm only gonna run through this rehab program once, so give me your full and undivided attention. Hold on a second, I need to crack a foamer. Bailiff, bring me an MGD. Thank you. Now, let's get on with it. Here's what you need to do, in order to start rocking my butthole off again:

No. 1: Make it ladies night, every night. Damn straight. Did you guys even think your new lineup through? You're, like, 50 percent less awesome with a male in your band. Erase Errata was a group of females who kicked ass. Now it's a mishmash of genitalia. Lemme ask you this: Should Vince Neil join Le Tigre? Hell no. Should Henry Rollins join the All-Girl Summer Fun Band? Nope. See my brilliant point. I need silence in my courtroom. Shut up!

No. 2: Jenny runs the mike. The Fall was a new-wave band that put out its first record in 1977. Erase Errata is not the Fall. Before the new tight T-shirt guy joined the band, you weren't trying to be the Fall. Even with the new lead singer doing his best to be Fall vocalist Mark E. Smith, he's not cutting the mustard. Get Jenny back behind the mike; she says funny Thurstonisms between songs. She makes me giggle. I also enjoy how stoned she appears all the time. Hide the current, scrawny lead singer under a giant cellulite-ridden ass. I sentence him to permanent rim-job duty.

No. 3: More noise and fewer boys. The first two records were kick-ass. Now what? No more noisy, chaotic, personality-disordered, imploding disco tunes? I hope you're happy. I'm holding your CDs and crying -- they were genius. But it's fine, fourth-grade girls all over the country are phoning their friends and squealing about your lead singer's boyish good looks. And hey, what do I know? You're the "artists" and I'm just a stubborn, wild-stallion, daytime TV judge. Do what you want, but don't call me in the morning begging for rock advice.

No. 4: Call Sara and make up. Girls, you better call that girl up and say you're sorry. Shit. Shake hands, smooch, then hand the guitar back over to Sara. She's fast and powerful, like Lemmy's sister. As for you, Sara, if you think it's time to retire into a non-rocking life of baking muffins and reading Mother Jones, you'd better reconsider. I am holding a document from the government that plainly states, "Your tour of rock duty has not yet been completed." I'm talking about the federal government here. This isn't mall security. This is, like, Army people.

No. 5: Start kicking pooper again. After you've made these changes, begin rocking full strength. We all know that C2 doesn't have the sweet sugary jolt of Coke Classic. Get that old syrup back up in this piece. Ride the lightning! Fly like an eagle! Run for shelter! Run for shade! But, for crying out loud, let's fire up the old Erase Errata and run that motherfucker through a brick wall. It'll be just like old times. And, with the old band at the helm, wonderful rock music will roar across this great land of ours. Babies will smile. Birds will chirp. Flowers will bloom.

And so, Judge Glenda Hatchett's system of reconciliation comes through again. I hope you girls have learned your lesson. We can all get along. With a little communication, Erase Errata will be packing all the pre-menopausal power it was before these horrific changes happened. Bailiff, what time is it? Oh, I gotta go. I have to judge my next case: Sting vs. Sting's hairdresser. Imaginary bailiff, show these peeps to the door. Go on, get out of my crappy courtroom. Case closed.

About The Author

Todd Lamb


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