F**k the Pit: Coffinberry, Brian Straw, Ted Flynn & more at Pat’s In The Flats


Here’s another mystery show from my final few months in Cleveland before I relocated to Los Angeles.

You can read about my 2002 migration from Ohio to L.A. in these posts

I’m pegging this as happening June 2002 at Pat’s In The Flats.

The music was great—and the line-up significant enough to snap some photos of—but the particulars are unfortunately too slippery for precise memories.

Openers Coffinberry were the new band on the scene at the time with a fresh take on all things rock. They were wiry, rootsy (but more evolved than most garage rockers) with a punk-like energy and dissonance. They wrote actual songs too—I was really into them.

I heard a bit of The Strokes in there as well… The Strokes were beloved by all the Y2K youngins, and their influence was just an inevitable fact of life in 2002. They were the new template to be followed. I thought the Strokes were recycled Television. Whatever. I was—and am—an old fuck.

I got into huge trouble with Strokes fans a few years later. Maybe it was their revenge on me for talking shit about them or something?

Read what it’s like to be cancelled

The middle band—The Volta Sound—played indoors. Thank you to everyone who helped me remember their name in 2022! Unfortunately, I can’t at all remember what they sounded like. The internet says they sounded like Brian Jonestown Massacre. (Not surprising—that was probably the fallback band to emulate if you weren’t into the Strokes in 2002. I never got a chance to piss off their fans though, darn.)

Pat’s In The Flats’ backyard was pretty magical this evening, especially when Brian Straw, Ted Flynn and Rob Sirovica took the stage with an unusually rock-styled (though thoroughly noise-informed) performance that one would not normally expect from these improvisational, experimental musicians. I loved it!

Watch a video of these guys playing in experimental mode as Our Mother’s Moustache

Their band name for this occasion: Calvin & the BItches.

“I know we were wearing the shirts that say ‘bitch’ to make fun of The Pit whose motto was ‘don’t be a bitch,’” Straw remembers.

You’ll recall that The Pit is the organization that purchased the Speak in Tongues building from the Communists, and then booted our beloved D.I.Y. collective with a confrontational / racist / misogynist / homophobic manifesto tacked up around the building. Horrible!

Read about Speak In Tongues’ life & death from my POV

Or skip to the end of this post and read the quotes straight from The Pit crew’s mouths.

THIS JUST IN: Apparently, man-about-town Malcom Ryder shot some video of another Calvin & the Bitches performance at Pat’s—well, the noisiest party of their noise breakdown—and you can watch it here. Good job, Malcom.

Coffinberry Danny Noonan Pat's IN The Flats Sean Carnage 2002

Coffinberry play Pat’s In The Flats’ backyard, while Danny Noonan and a crowd of friends looks on, circa 2002. All photos: Sean Carnage.

Pat's In The Flats Cleveland Ohio 2002 Sean Carnage

The Volta Sound play inside Pat’s In The Flats between the other acts. Photo: Carnage.

Ted Flynn Rob Sirovica Brian Straw Pat's in the Flats Cleveland Ohio Sean Carnage 2002

Speak In Tongues pillars Ted Flynn, Rob Sirovica and Brian Straw play Pat’s in the Flats in Cleveland, Ohio, 2002 (exact date unknown). Photos: Carnage.

Ted Flynn Rob Sirovica Brian Straw Pat's in the Flats Cleveland Ohio Sean Carnage 2002

Ted, Joanie Deveney, Rob, Straw.

Ted Flynn Rob Sirovica Brian Straw Pat's in the Flats Cleveland Ohio Sean Carnage 2002

Alfredo Garcia.

Here’s Calvin & the Bitches from another Pat’s show—looks like Matt Kuchna is playing with them as well on this one? Wild stuff!

Christpher Evans Cleveland Plain Dealer Speak In Tongues

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