Glenn Schwartz imparts his trademark blend of guitar godliness and Old Testament-spewing craziness every Thursday at Hoopples. If you haven't been, go.
We at C-Notes have an endless affinity for Glenn Schwartz, the stark-raving mad, Old Testament obsessed guitar virtuoso
who plays every Thursday at Major Hoopples
(1930 Columbus Ave. 216.575.0483). Maybe we’re gluttons for punishment, but to us, there’s nothing better than a long night spent being irately informed that Orientals have pissed in our beer by a toothless preacher who once played Jimi Hendrix’s birthday party.
Perhaps the best part is the audience’s practiced non-plussed attitude toward the guy. If Schwartz played in California, angry picketers would demand his weekly show be yanked after one innocent diatribe against women or Chinese people. If he played in Brooklyn, hoards of hipsters would pay a $20 cover fee to get into the bar, and Robert DeNiro would produce a Glen Schwartz documentary that would sweep awards at the Tribeca Film Festival. ...
But here, we watch more or less placidly, say “ooh” when he plays his instrument with his gums, and chuckle when he calls us doomed scum and our girlfriends hell-bound harlots. The crowd labors not to egg him on, unless somebody’s drunk enough to forget the ethical qualms associated with ridiculing the clinically insane. Those rare incidents are when the show gets really interesting, because Schwartz loves nothing more than a loud confrontation with a heathen.
Sometime, curiously, Schwartz just isn’t in the mood to damn. Last September, Punch observed what we were certain was an imposter — because he was actually happy
. As it turns out, Schwartz’ church group was in attendance. And while we like to say that we go not for the lunatic drama, but for the music, we must admit we left a bit disappointed after that show.
Well, after attending last Thursday’s show, we can testify that Schwartz is as furiously and despairingly nutso as ever. He was on a damnation-frenzy in between guitar riffs, sending at least three dozen drunk men and scantily-clad women to hell. He maliciously wagged his tongue at anyone who walked too close to him. He moaned such slogans as, “A curse worse than death is a woman.” And, apparently adding a new move to his repertoire, Schwartz spent a few minutes violently smacking himself in the face.
All in all, a pleasant evening out. – Gus Garcia-Roberts