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Enon, Thunderbirds Are Now! and Sparrow – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco

Thunderbirds Are Now

I really tried to track down Enon’s John Schmersal for a few Q’s and A’s, but I had a date for Jambalaya with my boss; and, to be honest, I was drinking Mint Juleps before noon…

I waded through my six-hour bartending shift at the Arrow, and finally arrived at Bottom Of the Hill to find myself unlisted for the show.

I paid gladly.

Enon had already taken the stage in preparation for their set, and an interview with an empty tape machine was out of the question.

I came to in the nude in a cage in the zoo… Wait, that’s a different night.


So, I grabbed a PBR and felt a Hunter Thompson moment coming on. I found a trail to the backstage area and rushed it. “Are you in the opening band?!”

Scott Allen, keys and co-vox for Detroit’s Thunderbirds Are Now! immediately obliged; and soon I was surrounded by seven or ten people that were or weren’t playing that night.

I didn’t have anything to write on, but Mr. Allen (how do you informally address a man with two first names?) helped me out with a pad of National Brand™ Eye Ease® test pages.

Rumors all came true, as the surrounding crowd verified that Enon’s keyboardist and co-vocalist, Toko Yasuda, formerly of Blonde Redhead, had been dating band-mate Schmersal for some years now; and that pretty much summed up the interview question(s) that I could recall in Enon’s regard.

Jason Zumpano, who drummed under his own moniker in Vancouver’s Zumpano, and now, according to my hieroglyphic notes, leads vocals and keys in Sparrow, chimed in randomly to tell us about the “blumpie” – which is the receiving act of oral sex whilst (the receiver is) excreting a deuce. For those of you not well-versed in poetry, ‘excreting a deuce’ is pooping.

The conversation sidetracked somewhat when Allen emerged with a bottle of wine. As soon as it was opened, I removed it from his hand and tasted it for him, straight from the bottle, assuring him it was of fine vintage.

A bit more clear-headed, we steered the conversation to more band-topical points.

The three groups have been loosely acquainted for some years, from individual to individual, but beside a few dates Thunderbirds and Sparrow have played, this is the first congregated outing for all of them.

I’m surprised to hear this, considering the comoradree that is evident among them after just a couple weeks on the road. The month and a half to go should be incredible.

After Enon’s set, I caught Schmersal, who apologized for the interview not panning out; but he promised we would kick it the next time Enon makes it to San Francisco.

“In ass-less chaps” I added.

I left after half an hour to hugs from former strangers; and considered taking the next day off work to follow them to their Los Angeles date.

Rationality set in, and I scooped up a copy of the Thunderbirds’ Justamustache LP instead. Working sadly the next day, the disc proved all of the balls-out whiplash that the individuals the night prior had served up, and more. It’s carnival punk that reminds of the Blood Brothers in a bit more accessible sense. Wild on the stage, and the pictures prove it. (See

Through my admittedly off-the-cuff attempt to cover this show, I can say with absolute sureness, the combined forces of Sparrow, Thunderbirds Are Now! and Enon are worth infinitely more than the cover charge at Denver’s Hi-Dive tomorrow night; and if I find out you don’t recall being there, I hope it’s simply because you blacked out.



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