Thick Smoke & Loud Music Podcast Ep2:  Mating Habits and Rituals

About the Episode

This one is dirty.  In this episode, David Smith tells us about his experience photographing the now legendary Alabama Shakes “secret show”.  Apart from that though, this is pretty much just smut.

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Update on the Egan's Regulars

In the weeks following the closure of Egan’s the tribe was doing an amicable job of keeping itself together.  A Facebook group popped up in which hundreds of photos were posted and where the regulars would daily come to agreements about where the group would go to wet their whistles.  The raucous exiles roamed the city in search of a new home.  Many of the town's bartenders cast irritable glares as their own regular patrons were overrun sometimes 10 to 1 by unfamiliar faces.  The Downtown Pub’s Yahtzee board was being regularly raided to make use of the game's dice.  The Egan’s crowd was occasionally met with reprimands for a variety of reasons including their insistence on ordering half-shots in bars where half-shots aren’t sold.  Juke boxes that once played Lynard Skynard and Garth Brooks were now bellowing tunes like “My Ding-A-Ling”, “The Humpty Dance”, and anything else that the Egan’s folk thought might serve to annoy their friends and maybe more importantly, the curious natives of these unfamiliar establishments.  There were plans to invade and take over a territory.  Their regulars would assimilate to our ways, or they could take it on the arches.  When Egan’s reopened, the occupation would end, the Eganites would go back to where they belonged, and the displaced natives could return to their own bars.

As the weeks drew on though, Egan’s folk began discovering their own new favorite bars.  Those daily accords gave way to individuality.  Some people learned that they enjoyed the cleanliness of the Alcove, others noticed that Top Shelf had a similar layout to Egan’s, and on and on.  Many became floaters, bouncing from bar to bar looking for a familiar face with which to shoot the shit.  The group splintered before ever staking its claim on any one establishment.

It’s now been about 2 months since Egan’s closed.  In that time we’ve seen the deal to sell the business to an Egan’s sympathizer fall through.  Rumors circulated a couple of weeks ago that another interested and dive friendly potential buyer was negotiating the purchase.  It would seem, at least as of today, that this deal didn’t pan out either.  As the weeks slide on by it's becoming more difficult to say how much of the Egan’s crowd will return if the bar does eventually reopen.  Some have grown comfortable in their new surroundings.  Some feel that a reopening of Egan’s would just serve to fill them with dread as they await the inevitable selling of the building by Weaver Rentals to whatever corporate entity slides over a strip of paper with a big enough number on it.  For them, one sad goodbye was enough.  Maybe a new bar will open up soon in downtown Tuscaloosa.  If that bar allows smoking and the performance of original music, if it maybe doesn’t notice a little under the table low stakes gambling, and if its bartenders are amenable to pouring undersized shots, it could be that this group of roamers will have a chance to again call themselves regulars by virtue of staking their claim on day 1.  There's not a hell of a lot of use in trying to predict the future.  But, it seems like most of us can't stop ourselves from trying.


Of course, one day after posting this, a long time Egan's patron and familiar face announced that he has bought the business of Egan's.  Mike McWhirter took to the private "A Tribe Called Egan's" Facebook group earlier today and let the followers know that he had bought the business and that his hope is to reopen the bar on August 1st.  He's made a lot of heavy drinkers very happy.  It looks like Tuscaloosa might get a little more time with this dive bar on the corner.

All of the music in Episode 2 was original and provided to us by artists that have actually had the experience of having people walk through their bands, mid-gig, to get to the pisser.  The tunes you heard in this episode were by the following:

Baak Gwai - A long time Tuscaloosa favorite for damned good reason, grab their first album here, and then gander at their Facebook page.

BAT - An interesting trio with intelligently written songs covering topics such as arachnid education.  It's hard to come by a CD of theirs, but here is a video of them performing at Egan's.

Blaine Duncan and the Lookers - Blaine Duncan can't sing but bless him, he tries.  Southern rock with wailing guitars and sometimes a banjo.  I've long maintained that Virginia (State Park) is one of the best songs to ever come out of Tuscaloosa.  Buy a CD and tell me I'm wrong.

D.C. Moon and his Atomic Supermen - D.C. has been a fixture in the Tuscaloosa music scene since...  He's been around for a while.  Using his encyclopedic knowledge of B movies, he put together a damned fine Sci-Fi Punk Rock band.  Nab you a CD here.

Druid City Rockers - Ronnie Lee Gipson has been in pretty much every band that's come out of Alabama in the past decade.  He's probably in this one too.  It's my understanding that the music that we used from DCR was never released.  That's a damnable shame.  It's some seriously balls to the wall rock and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to hear it.

The Haunted Stepdaughters - Were a band that existed.  Here's a YouTube video that proves it.

Here's Your Shampoo - Pillow fight rock from Tuscaloosa.  Hot pink drums, and flower shaped guitars.  Listen to a few tunes for free on SoundCloud.

The Penetrators - We were so fucking pumped when the Penetrators told us that we could use some of their music.  A physical CD will set you back, but you can scroll down and buy the MP3s at the usual price.

Special thanks to David Smith for allowing us to use his photography.  Check out his work at