Music Festivals

Bruise Cruise 2012: How I Barely Survived

Warning. The post you are about to read may contain material than can be found objectionable by individuals of a prudish nature. For fans of the awesomely objectionable, click here for the Bruise Cruise slideshow.

I just walked off of the Bruise Cruise, and am now kissing the concrete, thanking the heavens that I am still alive. Yep, that is my pulse that I just checked. Heart's still beating. I will not even try to explain to you how many different levels of inebriation I just endured for the past three days. I will not even bring up what the Bahamian travel guide handed to me in the map when I disembarked in Nassau. However, here I am kind reader, avoiding the DTs as much as possible, and attempting to recap a sensible, coherent story for you.

​I do have a couple of leftover items from the cruise in my pocket if you need them: the official Bruise Cruise condom and sunscreen. Neither were put to good use over the last three days. A jacket, I could have used. It was about the chilliest cruise weather. The brochure said something about a "tropical" vacation, but it was outright artic out on those open seas.

About the unused lubricated latex, let's just say if there exists a Guinness World Record for striking out with girls on a cruise, I would have made the record books. Since I am relying on my colleague, Sean Pajot, over at our sister paper, The Miami New Times, for a more detailed description about the groups that performed, what I will present to you is a firsthand Bruise Cruiser experience. 

Good thing I had my Flip Video camera handy for most of the time, so I can not only describe but share with you the hearty level of convivial ruckus that was this rock 'n' roll seafaring adventure.

For starters, Toronto hardcore troupe's Damian Abraham is one hell of a cruise director. He was kind enough to explain to us that any real "cruise" type of directions should be directed elsewhere, since he was only cruise director in spirit. 

Abraham also proved to be an incredibly talented game show host, as well. Seriously, Abraham was giving Chuck Wollery a ride for his money, with his affable nature and spot on banter with the Bruise Cruise Dating Game contests. Here is a little snippet of hilarity.

Freewheeling Detroit garage scuzzy rockers the Dirtbombs kicked everything off in the Xandu lounge. Lead by the influential Mick Collins, their set consisted of grittier takes on the Motown sound. Watch this video of the Dirtbomb's drummer setting up his kit right next to me and leaving me partially deaf for the reminder of the evening.


Following that was the ever-popular Thee Oh Sees. They are, hands down, the quintessential Bruise Cruise band, with their pepped-up singalongs. Event organizers Michelle Cable and Jonas Stein would be wise to keep them on the Bruise Cruise lineup for years to come. 

Here is why they steal the show: 

There was also this sobering lecture by the Dead Kennedys' prominent and notoriously outspoken lead singer Jello Biafra. "Wake up and smell the noise," he snarled at the audience about the growing economic inequality that exists in the United States today.

Bjorn Ottenheim and Cindy Frijs accompanied me on the walk over to Senior Frogs to watch Saturday's festivities. The two were on their honeymoon. They told me that Bruise Cruising was the only way to cruise. 

"None of that old fart shit goes down on this ship," said Ottenheim in what was possibly a Swedish accent. 
At Senoir Frogs, I learned that the Togas literally perform in Togas. And, they might just be the ultimate party band as Michelle Cable had promised me earlier. During a stunning rendition of the Kink's classic "All Day and All of the Night," I thought I was actually John Belushi partying in Animal House for one fleeting moment.

Scrapping myself off the floor Sunday, I stumbled into the bizarrely intriguing Puppets and Pancackes puppet show performed by Miss Pussycat, Quintron's partner in performance. It was both equally disturbing and hilarious. One thing I kept thinking to myself however was, "Where the fuck are the pancakes?" Nowhere to be found, I literally scanned every inch of that room, hunting down some fluffy deliciousness, but they just weren't there. 

Miss Pussycat's live puppetry performance was interrupted by our captain's announcement of offering an apology for the 60-degree weather. At this point, I started to sense his grip on reality loosening. The end of this reporter's grip on that aforementioned reality came during the Bruiser Open Bar however, with the unending cascade of mai tais that came his way. 

I seriously was thinking that the waiters were trying to challenge me or something. "He can't possibly have another mai tai, can he?" Insert villainous laugh here...."Why don't mind if I do, thank you very much." 

At some point after the open bar, I had a moment of clarity, thanks in large part to the cavernous howl put forth by King Khan and the Shrines. The psychedelic soul numbers were like Red Bull, giving me just enough energy to finish out my Bruise Cruise with a little booty shake. 
(One last parting note. I would like to personally thank the two kind ladies who carried me back to my room last night. Your good deeds will not go unnoticed.)

 This has been Alex Rendon, barley surviving the Bruise Cruise.

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Alex Rendon