Log On

Doo Rag's Bob Log III proves that he can be outlandish all by himself.

Such shenanigans crop up frequently in Doo Rag's history. On one occasion, for instance, Log and Malling were briefly jailed after they successfully jammed German radio for over an hour with a noisy broadcast that sounded like the Butthole Surfers presiding over an orgy of young fräuleins. (The incident is documented on "Radio Free Hamburg," a cut from Doo Rag's 1995 full-length What We Do.) Still, the notoriety gained by such experiences didn't bring Doo Rag any closer to a record deal--which was fine by Log, who takes pride in the number of recordings he and Malling sold out of the back of their van. He was receptive, though, when Fat Possum's Matthew Johnson offered to ink him on the strength of solo shows he did alongside Burnside and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. At first Log wasn't sure he could go it alone, but, he says, "I started playing with my foot and it worked. I was like, 'Shit, I've got 28 songs here. I'll send out a few and see what happens.'"

The arrival of School Bus doesn't mean that Doo Rag is no more; in fact, Log hopes that Fat Possum will eventually put out discs by the group. But right now he's facing the challenge of establishing his identity beyond his work with Malling. In a slightly mocking tone, he declares that he's part of "the guitar tradition. I don't know if that puts me in with Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen, but I'll take them on. Come on, let's go. Put a trap and drums on that foot, motherfucker." Playing has "turned into a fucking sport for me," he goes on. "You don't even know. It's like I need a halftime. Sometimes it's more like sprinting, because a lot of them are fast songs. After sitting there and doing that for forty minutes, it feels good to get up and walk around."

Unfortunately, Log's exertions haven't always helped him broaden his audience. As an example, he cites a recent gig he shared with Ani DiFranco (or, as he calls her, "Anita Franco"). He concedes that DiFranco's fans were among the nicest he's ever met, but he complains that "I had to drink beer while hiding in the shower." He adds, "No one bought my tube tops, but they all went crazy for that Anita Franco shit."

Maybe Log will have better luck in Europe, where he says he's booked shows "with some circuses and some traveling bears." In the meantime, he's learning to appreciate having a percussionist at the end of his leg. After all, he points out, "my foot doesn't drink beer."

Bob Log III, with Lonesome Dan Kase. 9 p.m. Saturday, November 7, 15th Street Tavern, 623 15th Street, $5, 303-572-0822.

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