The Harem Guards Will Rock You, Eventually, Maybe, by Jerry Renek
WANTED: Lead guitar whose playing style is not self-described as “an erotic fever dream of liquefied awesome.”
WANTED: Bass player. Doesn’t rely on hats as a substitute for a personality.
SEEKING GUITARIST: Must own less than 203 T-shirts.
TRAPPED IN 80s COLLEGE RADIO? Stop reading. Otherwise…Bass player wanted for lo-fi outfit making perfect 3 minute pop songs, with an edge. Know when to hold back and know when to get groovy. Must take suggestions without it turning personal.
READY TO TOUR WITH A MAGNIFICENT SPACE-ROCK BAND? Can you sing? Have decent pitch? Can you sing ballads then warp your vocal chords to wail like a banshee? Will you not take sides if guitar and bass have stylistic disagreements?
DRUMMER NEEDED IMMEDIATELY: For Third Wave/Baroque/Nerd/Grind band. Doesn’t describe playing style as “gorilla pain in all your holes.”
SEEKING: New guitarist for The Harem Guards, open to all kinds of music, not a “aesthetic, limited palette of sounds.” Definitely not space-rock. If anything, think Freak-Rock sans hemp pants.
LOOKING FOR: Power-pop bass player. Good drive and rhythm, with a wide scope of influences (except for Alice In Chains). Wallet should carry exactly zero creepy pictures of own sister in a bikini.
FOR SALE: 203 stolen T-shirts. Formerly owned by Harem Guards’ guitarist. Probably won’t ever be collector’s items. Until washed, should be considered HAZMAT.
WANTED: Drummer. Hard hitting beat. Dirty grooves. No one cares about the time you jammed with a guy who claimed to be the Violent Femmes’ singer.
LEAD SINGER WANTED: Alt-country/Krautrock combo needs that final piece of the pie. Are you ready to tour? Must not smoke British cigarettes.
WANTED: Bass player who knows the difference between “veteran” and “veterinarian.” Should also not be influenced by Alice In Chains.
ESTABLISHED NO-WAVE GARAGE BAND SEEKS LEAD GUITAR: Will have no reason, not ever, to mention Kronos Quartet or Kierkegaard in casual conversation, college boy.
FOR SALE: Three Alice In Chains reunion tour tickets.
ARE YOU A PERCUSSIONIST IN NEED OF A BAND? Can you shut up about Brian Eno for five minutes? Can you do that? For real? Good, you’re in.
BASS GUITAR TEACHER NEEDED: Must be able to deal with weepy man-child seemingly incapable of taking constructive instruction.
SEEKING SINGER: For retrophonic band, The Harem Guards. Lyric writing a plus, unless you consider stealing Bright Eyes couplets and rewording them the same as writing lyrics.
UNDERSTATED LEAD GUITAR WANTED. You interviewed Doug Martsch for your e-zine? Whoa! One time you were in Topeka and saw Tegan or Sara (which one, huh?) and you said hi and she nodded back? Wow. Amazing! Sorry, you’re just too awesome for this band.
WANTED: Americana-rock/Brazilian thrash percussionist. Solid and understated. Stays in the pocket. A sense of “lesser is morer.” Shouldn’t be burdened with remorse re: unsold sci-fi screenplay about pyromaniac cyborg drummer.
WANTED IMMEDIATELY: Bass player for psycho-garage band. Must know notes and tuning of all four strings. Also, no one wants to go out on a Thursday night to see performance art at the abandoned mayonnaise factory.
READY TO BE A ROCK GOD? Local tour-ready Madchester/D-beat band looking for talented vox. Stage presence a must. Audience needs to understand what you’re singing, unless you’re Michael Stipe traveled in time from 1985. Bonus points if you’ve spent more money on vocal lessons than haircuts.
SEEKING: Professional drummer. Should be professional. P R O F E S S I O N A L. Does not list Ricky Ricardo among influences. Professional.
BASSIST WANTED: Just admit it, you used to like Alice In Chains. It’s worse because you won’t admit it. That one time you were drunk on raspberry wine coolers you said it. Everyone heard. What’s the big deal? We all liked crummy music. We’ll even admit to liking Audioslave for about 10 minutes. Just admit it. You probably liked Staind too, didn’t you?
WANT TO COLLABORATE? The Harem Guards, a paisley-Grebo ensemble with an acid vibe, needs tour-ready lead singer ASAP. Cannot refer to band as “my band” and should accept that band’s success is not 90% attributable to frontman, just as band’s shortcomings cannot be attributed to, for instance, the misunderstood but brilliant bass player.
SEEKING ROCK DRUMMER: “I wanna get signed to a massive contract so I don’t have to go cheap on the bio-mechanical upgrades I’m gonna get implanted in my arms and abdominal cavity”? Give us a call if you’ve never said those words.
MAKE YOUR DREAMS OF ROCK STARDOM COME TRUE: Introspective, twee-noise band seeks flexible guitarist. Does not need to be Gandalf with the ax. In fact, singer prefers guitarist does not try to stand out with pyrotechnic fret work nor use the phrase “Gandalf with the ax.” Should be a true original within the confines of a quartet. Must be fast learner. Touring in mere weeks.
SEEKING SINGER/GUITARIST to join bass and drums for a tight jazz-punk combo.
CAN YOU HARMONIZE/PLAY TAMBOURINE? Singer looking for other half of folk duo.
FOR SALE: Partially burned 8 piece drum kit. Make offer.
WANTED: Electronic musician who can mimic sounds of voice, bass and drums.
FOR SALE: Brand new RV painted like the Partridge Family bus. Perfect for ironic indie band heading out on first tour.
IMMEDIATE OPENING: Club seeks DJ to spin vinyl on night formerly devoted to live music.
Jerry Renek is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He repairs slot machines in Iowa for a living. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Yalobusha Review, Long Day Press, Other Voices, and Absolute Disaster: Fiction From Los Angeles. His Twitter account is here.
The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit your work for consideration, send it here.