I wasn't exactly the kind of person you'd expect to attend, for a lot of different reasons.

I live about as far away as it's possible to get in the Continental United States from the Port of Miami.

I have three kids at home, a very large dog, and Adult Responsibilities.

My passport expired in 1997.

I'm about double the age of the average attendee.

I can't wear my own old '80s clothes ironically, which excludes me from being a hipster.

I have no tattoos, nor have ever desired to acquire any.

I stopped smoking in 1981.

I have never, ever wanted to go on a cruise before.

Yet, despite all those daunting facts, nothing was gonna stop me from GETTING ON THE BOAT. Yes, kiddies, I'm here to tell you that I did indeed TOTALLY attend the 2nd annual floating garage-punk-comedy-craziness music festival known as Bruise Cruise! Why did I go? Are you kidding me? Look at the musical lineup!

These are my favorite bands! To be able to go somewhere, anywhere -- even on a damn boat -- and see so many of the musicians I love the most is just THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD. Some people might see a shrink, some people might chew Xanax Gummies...I go to garage rock shows and the world is set right once again. Now, put that together with the uniquely amazing photographic opportunities of 500 punks and hipsters sailing on the huge Carnival Imagination cruise ship along with 1500 other "normal" people to the Bahamas? COME ON, MAN! I am exactly the kind of person to attend! So, I renewed my passport with a picture of New Old Me, packed up the camera gear, and flew down to Florida, not exactly sure how everything would turn out, but certain at the least music would be good, eh? No, not good...GREAT! Let's GO!

(The lovely Michelle Cable of Panache Booking (Cable and Jonas "Adonis of the Sea" Stein of Turbo Fruits are Bruise Cruise co-founders and tireless organizers) kindly gave Popthomology press creds [Popthomology = ME-dia, if you want a pun, and you do]. I did double-duty and also shot for Seattle's own legendary radio station, KEXP, so my coverage is split between here and there, with swooping savior KEXP writing from fellow Seattle writer/photog Suzi Pratt. You can see the article HERE and my KEXP Flickr set HERE!)

Cable and Stein kept adding more STUFF to the lineup, which of course is nothing but good, and also meant that the long weekend at sea was going to be extended for TWO nights of pre-cruise concerts in Miami on February 8th and 9th, free for Bruisers and 20 bucks or so for the local landlubbers. But first things first...a check-in mixer to get my wristbands and Bruise Cruise swag bag filled with custom-cool 7" split singles, sunglasses, pens, temp tats, and more at the Gibson showroom in Miami's design district.

A quick pop back to the house of friends Rob and Stacy, then back to rainy night Miami to The Stage, a cozy club with comfy couches, sparkling chandeliers, and an open patio area that possibly seemed more suited to suits than brutes, but no matter. We'd had a bit of a late start, so arrived just a few minutes before the first-ever performance of garage-cover superband the Togas, made up of baby-faced multi-band wiz-kid (and Unofficial Bruise Cruise 2012 Party Boy) Ty Segall, Philip Sambol of the Strange Boys, Shannon Shaw from Shannon and the Clams, and Lance Wille from Reigning Sound. Bruisers were asked to pick their favorites from a list of potential classic garage and punk anthems for the Togas to perform, and I was MEGA-STOKED to hear how it would all turn out.

Appearing in actual togas, which the men of the band seemed to have trouble keeping in place, the Togas fearlessly ripped through their set, fumbles, broken strings, and epic god and goddess moves included. This was one of those shows where I had to stop myself from dancing like a maniac so I could get some decent photos. Ty got right up in mah grill at one point, smiling evilly, while I just giggled. For your listening enjoyment, I'm also including a video shot by a fellow fan of the Togas performing a white-hot version of the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me," one of my favorite songs of all time and my fave of the set.

The Togas, "You're Gonna Miss Me"

(The Togas Miami Flickr set)

I was so hyper after the Togas I had some trouble settling down to watch Miss Pussycat's puppet show. It's understandable. We begged off early, deciding to rest up for what would surely be one insane night on the 9th.

Adult Responsibilities will make Bruise Cruise 2012 a multi-day coverage event here on the blarg -- think of it as prolonging the magic! More preshow party fun tomorrow!