Tuesday, August 29, 2006

soulive, 8/13/06, rocks off boat cruise, hudson river, new york city

okay, let me just start off right now with a disclaimer: i don't think i'm too good on boats. i've really only spent an extended period of time on a boat a couple of times. 1 being a seapods booze cruise on lake champlain in '99 in which i was medicated by a special brownie that kicked my ass and can't really remember much of the afternoon... except chopping off d-mighty's arm with a light saber. and at 2am in the monopole asking people around me if they still felt like they were on the boat... "everything keeps going up and down..." and the 2nd being my fake-brother's wedding rehearsal dinner, in which i accidentally ate an "edible" flower that was in my salad (motherfuckers), turned green, and had to take a benedryl and be escorted back to the hotel... missing a no doubt incredible evening at the 3 needs and filling myself up with crack-beer like the good ol' days. it is this fear of boats that has kept me off of things like jamcruise or moe.cruise... but i digress.

soulive, 8/13/06, rocks off boat cruise, hudson river, new york city

perhaps this boat ride would be different. or not.

we grabbed some grub and although i didn't intend to drink at all, i am just a fool for the cowgirl's margaritas. i mean they serve them in a mason jar for fuck's sake. UNCLE. we headed up to the dock and in full out preparation, i needed a medicating puff. strictly medicinal (see above disclaimer). and lemme tellya, it might have been the only thing that kept my shit together. we finally left shore and started heading towards the statue of liberty as the sun set. it was really pretty... but the boat was pretty claustrophobic. ugh. and again, i wasn't gonna drink, but at this point it was necessary. i was already second guessing my total committment to seeing this gig.

the band finally started up and they sounded okay. they were set up downstairs underneath the overhang of the 2nd floor. which actually blew cuz i couldn't even stare at alan banging away. they should really either move the band out into the open 5 feet or so, or just destroy the balcony that hangs above the "stage" area. also, the acoustics were pretty shitty. it reminded me of the tune inn in new haven. exactly like being trapped in a gigantic metallic turd.

they had advertised some "special guests" which i was hoping would consist of people like dj logic or vernon reid or maybe even a sax player... nope. it was a couple of "guest vocalists" who ended up more or less just screaming into the mic. loudly. i've seen this band kick some SERIOUS ass before, and i was expecting no less- i mean, we're cruising around manhattan, you'd think they would be on their game... not so much. the jams were kind of generic, loose, nothing special. at this point i'm feeling pretty old... we hung out a bit on the back of the boat, enjoyed the view of the city... the best city in the world. new york city. this was probably the best part of the show.

also, here, let me say that i've never wanted to leave a soulive show early... ever. and now that i finally wanted to leave a soulive show early- i was trapped on a fucking boat... it kinda sucked. well, we finally made it back to dock, the band had stopped, and i couldn't wait to jump onto solid ground... but we had to wait about a half hour for some reason, because they weren't letting anyone off the boat... so it was a lot of people, crammed into each other... trying to leave... it's hot... everyone is rocking back and forth... oh god, just thinking about it right now is making me nauseas and i've been off the boat for a good 2 1/2 weeks already. DAAAAMN did land feel good under my feet. i can't even begin to tell you...

anyways. a lame soulive show, trapped on a crowded boat... do i blame the band or the rocks off boat cruise? maybe i just don't drink enough to enjoy this sort of shit? i want to give this review more, but i'm teetering on the brink... this hurts me more than it hurts you, soulive... please forgive me alan... soulive rocks off cruise 8/13/06: 4 painful HUZZAHS. and that's being generous.

i told you, i don't think i'm so good on boats...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

peelander-z & the kaiju big battel, 8/4/06, the warsaw, brooklyn, ny

so let's start this review off with a little backstory. the week before hern mentioned to me that peelander-z were playing the warsaw in conjunction with kaiju big battel and that lisa's friend was getting them tickets because the dude lives around the block from the place. i get psyched. i remembered seeing the website for kaiju a couple of years ago and it looked hysterical, but i never bothered motivating to go see it. so, with the motivation in full effect, i bought my ticket. i have heard great things about peelander-z and have wanted to see them for a couple of years now. flash forward. day-of-show... actually a couple of hours before the show, and hern IM's me... they don't have tickets. whuh? what about lisa's friend that you gave money to so he could get you tickets? oh, he never got the tickets? and now the show is sold out? and i'm the only asshole with a ticket? i am going on the record right now and saying flat out: lisa's friend is a giant douchebag.

hern and lisa had hope that maybe they could score some extras if they got there early enough. so they went down to williamsburg after work and situated themselves at some bar on the walk between the L and the warsaw with blue lights around the awning and i met them there. the waitress was hella cool and we had some great pregaming going on. eventually we made our way over to the warsaw and the doors hadn't opened yet, so the line to get in was fairly absurd- around the corner. there were peeps looking for extras and absolutely no scalpers or anything. so it was kind of a fruitless attempt. so they took off and i waited... and texted... and got a phonecall from someone who was adorable enough to stay on the phone with me til i got to the door.

there was a giant wrestling ring set up in the middle of the warsaw with a cardboard and balsa wood model of the empire state building in it. i walked up to the very front by the stage, cuz i wanted to witness peelander-z in full effect. and boy did i ever! they came out and started going nuts, it was fucking bizarre and awesome all at once... i was totally getting into it in the front row... and then... out of nowhere... peelander-pink comes out with a suitcase full of percussion tools... and she runs over and hands me a drumstick and some sort of percussive-instrument and motions for me to come onstage. "what??? up there?" she nods and gestures me up... well, okay... so i hopped onstage and started rockin' out with peelander-z! it was pretty phat! a couple more folks came up and we rocked til the end of the song. peelander-red nearly hit me with the guitar head when he jumped up and finished the song. it was pretty damn rock 'n roll--- and fucking NO ONE IS THERE TO TAKE A PIC OF ME ROCKIN' OUT ONSTAGE WITH PEELANDER-Z... so once again-- lisa, your friend is a giant fucking douchebag. there were plenty of photographers and peeps with video cameras- so if anyone out there has pics of me onstage from that night, i'd love to see 'em.

but i digress- peelander-z rocked the warsaw- i wish their set lasted longer. it was maybe 30 minutes. they ended by bowling each other down the walkway, which was pretty fun. they were awesome and i'd love to see a full show, hopefully they'll be back in nyc soon!!!

kaiju big battel... well, it was unlike anything i've ever seen... except for wrestlemania 3 & 4 and the scene in pee wee's big adventure when he wanders onto a japanese monster movie set... and any gamura film that mst3k used to play... it started out when hell monkey destroyed the giant empire state building- very cleverly build around a ladder so that he could scale it. [BIG UPS on the props- they were great, whoever makes them does an awesome job-- 10 HUZZAHS TO YOU, PROPMASTER!]. the evening progressed with the kaiju intern being defeated in a battel where a model of the brooklyn bridge also got destroyed. i had a pretty good spot next to the walkway where they were throwing all the used props/models after they got destroyed. which also happened to be the place where anyone who was thrown out of the ring- they landed on the garbage heap. so i got some fun footage including the giant mushroom struggling to upright himself which can be viewed here:

so, it was a pretty entertaining night, all in all. it would have been way more fun to share it with a handful of friends (lisa, your friend is a douche), but the crowd was a chill one and everyone was having a good time. the full breakdown of the evening's wrestling can be found here: http://www.kaiju.com/commentary_aow.htm

i would say, all together... peelander-z and kaiju big battel: 8.5 HUZZAHS!!!! WOOT!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

black crowes, 7/19/06 @ jones beach & 7/22 @ PNC, NJ

okay, i'm running waaaay behind on these reviews. but it's for a good reason- i'm gainfully employed again. woohoo. anyways, let's get to this.

black crowes, 7/19/06, jones beach, ny & 7/22/06, PNC garden state arts center, holmdel, nj

i wasn't originally planning on going to the jones beach show, but liane called me a few days before it happened with a bargain i couldn't refuse. she had 4 phatty tickets in the orchestra section but her ride bailed and she offered me a ticket in exchange for transportation... so since i wasn't working, i said HELLZ YEAH. but then the next day i got food poisoning. ohhhhh, the food poisoning i did have. i had a day to recover but i didn't want to bail because i didn't want her to have to miss the show! i was able to eat a bowl of white rice before the show and that made me happy.

no alcohol at jones beach--- still lame. i mean, i couldn't drink anything anyways, but the whole concept is fucking lame. we made our way to the seats-- and they were AWESOME. they were in the beginning of the raised section of seats- but they were right on the water. literally. on the beach. so every time liane looked at me, i was standing next to the water, and she'd just start laughing. the band was pretty good, the crowd wasn't that great though. the place wasn't packed at all (probably cuz it was a weeknight) and the band had no energy to feed off of. some of the songs were okay, but i definitely wasn't blown away. it was also a "greatest hits" show. they played most of their singles and i enjoy hearing them, but they didn't mix it up enough. the hammerstein shows really spoiled me i think.

however, i also was having trouble standing up... and sitting up. my muscles were so sore from puking for close to 24 hours that it felt like my rib cage was collapsing into my intestines. good times. it's hard to rock out when you need to be taking a nap.

mooooooooooooving on... 7/22 in jersey...

i had these tickets for like 4 months- heinzy and i had been looking forward to the tailgating and the celebrations for about the same time- i think we had planned either right before or right after our simultaneous BC vacations. brett was supposed to show up (but he didn't because he's a lame ass that is afraid of the rain). we convinced mr. cifarelli to join us and he was on the fence until he felt how wonderful the a/c in my car was. we got down to the parking lot and fought off the rainy blues for a while- and i hold firm my contention for the corn cob pipe. why anyone would want to subject themselves to the lacquered flavor headache inducing plastic and corn concoction, i don't know. but i digress.

we skipped out on drive by truckers and robert randolph. i don't know if i've seen dbt, i've heard some good things... but robert randolph (i'm preparing to be scorned) just doesn't do it for me. in all honesty, i get tired of him after about 5 minutes. yes, he's talented, but somehow it comes off to me as more along the lines of "musical wanking". let the flames begin!

we ran into the vh1 crew inside by the beer tent, only got to see them for a few minutes, but fuck it, the show was aboot to start. there was an immediate difference in the crowd (vs. the jones beach crowd). this place was about to erupt with energy. the bandshell was packed and the band was feeding off of it. was it the weekend? was it the sun finally emerging from the clouds and drying up the rain? or was it the BEER? well, the beer was plentiful. i was still afraid to drink cuz my body was still adjusting to normalcy. but the band rocked, it wasn't a "greatest hits" show, but more like a "classic favorites" show. it was more in line with the hammerstein shows from last year. good stuff.

of course always a topic of conversation- when will a new crowes album come out? well, now that chris robinson and kate hudson have officially split, i gotta say- it's quite possible there will be a new and absolutely KICK ASS crowes album very soon. all that emotional rage has to be funneled somewhere! rock it!

so, let's see... jones beach show- a lame: 5.5 HUZZAHS... pnc show- a rockin' 8.5 HUZZAHS!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dana Monteith, 8/12/06, Gabe's Hootenanny, Sussex, NJ

my good buddy gabe just bought a house out in the middle of nowhere in jersey and his one wish was to have a kickass housewarming party... in order for that to happen he needed one important ingredient: truck stop love ballads. and there's only one man in the world that can provide such an ingredient: dana monteith. so dana was called in special for the task. truck stop love ballads DELIVERED.

i was about 10 minutes from gabe's place when my phone rang- it was dana. "where are you???" "i have no fucking idea." "well, i'm waiting for you to get here before i start!" "ack!!!!! you're waiting for me???" "yeah, guppy, get here FAST! or i'm gonna drink even more!!!" "okay okay, i think i'm close--- have a cheeseburger and by the time you're finished i'll be there!"

i pulled into gabe's neighbor's driveway and parked (the place was packed- satellite parking was the only option!). gabe's house is huuuuuge and gorgeous! the yard was amazing and featured a giant vegetable garden!!! man, if only i wanted to live in the middle of fucking nowhere in jersey!!! damn!!! i had to wait for setbreak for the guided tour- which had about 15 other people on it... gabe should have gotten a megaphone for the full effect.

but rewind back to the music--- dana started off set I with unmarked trunk. a touching tale of the road and love lost and possibly my favorite truck stop love ballad of all time! i didn't keep a setlist, but through his 2.5 sets he went on to play some classic truck stop love ballads: self destruct button, on a dime, afterglow, slipping back, creamery rag... and some classic ominous seapods favorites: waiting room, hope i shall arrive soon, the old gp, jet smooth ride, bong hits and porn... there were more... in fact, gabe and g3 had printed out a whole bunch of seapods tunes from stretch's pink flamingo file and dana happilly obliged as best he could (a few of the tunes he had even rehearsed the night before!).

set 2.5 got a little "blue" and "messy" due to the "alcohol" and "darkness". but there was cake, coffee, and lovely cream puffy things... however, there has been a promise of a "downstairs bar opening" party that will ALSO feature truck stop love ballads this winter... and GUITARAOKE... sasso.com is going to set up a computer server that will spew out requested song lyrics and music for dana to please party goers with even the most discerning musical tastes. gordon lightfoot? no problem! johnny cash? no problem! michael bolton? NOW YOU GOT A PROBLEM!

i took some footage of dana rockin' out the backyard- please view it!

gabe's backyard housewarming hootenanny featuring truck stop ballads by dana monteith? 10 HUZZAHS! rock the sussex! THANKS GABE!!! your party was SUPERB!

to learn more about dana monteith and truck stop love ballads please visit dana's website: www.danamonteith.com