Saturday, December 27, 2008

neil young & wilco, 12/16/08, msg, nyc

neil young & wilco, 12/16/08, madison square garden, nyc, ny

I knew about this concert months ago- it was a dream lineup, but the ticket prices were pretty obscene and I decided if it was meant to be, it would happen. Oddly enough, due to a very abrupt change of plans (I actually heard brakes screeching in my head-- that was odd) I found myself in front of MSG on a nasty, precipitous Tuesday night, bargaining down scalpers* with an intoxicated Caroline who had somehow made her way there from a company holiday party (open bar from 3pm-7pm, what kind of sick joke is that?) where she had the misfortune of losing her glasses. We got our tickets for $70 each (1/2 the face value, believe it or not) which is exactly how much I originally was willing to pay to see this show (not including "convenience" fees, so this was actually kind of a bargain) of Wilco opening for Neil frickin' Young.

We walked in during Wilco's first song and the music instantly soothed my soul. I needed something noisy that week and the Gene Ween Band gig at Highline Ballroom had been cancelled. While this was less drunk and less ruckus than the Gener would have been, it was fucking Wilco, so I was psyched (even though it was a total freakin' tease of a set). My friends that had seen the previous night's show had the same complaint- just not enough Wilco. We knew what to expect, but it didn't make it less of a shock to the system. At one point some women came on to help sing Jesus, etc. which was really pretty (we later found out one of them was Norah Jones, very cool!). Jeff Tweedy had the Garden sing Happy Birthday to his son, Spencer. He also announced it was their last night on the tour and thanked Neil Young, the bands, the crew, etc. They rocked for the entire short set and when it had to end we were sad, but everyone got over it cuz Neil Young was up next.

Let me pause here to update Caroline's condition because this was a key role in the night's adventure. She had either napped off or was just closing her eyes (because apparently she is blind without her glasses) for a portion of Wilco's set. Thus began the evolving stages of sobriety: SLEEPY. Then ANGER, "I can't believe I lost my fucking glasses!!!" Next was HUNGER, but possibly only cuz I thought that was a good idea, as in, "you should probably eat something." -> Hot Dog, Popcorn, and the bizarro setting of the MSG hallways during setbreak**. But back to the show INSIDE the arena.

Neil Young is Grandpa Rock n' Roll and when he hit the stage it was clear we were watching a legend. Well, I was watching a legend, Caroline couldn't even see the big screens on either side of the stage. BELLIGERENCE: popcorn was raining down on me for a while there.
Neil Young was wearing a splatter painted sport-coat (because he's Neil Young) and lookin' grizzled***. The stage was set up sort of like a movie or tv set with giant fixed spots facing the band and a staff of unlit letters in a random order hanging in back of them, it was a cool look. Dig it. There was also a ton of unmanned instruments scattered around the stage that band members slowly rotated around to. There was a painter working on a canvas with flourescent paints in back of the drums (he went all set). A giant music-video-type fan was slowly cycling behind the backup singers which was making me laugh for some reason. Totes dramz, Neil. Totes dramz.

He sang some old stuff, a bunch of new stuff. More folksy than loud for the most part, much mellower than I was expecting. There were a lot of songs about cars, but not so much the journey, more about the actual car. I guess when you quit the junk you have to turn your focus elsewhere. Whatever- it was a great fucking show. For the most part it was Neil Young, the legend before us. He was awesome and hell YES I was psyched when he did Heart of Gold and Rockin' In the Free World! Wilco actually came on and stood in as backup singers on Free World before taking a bow with Neil & his band. The painter's end product was some sort of cycloptic-sasquatch creature... Sure, why the fuck not? The random letters above the stage that had finally lit up during Rockin' In the Free World went dark when the bands walked off, except for a scattered N-E-I-L, a pretty cool effect.

Around this time we were in the midst of, PHILISOPHICAL: reminiscing about the Ominous Seapods and what could have been. The "Looking for Answers?****" years. Good times.

They did A Day In The Life as one of the encores which was a great cover and all-- but... God Street Wine's version is waaay better... cuz that one was the bomb-diggity. To sprinkle a little authenticity on it, Neil totally fucked up the first verse and started over, so that's one thing it had in common with GSW's version.

Anyways, Neil Young & Wilco, 12/16/08: 8.25 HUZZAHS! I can cross off Neil's name on my list of artists to see before they die. In the realm of legends of rock who I've had the pleasure of seeing in the past few years, Neil's show was cool, but I definitely enjoyed Eric Clapton (w/ Derek Trucks!) a lot more (even though I had to sit through Tears In Heaven- ugh, gag me*****.). Neil does get points for having Wilco as an opening act. Bruce Springsteen's crowd was a lot more raucous- more drinkers, less smokers, more crowd participation, more Jersey. Not sure which of those two I preferred, but I do know I've gotta see a full length Wilco show very soon, cuz they left me jonesin'.

Wilco (and the crazy fansite that I got this setlist from-- well done, wackos!)
You Are My Face
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Handshake Drugs
A Shot In The Arm
Impossible Germany
Jesus, Etc. (w/ Norah Jones, Catherine Popper and Sasha Dobson on background vocals)
Happy Birthday (crowd sings happy birthday to Spencer Tweedy)
The Late Greats (w/Spencer Tweedy on drums; Glenn played either maracas or a shaker)
Hate It Here
I'm The Man Who Loves You

Neil Young (same setlist the entire tour)
Love And Only Love
Hey Hey, My My
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Spirit Road
Cortez The Killer
Cinnamon Girl
Oh, Lonesome Me
Mother Earth
The Needle And The Damage Done
Light A Candle
Cough Up The Bucks
Fuel Line
Hit The Road
Get Around
Unknown Legend
Heart Of Gold
Old Man
Get Back To The Country
Off The Road
When Worlds Collide
Just Singing A Song
Cowgirl In The Sand
Rockin' In The Free World

Get Behind The Wheel
A Day In The Life

Gallery... and SLIDESHOW!

* I rarely purchase tickets from scalpers. In fact, in my non-scalper-bid I had found some dude from Alaska with 1 extra, but we needed 2!
** You're not at a sporting event, but you feel like you're at a sporting event
*** Not as grizzled as Clint Eastwood
**** The "Looking for Answers?" Tour was a 1996 Rock the Vote sponsored 4 city show musical marathon fantasy of rotating sets, full band switch-offs, and guest musicians with: Ominous Seapods, moe., Moon Boot Lover, and Yolk. This was truly some sort of North Country traveling musical circus... and for some reason there was a question mark at the end of the name- we still don't know why.
SYRACUSE: moe., Ominous Seapods
***** Yeah, I read the book and I still said it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

VH1's Top 40 Videos of 2008

It's that time again and I know you've been waiting for it- it's time for VH1's Top 40 Videos of 2008. That's right peoples, set your dvr's and Tivo's, cuz this Friday VH1 is airing music related content! And it's better than just plain ol' music videos cuz our 2 hour countdown is made with the short-attention-spanned in mind (we're so thoughtful!)- we've cut our favorite videos together with smart, quirky, and occasionally insightful commentary from music journalists, whack-job comedians, and the musicians themselves. Now that's what I call classy.

Included on my to-do list for this one was: Weezer, All-American Rejects, Estelle ft. Kanye West, Jason Mraz, Gavin Rossdale, Sara Bareilles, David Archuleta, Daughtry, Mariah Carey, and the incomparable Matt Nathanson.

check for show times!

Brought to you by the letters: V & H, and co-sponsored by the number: 1.

Team Top 40 of '08
pic by Mike Huetz (not pictured: lisa ng, ximena lopez, and janet "she's having a baby" leung-brosky)

Friday, December 12, 2008

mercury rev, 12/7/08, highline ballroom, nyc

mercury rev, 12/7/08, highline ballroom, nyc, ny

I had been eyeing this show on the Highline calendar for a while but held off on buying a ticket because I wasn't sure how destroyed (or arrested) I'd be from the 2 Ha Ha the Moose shows in the days before, but let's back up a bit...

Who the fuck are Mercury Rev? Mercury Rev (from Buffalo, NY) are everyone's favorite band that you've never heard of. The indie musicians you listen to are probably loyal fans of Mercury Rev. Their name seems to appear alongside the Mountain Goats as top favorites. Could I have told you what they sounded like last week? No. But for years it was always "Mercury Rev THIS" and "Mercury Rev THAT" and "If this humus were a cookie and that cookie were life blah blah blah...", you get the idea. I knew eventually I was going to see these guys play. So when I read the Highline newsletter last week and saw "if you would like to win a free pair of tickets to the Mercury Rev show this sunday, email us" and I scored a pair, I knew it was meant to be*. It was going to be a long weekend and after 2 Ha Ha the Moose shows, things might** be messy- but at no point did I consider skipping this stars-alligning-with-planets event. I was FINALLY going to see Mercury Rev. Hot damn!

Damn, seriously like none of you locals have ever fucking heard of them? Big fat whatever dudes, cuz Steve the Greek was on that like gyro sauce on a fucking gyro!

Hell, he even knew who the opening band were (Dean & Britta), unfortunately we only saw about a minute of them cuz we walked in after throwing back a pregame at the Hog Pit. I stood next to the lead singer of Mercury Rev (Jonathan Donahue***) at the bar and admired his plaid pants but didn't know who he was until he got onstage (with a bottle of wine) and flailed the night away. It's almost the same way I met the Old TP. Almost. Anyways, I didn't know what to expect, I had thought maybe Wilco-ish, but then Hern told me Flaming Lips (a band Donahue was previously in), which actually got me really nervous due to a "bad time" I had at moe.down a few years ago. Aside from the heart palpitations and cold sweats it gives me, for some reason the Flaming Lips music also sounds kind of artificially manufactured: musical aspartame. I didn't need any of that again.

Immediately I could see the comparisons to the Flaming Lips in Donahue's flamboyant stage presence, the visuals, and some of the driving dramatic/atmospheric sounds. Fortunately for me, there were no bleeding nun puppets through a fish eye lens while Wayne shoots a confetti gun over the audience and a stage full of people dancing in giant foam bunny costumes on some sort of horrible Willy Wonka boat-ride. So that was good. Very good. Instead of sensory overload it was sensory satisfaction and I was able to enjoy it all. Thanks, Mercury Rev!

But for realz, the band was great! Some of the songs were slower and moodier than others, but mostly it felt masterfully orchestrated and brilliantly pulled off. The stage show was energetic and Donahue was constantly running around to the various band members and zapping them with power while they tore through the songs. Occasionally they would sound like the Doors but the next moment they were covering the Talking Heads. They connected most of their songs in a way that specifically reminded me of moe.'s Wormwood album, very beautifully done.

I will definitely see Mercury Rev again and will most likely be more pro-active about it in the future. Now I know why so many respected musicians are fans of these guys. It was a great fucking time. Another successful night at the beautiful Highline Ballroom. The perfect show for a cold Sunday night after 2 nights of sheer madness****: mellow enough to take the edge off. Last Sunday night at least, Mercury Rev were the Vicodin of live music. Just what I needed. 8.5-9 HUZZAHS! Solid.

Gallery for Hi-Res DL's and SLIDESHOW!


Snowflake in a Hot World

* and that ticket sales were probably bad so they needed to fill-house.
** Odds were yes, they would almost certainly be messy.
*** I just looked that up.
**** 3 if you count the New World Holiday Party.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc, ny

Oooh, I was ever so excited when these shows were announced! The timing made them kind of my very own personal VH1's Top 40 Videos of 2008 wrap party. Except that I had to pay for booze and Ha Ha the Moose were playing. Ha Ha hail from the vast nether-regions of your mind and feature the unenviable talents of:

Dr. Guano

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

Jeff Von Kickass

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

and Sludge

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

Their sound can best be described as head-trauma-drooling-lunacy, inspired by bands like GWAR, Zappa, & the Holiday Ramblers.

That said, I met up with the hernsottos and we had some stellar dinner and cocktails at TONG in Union Sq. (I had curry puffs, the salmon confit, and a Dulce Fresca- muddled strawberry & mango martini *that's how I roll* - everything was sublime, I will definitely be going back for more) before busting our fucking guts open laughing at a great movie: Role Models. I don't typically endorse films, but this David Wain joint was a masterpiece. Sometimes it wasn't even the dialogue but just the look on the actors face that delivered the brilliance. Top notch performances by the main cast (Paul Rudd can do no wrong, but all 4 were great) and supporting cast like Matt Walsh (I couldn't even look at him without laughing), Jane Lynch (another superb performance), Kerri Kenney, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, and of course Seth Herzog in a tree (spectacular). Go see it.

We collected ourselves, met up with Jay and Gullo before hitting Kenny's Castaways for a pregame drink but wanted to make sure we got good spots for Ha Ha-- so off we went to Sullivan Hall where the doors weren't even open yet... and we stood there close to the front of the line and waited while they soundchecked some Simple Minds (our first taste of the Geighties theme).... MOOOOOOOOOOOOSE! Finally inside, we scored some top notch spots at the very front, Dr. Guano side and were visited by the best waitress in NYC, she's always so good to us- Amelia.

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

I also ran into Salvo who was setting up his mics for some taping action (ah, how long since we've actually used "tapes" for this?). Werdup. Jon Merin set up a cybercast of the shows and the mics were set up right in front of us... So, we may or may not have had some fun with the people listening on their computers and that's all I'll say about that.

There's something about a late night show that peaks the experience over the edge. Especially when it's at the end of a long week. Especially when it's Ha Ha the Moose. Those motherfuckers didn't hit the stage til almost 1am. They play better when the crowd is angry! We have no choice but to take it! MOOOOOOOOOSE!

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

I had seen the setlist from the night before in Boston, so I knew what some of the surprises were, but since I wasn't in Boston, nothing was spoiled. They made their way to the stage via flashlight security escort and BLAMMO- the Magnum PI Theme- but a rockin' out extended version of it. Couldn't NOT laugh but they totally rocked it! Awesome Gary, old skool and loud, love it. 10 Things, BRAIN TUBA. A Ha Ha standard, Tijuana Donkey Show. A little Nena with 99 Luftballoons, deftly handled by Jeff VK. Thirsty Carbuncle and the Ha Ha the Moose Theme, complete with Dr. Guano scolding the audience for premature participation. I gotta say- Jim Sludge really went to town on 20 lbs of Shit in a 2 lbs Bag. He was truly hardcore, singing and drumming-- totally metal. moe. should cover this. Don't You Forget About Me, I really believed Dr. Guano when he was singing those words and I will never forget you, Dr. Guano, when you walk on by, I will call your name. I don't believe I'd ever had the pleasure of hearing Christmas in Mooseville before and I'm not normally a fan of Christmas music, but this could be my FAVORITE Christmas song EVER-- I love custard... Devil Toad, Our House, and then...MAGNUM PI THEME to close out the set! What a sandwich! The encore was 88 Lines About 44 Women and then the Redneck Trilogy, which includes a cameo by yours truly to declare I'd beat up Chuck* in the name of freedom** (some gobi girl told Dr. Guano that she'd do his mom in the butt in the name of freedom which deeply disturbed most of us present).

From ha ha the moose, 12/5 & 12/6/08, sullivan hall, nyc

I also picked up a copy of the Ha Ha EP, "alce en vivo de los muertos" (translated: moose live from the dead) like a good little indie rock fan (I'm the best). "Bailout the Moose!" - El Herno

I got to sleep at 6am... and then I got to wake back up at 3pm and do the whole thing all over again***. That's right. Can't get enough of the Moose. Did I mention that Thursday night was the New World Holiday Party? My liver thinks it's college again! MOOOOOOSE!

We did a pregame drink at the Pinch and crossed the street to meet our fate. Rocked the same spot as Friday night taboot. Can't get enough of that Dr. Guano- there's just something so mysterious about him and I can't quite put my finger on it (ha ha it). I'd be lying if I said I remembered the whole night because I don't. MOOOOOOSE! Highlights: Long Island Girls Rule, Don't Fuck w/ Flo, 10 Things Vin's Most Likely to Say- they absolutely nailed this one, it created the late night nyc gig "space" that kind of fills the room with a warm glowy happiness, I miss that space. I applaud 10 Things Vin's Most Likely to Say. Sadly, the show was over shortly thereafter. Oh yeah, and an awesome Magnum PI to club sandwich the run. MOOOOOOOOSE!

Ha Ha the Moose perform, 99 Luftballoons, 12/6/08, Sullivan Hall, NYC

Ha Ha the Moose, double the pleasure is twice as nice: 9.5 HUZZAHS! -.5 because those fuckers SUCK! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!


Magnum PI
Awesome Gary
10 Things Vin's Most Likely To Say
Down Under
Brain Tuba
Tijuana Donkey Show
99 Luftballons
Thirsty Carbuncle
Ha Ha The Moose Theme
Money For Nothing
Mr. Her
20 lbs. of Shit in a 2 lb. Bag
Don't You Forget About Me
Christmas in Mooseville
Devil Toad
Our House
Magnum PI

88 Lines About 44 Women
Rednecks Are Everywhere>
Fishing With Dynamite>
In The Name Of Freedom



Magnum PI
Don't You Forget About Me
Land Down Under
88 Lines About 44 Women
Long Island Girls Rule
Thirsty Carbuncle
Don't Fuck With Flo
Mr. Her
20 lbs. of Shit In a 2 lb. Bag
99 Luftballons
Christmas Time In Mooseville
Redneck Trilogy
In The Name Of Freedom
Our House
Awesome Gary

Money For Nothing
10 Things Vin's Likely To Say
Magnum PI

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW (taped by TJ Samulus)

Gallery for Hi-Res DL's & SLIDESHOW:

* Who's Chuck?
** I totally would.
*** Allow me to take a distracted moment and say: I love the Venture Bros.

Monday, December 1, 2008

when black friday comes, i'm gonna dig myself a hole...

Black Friday deaths… Shocking? Not really. I’d kill for a fucking flat-screen any day. You would too, don’t even lie. Nothing would make my holiday season complete like a blood-tv. That way, every time I picked up the remote to watch cartoons taller than me, I’d remember the selfless man-floor I had to run over, who gave his life so I could make my way to the Wal-Mart Electronics department at 5am to save a few bucks. Then I’d remember the best part which was when I threw that baby towards the asshole dressed like a cop who told me to stop shopping cuz somebody died. Stop shopping? “Are you on crack?” I’d say! And then I’d laugh and throw that stranger’s baby in their faces. “HA HA” to them and STRANGERBABY to their skulls! If I were to stop shopping than that man’s death would be in vain. I NEED MORE BIG TV’s.

Man, those were good times on a Friday morning.

CEO’s everywhere heard about the Black Friday deaths and heaved a sigh of relief knowing that America’s lust for STUFF was alive and well despite an economic and moral downturn.

Actual footage of CEO’s last Friday:

DISCLAIMER: seriously though, that herd of fucking animals disgusts me, who does that??? There’s store footage of the Valley Stream incident online and I was morbidly curious but could not go through with watching it, it’s just the lowest form of human scumbaggery. Just fucking horrible. These stores set up Black Friday exactly for this sort of mob mentality and should share blame along with the actual trample-ers. It’s shopping as sport. A race to the finish. To the victors go the spoils- or ya know, the chance to spend money so they can save money.

Friday, November 28, 2008

thanksgiving stabby, pt. 2

al & the transamericans, 11/8/08, mexicali blues

al & the transamericans, 11/8/08, mexicali blues, teaneck, nj

Short review: Al & the transamericans were fun, I've seen them much better- this was a very very mellow show. Mexicali Blues is cool and occasionally gets great acts & performances. Any venue that serves frozen margaritas is fine by me- but it occasionally feels weird as a venue: the lighting is kind of cheesy and the room just feels too big sometimes (high ceilings maybe?). Still not sure why. The 1 long set seemed slightly strange and there was some jewish girl screaming hebrew* at al all night which was pretty odd too.

Always nice to see/hear Gordon Stone & Kirk Juhas (Al and Vinnie of course and Eric their bass player is great, but I still missed Teep).

Oh and there was an unfortunate 16 year old with no rhythm kind of spazzing out right in front of the stage which was slightly hard to bare witness too. She seemed nice enough and was totally into it, but the music she was dancing to (maybe her head gets xm?) didn't seem to have anything to do with the music that was being played by the band in front of her at that very moment (and I doubt there were any drugs involved). Truly odd, indeed.

Let's give it 7 HUZZAHS. There was something too quiet about it for me (not because my ear filters were in).

*typically Lisa deafens us with her shrieks of, "I LOVE YOU AL!" (yes, he hears you)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving stabby, pt. 1

thanksgiving cheer...

this headline caught my eyes because it almost perfectly captures my holiday experience. much like this guy, after thanksgiving i feel like i've been drunk, naked, tasered, & arrested. even my dog is hiding. is today over yet?

i'm officially going skiing next year instead.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

w: back on the sauce.

The insanity of the Presidential Election kept me so busy I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed making fun of George W. Bush. Almost.

At a Peruvian ceremony W. imbibes the traditional drink bestowed upon guests despite being "sober" since the age of 40. Hmm...

A "pisco sour" is a drink made of brandy, lemon, egg whites, and regional spices. Sounds to me like one of those shots designed to make people puke, like a "cement mixer".

W's having no trouble throwing back that pisco sour. He's a pro.

How long before W. is pictured blowing lines off a Filipino hooker
wearing a Dick Cheney mask at a cock fight? ... Not long I hope.

Oh shit... that wasn't long at all. He's smoooooov.

Good luck with that shit, Laura.

thanks to gullo for the head's up on the article...

Monday, November 24, 2008

black crowes, 10/27 & 10/28/08, hammerstein ballroom, nyc

black crowes, 10/27 & 10/28/08, hammerstein ballroom, nyc, ny

It's been a few years since I last caught the Black Crowes at the Hammerstein (specifically, the run that included the Easter Sunday '05 White Show) and if these shows were going to be anything like that of '05's, I had to be there. Well, they were good but not quite AS good as those shows- fuck, I still had a great time. I held off on buying tickets for these cuz they were like $50 and decided that if I were to go, it would be because the tickets fell into my lap. Well, did I get a scorching hot McDonalds coffee lap full of extras! The Crowes who had added another 2 shows to the run (including Halloween) had to cancel those two extra shows cuz of shitty ticket sales ($50 ticket, anyone?) but let ticket holders redeem their tickets for the Monday/Tuesday shows, which would at least help towards a full house. Happy me, our tickets were in Mezz 1 both nights = short people can see.

NIGHT ONE (MONDAY): Erika and I ended up busting a move right against the railing and the boys (Baumy and Sir Stoutus) rocked out on the steps right in back of us. Clear view all the way. First night was pretty mellow, I was slightly disappointed that on a Monday night when you basically resign yourself to the rest of your week being painful, but you rock out anyways cuz that's what rockstars do--- well, I was disappointed the Crowes didn't make it completely worth my while to have the rest of my week suck. Just as the set started really rockin' they were done ('Soul Singing'/No Speak No Slave combo is about as much of a musical religious experience you can get- much like moe.'s 'Four' from the 6/15/08 Governor's Island show- good stuff), the encore, "I Dig Love" was okay but my friends who are hardcore Crowes fans were freaking out cuz they haven't played it since (according to the CrowesBase) 2001. Fucking geeks*. Really would have appreciated a 2nd song for the Encore but it was a no-go. Fortunately we were rip-shit wasted and had to head over to a bar to sober up. Erika poured a pint of beer on Stout's crotch and we upset the bartender. How's that for a Monday night? That's how we roll.

("no speak no slave" 10/31/05- i did not take this footage)

NIGHT TWO (TUESDAY): There was some pain involved but I worked through it. Down: 1 Stout, 1 Erika. Up: 1 Kochman, 1 Greek, 1 Monica (J.), and 1 Thriller. In which we find ourselves on the same exact spot at the Mezz 1 railing as the first night, with the addition of 3 drunken crazy people to the right of us who eventually were removed by security for being drunk & crazy, & not so discreet about their affinity for smoking. So Greek and I pounced on their spots (only fair) to continue our own rockin' out. I thought the setlist was more rockin' Tuesday night (Baumy disagrees, but he's a fuckin' hippie, so he can suck it), Twice As Hard, Welcome to the Goodtimes (I'm sure Crowes' peeps use a code for that like WttG), My Morning Song. We got 2 encore songs including the Band's, "Shape I'm In", a nice standard- Ominous Seapods are amongst the many bands who cover this, with Ted "Tigerbeat" Marotta** on vocals. Totes awwwww.

the drum head has a pic of george w. bush on it.

I could have done with 2 sets each night (I was prepared for it) but maybe I'm spoiled with that shit. Black Crowes, 10/27 & 28/08, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC: 8 HUZZAHS! Gotta be honest, I've seen 'em better, but they were still an ass-kickin' Southern rockin' good time and will most definitely see them multiple times in the future. Chris Robinson is the consummate showman & oozes rock sexiness onstage, I love dancing along with him. Rich is pretty sweet too. Yummy.

Wounded Bird
Walk Believer Walk
Hard To Handle
Sister Luck
Whoa Mule
My Heart's Killing Me
Let It Be Gone
Miracle To Me
Downtown Money Waster -> Jam ->
Mona (1st time played) ->
Take Off From The Future ->
Thorn In My Pride
Oh Josephine
Soul Singing
No Speak No Slave
- encore -
I Dig Love

Movin' On Down The Line
Black Moon Jam -> Black Moon Creeping
Twice As Hard
Another Roadside Tragedy
Girl From A Pawnshop
Locust Street
Girl From The North Country
Here Comes Daylight
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Welcome To The Goodtimes
God's Got It
Forty-Four Blues
My Morning Song
Jealous Again
Goodbye Daughters Of The Revolution
- encore -
Sometimes Salvation
Shape I'm In


** brain fart correction courtesy of the Bourbon Cowboy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

YMSB w/ Fishman, 10/10/08, Nokia Theater, NYC

yonder mountain string band ft. jon fishman, 10/10/08, nokia theater, nyc, ny

I've dug these guys every time I've seen them, no matter if it was a festival or a plain ol' headlining show. My former office-mate wouldn't let me listen to bluegrass out loud and (I think it offended her Jersey sensibilities) as such, if she had gone to this show she would have collapsed in a fit of string-pickin' overload. I on the other hand, loved it. The fact that Jon "Henrietta" Fishman is playing drums for them this tour only sweetened the deal.

Love 'em, rockin' bluegrassy good time. Will definitely keep seeing them and I'm a sucker for a rockin' hoodie, so I got a phatty dank YSMB lined american apparel one from the merch table. It's perfect for those freezing days in the dark edit cave.

Yonder Mountain String Band- with or without Jon Fishman. 9 HUZZAHS! BLUEGRASS IN THE BIG CITY, Y'ALL! (and of course, mad love for the Nokia Theater**, one of the better venues in NYC these days!)

set I
3.dawns early light
4.good-hearted woman boy rock and roll
6.happy to be here
7.lifes to short
9.deep pockets
11.this train to run
13.damned if the right one didn't go wrong
14.jon fishman intro*
15.ramblin' in the rambler*
16.two hits and the joint turned brown*

set II
1.out of the blue
2.must've had your reasons
3.midwest gospel radio*
4.east nashville easter*
5.crow black chicken*
6.boatman's dance* gal*
8.fine excuses* 'bout you*
10.king ebenezer*
11.angel>follow me down*
13.steep grade sharp curve*

*w/ jon fishman

listen to the show!

download the show!

gallery and SLIDESHOW!

** on the line getting into the theater there was some chick laying on the sidewalk in a puddle of her own puke-- PATHETIC (even funnier than that is that it was at the front entrance of my old office building, right next to the revolving doors). her "friends" were asking people for water and some retarded girl hands over her nalgene bottle for ol' pukey to contaminate. ugh that's just fucking wrong. there's a time for charity, but more importantly, there's a time when you put your do-gooding aside in exchange for common fucking sense. if her friends gave a damn they would have taken pukey home or maybe not let her get into that sort of condition to begin with. know your limits, kiddies!

Friday, November 21, 2008

lucinda williams w/ buick 6, 10/3/08, wamu, nyc

Lucinda Williams w/ Buick 6, 10/3/08, WaMu Theater, NYC, NY

I was super excited to see Lucinda Williams for very first time on the Little Honey tour. I missed her last time she was in NYC and wasn't gonna let that happen again. Gabe and I met up for a slice of pizza before heading over to the WaMu theater (first time I've been there... I think- weird vibe.) and I got to hear his "worst date EVER" story. Lemme tellya, it was a doozie featuring a duck pond, flip flops, the Connecticut Turnpike, and a nip-slip. If he ever posts the story on his blog I'll be sure to post a link.

Regardless. Lucinda Williams. The woman has been queen of alt-country since before "alt-country" was a buzz-word... Back when alt-country was just "rock 'n roll". She was absolutely fucking brilliant. We were all the way back in the nosebleeds but still loved every second of it. Inspirational. This show made me want to take my guitar out, put on a fresh set of strings, and rock the fuck out. Also my cowboy boots. I wonder if they still fit?

What surprised me most was the crowd. Everyone was sitting for the entire show, at no time did I see anyone get up to git down. Also, I expected to smell at least some weed. Nothing? Jesus, you tri-state urban country folk are fucking lame. I haven't seen that many high-waisted tapered acid washed jeans since... ever. EVER*. Startling indeed.

Lucinda Williams at the WaMu Theater: 9.5 HUZZAHS! Girl, rock on with your rock self! Venue was a little too uptight for me but I ain't holding that against her. Marty saw her at the Egg in Albany later on in the week-- from the front/center. Marty's an asshole.

Was too far away to take pics, but here's a sample of her work.

*I have never been to the Texas State Fair

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All Hail President Barack Hussein Obama

Bow down, fuckers!

Ladies and Gentlemen... It's finally over. The road getting here was stressful, sleep deprived, adrenaline boosting, rage building, drug addled, and altogether balls-out. However, it's time for one President Obama to kick this country's ass into gear.

Just an aside- something that has been bothering me is all this "only in America" talk, because does ANYONE else remember South Africa? Not just a black man--- a black former political prisoner took the reigns over there, so- lest we forget, please recall that one*.

But I digress! PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. I get chills**, do you? Its pretty awesome. What did y'all do on election night '08? I couldn't contain myself and it being such a stressful 8 years leading up to this, I needed to go out and blow off some steam. STEAM. A few of my friends felt the same way and I had a glorious plan. First we would down some drinkies. Craig went with the very appropriate El Presidente- the beer choice of voters everywhere.

From Election Night '08

Then, the most important part of said plan, we headed over to the one place someone can always turn to for fun on a Tuesday night and that is, SWEET, at the Slipper Room, with your pantstacular host Seth Herzog.

From Election Night '08

It was a fun election themed (following the returns)/Seth's bday show, featuring Kristen Schaal, John Mulaney, James Adomian, and Nick Turner- who gave us a fly on the wall perspective of what the DMX interview with XXL magazine (re: who is Barack Obama) was like, which featured these doozies:
Are you following the presidential race?
Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.

What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
Barack Obama?

What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

Anyways it was eye-opening. Seth's mom, always entertaining, read us an open letter she wrote to Sarah Palin... John McCain stopped by, he sounded pretty agitated.

From Election Night '08

and then Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election. And we partied.

From Election Night '08

A bunch of us flooded across the street to Epsteins to watch the speeches on the big screen over the bar- they had opened up the window/doors and a crowd gathered round the sidewalk too. It was all very awesome.

From Election Night '08

Oh and then there was a motorcycle on fire which can only be attributed to civil unrest... but the FDNY and po'po' came and put that shit out. Actually it was funny cuz all us onlookers were standing there taking pictures and the first time it dawned on me that maybe someone should put it out was when the FDNY came and sprayed it down with some extinguishers. oh yeah... I guess we could have put it out... It's hard to extinguish massive fires while simultaneously taking pictures.

From Election Night '08

Revelers filled the streets.

From Election Night '08

It was pretty awe inspiring, and smiles all around.

From Election Night '08

I for one welcome our new leader and wish our new President-Elect and the rest of us lots of luck. Additionally, the names of those who voted for McCain/Palin should be printed in local papers around the country so they can be all be put into stocks in the town square and publicly administered a soup-can-to-the-nuts.

Oh and when I got home at 1:30am, my Obama t shirt in it's mailing envelope sat on the table waiting to be opened.

Good timing, douchebags. Good timing.


* did that sound racist? that wasn't supposed to sound racist. it was supposed to sound funny.
** good chills

Monday, November 3, 2008

from the gates of hell... from the gates of hell.

"harmless" space junk makes big splash!

my beef with barack.

Barack Obama has my full support and can count on my vote Tuesday, but it is not without some beef. Back in September I wanted to make a donation to the campaign- my very first financial contribution to any political campaign*. On 9/14/08, I donated the best way I knew how- I bought a t-shirt. As a t-shirt aficionado, I knew the right one the second I saw it on the official Barack Obama Store** site. A classic charcoal grey with the sun-rising (like the dawn of a new day) O for "Obama" logo- twist my arm a little more, President B. Rock.

Since it was a great shirt and I was contributing to the evolution of mankind, I didn't mind spending $25 on the t and $8 or more on shipping fees. What I did mind was that 2 weeks after I ordered it, I still hadn't gotten it. Customer support's voicemail was full and the receptionist was forced to take hand written messages and try to sort them out. 2 weeks later I received an email from them saying my shirt was on back order and would ship as soon as it was back in stock. The next day it came in the mail. Except that it was the wrong size. So I called back and left another hand written message. Eventually I got a call, they would mail me a return postage label, then I could send the wrong shirt back, etc. Anyways, it's erev election day (if you will) and I never got my fucking shirt.

Barack... Dude. Who the hell is running your store? Talk about bureaucracy, I hope this isn't some small example of things to come- because I need affordable health care. Sitting in an office and putting t shirts in a box isn't fucking rocket science. You could have hired a floor full of stoners to do it out of their dorm rooms and they would have pulled it off- you gotta pass the post office on your way to the 7-11, man.

But there are other ways I could show my support. Take for example this go-getter at a Jay-Z/Diddy attended Obama Rally on Monday in Miami.
One attendee, 36-year-old Rebecca Vaughns, said Election Day would be especially sweet for her. The Miami resident, who was wearing a black Obama T-shirt and had a likeness of the nominee shaved in the back of her head, said she had been saving a giant chocolate "O" in her freezer for months, waiting for Nov. 4.
I just wanted a t-shirt.... so, perhaps tomorrow I will make my own t shirt out of green glitter puff paint and get a blue donkey tattooed on my left ass-cheek or drink margaritas and end up wandering off to an election night comedy show. You see that? I can't get too mad at the guy, the workers in his store may be retarded, but Barack Obama supports the Arts.

* While Greenpeace is not a "political campaign" I once gave them $1 for a cool sticker at a Phish show and got a lifetime of mail that was hopefully printed on 100% post-consumer content- but definitely burned fuel in transit.
** there's already a clearance sale! jews, jump on this!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

getting a bad feeling about this?

seriously though, when exactly did the mccain camp completely give up? this is just a fucking joke now... he must have told his team that he did indeed sell his soul to the devil in that vietnamese POW camp. he has no fears anymore and only 1 thing left to lose (he already lost his dignity). ugh, someone needs to piss on this fire and just put it out!

james carville is somewhere waist-deep in mint juleps and snorting coke off gary busey's dog pissing himself laughing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1/08, turin, ny

moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1/08, turin, ny

K, so I never wrote a moe.down 9 review but I'm way backed up on posts and the pictures do a pretty great job of representing the entire weekend- and so, some narrative bullet points:
  • great weekend, great campsite, good neighbors (for the most part)

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Surprise!: JLo (all the way from CO)

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Bison Bladders

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • my Favorite Sets:
    Sparrow Quartet ft. Bela Fleck
    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    Yonder Mountain String Band

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    Presidents of the United States of America

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • other highlight acts:

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    Cornmeal (though that fiddle player would not stop during the moe. jam)
    Levon Helm*
    Fishbone (fun but I'm not a huge ska fan, so there ya go)

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Dissappointing:
    Benevento-Russo Duo- they were having one of their "noisy" days.

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • moe.? fuck those guys, they suck**.
  • "security": total assholes this year, we think they were competing for a new multi-year contract so they brought out the "big-guns" so-to-speak. They usually leave the gen-pop alone.
  • Bear Song:

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Weather: moist. It only rained friday but there was a night-humidity that just nailed us. I think I preferred the dust of '07 over the moist of '08.
  • Flag: "Dan, you love al so much, you want to poop in his f-hole."

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Politics: al. made a public announcement when Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate. He also pleaded with the crowd to visit the head-count table and register to vote. Only like 250 people had registered by sunday night. One would hope that is because they had already registered elsewhere, but al. seemed to sense otherwise- hence the pleading. "please. more people vote for American Idol than for the President of the USA and look where it's gotten us... PLEASE... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. it only takes 2 minutes, you can do it on the way back to your tents... PLEASE REGISTER... and then VOTE. PLEASE VOTE."
  • Rum Cake: Scrumptious but apparently also an ant pheromone... Also, made us miss Kat.

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • M.I.A.: Bach, Jack, Kat (who was at the DNC in Denver trying to pinch Barack's ass), Marty, the DC crew
  • Furthest Traveled Award: Paul & Megan (Vancouver, B.C.)

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Least Traveled Award: Heidi & 4dice

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Nice to Have Back: Jay

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Nice to Meet: Pete, Rudy, & Clarabelle (welcome to the good field)

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Already met but a 1st timer: Stacy
  • 9/9: a few of us

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Camp get.down: over yonder, didn't see enough of them this year!

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • Steve Kenny: did not visit the hospital this year! Way to go, Steve!

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

  • local bake/produce charity beer tent sale: top notch heirloom cherry tomatoes, homemade pickles, fuck yeah.
  • Mayor: we were so close to getting NO ONE elected Mayor and then Tits & Whiskey pulled out ahead, beating even BACON. Hopefully NO ONE will win next year and this will end.
  • Announcements: END THIS! bdays = fine. Someone who's sat through 100 shows worth of announcements should have enough fucking sense to not waste any more time on these fucking announcements. I DON'T CARE.

  • From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    Fun story- so first set of the last night these really really young & massively fucked up kids were standing near us. One turned to me and said, "when they finish the last set, we're going to chant, 'WE WANT moe.down!'." To which I replied, "that chant makes no sense... you're AT moe.down." Then the kid went on to explain that there would be no more moe.downs and that the band was breaking up. I am starting to think I'm the only one who reads the news page. So I had to let him down easy- that not only were the band not breaking up, but they would be playing again in 2009, including moe.down. Yes, really. Yes, I'm sure. Okay, well scream whatever you want, but if you scream THAT, you're gonna look like an asshole.

    Speaking of assholes-

    dear moe.,
    enjoy your break, you absolutely deserve it- and we'll see you next year... in the meantime i'm going to check out some hacks named Ha Ha the Moose & al & the Transamericans... MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE
    lynn, sheriff, moe.ville

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny

    moe.down 9, '08: 9 HUZZAHS!!! Next year must have: Black Crowes, Ween, Wilco, Cake, and a frozen margarita making robot in the vending area.


    *Sounded great from the campsite
    ** sarcasm. I heart moe. and Rob is dreamy.

    From moe.down 9, 8/29-9/1, turin, ny