Sunday, June 29, 2008

gestation of a foodbaby... pt.1

last week i had dinner with a couple of my oldest/dearest friends and one of them revealed to the rest of us that she is with child (over empanadas- the best kind of announcement food). there is some sort of creature growing inside her. typical of this friend, everything revolves around food. a tiny asian, i've spent my life watching her eat whatever she wants in massive quantities whenever she wants (without any negative implications). so it was only fitting that she first described the size of the fetus in terms we could all understand... "right now, it's the size of a turnip." "a turnip???" i grew squeamish and slightly confused as i've never compared a fetus to turnips before (and from now on will possibly think of fetuses each time i encounter a turnip). she sensed this and chased me around holding up her hands forming the correct size and screaming, "TURNIP TURNIP TURNIP!"

so, the following day i got my sweet revenge by sending her an artist's rendering of her foodbaby... it turned out well and i've decided that (with her permission) i will be posting weekly updates of the gestation of her foodbaby. she did request that i wait until this week to start posting them because she hasn't told everybody yet. "wait until it's a bell pepper." "okay, well, you let me know when that is, but i'm still posting the turnip... you filthy turnip-breeder."

it is now with great pleasure that i present to you, the first of many posts in a series entitled, "gestation of a foodbaby."

17 weeks, the turnip (last week).

18 weeks, the bell pepper (this week).

what will the foodbaby look like next week? stay tuned to find out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

moe., 6/16/08, highline ballroom, ny, ny

by the time i got out of my car the skies had turned black over manhattan and nature's wrath was about to have it's way with garbage littered all over the city. i just needed shelter. fortunately i parked right near the park nyc, so i walked right in, ordered a moe.jito (AHHAHAHA get it? groan.)- but seriously, it was fucking good, and called babitz (aka d.mighty, d.mouthy, darth mighty) to tell him walking 2 avenues over given the current situation was a pipe dream. he ran into hern and lisa on the sidewalk and they sought shelter at diner (which they said sucked).

i also got a margherita brick oven pizza and chilled at the bar until erika and jake made it over. once the monsoon passed, i was kept entertained by a firetruck that parked right in front of the restaurant. what is it about those overalls? so, erika and jake showed up and got some beer, shortly afterwards we were joined by dan and the hernsottos- lisa was happy to imbibe in a girly drink- she got a 'sexy bitch', which is peach stoli, pineapple juice, mango puree, and grenadine. damn. that does sound good. i might have to try one of those. we migrated over to the corner which had some built-in bookcases full of really old national geographics to page through. we convinced erika to go to moe.down and then headed out the door nicely riled up.

once again, i LOVE the highline ballroom. it's possibly the best music venue in the city nowadays. the staff are chill, the sound is great, the bathrooms are rockin', and you can see the stage from pretty much anywhere in the room. ran into salvo on the way in- totally didn't recognize him, he's like half the size he was last year! crazy! good jorb, guy!

we settled in a few people back on al.side- last year it was a nice location, so we stuck with it. they opened up with 'water' which i'm guessing was either dedicated to governor's island or the aforementioned stormfront. right into 'bearsong' which i'm not used to hearing so early in a set, but i was good and drunk early thanks to the moe.jitos (this might be a new tradition) so oddly enough, it fit. queen of everything. i LOVE this song. i've said it before but this is moe.'s 'whipping post'. it's a southern rock masterpiece and rob belts the shit out of it. AWESOME. 'jazzwank'? no fucking way!!! yes way! wtf??? babitz (sporting his '96 "looking for answers?" rock the vote tour shirt) was especially pleased with this. dan loved it so much he wanted to poop in al's f-hole! -> 'runaway overlude' -> 'mexico' (nice touch). last year's highline 'mexico' was a refreshing good time, and the same can be said for this year's. setbreak and d. mouthy said he had to leave, i guess he had answers to look for or something, but i really think it was because al wouldn't let him poop in his f-hole. maybe he thought he could find a better f-hole to poop in, but i'm telling you right now- dan, if you're reading this: you'll never find another f-hole like al's. you better get used to pooping in a toilet.

when the band took the stage for the 2nd set they brought up a few cakes that someone had made for them at a bakery in the chelsea market around the corner. one of the cakes had the 'sticks and stones' album cover and i didn't get a look at the other one, but for some reason i think it had the DEVIL TOAD on it. lick the toad, devil toad! the venue sliced and passed around the cake to all of us and it was REALLY FUCKING GOOD. vanilla/lemony with- was that some toasted coconut i tasted? yummy yummy moe. cake! i gotta find out the name of the bakery and go stuff myself silly. you think i'm joking. at some point we were joined by matt, who had given up his spot in the first row because he didn't like being compressed against the stage anymore. people are ANIMALS.

'nebraska' started and some drunk asshole behind us was singing the words louder than the band, which would have been problematic (for him) if he didn't eventually stop. -> 'blue jeans pizza'. i kind of enjoyed it this time around. i like the jam, i think the song takes some interesting turns, but i am unsure if i like the good parts enough to make up for the meh parts i'm still not in love with yet. or maybe i do like it but i don't cream myself when i hear it the way most of the people i see react when it starts. whatever. 'crab eyes', great. i totally dig 'the pit' (i didn't even do that on purpose). that song is just layer upon layer of constantly building evil. great jam. 'big world'- i love this song- on the album. the live versions have never quite met my expectations, some have bordered on sloppy even for such a precisely toned song. this one was really good in the realm of 'big world's. then, 'moth'- a song i had heard teased a number of times at governor's island. it was good fun and al handed the mic over to an audience member to turn it into an interactive version. end of second set.

the band got back onstage and al approached the microphone with a handful of papers. i screamed and begged, "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! NO MORE!!!! DON'T DO IT AL!!!!! NOOO MOOOOORE!!! NOOOOO MOOOOORE!!!!!" the band laughed, rob told me to settle down, but then he joined me in begging al, "NOOO MOOORE! NOO MOOOORE!" but al did it anyways- he read the horribly annoying announcements... he's such a nice guy. and someone joked that everyone should pick up one piece of garbage on their way out. HA! fuck these things!!!

encore... 'THREW IT ALL AWAY'. holy fuck. i haven't heard this song in forever! it just snuck right up and startled the crap out of me! what a choice! GOOD SHOW!!! i had almost forgotten what a rocker jimmy page was!!! when the encore ended all i could say was "wow... threw it all away!!!! WOW!" but matt was the only one left in the running crew to say it to! everyone else took off- they were all, "ohh wahhh, it's a monday night... i have job." well, i don't, but even if i DID- i STILL would have stayed 'til the end. that's just how i roll.

moe., 6/16/08, highline ballroom, nyc, ny: 9 HUZZAHS! i was surprised i didn't hear 'timmy tucker' or 'rec chem' or 'rebubula' between the two nights, but i don't mind- it seems like they always play those in nyc so it's nice to see/hear them mix it up a bit.

i think i should have shifted some settings around more on my camera, but practice makes perfect... gotta get it right by moe.down. in the meantime- slideshow:

and here's the gallery if you'd like to view at full size or DL the hi-res pics:

Set I:
Water> Bearsong, Queen Of Everything, Jazzwank > Runaway Overlude > Mexico

Set II:
Nebraska > Blue Jeans Pizza > Nebraska, Crab Eyes, The Pit > Big World > Moth

Encore: Threw It All Away

here's a link to the archive search results for the show. there should be a few more copies up soon:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

moe., 6/15/08, governors island, new york, ny

the wonderful highline ballroom, a live music venue that opened last year in chelsea, organized a series of concerts this summer that all take place on the uninhabited governors island. most people confuse governors island with ellis island and staten island, but it's actually an even smaller fortified island that the rich-ass lois lane lived on in the most recent superman movie.

what better day to stage a show on an island off the southermost tip of manhattan and only accessible by ferry, than father's day sunday! aside from the horrible traffic, it was an awesome day for it! the sun was shining and the humidity of a 2-week august heat-wave had finally broken (it was june). on an aside, last week it also snowed in the cascades and there was a tornado in burlington, vt. i hope everybody is getting used to their new climates and seasons, it's gonna be a while. YAY.

while waiting for the 5:45pm ferry (i got there after 5pm ferry departed) we took a quick walk over to the beer gardens at battery park. i really needed to pee but aside from the park restroom being absolutely atrocious (wow, there's a bathroom worse than the ny public library?), a croatian janitor screamed at me for pushing the garbage can out of the doorway to peak inside. "YOU GO! YOU NO MOVE!! NO NO!" you don't have to tell me twice, zoltan. luckily i am quite skilled at holding my pee when absolutely necessary. this includes various situations including but not limited to: public bathrooms in new york city, long movies/music sets i don't want to miss, 4am on the nys thruway 1 hour from home. the boys downed some food/bevvies, lisa ate a piece of corn with dijon mustard on it (that's fucked up), and we jetted back over to the ferry (with police entourage) and stood in a sweatbox for a couple of minutes before being whisked away to the fabulous isle of governors, roughly 5 minutes from beautiful downtown battery park! it was a cool boat ride, nice weather, good scenery, and totally surreal.

we walked around a bit, but not beyond the paved path, since the paved path was lined with nypd every 50 feet or so, at attention, ready to bust some hippie heads at the first sign of dissent. you couldn't re-enter the concert area, which was pretty fucking lame considering we probably would have checked out the cool buildings and monuments if we could have wandered freely. somebody had constructed a chain of helium balloons stretching into the sky and over part of the concert field- that was cool, our guess was this would make it easier to find the tank. a couple of the guys went to find meat and beer, i got a new sticker for my new nalgene bottle (mine BROKE!!! wtf?) and walked up towards the stage to find some land. there was a ton of space and sitting front and center, matt campbell screamed incoherently and i was like, "hey, i know that guy!" so, we went and claimed some space right in back of him and his buddy and hung out listening to some digital underground, beasties, etc. good stuff.

gullo took a great pic as the show started up...

k, first set- 'tailspin', was nice but didn't really kick in as hard as something like '32 things' would have, i see it as more of a mid-set tune. still- great set- i LOVE hearing 'tambourine' in the middle of a set (usually it's a quick encore and it doesn't get it's deserved attention). it's a great song with a country/bluegrass vibe that fluently compliments the hard rock craziness of moe.'s jams that sandwich it. kenny brooks from ratdog came out to play sax on the classic rock, 'rise' which was a cool touch, everyone was digging it. there was a quick transition into 'happy hour hero' which was great to hear with a sax- apparently they didn't play it at the saranac brewery, which i think is pretty funny- matt was very psyched to hear it. 'happy hour hero' blew me away, of course rob fucked up the lyrics, but it wouldn't be a show without that happening a few times. it makes moe. endearing. it was a perfect end to the first set as it left many of us in the crowd saying 'WOW' (at least me) and full of anticipation for the 2nd set.

after braving the port-a-potty lines (actually, this rental company was called "the royal FLUSH") i went back up from whence i came and the 2nd set started with a vengeance. 'head'-> time ed! no shit, this was GREAT. 'time ed's such a fucking weird song but you gotta love it! no joke- 'four' was like a religious experience for me- one of those times you hear a song and that exact version at that exact moment in history- its like you're hearing the song for the first time all over again- but better. 'four' was an emotional outpouring of music. the placement was perfect, it didn't drag, it just slapped you across face and said "THIS IS WHY YOU LISTEN TO moe." everything just sounded perfect. i know i'll remember that 'four' forever. that happens every so often and it stays with you. that's when i think of mr. "best timmy tucker ever" guy and i want to shake him really hard and say "YOU WILL KNOW WHEN IT HAPPENS."

sorry, i got off on a tangent there- but 'four' was great is what i am getting at. spaz medicine, great. and those teases did it again--- 'brent black' busts loose and just as it's getting intense- BOOM! stop on a dime -> 'she'. YOU SICK BASTARDS!!! i swear rob had some sort of "ha ha we foooooled you" smile on his face the second it happened. 'she' has never been one of my favorites and it took real balls to go from the madness that is 'brent black' into it and they pulled off the slow jerky vibe of the song while maintaining it's sweetness. i really enjoyed it (as opposed to resenting it for stunting 'brent black'). then they went back into and finished off a slammin' version of 'brent black'. they were really successful maintaining the energy level of the show throughout the night. just great stuff.

before i go into the details of the encore, i'm taking an official stance: i'm sick of these dreadful announcements, it's like being back at summer camp. birfdays are totally fine, but i've had it with this "_# of shows" crap (and it takes up SO MUCH TIME). it's great you love moe., it's awesome that you are supporting independent music, congratufuckinglations- here's a pat on the back, douchebag. my friends and i have personally put like 7 of vinnie's kids through college already, so save it. such announcements are completely elitist and have to go. which is exactly why i was screaming "ENOUGH ALREADY" while al was trying to read them (and got them to laugh... but i was serious!).

now for the music. never quite sure what kind of encore will pop up. could be 3 minutes, could be 40. i was kinda hoping that since we were in freakin' new york harbor that they'd summon the beast that is 'GODZILLA', but, 'i wanna be sedated' was a nice, nostalgic choice and it's still a blast.

we headed back down the cop-lined path towards the ferry line and had to wait maybe 30 minutes or so before we could board the 2nd or 3rd ferry out. as luck would have it, we were the last few people allowed on our ferry--- that was scary! didn't want to wait any longer! at midnight they let the dragons loose, the screams as we pulled away from the dock will haunt me for the rest of my life. we thought they had mistakingly dropped us off at riker's but then we realized our police escorts were probably there to protect us from ourselves. they are very thoughtful like that.

so, yeah--- what an awesome fucking moe. show!!! the band was totally solid but there were definitely stand-out moments for each of the guys. vinnie is a goddamn machine, al had a couple of rippin' solos, jim did an extended vibraphone solo, chuck is satan- but i'm not sure if it's just cuz i was standing right in front of him and it seemed this way- but rob was on fire all night... just having fun playing the shit out of each piece, calling attention to himself, being rob, and loving every second of it. ROCKIN'. left us totally salivating for monday night at the highline ballroom. the field trip to governors island was a really cool touch- kudos to the highline promoters- stellar job! moe., 6/15/08, governors island, nyc: 9.3 HUZZAHS! TOTES AWESOME!


and a link to the gallery page (where you can DL hi-res versions... just got a new camera and am still adjusting to it):

DEFINITELY check out gullo's gallery - his pics are really effin' nice- he's all photographer-like and stuff. there's a funny picture of al in there that i think would make a great wallpaper for you al fans.

Set I
Tailspin ->
Darkness ->
Bring You Down
Rise* ->
Happy Hour Hero*

Set II
head. ->
Time Ed ->
Four ->
Spaz Medicine,
Brent Black ->
She ->
Brent Black

I Wanna Be Sedated

* w/ Kenny Brooks from Ratdog on saxophone

here's the page that lists versions of the show available (right now it's just 1, but i'm sure there will be a few more up soon).

i leave you with a single question as old as the universe and time itself: how is it possible that one man can be oh so dreamy? i can barely stand to look at this picture.

(pic by gullo)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ominous seapods, lobsterpalooza, 6/7/08, washington park, albany, ny

a few months back (precisely 1/12/08) the seapods did a reunion show at revolution hall in troy, ny. all was fucking awesome. little did they know there was a show promoter in the audience they had completely blown away. so one day he calls up teep and says he HAS to have the ominous seapods headline the one and only lobsterpalooza (the way that paris hilton HAS to have her valtrex), a day long annual lobster festival that rocks the socks off of washington park in albany- and that he'd pay them actual money to do it!

seapods + lobster = ROCK LOBSTER

i listened to the yanks game vs. kc on the drive up and thanks to this handy dandy little link, i was able to switch local affiliates and get crystal clear reception the whole way up. so it was an emotional rollercoaster. it was also 95 fucking degrees out, so we were in for a scorcher or at least a "two shirter" if you will. i arrived and parked next to valentine's as pettitte assploded (for only the 3rd time that game) and the royals tied it up at 6 in the 7th inning. i was angry. i was very very angry. luckily the seapods were only a couple of blocks and a few hours away.

holy fuck it was hot out. oppressive even. gabe called while i was parallel parking to say that he had spotted a marty racine. i brought the pecan chocolate chunk cookies i promised teep (humus = cookies, but this time the humus was lobster, so the lobster was life, which we were eating = cookies), but i wasn't sure how they'd stand up in the heat (answer: very well).

the lee boys were onstage when i got there, and they were a cool bluesy soul jam rock. my buddy sean had told me about them when he saw the lineup, the conversation pretty much nails the description:
S: they're kind of like robert randolph
LG: i get tired of robert randolph after 5 minutes, it's like musical wanking
S: exactly, but the lee boys are what robert randolph should be*

i met up with the fancy rockstar lads who were feasting on lobster and/or surf 'n turf. the VIP tent was a weird scene. dumbledore was there and so was johnny depp but stranger even were the multiple miss albany lobster contestants. i am unaware of who was crowned queen lobsterpalooza. marty fed me some (lobster) tail doused in salty liquid butter (droooool), he also broke his cracker (because he's so strong, you see...) so he had to use his hands and pure rage to pull the beast apart!

i donated some sunblock and baby-wipes to the boys, and scampered (actual scampers) off to find gabe and the venerable g3, who is currently on his quest to drink 100 cups of coffee. both gabes were conveniently checking the yanks game and providing updates- at that point the yanks were still losing (again), but shortly afterwards came back (again), then they were losing (again), and then they came back and WON (this is unnerving). the updates allowed me to stay angry at robbie cano which is very important these days. we got some fresh squeezed lemonade and saw a fried-pickles vendor... but when at lobsterpalooza, do as the lobsterpaloozians do. hence my very own lobsterpalooza.

then we walked around and found some crazies milling aboot, namely josh (aka st. steve), the bourbon cowboy, big daddy seapod, eventually big mama seapod, actual seapods, and a smattering of little podlings. crazy. kat, jack, and (father-to-be) johnnycat (i'm scurred) and the seapods bust out smokin'!

setlist courtesy of the hardest working man in showbiz, marty racine (he's the one wearing a shirt):

Blackberry Brandy, Sad Sad Corner > Adirondack Blue, No Time Like The Present, Jet Smooth Ride, Somedays, Cary Suite, Hope I Shall Arrive > Sneakin Sally Through The Alley, Waiting 4 da Bomb To Drop, Leaving The Monopole.
Encore : Rock & Roll

'blackberry brandy' was nice and refreshing in the hot sticky weather. it proved to be prophetic, the sun started easing up and while it wasn't very cold, a cooler wind (breeze) started blowing on our necks. 'sad sad corner'-> 'adirondack' was fun, and holy shit they pulled out 'cary suite'! it got a little messy in one part but the rest sounded just perfect and beautiful. i think around this time was when the crowd crossed the line into classic seapod madness mode- many folks sitting in the sun and drinking beer all day waiting for this-- it was definitely LOTS of fun. the same way i wanted to hear 'cary suite' is the same way i still want to hear 'josephine's grand motion', so for the next sporadic (you like the sound of that? sounds better than "reunion", yes?) show i hope they will pull that out of the box. 'hope i shall arrive' (to which i had texted the lyrics to the 2nd verse to them in the morning) sounded great. 'sneakin' sally through the alley' with max on lead remains the best cover of this WIDELY covered song i've EVER heard. it's sick. 'monopole' was awesome and i wish the set could have lasted longer, but they pulled out 'rock & roll' and an albany curfew pulled the plug on what could have possibly gone on for hours more. once again, i was slightly disappointed with the choice of encore (a cover??? again? really? REALLY???), but it was a family friendly event, so i can understand why they didn't do 'mr. blood' (although the lobster possibilities were endless). oh, and no old tp songs, so maaaaybe they could have rocked out 'anythings possible' or 'seymour'. they will have to save that for next time.

the folks from the waterhole trekked down (sans a sasquatch-like billy allen) along with the waterhole flag which they were dancing around with. i finally got to meet brandon devito and he tried to card me before offering me a bartending job up in saranac. lemme tellya, it's pretty fucking tempting these days. just an fyi, saturday night some douchebaggers broke into the waterhole and stole $10-15k worth of sound equipment... and a bottle of tequila. so if you hear any rumblings, please report it to your local friendly po-po occifer. apparently the suspects look like a bunch total assholes strong enough to carry off $10-15k worth of sound equipment (and a bottle of tequila).

marty passed out cookies as we hung out and said goodbye to everyone. i realized that max drives a minivan full of children now. that was a bit weird.

it was getting late and you're not supposed to hang out in washington park after the sun sets, because you might die (no, seriously- it's pretty fucked.) so we took off. i was pretty gross by the end of the show and i toyed with the idea of seeing raisinhead afterwards at valentine's, but i'm old now, and all i really wanted to do was drive home and take a shower. so i did.

ominous seapods, 6/7/08, lobsterpalooza: 9.5 HUZZAHS! awesome show, guys! i think you should play moe.down!!!* show isn't up on archive yet, but there was definitely 1 taper (tapir?) there


full gallery page for hi-res downloads:
(new camera, btw- olympus stylus 1010- chose this one over the nikon coolpix, hope it was the right decision).

* this is the IM conversation that just happened when i needed to confirm description (for news-worthiness) with sean:
S: well the best of that group is the Campbell Brothers...they are most traditional and best
S: ...they are the guys on all those sacred steel cds
S: the Lee's are slightly less than that
S: Randolph comes from the same kind of church (in east orange)
S: but he is all hendrixed out
LG: totally
S: too much jam band...and not enough gospel
LG: i could see that
LG: too much wanking
LG: not enough soul
S: exactly
S: that could be the damn t shirt

**"i'll play moe.down if they ask me." - max verna / "tell them we'll play for a no-thumb handshake." - dana "ribs" monteith