Monday, November 30, 2009

phish, 11/27/09, times union center, albany, ny

phish, 11/27/09, the knick (times union center*), albany, ny

There is nothing quite like Fall Tour in the North Country. It's hard to blow off Thanksgiving Steam without some live music and I was psyched when The Phish announced NorthEast dates-- especially cuz moe. took this holiday season off. The only thing that could have made Friday night in Albany sweeter would have been some crunchy snow to stamp through on the walk to the Knick.

On the drive up to Albany we got to see some colorful characters, including this dude**, who will be arrested as soon as the cops dig up his backyard and find all the corpses:

There's a moe. sticker on my car's rear bumper.

And then we passed a line of traffic that was stuck behind The Saddest RV In All the Land, doing all of about 50mph in the right lane on the Thruway. Once we had passed Sad RV, Hern begged to go back and take a picture, but that wasn't gonna happen- we had a pregame to get to. Well, apparently our rest stop pee break was timed perfectly cuz when we got off 787, the crooked little camper was right in front of us and we got our precious pic!

We pregamed at McGreavy's Pub across from the Palace Theater (great recommendation from Greg Bell). Our waitress was awesome, the screwdriver was mixed perfectly, and the food hit the spot.

From there we met up with Marty and made the short walk to the venue. Pearl Street was closed off and a Mounted Unit*** corralled the gen-pop into the Times Union Center. Marty suggested using Eric Cartman's diamond-tipped Hippie Drill. It would have worked.

Ahhh, Phish in Albany, it's been too long. Marty and I were in section 122, el herno and Candice in 119, Jackleenz up in 242, Sontags on the floor. Sara was also on the floor and when I went down to say 'hi' I got the good omen of the evening when none other than MCCHICKEN SANDWICH came running over and gave me a hug! WHAAAT? It was gonna be a fun fun night! FALL TOUR, BETCHES!

The Phish hit the stage and we got an energetic AC/DC Bag opener. But the best part--- maybe my favorite part of the night-- was when I heard Fishman tapping and then the bass--- AAAAAAAGH!!!! MAZE!!!! MAAAAZE! FINALLY!!!!! I've been waiting ALL YEAR to hear Maze and they ripped the shit out of it! Page tore it a new #sshole! It just blew everyone in the venue away and energized the room for the entire night. Just fucking stellar. Totally made my night and it was only the second song! My Mind's Got a Mind of It's Own, Gumbo, Ice, Timber, Cavern. Great stuff. Two Versions of Me started and I couldn't not laugh. I apologize. I'm sorry Trey.


We went upstairs to say hi to people and the 2nd set started, so I snapped some cool shots before we headed back down.

Highlights: My Friend, Piper, Suzy, Squirming Coil. They played TV On the Radio's Golden Age, which I'd never heard before and would like to say I enjoyed it but frankly, I don't remember (thinking back, might have taken a bathroom trip when this happened). Page stayed out to finish Squirming Coil but the rest of the guys left the stage. Once he finished, they came back out and Trey asked Page, "We all went backstage to wait for the Encore, but you never came back... Hey Page, Where You Been?"... Cue the piano! -> I Been Around. Cute. That song makes me smile. THEN they went back for the Encore, which ended up being Fire.

High energy all night from both the band and crowd. Speaking of which, more smoke than I've seen in a looooong time at a show. Actual plumes of smoke were rising in the shape of circles from the floor. Fucking smokestacks. Amazing. Well done and done. We went outside and tried to collect the running crew to head over to Savannah's for Dirty Paris and Timbre Coup (also Greg Bell recommended).

Savannah's opened up the entire back half of the bar- it's pretty nice in there w/ an open floor and a zillion beers I can't drink on tap. So they made me a screwdriver... In a pint glass. I felt like Barney Gumble when Duff Man shows up to party with him. Why don't establishments serve me this when I'm not the designated driver? Tough times.

Dirty Paris didn't blow me away**** but Timbre Coup was pretty good. I will check them out again. Then Mike McKinley and his shiny Santa friend Andrew, entertained me for a while.

Hern's not allowed to choose hotels anymore. He's lost that privilege. The Days Inn on Wolf Road did him in.

EXHIBIT A: Cardboard room # signs.

EXHIBIT B: Our swipe key reader was duct-taped together.

EXHIBIT 3: The same destination as the Saddest RV In All The Land.

The face of Food Bloat. Stare at it, America.

Phish enjoy playing again. Their tour legs***** are back! I love Fall Tour. I love Fall Tour in Albany. I love Fall Tour in Albany and reuniting with my friends to experience great nights of live music together. The Phish, 11/27/09, the Knick: 9 HUZZAHS!

My Mind's Got A Mind Of Its Own
Bouncing Around The Room
It's Ice
Two Versions Of Me
Limb By Limb

My Friend, My Friend >
Golden Age
On Your way Down
Piper >
Tomorrow's Song
Prince Caspian
Harry Hood
Suzy Greenberg
The Squirming Coil
I Been Around



* Still better than the "Pepsi Arena".
** I'll bet he loves "real America".
*** HAHAHA, horses.
**** HAHAHA, burny.
***** The Maine setlist is absolutely unreal. My head asplode!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the btk band, 11/19/09, stonewall inn, nyc

the btk band, 11/19/09, the stonewall inn, nyc, ny
"The BTK Band: they'll break your heart & melt your fucking face..."The day started out like any other. A typical commute, slightly hindered by some dude who led the police on the shortest chase ever- from Ft. Lee, NJ to 2/3 of the way across the GWB, where he stopped his car, ran across the Southbound lanes, and hurled himself off the bridge to the chilly Hudson below & his presumed death (I learned this all later). Odd. Had I not stopped to change my socks that morning (sometimes my socks bother me), I might have seen it all happen! Instead, I passed by the mysterious scene a few minutes later and took a few spooky photos.

the abandoned car.

But onward and upward, yes? After work, I met a small running crew at the Corner Bistro in the West Village where I scavenged some fries (I don't dig on red meat, yo.) off of Hern's plate before we headed over to the Historical Stonewall Inn, in hopes that the BTK Band would melt our faces. There was a waffle truck across the street that smelled REALLY good but I did not try (but, note to self: try W. Village waffle truck, damnit!).

Pete the Enforcer leads the face-fucking improv & anthem spectacle that is the BTK Band with massive amounts of charm, charisma, & Jim Beam. It also happened to be his 33rd birthday and his mom was in attendance. There were a few guest storytellers during the night. Juliet Wayne (also her bday!) told a story about employment in the lucrative world of phone sex operating and how she herself (cleverly dressed as a Puritan) fucked Satan. Kate Tellers spoke of a sailor named Igor who emigrated from Macedonia to her apartment in Queens. And Sara Peters (Pete's wife) shared a story about bailing Pete out of jail at 3am- the first time his mother had ever heard that one (that's tear-jerky). Sometime during that story the Japanese media showed up and filmed for a while*. Huh?

Pete brought a few people up onstage throughout the show for inspiration. One of those people was Tal who had The BTK Blues sung about his mama**. Another one of these people was El Herno, who got to blindly select bible verses for interpretation by the Demon Pope during So Says the Lord & then sang some mean backup vocals, taboot.

A big highlight was BTK's rendition of They Might Be Giants, "Dead", which Pete dedicated to his mother. She had apparently heard him sing it when he was a wee lad & subsequently put him in therapy. I also enjoyed Your Favorite Song which included a lounge style cover of It's Raining Men via audience suggestion as the Drag Show cast/audience started showing up.

The last song was their hit single (they are huge in Japan), "(the Ballad of) Fatty & Skinny" a heart breaking tale about Pete's parents with an infectious hook ("Fatty & Skinny should have never gotten married in the first place!"). This particular night's rendition was about the time Pete's father (Fatty) walked out on his entire family (forever) in the middle of the silent portion of a Midnight Mass ceremony in their church. Stunned. Good times! The show ended with Pete asking his mom how she could have ever fucked his dad cuz, "he is such a dick".

We were told to stay put for the Drag Show that was about to start (it looked promising!). However, I had developed a migraine from sleep deprivation*** and decided to take off (while simultaneously taking a migraine pill). It took a while to get to the door because downstairs was packed like sardines for what was apparently also Lesbian Jello Wrastling Night. Keep it classy, Stonewall.

This show was outstanding and I certainly got my $5 worth. The storytelling (by both band & guests) was top notch, the BTK Band held it together, and Pete the Enforcer is every bit the lead ham you'd expect. I will definitely be seeing them again. The BTK Band: they broke my heart & melted my face. 8.5 HUZZAHS!!! Happy Birthday, Pete the Enforcer. Life is more enjoyable by knowing you.


I Don't Wanna Grow Up
BTK Blues^
Juliet Wayne (Sex With Satan)
Sara Peters (Thank You Wife)
So Says the Lord^^
Kate Tellers (Igor)
Name Yer Poison
When Will I Be Loved?
Your Favorite Song (Raining Men)
(The Ballad of) Fatty & Skinny^^^

^ w/ Tal
^^ w/ El Herno
^^^ feat. Pete's mama


* Really.
** The band specifically requested someone from the audience who's mom was NOT dead. This has been a problem in the past.
*** I blame 2 days of searching for the Leonids.