Friday, January 29, 2010

moe., 1/22-23/10, Roseland Ballroom, NYC

moe., 1/22-23/10, roseland ballroom, nyc

When Phish announced they'd be getting back together in 2009, I was excited. I never doubted they would reunite at some point, but it didn't consume the Live Music Junkie in me. I wasn't losing sleep or scratching at the demons trapped beneath my skin until my arms became bloody stumps over it. I didn't need to be in Hampton.

I did & do, however, need to be at every moe. show within a reasonable* driving distance of my present location and particular circumstance at any given time. It's been this way for 14 years, because: I fucking love moe.-- which is why I have to first take a second and say:
Happy 20th Anniversary, moe.!!! Thank you for being AWESOME and around for so long! Your music makes me happy & I love you! Please never go away and not come back. That would suck and make your faithful moe.ron minions very sad**.

Also, thank you for shifting the announcements. That ruled.

lynn <-- hey, that's me!

-ps- Lazarus in Ithaca? Pretty please??
So, when the boys announced they'd be playing 2 nights at Roseland to kickoff their 20th Anniversary Tour, I bought both my tickets immediately, because I had to be there. The first night was a benefit starring moe. & friends, for WHY (World Hunger Year) and also raised money for Haiti Earthquake Relief. The 2nd night was destined to be a classic Roseland moe. show. Fuck yeah.

FRIDAY, 1/22/10

My buddy Joe's friend bailed on their charity-auction-poster-meet & greet-vodka-drinkoff ticket a couple of days before the show. Joe (who hadn't seen moe. in 10+ years) twisted my arm til I took this VIP extra and I got a kickass poster, signed by moe.! Totes sweet! Thanks, Joe!**** We also had access to the raised side-stage/VIP area and a Ketel One (YUM!) open-bar for a little while before the show. Once the open-bar was done and the doors were a few minutes from opening, no one else in the ballroom seemed to be showing any interest in the vast real estate up front. Joe and I had no problem being those nerds, so we claimed some land in front of Satan and it filled in around us. We met some very nice folks and then our crew showed up. Anticipation!

nerds on the chuck.side rail, yo. REPRESENT!

moe. walked out almost on time, the NYC crowd roared, and they busted into an INTENSE Timmy Tucker that never let up! We were riled up and then -> Bearsong!!! WOW. What a frenzy!!! So so glad they gave us that mega-dose of EVIL at the top!! I'd been thirsting for that since moe.lloween!! Ahh, what a score!

Things continued to rock when Danny Barnes (Banjo) and Marco Benevento (Keys) came in for Captain America. Then Jeff Austin (Mandolin) came out for Barnes' song, Caveman. They all stayed in for a huge Nebraska that the crowd soaked up like slurry on a rum-cake. Next up was a sweet Happy Hour Hero with David Sanborn (Sax), Butch Trucks (Drums), and Marco. To end Set I, Jeff came back on and belted out a MASSIVE Whipping Post. WOW. That man can work a room!!!

With setbreak came a big decision--- stay put or go upstairs? HA HA HA! HAIL SATAN!!

SET II. Butch and Marco came out for a gorgeous In Memory of Elizabeth Reed that got the crowd right back into it. Then chuck. took over with the timeless Cowboy Ballad, Shoot First. Danny and Jeff made it even awesomer. Ditto for the awesome Waiting For the Punchline. I really dug Marco's song, The Real Morning Party. It's super catchy and the beginning totally reminded me of Mott The Hoople's, All The Way From Memphis. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "something something something Mott The Hoople, etc." They played Shake Your Hips but I thought it was Window Licker Reprise. WTF?

And then I heard what sounded like groaning feedback... Could it be? Dumb fucking luck-- IT WAS!!! East Nashville Easter!!! One of my favorite Yonder Mountain String Band songs! It is twisted and evil and I LOVE IT! Exclamation points!!! <---

watch al. as he watches jeff austin break the time-space continuum

After that head asplosion, I retired from chuck.side to hang in the balcony for the rest of the night. Mexico was great. Everyone got onstage for The Weight and it was a fitting conclusion to the fun & wonderful night.

This was by far the easiest and most enjoyable relief work I've ever had to do. Thanks, moe., for hooking that up. Now watch as I pat myself on the back for a job well done!


Timmy Tucker ->
Captain America *+
Caveman *+$
Nebraska *+$
Happy Hour Hero *%^
Whipping Post *%^$

In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed *^
Shoot First +$
Waiting For The Punchline
The Real Morning Party *
Shake Your Hips *+$
East Nashville Easter *+$
Blue Jeans Pizza *
Mexico *^

The Weight *+$^

* = w/Marco Benevento on keys
+ = w/Danny Barnes on banjo
$ = w/Jeff Austin on mandolin/vocals
^ = w/Butch Trucks on drums
% = w/David Sanborn on saxophone

(taped by Scott Bernstein-- thanks, Scott Bernstein!)

SATURDAY, 1/23/10

"You play better in your suit." - Joey "the Lips" Fagan, the Commitments

Our night started out at Iguana, where 2 Strawberry Window Lickers left me pretty shit-housed for the duration of the evening.

I was super-pumped up for a loud and abrasive moe. show and really excited cuz Mike Weiss was going to be seeing them for the first time since like, '98! '97! HA! What is with all you hold-outs?? We found some space towards the back of al.side and were ready to regroup and work some strategery!

moe. came out wearing suits and giant ear-to-ear grins! Happy 20th Anniversary, guys! al. later announced that it was "Monkey Suit Night". They were quite handsome, actually. It was sweet and real classy-like! The boys were all really stylin'. vinnie. looked like he could order a hit on Your Mother and chuck. totally looked like a Secret Service Agent-- which has it's own merits... But I would like to take this opportunity to pause and appreciate just how dapper rob. looks in his suit. Wow.


And then they played Plane Crash. BAH! Nevermind that! Threw It All Away rocked!!! SO NICE! YOY (YAAAY) -> Down Boy, Deep This Time... But the rest of the set was really all about meat.! Loud, abrasive, & freakin' evil like it should be. Dave Fiuczynski, from Screaming Headless Torsos sat-in and totally helped rock it on his double-neck guitar.

bend it, al.!

By the time setbreak came around, Melissa, Dave, and myself, had made our way towards the front on al.side. There would be no turning back! They did a Head opener. Spine was A++ outstanding! -> Dr. G -> Johnny Lineup-- WHAT??? Letter Home, awww!! Yodelittle, awww yeah. -> one of the best Busters I've ever seen!! SO GOOD!

Where the hell do you go for an encore after a Buster of that magnitude?!? New York City was sweet and sentimental, but it wasn't enough-- I wanted more--- I needed more... and Seat Of My Pants was exactly what I was after! A dark fix that would surely be enough to tide me over "until next Saturday in Ithaca". It would have to be*****...

These two Roseland shows really summed up what moe. and their community is all about. Loud, evil, beautiful, wonderful music, and goddamn genuine hippie love. I just hope that every moe. fan realizes how much these guys spoil us-- and that they LOVE to spoil us! All you have to do is look at their faces at any show. Watch them, watching us, watch them. The boys were glowing these two nights****** and so were we. And they've been doing it for 20 fucking years! I fucking love moe.!!

moe., 1/22-23/10, Roseland Ballroom, NYC, NY--- TWO NIGHTS OF AWESOME: 9.75 HUZZAHS! Thanks, moe.!!!



Plane Crash
Threw It All Away
YOY ->
Down Boy
Deep This Time
Big World *
Meat *

Spine Of A Dog ->
Dr. Graffenberg ->
Johnny Lineup
Letter Home ->
Yodelittle ->
New York City ->
Seat Of My Pants

* = with Dave Fiuczynski on double neck guitar

(taped by Scott Bernstein-- thanks, Scott Bernstein!)


* This apparently varies from roughly 0 to 1000 miles (+1.2 miles every time i had to walk from Centeroo to my tent, you motherfuckers) + tornado warnings
** No joke- I bawled like a fucking baby when GSW*** broke up. That fucking sucked. Tough times.
*** Dear moe., Please book GSW for a full day at moe.down's "beer tent" stage.
**** And Thanks, Joe's Obviously Lame Friend.
***** Or would it?
****** Especially the 2nd night.

Monday, January 25, 2010

danny barnes, 1/20/10, joe's pub, nyc

danny barnes, 1/20/10, joe's pub, nyc

I'll be honest with you. It's been very hard to concentrate today because moe. announced a surprise show at Brooklyn Bowl to take place tomorrow and my head asplode! This is just a phenomoe.nal week to be unemployed, lemme tellya.

But this a Danny Barnes review and I best get back to it. Danny Barnes plays a dark and clever banjo. That's the kind of show I was expecting. However, Danny walked out and tinkered with a laptop and loop-box and played dark and clever banjo OVER his canned music for most of the show. It was a little odd, but still cool. The word "experimental" came to mind a few times. It actually reminded me of when al schnier started playing solo shows at the Wetlands*.

There I go again... No, no, no. No more moe. talk. Danny Barnes. Meatballs! Yes, spectacular meatballs & french fries! A better meal you will not find. This was Mark's idea, btw. I dared him to eat a sauce-sandwich with the leftovers, but apparently he's too classy for that. Somewhere between the mojitos & the ketchup** my spleen died.

Jeff Austin from Yonder came out and joined Danny for a few of his songs. No computer tracks. All live. Very sweet to see the two of them onstage together. Both would also be special guests at the upcoming moe. WHY benefit show at Roseland. Ahhh, see-- the mind is in moe.ville. This is fruitless. My personal apologies to Danny Barnes for this scattered review, but I'm done. Blame moe., I do.

Danny Barnes, 1/20/10, joe's pub, nyc: 7 HUZZAHS! Thanks to Mark for the healthiest meal I ate all week!

I'll post the link to DL the show once it's up on archive!

Jen Bernstein took some great video!

HI-RES GALLERY (all 6 pics!)

* al. talked more.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

cvb & cracker, 1/15/10, highline ballroom, nyc

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker: The Traveling Apothecary Tour, 1/15/10*, highline ballroom, nyc

Around this time last year, I hit up Camper Van Beethoven's stop through the Bowery Ballroom. Happily, they returned in 2010. Even more happily, they brought their Cracker Pants along and landed in the beautiful Highline Ballroom.

The night started off with some antics around the corner at The Park NYC, where when I arrived, some friends were already knee-deep in the first of what would be three pitchers of sangria. I don't like migraines, so I stuck to the mojitos. Once again, our timing couldn't have been more perfect. We were finished with our pregame at the same time as all the douchebags started to roll into that place. Highline Pregames at The Park NYC: MANY HUZZAHS!

Walking in during the Ambiguity song and missing the first 15 minutes of Camper Van Beethoven's set: NO HUZZAHS! It happens.

The place was jam-packed and officially SOLD OUT! Fortunately, at the Highline, it's all about location- and I knew exactly where there was space. But if I tell you where that is, then in the future that space may not be there for me. So, unless you're clever enough to deduct the secret location from the pictures I took- you Sir, are S-O-L. I said "Good Day, Sir." Suck it.

CVB were loud, brash, articulate, and wailing. The crowd was eating it up. There was so much nerdage going on, the Mars Rover became unstuck. Highlights: Take the Skinheads Bowling, Eye of Fatima (1 & 2), Turquoise Jewelry (so dark). Joe Stalin's Cadillac is always fun and David Lowery pronouncing the words "General Pinochet's Cadillac" in his slowest Valley drawl kind of rules. Pictures of Matchstick Men with it's haunting violin riff-- good stuff!

Erika wanted to take a pee break mid-set, but I wanted to wait til the break. She was worried it'd be too crowded, until I made her take a look around and pointed out that we were practically the only girls there. At setbreak the men's room line went past the soundboard and there was no wait for the women's. Fucking suh-weeet!.

After a short setbreak, Cracker formed and hit the stage. Johnny Hickman wore a white suit and he wore it well. They started off with Friends, a tender ballad about Bros Over Ho's. I See the Light was Beautiful. Cracker Soul was dirty in an awesome way. Earlier in the day, Cracker's facebook status asked for Highline requests and I threw a Sweet Potato out there. Can I claim responsibility for them playing it? No, but either way I dug it. Lonesome Johnny Blues always rules, but most especially when Johnny Hickman is wearing a white suit. Hickman also sang on Bob Dylan's The Man In Me, which was sweet.

Lowery told a few stories. One was about an old woman requesting he "play the song about the whore" (Eurotrash Girl). Another about their trip to Iraq, where one soldier told them his "parents are going to freak out" when they hear he met Cracker.

For the encore, Cracker came out and played I Ride My Bike (YAAAY). Then the remaining Camper Van Beethoven members got onstage**, Sal Maida the bass player left, and they kicked into a HUGE Interstellar Overdrive (Floyd).

Loud, abrasive, succinct, twangy, punchy, massive, dimly-lit, great fucking show. When these two bands get together for one night of music, they fucking bring it. Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker: The Traveling Apothecary Tour, 1/15/10, Highline Ballroom, NYC: 9 HUZZAHS! Fuck yeah, fuckity-fuckers!

[Total Time 1:16:17]
White Riot (Clash)
Wasted (Black Flag)
Shut Us Down
RnR Uzbekistan
Ambiguity Song
Take the Skinheads Bowling
The Long Plastic Hallway
All Her Favorite Fruit
Eye Of Fatima
Eye Of Fatima Part 2
When I Win the Lottery
Turquoise Jewelry
Joe Stalin’s Cadillac
Mao Reminisces About His Days In Southern China
The History Of Utah
New Roman Times
One Of These Days
The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon
Club Med Sucks
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Seven Languages

[Total Time 1:57:33]
I See The Light
Sweet Potato
This Is Cracker Soul
Eurotrash Girl
Lonesome Johnny Blues
Wedding Day
Yalla Yalla
Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)
Merry Christmas Emily
Happy Birthday To Me
Been Around the World
Hey Bret (You Know What Time It Is)
Gimme One More Chance
The Man in Me (Bob Dylan)
Big Dipper
Seven Days

I Ride My Bike
Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd)^

^Cracker and Camper together (minus Sal)

Camper Van Beethoven DL


QRO Magazine has an extensive fanboy review w/ great video.


* I very nearly went to Revolution Hall in Troy, NY to see them with the Old(er) TP a few days before on our bday.
** Erika began harassing Jonathan Segel, "Hey, Violin Guy!! You're the BEST! Play the violin!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

the Justin Trawick Group, 1/12/10, Ella Lounge, NYC

the Justin Trawick Group, 1/12/10, Ella Lounge, NYC, NY

When Sir Bachiness announced he would be playing in NYC on 1/12, I immediately knew where I'd be on my bday*. However, it was not until the day before that I realized it wasn't a Ten Feet Tall show. The Justin Whoosits Group? And there's a stand-up bass you say? Do tell.

As for Ella Lounge, it's a hip little joint on the LES with a classy, roaring 20's & 30's vibe. They feature a menu full of fresh fruit cocktails that will put the fizz-in-your-gin-pants**. I dig that. Downstairs where the stage is, a sign declared "Open Bar 8-9". What they fail to advertise is that the open bar only applies to cans of Miller High Life. Why not a sign that just says "Free Miller High Life 8-9"? I went upstairs to pay for a girly drink with muddled blackberries & mint, because that's how I roll. (Happy Hour til 9!)

The Justin Trawick Group are out of Arlington, VA and barely fit on the teeny stage. In fact, the bass player stood sideways all night, the drummer wasn't playing with a full set***, and they must have left their tenor sax guy in the car, cuz I didn't see him anywhere. The band's namesake- Justin Trawick, is the lead singer featured on acoustic guitar. In a world of cliched musical genres, that can really go either way-- but I'm very happy to report that this one went the good way. Quite full of gin I declared, "I'm really happy this isn't Dave-Matthews-Annoying or John-Mayer-Douchebaggy. I like this, this is cool." Now, let me attempt to articulate that without the massive amount of gin and with the handy aid of the interwebs: Justin Trawick's facebook profile lists Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, G. Love, & Jason Mraz as some favorite music-- this all makes sense. Gritty freight train & bluegrassy inspired hooky acoustic rock groove w/ some solid beat science.

It was an uber short set, which was unfortunate. We tried demanding "ONE MORE SONG", but the bartender wasn't having any of it. You can't stuff that many people in a basement and feed them free Miller High Life for an hour and expect it to end well-- so, we were already ahead of the game and moved upstairs.

In a post-show interview with electric guitar wiz, Josh Himmelsbach, he expressed gratitude for the raucous New York City crowd "We had a good turnout of people that came to see us and cheered us on." And as for being chosen as Tigerbeat's Centerfold of the Month, January 2010, "I was very honored to be chosen by Tigerbeat for Centerfold of the Month. I just wish they had airbrushed my chest hair a little bit better, because it looks like a forest in there." True dat, ladies.

The only real question I have about it all is: Can you call a song "bluegrass" if it's got a screaming electric guitar running through it? Not sure. But, I totally signed up on the email list & will definitely check them out again. The Justin Trawick Group, 1/12/10, Ella Lounge, NYC: 8.5 HUZZAHS! Great time had by all! Thanks for a groovy bday show!

No setlist, no tapers, and only three pics cuz my camera was super-wonky that night.

* Though totally tempted by the prospect of Cracker/CVB at Rev Hall w/ The Slightly Older TP.
** I don't know what this means.
*** That's not metaphorical.