Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Phish, 10/23/10, Amherst, MA

Phish, 10/23/10, Mullins Center, Amherst, MA

I didn't put in for any Phish Fall Tour Lottery or even try and buy during onsale this year because 1) MSG is right around the corner, and 2) Quite honestly, I've been feeling sentenced to getting a YEM and Prince Caspian at practically every show I've been to since their return in '09, therefore 3) If I hear YEM or Caspian more than one more time this year (this includes the 2010 portion of the MSG run), Trey is in serious danger of getting bitch-slapped. With plenty of other Fall Tours on my list, Phish didn't feel obligatory, which is kind of an odd feeling. If a ticket came my way and the mood struck me, I'd take it from there.

The rest of this review will be presented in Haiku verse.

Mark's extra Amherst
for a round-trip adventure,
was a decent deal^.

Amish Sammiches,
Mark learns all about Sea Salt,
eats a Snackers bar.

Lot traffic totes blew.
No more waiting- make a right!
We'll walk to The Phish!

A first set moment:
B.B.F.C.F.M., YES!
Weird vibes from the crowd?

Fishman saved the set,
running around and screaming.
TweezeStick Reprise, whaaat?!

Big My Friend x 2,
a fun Maze and Harry Hood,
Shine A Light was nice.

His silver hair glowed.
My intestines were bouncing,
Mike was showing off.

Caspian and YEM,
Oh, The Phish, how you mock me.
*cold slap of my palm*

HIGHLIGHTS in glorious Technicolor!
Set 1: Meatstick, Party Time, Golgi Apparatus, Kill Devil Falls, Tweezer, Lawn Boy, Sparkle > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, HYHU > Love You > HYHU, Possum > Tweezer Reprise

Set 2: Down With Disease > My Friend My Friend > Prince Caspian > Halfway to the Moon > Boogie On Reggae Woman > Maze, Wading in the Velvet Sea > Piper > Harry Hood > You Enjoy Myself

Encore: Shine A Light


^ and there was Alice Cooper Karaoke (which is itself, too many syllables to deal with putting into a Haiku right now) on the ride back!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, Best Buy Theater, NYC

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, the Nokia Best Buy Theater*, NYC

Mark and I met up for some pregame grub and spirits at the Irish Rogue where we also watched the first couple innings of an increasingly stress-filled** and seemingly doomed ALCS between the Yankees and Rangers. It wasn't looking good for the NYY, but morbid curiosity kept me glued to the many HD screens and I wasn't willing to give up what was quickly looking like the last minutes of the final feeble hours of the Yank's 2010 Post Season for show opener, Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing. Nothing personal, of course.

However, very soon it was time to haul ass down the block for Yonder Mountain String Band. I'd been looking forward to this show for months***, positively aching to see them again! And it would be for an unexpectedly intimate show, taboot taboot. When Yonder took the stage, they introduced themselves as My Morning Jacket- MMJ were simultaneously in the midst of a 5 night sold out run at Terminal 5 in Midtown West. Between that and Phish in Providence, RI that same night, YMSB's attendance at this gig was gut-wrenchingly low. The venue ran a wall-to-wall curtain, cutting the room approximately in half. This helped, but it was still kinda depressing, especially considering their last show at the Nokia was the largest NYC crowd they'd ever drawn. But fuck the haters, eh? There was no place I would rather have been more, than right there-- getting my Yonder Fix on.

First thing I noticed was Jeff's glasses and hair- or lack thereof! What gives, Austin? Tired of being so pretty?

The second thing I noticed was that they were in a different setup- for at least a few years it's been (L to R): Dave, Adam, Jeff, Ben. (Yes?) Now it's (L to R): Dave, Ben, Jeff, Adam. I am ill-informed on historical YMSB standing order, but at least they waited til I learned their names and/or started paying more attention to switch it up. Thanks for that.

First set was fun. Energy didn't really start warming up the room til a couple of songs in, but then the band seized it by the junk and played their asses off for a loyal NYC fanbase. It was much-appreciated and the love was bounced right back at 'em. Highlights: a beautiful Cuckoos Nest (gushing hearts & an immediate dose of Jeff being Jeff), Blue Collar Blues (!!), a super bouncy POCKETS-- fun and dark, love this song and was really hoping to hear it- Adam carries it perfectly. Dominated Love Slave (Dave rules!), Brown Mountain Lights, Damned If The Right One (Ben freakin' rocks more and more every time I see them), E. Nashville Easter (I heart feedback), Casualty.

During setbreak I snuck off to a bat-cave and watched the Yankees finally lose the ALCS. A-Rod strikes out looking, in Arlington. I suppose so. Well, at least there was a wonderful Yonder Mountain String Band show to get back to! This definitely eased the sads. Go Giants****!

Second set highlights: On The Run > Steep Grade, Sharp Curves > On The Run typical Yonder goodness that got the crowd right back into it. Mental Breakdown was loud, awesome, and super-satisfying. Rain Still Falls is always beautiful. The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me was great fun. Dawn's Early Light > an INTENSE, MOODY, & GORGEOUS Snow On The Pines > Robots > Pines (PHEW!) > 2 Hits to cap off the set. They encored with an inspired Redbird. Ben rules. Super sweet.

Ben has the word "Breathe" tattooed on his arm to remind himself to breathe, cuz sometimes when he's playing, he forgets.

Only problem was: it wasn't enough. I wanted more Yonder. Needed more Yonder... Like, another show AT ONCE!!! Panic! Yonder doesn't come through New York nearly often enough!! Shit, I may have to drive to Burlington and take care of this immediately (odds are I won't).

It's unfortunate that I alone, am not 1000+ more people. Like I said, we get very little Yonder exposure here in the NYC area and I hope this Perfect Storm of Live Music Hippie Distractions which resulted in a shockingly small turnout doesn't have a negative impact on the amount of future Yonder NYC shows. Cuz we actually need more of 'em, damnit!

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, NYC: 8.8 HUZZAHS! Wish that place was packed! Jeff, bring back the glasses!

Special thanks to Mark for helping me with the new camera! Baby steps!

Cuckoos, No Expectations, Blue Collar Blues, Pockets, Rag Doll, Dominated Love Slave, Things You’re Selling, Brown Mountain lights, Jail Song, Damned If the Right One, East Nashville Easter, Whipping Post > Casualty

On the Run > Steep Grade > On The Run , Honestly, Mental Breakdown, Rain Still Falls, Free to Run, Looking Back Over My Shoulder, The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me , Dawn’s Early Light > Snow on the Pines > Robots > Pines > Two Hits & the Joint Turned Brown


DL THE SHOW!! Thanks, Justin & Brett:


* At least "the Nokia" didn't have a fucking PRICE TAG as a logo. Ugh. Tacky!
** Stress-filled for me at least, Mark is full of bitter hatred and resentment for the Yankees.
*** Maybe even a whole year-- I was stuck at work til 1am on the night of the Penn's Peak show (June) while Chris & Heidi texted me pictures and updates. Talk about depressing. Here's to Penn's Peak 2011!
**** I can't root against Tim Lincecum, it's like rooting against the kid from Dazed & Confused.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

moe. @ the Beacon / Leroy Justice & Friends @ Sullivan Hall, 10/8/10, NYC

moe. @ the Beacon / Leroy Justice & Friends @ Sullivan Hall, 10/8/10, NYC

I'd like to start off with a self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back for managing the Champions of Yahoo! Public League # 546926: Chuck Is Satan! Way to kick some serious fantasy baseball ass, Chuck Is Satan! What a season! Let's bring this momentum to the first day of Spring Training! HUZZAH!

Chuck Is Satan, Yahoo! Public League # 546926 Champions, 2010

And now a total downer. Everything was going swimmingly on the drive in to see moe. at the Beacon Theater last Friday, when all of a sudden, traffic on the GWB stopped. Thought maybe there was an accident up ahead. Flashing lights and an Emergency Service Unit van in the right hand lane... The last time I came across this scene, was when someone jumped off the bridge last Fall during the AM commute. Thusly, I thought maybe someone else jumped (there's been a string of publicized bridge suicides lately). However, as traffic crawled past, I spotted beautiful crepe paper streamers in the colors of the rainbow tied to the railing of the walkway, being whipped around by the wind in unison, and cops talking to a group of young people standing on the scene. Chills. This was undoubtedly a memorial to the 18 year old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death the previous week, because his asshole roommate (and some c#%t cohort) broadcast images of him being intimate with another man on the internet.

Goosebumps (still). Almost started bawling right then and there. You know, my Freshman year roommate at UVM was some intolerant backwoods Vermont Yokel who made my skin crawl, but the worst thing I ever did to her was bring her to an Ominous Seapods show.

It would take massive amounts of tequila for me to shake off the sads/willies and get back into a psyched-up-for-moe. mindset. So, I went that route and had a lovely pre-game at Harry's Burritos. Either the best or worst sentence you'll ever hear over multiple margaritas is, "and a round of Patron for the table". It could really go either way at that point. Fortunately, this time it went the good way- despite the "shot glass" being roughly the size of my fist.

The walk to the Beacon was festive to say the least. It had been 2 weeks since the Pavement^ shows and I needed something special to kick my ass- only moe. would do... Or Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell from God Street Wine, who were playing an acoustic set at Sullivan Hall AT THE SAME TIME AS moe.!!!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! That gig was booked well after I already had my moe. ticket. It was like a personalized kind of Torture. I felt slightly better about my decision after buying a ticket for Lo & Aaron's show on 11/5/10 at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ. Oh yeah, and drinking all that aforementioned tequila. Also, post-moe., I'd be headed down to Sullivan Hall for the rest of Alexandra Rosenstein's Fantabulous Birthday Party Parade Adventure Show, where Leroy Justice and mysteeeeeerious special guests would keep me out well past my bedtime. At least I'd be able to catch that! The late night Joe's Pizza I planned on eating would tie a nice bow on it all.

I was bubbling over with excitement for a moe. show. Clearly, not seeing them for a full month had been difficult. We were still in the lobby about to check out the new merch when moe. totally got onstage and busted into the intro harmonics of Lazarus -> "GET ME INSIDE THAT THEATER!"- me. Lazarus opener? YES, PLEASE! There was chaos at the entrance to the row my ticket was actually for, so instead, I seamlessly upgraded into some empty seats 2 rows up and proceeded to totally rock the fuck out to Lazarus. It was long, jammed out, detailed, specific in every way, and completely awesome. What a warm fuzzy welcome to the Beacon! Where the fuck would they even go from there?? ->

As Ricky Martin was building, so was the excitement. Also--- the sound was freakin' incredible- so clean! Sweet sweet music belongs in this venue! Then -> a new Al song (currently being referred to as Downward Facing Dog) which was an enjoyable mellow groove that extended into a nice and loud dirty slide guitar section. The intro reminded me of the hook in Living Again.

Then a ridiculously good Dr. Graffenberg and this is when moe. MELTED MY FACE. Best Dr. G ever? Magical Beacon vibes? -> Spaz Medicine was wonderful and featured an epic fuckup of hysterical proportions that I remembered even after all the tequila and haze wore off. Oh, moe.. Hearts. A rockin' Billygoat -> an awesome and dark Bearsong that got the crowd jumping and howling in a wild frenzy to close out the set. Holy shit. SET ONE! Wow!

Can't remember the last time I was at the Beacon, but this was definitely the first time back since they've renovated and it's just spectacular in there. The acoustics were brilliant. The room was beautiful. It was really great to be back.

I made friends with some neighbors during setbreak and Melissa and Dave came for a visit before an extra from Jersey Shore^^ (orange skin, white shirt, gold chain, the gotti-- the whole 9.) who was sitting directly in back of me kinda tweaked cuz he thought they were gonna take his seat. Dude was a trip. At some point during the show he was videotaping the band with his phone, LED shining brightly/obnoxiously--- easily the brightest light in the room at the time and it was killing the lighting-vibe (at least for the people in a 10 foot radius) while simultaneously ripping me out of moe.'s warm embrace. Thing was going for like 3+ minutes. I may have (allegedly) finally gotten sick of seeing my own shadow (that means 2 more months of Fall Tour!) and possibly put my camera in the air right above my head to take some completely unnecessary pictures at that precise moment. Fuck that light. Seriously.

Sometime during SET I, The Marcy D. had wandered through and informed me I was standing next to Music Journalist Superstar, David Fricke (he did look noticably like a man who could rock when I had slid past during Lazarus!). So, if anyone wants to know beyond print, how much David Fricke loves moe., the answer is: many shit-tons--- he was smiling and ROCKING OUT through the whole show (and sat reading a book during setbreak). David Fricke's a total moe.ron! Nice.

New York City opened up SET II, cute, etc.. Skrunk kicked it up a few notches before -> a heavy and dark McBain that I felt in my stomach and I LOVE when that happens! Then they did a new Rob song, which seems to be going by the name Paper Dragon at the moment. The jam towards the end is really fun and leads somewhere heavy. Dig it. Then a super sweet Spine with the whole theater on every note. Excellent. The Beacon was full of love (and great acoustics). -> a rockin' Haze, super catchy. Annd Plane Crash to close out the set. See, if that had been the encore (yes, there was a contingency plan!) I might have actually snuck out to try and catch the tail end of Lo & Aaron down at the Lion's Den Sullivan Hall. But it wasn't, so I sucked it up and dealt. As per usual, I dug where most of the jams led but when it all comes back around again- meh. It was worth the bouncy good SOMP encore that left everyone in the place smiling. Chuck and Al went bonkers on dueling guitars- both absolutely shredding! What a great fucking show!!

I haven't even mentioned the rabid sock puppets on the poster! Dude! Rabid sock puppets! I had to have it.

Head Count had a raffle for 2 tickets to the show and in an ingenious twist, the band "let" the 2 raffle winners read the announcements. So they actually thought they won something and Al finally got (mostly) out of announcements. Everybody wins!

The sheer energy expended during this show was amazing and I still had to drag my ass downtown!

For those of us Winos who couldn't make it to Sullivan Hall for Lo & Aaron's set, there's some video evidence of it starting to appear online. From the sound of the singalongs in the youtube videos, there was a nice crowd in there^^^. Budke (in conjunction with Victor Cornette & Michael Weiss) has just posted the audio files to the archive- so go ahead and DL THE LO FABER & AARON MAXWELL SHOW HERE:

Lo & Aaron backstage at Sullivan Hall (videos via Michael Weiss's youtube channel)


Once I kicked a couple of people out of my car on the wrong block (a highlight of my night) and parked, I fiiiiinally got to Sullivan Hall-- only to see Aaron walking out the door! D'OH! He wanted to know how the moe. show was and I wasn't gonna lie. "Fucking awesome." But, I also told him about buying a ticket for the Lo & Aaron Show on 11/5 at Mexicali in Teaneck because that helped balance out my Wino Guilt. Lo gave me some shit about favoritism once I got inside- of course I loved it, but- OH, THE GUILT, THE GUILT!!

You know how people are always trying to get you to go to random afterparty shows to see some band that they say you'll like, but it's really hit or miss and then sometimes you start wondering why you even talk to this person because their taste in music has suddenly become totally questionable? Leroy Justice are actually really good. You should have gone there. I would have been there even without the mysteeeeerious special guest stars. Leroy Justice are Blind Melon-y, Black Crowes-y, Southern Rock N' Roll-y grit, from NYC. They're an entirely fun band to watch and put on a rockin' show. Frontman Jason Gallagher is a natural Rockstar, the swagger is something to behold. Do it to it, Jason. The bottle of Jim Beam they pass around reminds me of Jon Bevo and gives them Street Cred in my book (possibly not on the actual street). Solid.

Lo Faber joined Leroy Justice for the Allman's "Dreams" and the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - both wonderful.

Al Schnier soon fought his way to the stage and kicked ass on The Band's version of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Do It". Then Kenny Brooks (sax) from Ratdog got up alongside Al for the Stones' "Miss You". This was a really fun and awesome afterparty- you really couldn't get this anywhere else. Again, when the audio recordings go up, I'll post the link here, mmkay.

By the time we left Sullivan Hall, I needed food soooo badly. Man, if Pickle Dude was there I might have taken a dive into the barrel of Bread & Butters. He wasn't. Mark, Mike, and I stopped through Joe's for a particularly fun late-night-pizza-jaunt. Mark was inspired by it all and exclaimed, "Talc my ass!" It's his new catch-phrase. You can use it, but he gets credit.

Michael Weiss, as always- hard at work!

my camera is so fucked.

John Rango at full-throttle.

Trouble's-a-brewin' at Joe's.

that's a thin-crust triple thumbs-up!

Mark doesn't care if Stiffler likes Joe's.

Thanks to moe. for a "fucking awesome" NYC show complete with face-meltage and a super-satisfying special Lazarus that filled the soul all the way deep inside my bone marrow. Warm fuzzies. Can't wait til moe.schief night! Thanks to Alexandra Rosenstein for throwing a Fantabulous Birthday Party Adventure Show and getting Lo & Aaron AND Leroy Justice into the spotlight for it. Thanks to Lo & Aaron for not hating me (I think?) for missing their set. Thanks to Lo for being Lo. [Remember: Lo Faber + Aaron Maxwell + Margaritas = Heaven]. Thanks to Joe's Pizza for being THE BEST PIZZA IN NEW YORK CITY.

moe. @ the Beacon -> Leroy Justice & Friends @ Sullivan Hall for Alexandra Rosenstein's Super Happy Adventure Birthday Party Show Carnival, 10/8/10: 9^^^^ HUZZAHS!!!!

Lazarus >
Ricky Martin >
Downward Facing Dog
Dr. Graffenberg >
Spaz Medicine
Billygoat >

New York City
Skrunk >
Paper Dragon
Spine of a Dog >
Plane Crash

Seat of my Pants

DL THE SHOW! (Thanks, Marcus!)


^ I miss Pavement. :( <-- sad face
^^ Do you think he knows Snooki Lohan??

^^^ Good work, everyone!
^^^^ Pointage deducted for the migraine that bitch-slapped me 1/4 through my 2nd slice of pizza! Ugh. Totes boooooo!!!!!