Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the Jayhawks, 1/21/11, Webster Hall, NYC

the Jayhawks, 1/21/11, Webster Hall, NYC

Gabe's^ Jayhawks extra,
for Tomorrow The Green Grass-
sounded totes awesome.

Pregame at The Smith.
Cucumber Margarita?
That was kind of strange.

The Jayhawks' brand of
alt-country folkish rock stuff
goes down real easy.

The most well-behaved
group of white people, EVER,
eating it all up.

Another album
in exactly 7 days?
I'm meh on this trend.

It was fun, indeed.
Grape Kool-Aid? I'll have to pass.

Tomorrow the Green Grass (full album):
Run Away
Miss William's Guitar
Two Hearts
Real Light
Over My Shoulder
Bad Time
See Him On The Street
Nothing Left To Borrow
Ann Jane
Pray For Me
Red's Song
Ten Little Kids

Black Eyed Susan
She Walks
Waiting For The Sun
Nevada, California
Gilda Ann
Tomorrow The Green Grass

Darling Today
Tampa To Tulsa
Sleep While You Can


^ Thanks, Gabe!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / Jason Crosby & Friends, 1/19/11, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / Jason Crosby & Friends,
1/19/11, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

I hate boats. Seriously. Can't stomach 'em. Tough times. So, it was a crushing blow when God Street Wine played a couple of shows in the only place I didn't want to see a GSW show: Jam Cruise. Sad trombone. Instead, I was looking forward to Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell at Brooklyn Bowl on 1/19 for my fix-- and fuck yeah!

Dinner was fabulous^ and star-studded!

Dos Heteros Unblazered soon hit the stage. Found A New Baby was fantastic, as was an energetic Get On The Train. When they played Tide, it kind of blew me away exactly how clear and wonderful Aaron's voice is sounding. Wowza! He's in the freakin' zone, y'all.

Headliner/Musical Genius Extraordinaire, Jason Crosby, was invited up and immediately thanked GSW for inspiring his career in Rock. Then he and his violin accompanied Lo & Aaron on a gorgeous Epilog & a totally rollicking All Of Me (thank you), which fyi- was fucking AWESOME.

The week before the show, Lo had gone on Bring Back GSW and asked if anyone had requests for Brooklyn Bowl^^. Weiss Gabe went right for it-- Steely Dan's, Brooklyn. When they actually pulled it out-- it was to the total shock and delight of everyone in the room (a decent sized crowd for a Wednesday night). Wall-to-wall smiles! Boston Rag was a nice little dramatic SD to pair it up with.

"Here's one I didn't know I would be doing when I woke up this morning."
- Aaron Maxwell

This is what Aaron is looking at in the above pic... Cheat Sheets!

Diana was very pretty. Then Kenny Brooks was guest sax on a sweet American Girl, which was teased in an exclusive backstage performance a few months ago AND WAS ALSO FUCKING AWESOME. Brooks also sat in on Book of Rules which they did on Jam Cruise w/ his "former boss", Bob Weir. A bouncy and delightful Thirsty closed out the set.

Soon Jason Crosby & Friends took the stage. Jason's career as a musical genius began at the tender age of 2 when he first picked up a violin (he took up piano at 4). He's been a professional since the age of 16. Since then, he's played with everyone under the sun, including: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Susan Tedeschi, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Oteil & The Peacemakers, Carlos Santana, Bruce Springsteen, and The Lo frickin' Faber Band.

So it should come as no surprise that Jason Crosby has very talented Friends. Friends who play an eclectic mix of Jazz/Rock/Funk+ with beautifully composed instrumentals that occasionally contain darkly twisting lyrics. Friends who like to switch out and play different instruments and as such, are difficult to keep track of.

Some material was from Jason's 2000 debut solo album, "Out of The Box" which I remember hearing back in the Wetlands days-- and still enjoyed. Jason Crosy & Friends this night, included Lo & Aaron for two God Street Wine songs: a loud Hellfire and a totally rockin' Gretchen. Reid Gennauer from Strangefolk/Assembly of Dust also did a few songs with them that sounded beautiful, but I have no idea what the names were. Sorrrrrry.

Yes, it was quite a spectacular night! I still haven't managed to actually bowl at Brooklyn Bowl, but some day... If I Can Dream.

A psychedelic monkey from the 70's was dancing above the NYC skyline.

Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell / Jason Crosby & Friends... Does 9 HUZZAHS lose it's meaning if it's constantly handed out? But it's Lo & Aaron^^^!!! 9 HUZZAHS!!!

In fact the only time my night got shitty was when I hit a giant pothole at the Triboro Toll Plaza going to the Deegan at 1am that destroyed my front driver's side tire. Thank you to my hero, the MTA Maintenance Dude who swapped out the bum wheel for my donut. That was swell. They aren't allowed to accept tips, so I gave him a strawberry lollipop. No, an actual strawberry lollipop! Yummy Earths rule, flat tires blow!!!

Found A New Baby
All Of Me#
Boston Rag
American Girl %
Book of Rules %

# w/ Jason Crosby
% w/ Kenny Brooks

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Budke! http://www.archive.org/details/lfam2011-01-19


^ The burger:tomato ratio is completely off. How about 2 tomatoes for a sister in the off-season?
^^ Mine was All Of Me (see aforementioned thanks).
^^^ Can't wait til next weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, 1/14/11, Highline Ballroom, NYC

Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, 1/14/11, Highline Ballroom, NYC

Annnd once again, the fabulous Tour Spirits brought Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven to NYC within days of my birthday (last year: 3 days after. this year: 2... and in 2009: CVB a few days before). Praise those spirits! This tradition is good! My tickets were purchased before it was announced that CVB would be performing their album, Key Lime Pie in it's entirety, & Cracker would be taking on all of Kerosene Hat. That's pretty cool, but I was a little afeared that this sort of completely limited the setlists. So much for getting to hear Guarded By Monkeys live this winter.

When my friend Heidi got wind of the gig, which fell a few days before her bday-- giant CVB fan that she is-- she decided to come all the way down from Ithaca for it! That's dedication! This created some sort of Lynn-CVB/Cracker-Heidi-Birfday Sammich if you will. The bacon is implied.

Pregame was at Park NYC, w/ many mojitos. I didn't take out my camera. "Too drunk, too drunk." - Pickles the Drummer

Only because it can be confusing (am I missing anyone?):
Camper Van Beethoven: David Lowery, Frank Funaro, Victor Krummenacher, Jonathan Segel, Greg Lisher, David Immerglück (sometimes)
Cracker: David Lowery, Johnny Hickman, Frank Funaro (since '96), Sal Maida (since 2006), Kenny Margolis (sometimes), David Immerglück (sometimes)

We got to the Highline a few minutes after Camper Van Beethoven hit the stage. The place was freakin' packed! Heidi and I abandoned the boys in the back to make our way up front on al.side (stage right). Heidi looked like a kid in a candy store. Key Lime Pie is one of her favorite albums, so she was glowing (with joy).

CVB moved masterfully through the tracks. Loud, live, rock. Great chemistry and sweet sound. I love watching them play! Highlights for me were When I Win The Lottery, All Her Favorite Fruit, & Pictures of Matchstick Men (because Jonathan Segel is awesome^). Eye of Fatima (also a huuuge highlight) and Take the Skinheads Bowling were nice bonuses to end the CVB set.

With at least a 10:1 ratio, there was no line for the women's bathroom during setbreak. Little known perks at a Cracker show.

We dragged our runnin' crew up front for Kerosene Hat. Cracker took the stage. Johnny Hickman was wearing all white and as always, owning it! All class! They rocked Kerosene Hat. A few tracks were swapped here and there, but they did it all- right down to the weirdness that is Hi-Desert Biker Meth Lab (played on a laptop).

(Mark took these first two awesome pics- thanks, Mark!)

David Lowery's glasses kept slipping down his nose throughout the show. When they would get down towards the bottom, with the big fuzzy beard, it kind of made him look like Jim Gaffigan and Wilford Brimley had a giant ginger love child. Aww.

I love Cracker the way Heidi loves Camper Van Beethoven. I crave Cracker shows and get positively giddy when they come to town. They were loud, brash, and awesome. Everything Cracker should be. Highlights: Movie Star, Infirmary, Goodbyes, Lonesome Johnny Blues, Loser...

I took a walk.

This was the part of the show where Johnny Hickman turned into a pure beam of energy.

and this is the part of the show where he reveals that he is either a dragon or it’s very cold onstage—check out the fog coming out of his mouth!

And by far the Best Rock Moment of the night was Ride My Bike -> a massively heavy, dark, & intense Interstellar Overdrive--- in which Cracker Van Beethoven^^ totally fucking KILLED it -> Ride My Bike. SHA-ZAM! Get these guys back to moe.down, because they are melting faces! Wow wow wow!

For the encore, David (on acoustic) and Johnny came out as a duo and twice attempted to play a song from Lowery's upcoming solo album (available in February-- download a preview, the song Palace Guards, on David Lowery's website) only to bail on it awkwardly. Apparently not quite ready for prime time yet. Lowery told the crowd to just buy the record (okay!) and quickly started the timeless bromance ballad, Friends. Many people in the audience were singing along. It was like ending the night with a warm hug from both of them. Aww, metaphorical rockstar hugs.

It was cool to hear both albums, cute theme/gimmick- but I'm really glad there were some bonus songs at the end of each set to mix it up a little bit. It would have felt kinda flat without the additions. Who doesn't like rainbow sprinkles, yah?

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker, in a Lynn-CVB/Cracker-Heidi-Birfday Sammich. Awesome! 8.5 HUZZAHS!! Points deducted for no Guarded By Monkeys!

Thanks and high-fives to 4dice & Heidi for coming down from Ithaca for the fun! Hardcoooore! Blue Ribbon Award to Mark for making it through both sets! He was feeling tired but I knew he had the good fight in him!

**THE GOLD STAR AWARDS** to both Hern and Mark for picking a pile of garbage off my windshield, which is apparently what happens when you park right next to the PJ's in a perfectly non-trash-covered car. Chivalry ain't dead. Had they not been there, I would have used a combination of my wipers and a telescoping ice-scraper to fling it all aimlessly into the street, but Hern removed the yellow meat (chicken?) styrofoam and Mark picked up a white styrofoam cup by the rim- with their bare hands!! Luckily, The Gold Star Awards come with both handi-wipes & a tall boy of Cipro. Thanks, guys! Totes brave!

Meatwad got a chicken infection in his eye.

Opening Theme
Jack Ruby
When I Win The Lottery
(I Was Born In A) Laundromat
The Light From A Cake
All Her Favorite Fruit
The Humid Press of Days
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Come On Darkness
Eye Of Fatima
Take The Skinheads Bowling

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Barry Shoop! http://www.archive.org/details/CVB2011-01-14

CRACKER, Kerosene Hat (w/ NYC Cracker Staple Kenny Margolis)
Movie Star
Get Off This
Kerosene Hat
Take Me Down To The Infirmary
Sick Of Goodbyes
Sweet Potato
I Want Everything
Lonesome Johnny Blues
Let's Go For A Ride
Hi-Desert Meth Lab
Eurotrash Girl
I Ride My Bike ->
Interstellar Overdrive# ->
I Ride My Bike

New David Lowery Solo Song Attempt

# w/ Segel, Immerglück, Lisher, and Krummenacher (who traded out with Sal Maida)
% w/ David Lowery (acoustic) & Johnny Hickman

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW! Thanks, Barry Shoop! http://www.archive.org/details/Cracker2011-01-14


^ In the words of our little Munsch friend last year, "Hey Violin Guy, play the violin!"
^^ Cracker Van Beethoven began with the -> Interstellar Overdrive, when Segel, Immerglück, Lisher, and Krummenacher (who traded out with Sal Maida) got back onstage.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Phish, 12/30, 31/10, & 1/1/11, MSG, NYC, NY

Phish, 12/30, 31/10, & 1/1/11, MSG, NYC, NY

The morning after moe.'s 10/8/10 show at the Beacon (that was followed up with Leroy Justice & special guests at Sullivan Hall, and me going to bed at 5am) was quite possibly the one time I've ever actually forgotten to set my alarm clock in order to wake up unreasonably early to score Phish public onsale tickets for a show as important as NYE, 12/31/10. Fuck. My lotto score was for 12/30 & 1/1 in the 400's.

In the week leading up to the shows, two things:
1) Ed Looram, via Chris Dugan (of the Ridgewood Winos), totally scored me an NYE extra-- thanks, guys!!!
2) Wino Joe Madonna wanted to know if I was interested in a seat upgrade for 12/30.

THURSDAY, 12/30/10

MSG pregames are a particular kind of crowded nightmare and the Holiday Season fucking quadruples that. Perhaps I got a little aggressive trying to walk down 33rd Street, but those tourists totally deserved elbows. All sorts of elbows. I had shit to do. GET OUT OF THE WAY, FRENCHY WITH THE WHEELIE BAG. Pregame this night became less of a pregame and more of a to-do list. By the time I got my NYE ticket from Chris, I was starving, frazzled, violent. Mark and Weiss fed me pizza and booze, then I felt much better. Then Joe Madonna came through and presented me with his extra-- for row A^. The magic ticket that made me immortal.

"Zen Birds" photo courtesy of Michael Weiss

Erika, Jake, crosswalks, Security, cookies. No Tokens. Eventually I found my way to the front row, which is a weird experience at MSG, cuz the place is so fucking massive. Joe was already in his seat feigning disappointment about being in front of Mike instead of Trey. Poor Joe. We were surrounded by lots of other super lucky people who also scored their amazing seats via Phish lotto. I have always wanted to be one of those assholes and now I was amongst them! Just as good! THANK YOU, JOE MADONNA!

Ridiculously awesome first set. A really fun Chalkdust, Gumbo, Halley's, Camel Walk, and a super-satisfying Timber (YESSSS!). Lots of energy and love in the room. A New York City kinda crowd. The band was eating it up. Every time we thought they were stopping for setbreak, Trey would excitedly announce to the rest of the band what was up next. Seeing (I didn't even need my glasses!) that interaction up close feels good. Mike Gordon smacking the shit out of his bass, directly in front of me: also feels really good.

Second set highlights: Tweezer, My Friend, then a completely crazy rockin' Axilla that had the floor BOUNCING. A buddy of mine said the floors in the bathroom were bouncing too. Fuck yeah! 2001 is always grand. The encores were spectacular: a sweet Antelope and BOOM- Tweezer Reprise.

It was an amazing show to kick off the MSG run. Well done, indeed! The best part of this show, was seeing how happy Trey is--- so so so happy!! Awww, Trey!!! *hearts*

this is a series of 3 Happy Trey shots

Set 1: Cities, Chalkdust Torture, Gumbo, Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo), Halley's Comet, Camel Walk, Maze, Driver, Bathtub Gin, Fat Man In The Bathtub, Timber (Jerry the Mule), Golgi Apparatus, Character Zero
Set 2: Tweezer > Light, Theme from the Bottom, My Friend My Friend, Axilla, Fluffhead, Boogie On Reggae Woman > Also Sprach Zarathustra, Suzy Greenberg
Encore: Run Like An Antelope, Tweezer Reprise

In the bat-caves on the walk out.

FRIDAY, 12/31/10

Friday AM was robotic and started around noon. Pregame pt.1 was back at Stout where Mark had reserved a royal booth. It was gonna be a long night and I was prepping with much tequila. -> Feile for more jubilance.

Once inside MSG, I investigated the seat my ticket was for- 300's in the Fishman corner. There seemed to be a population of Disco Biscuit fans in the vicinity and I quickly left to find friendlier ground. Happily, section 337 held a few of my peeps -> done & done!

Where my ticket says…

and where I went.

I spent most of the first set smiling like an idiot at how good Phish were. Sure, you can consider the amount of Patron in my bloodstream at the time, but they sounded great and there was a wonderful vibe of excitement the room. Felt like the 90's (but w/waaay more flashing LED thingies... and waaay less Frat Boys). Can't believe I even considered not finding a ticket to this show. PYITE got the room moving. I've been absolutely craving a Mule and Phish delivered a great one. By far the funniest part of set 1 was Ocelot, simply because I wonder if it was in honor of the funny little text-to-cartoon that was going around about scoring NYE Phish tickets which included the gem of a catchphrase, "I hope you get a really, really long, first set Ocelot." Rock and Roll, meh. Total pee song.

Set 2 was strong, I have no recollection of Wilson, but 46 Days was great! As was Sand, NICU, DWD > Ghost... AND THEN... Yes, I may have threatened to spit on Trey if I heard YEM or Prince Caspian again in 2010. The threat was greater on 12/30 cuz I was actually within spitting-distance of the man, but he chose songs wisely that night and steered clear of danger. Annnyways, I was kind of like OH FUCKING GREAT ANOTHER YEM, but---- BUT, they did something interesting with it, gave it an old skool flare-- this YEM, won me over.

Set 3 began shortly before Midnight with a Meatstick that became some sort of mutated It's A Small World After All themed dance spectacle. One ethnic group after another arrived onstage, singing Meatstick in their native tongue. African Tribal, Mariachi, Hasidic Jews, Swedish Ski Team, etc., etc.. Suddenly the stage was full of singing International Meatstickers dancing in unison!

Next thing we know, the band is back in their giant flying hot dog^^ from Phish shows past (if you got the opportunity to re-use a giant flying hot dog, why wouldn't you?), releasing Meatstick balloons from the ceiling and tossing commemorative rubber Meatstick toys at the crowd. Freakin' awesome. The New Year's countdown soon began and blammo! 2011!! Balloooooooons! A layer of balloons coated the lower third of MSG. Totes neato!

After Midnight was great, but for me, it kinda went downhill from there. I got bored with the rest of the set. Mostly all of it. However, First Tube encore was rockin' and got the blood flowing again! MSG First Tubes = FUN!

The cops finally busted the tank on 7th!

Set 1: Punch You in the Eye, AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, Scent of a Mule, Burn That Bridge, Weigh, Ocelot, Beauty of my Dreams, Gone, Rock and Roll
Set 2: Wilson, 46 Days, Sand, NICU, Down With Disease > Ghost > You Enjoy Myself
Set 3: Meatstick, Auld Lang Syne, After Midnight, Backwards Down The Number Line, Piper > Free, Waste, Slave to the Traffic Light, Grind
Encore: First Tube

SATURDAY, 1/1/11

Saturday was really physically difficult. A 3-setter is kind of exhausting on it's own, but sammiched between two 2-setters... I had to change into a softer t shirt cuz the first one wasn't cutting it. This was the first time in history that Phish played a show on 1/1. In the days leading up to this show, I had been helping friends score extras for it. At this point it was: 1 down (thanks, David Katz -> Weiss!) and 2 to go, when I got wonderful news that the fabulous Wendy & Chris found me the last 2. Arrangements were made and I was finally fucking done finding extras for people! WOOOOT!

Pregame was hectic and short. We ended up in the basement of Stout, behind a pillar. That was just about my speed for the day anyways. Everything hurt.

photo courtesy of Mark Wellins

A comical entrance into MSG -> Erika, Jake, & I found Pete. Then Weiss found us. Then we had a little happy crew sitting in seats that weren't ours, Page side in the 300's! Yaay!

First set was awesome! My Soul was rockin', Tube- great, Runaway Jim always puts a smile on my face. Foam was stellar! Guelah was AWESOME. Divided Sky was sweet. We went to pee during Round Room but the line was kind of absurd, so we started walking in the direction we thought the next bathroom would be in-- walking and walking. We were walking for what seemed like forever. It was like Lord of the Rings does Phish. All of a sudden they started Walk Away and I forced Erika back into the arena to watch the majority before returning to our Quest. Jibboo was cute. Reba was definitely one of the highlights of the show- twirling and epic (though unfinished), submerged under cartoony water at times, and always stunningly beautiful. A++ Reba.

Set 2 kicked off with a loud & extremely enjoyable Crosseyed and Painless, led by Fishman on vocals. > Twist. SIMPLE- YES, with the entire Garden singing along, cheering for Skyscraper! Then from out of nowhere, a really fun, slightly messy Sneakin' Sally. It's great, I love hearing Phish do it, it's still special- but no one, and I mean NO ONE rocks this song like Max Verna & Ominous Seapods. It's a FACT. Deal with it. _I love a Makisupa_. Especially one with a snazzy kick drum and bass solo.

The spastic T. Rex-like dancer in our section was at full-throttle. At times he danced a little too close for comfort, but he did serenade Jake in the face at least once, which was pretty romantic.

When they busted out Bowie, it was finally a good chance to pee, wander around, and say hi to folks. Or so I thought. Cuz it was apparently the end of the set and I found myself with some friends all the way across the arena from my Jacket (which I had put Weiss in charge of = great idea). Really thought there were 2-3 more songs coming, plenty of time to socialize-- but clearly my sense of time was completely warped from 3 days of Phish NYE Run. Those 2 sets on 1/1 *FLEW* by.

Tunnel Spinners during Bowie

video courtesy of Michael Weiss

The Fee encore was completely unexpected (if the megaphone was on the stage before that, I missed it-- as I did the KEYTAR) and filled the arena with tons of bouncy energy. Then *BLAMMO*, Frankenstein! FUCKING FINALLY. I've stood in sideways rain (more than once), drove to Bonnaroo & back, and sat through what seemed like a billion Prince Caspians and YEMs to get to that fucking Frankenstein! It felt grand! Page on keytar!!!! It was everything I had hoped for. *more hearts* THANK YOU, PHISH!

Set 1: My Soul, Tube, Runaway Jim, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, The Divided Sky, Round Room, Walk Away, Gotta Jibboo, Reba, Walls of the Cave
Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless > Twist, Simple, Sneaking Sally Through the Alley, Makisupa Policeman, David Bowie
Encore: Fee, Frankenstein

This cactus was walking down the street singing, “Gotta Jibboo”

Let's bring this thing home, shall we? It was a great NYE Run! Unsure if the Prince Caspian clock has been reset yet. YEM, no. Definitely glad I hit all 3 shows! These things are so difficult to fine tune enough in order to see & rock out with everyone you want to see & rock out with. I did miss a lot of folks in the clusterphuck, but at least we were all able to share some special nights of music together (and it's always super fun to see who you run into in the hallways).

YES! Phish, 12/30, 31/10, & 1/1/11: 9 HUZZAHS! Happy New Year, all! I'm still fucking exhausted!

It may have been a Phish Run, but it was chock-full-o-Wino goodness! Thank you to all the wonderful Winos and 'heads who helped find tickets for all who needed- you rock, #1!

And now, the Unsung MVP of the Phish NYE MSG Run: The Dasani Water Bottle Cap
Hey Kids! Going to a show at MSG? Plan on getting a bottle of water? Don't forget to bring your own Dasani Cap, cuz they never let you keep them!


^ The last time I remember actually being on the Phish rail was at 10/31/94 in Glens Falls. GA floor. My fingers were crossed for no naked Fishman this time around. SUC-CESS!
^^ The hot dog, previously donated to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, was taken out of retirement for the night.