Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Screaming Chicken Talks Turkey with Keith Olbermann

moe.ville Mayoral Candidate, Screaming Chicken,
Talks Turkey with Keith Olbermann

Topics include Screaming Chicken's plan to optimize moe.ville geography for the everyday moe.ron & an exclusive first look at the Fascist Security Checkpoint through the eyes of The Candidate of The People (and Chickens and Devil Toads). Screaming Chicken is change you can believe in! RIDE THE CHICKEN! SQUAAAWWK!!!

moe.down xii, sept. 2, 3, 4, 2011, Gelston Castle Estate, moe.hawk, NY
visit for tickets and info

'like' Screaming Chicken for Mayor of moe.ville xii on Facebook! SQUAAAWWK!!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

God Street Wine Variants / Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer, 8/17/11, The Iri ium, NYC

God Street Wine Variants / Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer,
8/17/11, The Iri ium, NYC

Empanadas in Hell's Kitchen -> Times Square. This general area was a work Hub for me for a very long time. What strikes me about Hell's Kitchen now, is that after only 3-4 years of being removed from it, roughly 60% more of it seems to have been regentrified. It's cleaner and brighter somehow. A ton of new yummy looking restaurants have popped up where total shitholes once stood. So many more places to grab a good lunch, now that I am no longer there, looking for lunch, every day. Where did all the shit go? Penn Station? Then of course, you walk 2 blocks over to Times Square, and Mars 2112 with that fucking alien (forever waving out front) remains. As does my old office building, the good ol' 1633. Ah, nostalgia.

Anyways, the Iridium Jazz Club is right across the street from there. I used to spy it from the plaza and think, "Now there's a venue I've never been to." The 'd' in the neon blue sign out front is now dead, so I will henceforth refer to it as the Iri ium, which is more fun to say. It's downstairs from Ellen's Stardust Diner, a joint where tourists flock to see waitstaff bust into song with the regularity of a traffic report. The Iri ium is a mostly seated venue, with a $15 per person, per table, per show (this night counted as two shows) minimum (+ cover). On the upside, the drinks are pricey, so it takes very little effort to hit those minimums, and the room sounds positively *gorgeous*, which makes up for everything else. So, despite being slightly poorer, at least you'll be sober and entertained by the time you leave. Yah, it's totally criminal, and it's definitely Times Square.

Tonight the schedule was for an 8PM show of Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer / GSW Variant, and a 10PM show of Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer / GSW Variant. They were able to arrange with the venue to allow people to stay for the 2nd show without paying a 2nd cover, which was very nice, but they still separated out the acts into 4 alternating chunks (and there was still an additional per table minimum for the 10PM show).

Super Musician & longtime Wino, Jason Crosby, has been hosting Iri ium Singer Songwriter Sessions at the Iri ium each month, and inviting his collaborator-friends to join him. Last month, the series premiere featured Reid Genauer (Strangefolk, Assembly of Dust) as his guest. This month, it was Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell's (God Street Wine, The Jon Bevo's Love Orchestra) turn. SUH-WEET!

The tables filled up, the pmarkgliatelle was flowing, and Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer opened the show. The duo play moody Folky alt art Rock. Kiiiind of. It's hard to explain, but it's really beautiful and filled with hooks. Megan also rocked the mic on some pretty adorable quirky bouncy Country Rag Timey type tunes that would make Sara Bareilles totes jealous. Over the 2 sets, they took turns switching off on Guitar, Violin, & Piano. These two would dominate a movie soundtrack.

Lo & Aaron took the stage and immediately kicked into gear with a sweet Sit Right Down & Write Myself a Letter. Aaron's voice, wow. Beautiful Lies (psyched this song has been injected into the repertoire), Light My Candles, & Run To You (Lo's voice, sigh.) -- all gorgeous. The room was soaking it in. Lots of smiles, lots of people REALLY rockin' out in their seats… Like, busting OUT of those seats. I spied some air guitar. Sitting at these shows is obnoxious. Don't like it. Nope, not one bit. Lame.

The boys started a delightful Nightingale and were jamming it out, when suddenly, a figure sprinted from the back of the room, hopped on stage, and started banging on the Grand Piano! It was in fact, THE Jon Bevo (The Jon Bevo Love Orchestra, God Street Wine) joining the band mid-song, like some sort of fucking Piano Ninja! He must have been busy until this point, perhaps finishing up a NYT crossword puzzle (in Sharpie) back at the bar. 8 letters, Jon Bevo's Grand bitch: STEINWAY. -> Awesome Nightingale conclusion! What followed was a fantastic Vanity Street (lovin' the stripped down arrangement), a sweet Good Dream, and a bouncy Tide.

Jason Crosby joined the boys on complimentary violin for the rest of the set. He explained how psyched he was to be playing that evening with members of God Street Wine. That he's been a GSW fan since he was a young kid (I read somewhere that his older brother used to bring him to Wetlands), they were his favorite band back then, and they still are now. Awww.

During the absolutely fucking RIDICULOUS Change Your Mind, I got a text from D. Mighty, which led me to immediately check my Fantasy Baseball scores -> cackling like an evil genius, when I saw my team (SHABLAGOOOO) was absolutely crushing his (The Salty Matzah Balls), 9-0. This may have been the proudest moment of my entire Season, because D. Mighty's tears taste like Cashew Butter. They are fucking DELICIOUS and I will collect them in a jar and eat them with a spoon.


Then, I went right back to rockin' out Change Your Mind, which was still ABSOLUTELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS. They CRUSHED it. So much energy! Goddamn, I love that song! She Comes Up Softly was beautiful and Wendy was a sweet set closer and totally got the crowd buzzing and left them that way.

It was time for the switchover again, so the stage got re-set for the 10PM show and Jason & Megan's 2nd set (see above). Much of the crowd had to take off for the "2nd seating", cuz I suppose some people have Day Jobs and/or train schedules to contend with.

Lo & Aaron's 2nd set opened with the hauntingly sweet Epilog. We got a lovely Ballroom, Driving West, Straight Line, and tender Strange As It Seems. Jason came back out and we were treated to a new guest on Piano- Pete Levin (The Blind Boys of Alabama, God Street Wine, etc.), who totally rocked that shit out for the rest of the set! A spirited Borderline. Thirsty, which we learned Lo wrote after reading Tom Robbins' Still Life With Woodpecker. Cute. Goodnight Gretchen and a siiiiiick, rockin' Hellfire, complete with Super Jam, where everyone got a chance to shine. Everyone still in the room, both on the stage & in the crowd-- everyone had a shit-ton of fun. Hell, even the people who had to leave early- those motherfuckers had fun during the 2nd show too, they just may not have known why. It was a fun fun night.

Awesome, sounded beautiful, and left me approximately $60 poorer, but what are ya gonna do?

I love the fact that some spectacular keyboard players who used to be in God Street Wine just happened to drop by. Fuck yeah. They should do this more often. Next time at Brooklyn Bowl w/ Dan Pifer & Joe Russo! Or ya know, Dan & Tomo. YES! Either way, I'm in. LET'S DO THIS!

Thanks to Jason Crosby for putting an awesome night of music together! Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer -> GSW Variant -> Jason Crosby & Megan Palmer -> GSW Variant, 8/17/11, The Iri ium: 9 HUZZAHS!! All sorts of bonus points made up for the monetary deductions.

Sit Right Down & Write Myself a Letter
Beautiful Lies
Light My Candles
Run To You
Nightingale *
Vanity Street *
Good Dream *
Tide *
Change Your Mind *#
She Comes Up Softly *#
Wendy *#

Driving West
Straight Line
Strange As It Seems
Borderline #%
Thirsty #%
Gretchen #%
Hellfire #%

* Jon Bevo
# Jason Crosby
% Pete Levin

*** DOWNLOAD THE SHOW!! Thanks, Scott Bernstein! ***


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bustle In Your Hedgerow, 8/12/11, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

Bustle In Your Hedgerow, 8/12/11, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

The buzz about All-Star Led Zeppelin tribute band, Bustle In Your Hedgerow, has been about as loud as my tinnitus (loud) for years now. Last Friday, I finally got to see them at Brooklyn Bowl, for the 2nd night of a 2-night stand. On Thursday, they opened up for one of ?uestlove's Bowl Train spin sessions and of course the man sat in for a few songs. The interwebs were immediately splattered with rave reviews and footage of this madness. Well, you know what? FRIDAY WAS AWESOME TOO!

What's not to love about 4 musicians who attack, conquer, and deliver the legendary music of Led Zeppelin? Joe Russo (drums), Marco Benevento (keys), Dave Dreiwitz (bass), & Scott Metzger (guitar), absolutely lashed the crowd with their (mostly) instrumental arrangements of some of the sickest Rock songs ever written. I've never been a huge fan of cover bands, but Bustle's angle takes the tribute to a higher level. Marco's keys & effects mimicking Robert Plant's wailing vocals are an amazing interpretation of the sound. Metzger shreds the fuck out of Jimmy Page's licks. On this night, he did an epic, over-the-top, 5 minute guitar solo during Heartbreaker, which he might have dreamed up and practiced as a 15 year old in his bedroom. It had me laughing at times. Lots of bending and raking and high fretwork and a Stairway To Heaven tease to get the crowd RAGING. Ya know, totes sick! Led Zeppelin tribute band, motherfuckers! Russo's driving drums lead the way. It doesn't seem to matter what band he's playing with (The Duo, Furthur, American Babies, God Street Wine, etc.), his instincts & playing are always beyond brilliant. Dreiwitz is the magical krazy glue that keeps all that otherwise krazy shit together and focused.

Scott Metzger's epic Heartbreaker guitar solo (video courtesy of sssleestak)

I didn't keep a setlist, but I don't need a damn setlist to tell you that a huge highlight was getting to hear live, a ripping version of my favorite Zeppelin tune, When the Levee Breaks! Dark and stormy and pounding and LOUD and it all sounded perfect.

The room was packed, the energy was intense Rock bliss. It got hot in there real fast and I'm sure the frozen strawberry margaritas also had something to do with it, but Marco Benevento was at least partially responsible for dehydrating me. Hoooey! *fans self*

As always, our fabulous Blue Ribbon dinner was DELICIOUS! I went with my standard: chicken burger w/ cheddar & bacon (it's hard to try other things when this is so damn good!!). The boys went for the fried chicken. One of them may or may not have ordered a girly drink (with extra pink), but if he did, he's totally comfortable with it, which is why no evidence exists.

Brooklyn Bowl is currently closed for a couple of days (re-opening wednesday, 8/17/11) for "renovations and improvements". If we are lucky, one of these things is re-angling the hanging stacks towards the dance floor (as opposed to the direction of the pin cozies) and maybe the other is insulating the walls or ceiling for some sound absorption. Just saying', if we're lucky…

Bustle In Your Hedgerow, 8/12/11, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC… 8 HUZZAHS!! FUCKING PHENOMENAL! Tons of fun^! Can't wait to see 'em again!


^ These guys would be a great late-night set at moe.down.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends -> They Might Be Giants -> American Babies, 7/29/11

Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends -> They Might Be Giants, Williamsburg Waterfront, Brooklyn
-> American Babies, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC

Better late than never, eh? My sneakers finally dried from this episode, so I suppose that means it's time to write the review!

Well, I sure know where I like to head when there's a Tornado Watch hovering over the Tri-State area-- and that's the Brooklyn Waterfront! Why not, right? An open park on a slab of concrete with a giant stage full of electronic equipment seems like a perfectly reasonable destination as the newsradio Meteorologist announces the appearance of "definite rotation detected in the clouds" heading your way. I packed a change of clothes, extra shoes, and then remembered to go back into the house to grab SuperPoncho (holy shit!!! now on sale!!! ACT FAST!). I mean-- might as well try to stay dry? Maybe? Fucking Live Music.

"We take you to Brooklyn". The line stretched for blocks up Kent Ave., but was definitely moving more quickly than the Faith No More line of summer 2010 (also, less angry energy). Hipsters Hipsters everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Except for all the Beer in the Beer Garden. And the tequila in the flask. Oh, and the massive shitstorm of water that eventually began falling from above.

Eugene Mirman, comic genius, and his magical group of Pretty Good Friends, opened the show. I'm not sure if its the cultural identification, but Eugene Mirman is one funny motherfucker. His MC work was fluid & smart. He brought along some new suggestions for Tanqueray Gin's "Tonight We Tanqueray" marketing campaign. Having officially banned Gin from my body years ago, I'm here to tell you that these catchy phrases were well-conceptualized and mightily appreciated by everyone with a similar background. My favorite was, "Tonight We Tanqueray… Tomorrow, we stop by Planned Parenthood on the way to work." Eugene Mirman RULES!

Kristen Schaal was working through her set, which included reading an excerpt from her book about her taint (the excerpt, that is-- as far as I know the whole book, The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex, covers more ground than her taint… *rimshot*) when the shitstorms began. Picture 3000 or so nerds with short attention spans, distracted, speechless, and looking upwards at 3 weatherfronts converging directly above our heads-- knowing exactly what is about to happen. Sets of swirling dark clouds, coming from 3 separate directions, and jumbo gumball sized (the 50¢ ones) drops of rain hurling towards us. The SuperPoncho was already on. My Festival Spidey Sense was tingling. "I should take off my shoes." I didn't take off my shoes. Please note: I should have taken off my shoes. Then came the flood. From the sky. A flood fell from the sky. On us.

Schaal tried to keep us entertained, but it would be a challenge. Maybe she was channeling Seth Herzog, I don't know, but Irene Cara's What a Feeling from Flashdance started blasting over the PA and Kristen ripped off her black dress, revealing a different, full outfit- a skirt and tank top, grabbed a folding chair, and re-enacted the famous dance scene from the film, which climaxed as she yanked on a piece of rope held by Eugene Mirman, who would immediately dump an aluminum pail of water onto her chair-splayed body. Then they did it a few more times, as the song is very long. Mirman was methodically opening and pouring one new plastic bottle of water into the pail for each take, as rain fell in sheets off the stage's roof. It was fucking awesome. They brought it. Thank you, Kristen Schaal & Eugene Mirman!

The rain died down for a while and we were treated to the very pale, Jim Gaffigan. Acoustics in the beer garden being what they are (terrible), I had some trouble hearing Jim's wonderful whispery comedic stylings. This was soon made impossible by the next set of torrential downpours. Enough rain accumulated on the cement and was pouring off towards the East River, that at any given moment you could look down and you were standing in no less than an inch of water.

I really should have just taken off my shoes in the first place and hidden them in Das SuperPoncho (it's got a giant kangaroo pouch). Did I mention the rubber boots in my car? There were rubber boots in the car. It was too hot to walk around in rubber boots. Todd Barry inherited a hell of a situation and I love the guy, but have no idea what went on during his set due to aforementioned volume of storm.

Hern: I think we're gonna get rained on at moe.down this year.
Lynn: WHAAAT??
Oooooh, and as the storm subsided, we were treated to a fabulous surprise-- PATTON OSWALT!!! YAAAAAAY!!!! It was his turn to try and make 3000 drenched people happy. He reminisced about walking his dog one day in NYC and accidentally interrupting two crackheads mid-BJ. Patton is awesome and I heart him.

There was a musical comedy act, but I honestly have no idea what actually went on after Patton, because I'd stopped paying attention as I started getting drunk. Eventually the skies cleared, revealing the picturesque Manhattan skyline that had disappeared for the better part of an hour. The squishiness was unbearable, so I took off my shoes and socks. That's right. Williamsburg Waterfront, barefoot. Suck it, Hipsters! SuperPoncho fared me pretty well. It's weird the way it works though, you can still feel the weight of the wet, but you stay dry, though it's somewhat sticky with humidity on the inside. The majority of my crew (and the rest of the crowd) was unprepared, so they were soaked to the core. I would have taken a picture of Mern's hairy nipplage completely visible through his wet yellow t-shirt, but the taste of bile in the back of my mouth made reaching for a camera impossible.

Yes, tonight, They Might Be Giants would return to the site of their 1986-ish music video, Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head (which they did not play! BOO!!!)

Touch the puppet head.

Their setlist consisted of a few old favorites and then some of the newer stuff, including a handful off their new album Join Us. The new material was cute, but I (enjoy &) enjoyed the oldies more. Ana Ng fucking ROCKED the Waterfront. Ana Ng is the first TMBG song I'd ever heard, watching MTV at the age of 10. Look at me now! It gave the drippy crowd an obvious and well-needed energy boost. More of that, please! The Avatars of They (sock puppets-- their album drops in 2012) performed the song Spoiler Alert on the big screen. Puppet show under the stars. This is the weirdness TMBG fans have grown to love. It was a sweet treat. As was the FIIIIIINGERTIIIIIPS encore. I was totally into that. "What's that bluuuue thing doooing heeeeeere?"

The Avatars of They (who's album will be released in 2012) perform Spoiler Alert (footage courtesy of vvedge1138)

Seeing a show with wet bare feet at the Williamsburg Waterfront is kind of yucky-- I definitely wouldn't recommend it. It would have been nice to get situated closer to the stage, but that would have meant risking serious injury. Still, barefoot on damp cement is way more comfortable than waterlogged sneakers any day of the week. Even Tuesday. I had to put the kicks back on for the 5 block walk to the car. Despite the brilliant sound they made, it was totes bleeeah. Anyways, always listen to your Spidey Sense, kids. I should have taken my sneakers off before the rain. Let us all learn from my mistake. Look at this, I help people.

The last time I saw American Babies (7/16/11, Bearsville Theater), they asked that I use the word "fuck" more in my next review. Shit, I can do that. No fucking problem, boys!

Most of the crew were still soaked to the bone and desperately wanted to go home. Fucking lame. But there was one Trooper. One… El "Pukebutt" Herno.

Hern: I'm soaked.
Lynn: Yes, but you're coming to American Babies!
Hern: I'm going to get Pneumonia.
Lynn: If you're going to get Pneumonia, you've already got it! You're coming to see American Babies!
Hern: I am going to see American Babies.
El Herno was in! He tried to dry his Smartwool socks by dangling them out the passenger window during the drive over the Williamsburg Bridge, which was pretty fucking pointless, as the humidity was about 100%, and it was a losing battle. I tried to talk him into getting those pretty little embroidered Chinese Slippers they sell in the bodegas for $3, or even just some fucking flip-flops, but he refused. My feet dried in the a/c and I put on my sandals.

Rockwood Music Hall was fucking PACKED. I quickly bought Hern a beer for his valiant efforts. We found a sweet fucking spot on the railing and the Behbies hit the stage running. They had an hour to seduce the room. Forget seduction, they fucking fucked our earholes hard, with sweet fucking rock music. NYC is full of entertainment on any given night. There's always a show that's an Insider's hot spot. Someplace the real shit is going down. You only know it's really happening when you feel that special tingly late-night NYC magic in the air. This was that special fucking place. This was that special fucking show… for at least an hour. And what an hour it was! THE FUCKING WORLD NEEDS MORE BEHBIES!!!! I totally didn't keep a setlist, but shit was fucking solid & tight-- TRUST ME. GO SEE THIS FUCKING BAND.

For me, seeing American Babies while wearing a pair of Birkenstocks was a little fucking weird (not just because the a/c was making my toes cold) and for some reason I felt the need to apologize to the band about it. Hern felt wet and cold. Despite that, he enjoyed the show and really liked the songs. Score one for the Grape Drink! Fearing he'd blame American Babies and never see them again (it was important to leave this on a high note) if he did in fact come down with Pneumonia (he did not), I promised him a ride home to try and minimalize any more exposure that might push it over the edge. Unfortunately (for me), I was not able to talk him into a pastrami sammich or hot dog at Katz's before we left. Hern never turns down meat, so it must have been pretty fucking serious.

I don't know, it was a short set, but I feel like I could still throw a few more fucks in here.
A great fucking band,
American Babies are.
Fuck, fuckity, fuck.

Wish I could have heard more comedy, but I'll just have to hit up Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends next time they are in the area. They Might Be Giants-- I've seen 'em better, but they were still fun. As a 30-something year old who drinks her morning coffee out of the same They Might Be Giants mug that was purchased over 10 years ago (did I just jinx this?) every day, you know I'll see 'em again. And of course, American Babies-- FUCK YEEEAH!

The ceiling fan did nothing, so my grey Simples spent the better part of a week in the direct sun to completely dry out. On a positive note, the thick layer of brown dust they collected at the Gathering of the Vibes is now history in all but the sneakiest nooks of the tongue. HUZZAH!

Brooklyn Vegan has some awesome pics up from the night!

Birdhouse In Your Soul, Clap Your Hands, Can't Keep Johnny Down, Damn Good Times, Don't Let's Start, Judy Is Your Vietnam, The Mesopotamians, Never Knew Love, When Will You Die, Spoiler Alert%, Ana Ng, You Probably Get That a Lot, Cloisonné, Graveyard, Instanbul (Not Constantinople)


% The Avatars of They!

Total Fucking Awesomeness