Sunday, January 22, 2012

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker, 1/14/12, Highline Ballroom, NYC

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker, 1/14/12, Highline Ballroom, NYC

Yep, it's that time of year again!

First off-- Holy FUCK! Dinner at The Green Table in Chelsea Market was amazing! They feature a farm-to-table, seasonal market menu. Perfectly comforting and warming (necessary for one of the colder days thus far, this year) annnd a deliciously solid base to build the night on. This particular night seemed to call for the Market Soup of the Day, a Potato Leek Bacon Concoction that stuck to the bones. And of course, a Ginger Margarita (both for warming purposes, and, well-- Ginger Margarita-- why wouldn't you?). For an entree, I got their Chicken Pot Pie, cuz I'm like a slut for a good Chicken Pot Pie, and the Waitress said it'd be the best Chicken Pot Pie I'd ever have. It was. It was stocked with incredibly hearty and delicious Organic veggies & perfectly cooked free range chicken, and it magically targeted and infused itself directly into my bone marrow. Jesus Fucking Christ that was better than a flu shot! The Figgy Sticky Toffee Pudding with pomegranate and pistachio crumble was also pretty fucking awesome. Mr. Juan Grillo braved the girly drinks and got a grilled sunchoke (it's a tuber, y'all!) salad w/ olives & watercress-- YUM. Annnnd, the Duck Confit w/ buttered cabbage, celeriac puree, & sage jus. JUS! Shit. I don't even know if I should be telling y'all about this place, so I'm not even gonna link it. It's really small. You can't get a table.

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Piiiiiie!

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker have been doing their NYC stop this same weekend for several years now, and that's super special for me, cuz it's right around my Birfday, so like, Happy Birthday To Me and stuff. It was an early show w/ a 7PM start. As per tradition, pregame/dinner landed us 10 minutes late for CVB's set-- we never get this right! We got to hear the tail end of Tania, which is better than hearing no Tania at all. The Highline was PACKED-- not quite moe.-packed, but about 93% of moe.-packed, so still, really packed. There was a lot of excitement in the air.

Camper sounded spectacular, they had a ton of energy, and the crowd was giving it right back to them. They played hard. Bass player, Victor Krummenacher, was my favorite to watch during this set, possibly because he totally ROCKED a bandana neckerchief. Mad Skillz. David Lowery's laptop was not onstage next to his mic where it usually is, which was great, cuz we wouldn't have to stare at the back of a computer the entire night (also, better pics!).

They played a Swedish Prog Rock Opera song or two. Okay-- but I like the faster stuff. CVB Highlights: (what we saw of) Tania, Eye of Fatima Pt. 1 & 2, Tina, Ambiguity Song, Balalaika Gap, Seven Languages, and of course, Matchstick Men. Awesome set. Wish it were longer!

During setbreak, I managed to get up against the stage, Sal side, but some dude decided to stay leaning sideways against the stage, directly to my left, which slightly obscured my view for most of the set. If there were any room to move centerstage, I might have gone for it, but there was what looked like a Staten Island Bachelorette party directly to leaning-dude's left, and I just didn't want any of that.

Cracker got onstage and lit up the Highline. They were having a lot of fun and sounded amazing-- like, SUPER amazing, kind of better than ever and ON FIRE. The crowd was going nuts. My one regret was that I never made it over to the Johnny Hickman side to watch him rock out close up, because that's always a highlight for me. He was playing the crowd, stomping the air, wearing sunglasses, shredding the hell out of his axe, being his awesome self, and I had to enjoy it from waaaay over on the other side. NYC Cracker Staple, Kenny Margolis, once again wowed us all with his mad accordion fantasticness.

Cracker Highlights: Seven Days, I See the Light, a huuuuge Mr. Wrong. Been Around the World & Gimme One More Chance had the entire room bouncing. Lonesome Johnny Blues, of course. A sweet Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out. Happy Birthday To Me-- that's a given. And then they positively killed it on Low. It was one of those electric shows where the band probably walked off stage and felt REALLY GOOD, cuz they fucking BROUGHT it… And then the Highline kicked us out so the Jersey Shore Dance Party could start.

The set was just flat out POWERHOUSE CRACKER. Their Rock appeal is more widespread than people realize, so do yourself a favor and download the set (link below). NYCTaper did another great job with the recording and you're about due to hear some new live Cracker anyways, aren't you?

Thanks to The Green Table for a fucking amazing meal!!! Thanks to Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker for a fucking amazing show!!! Birthday wishes out to my friend Heidi who couldn't make it at the very last minute, but at least we know we can do it again next year! Happy Birthday To Me, and to you! Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker, 1/14/12, Highline Ballroom, NYC: 9+ HUZZAHS!!!

Having nothing to do with the Highline show, but being incredibly awesome enough for me to embed it anyways-- here's One Fine Day, recorded recently at The Chicaco Music Exchange. It's Cracker Van Beethoven. It's badass. They shred. Watch it!

All Her Favorite Fruit
Summer Days
O Death
Eye of Fatima Part 1
Eye of Fatima Part 2
You’ve Got to Roll
Sad Lovers Waltz
Ambiguity Song
Take the Skinheads Bowling
Balalaika Gap
The Poppies of Balmorhea
Too High For The Love-In
Seven Languages
Pictures of Matchstick Men


Seven Days
Don’t Fuck Me Up (With Peace and Love)
100 Flower Power Maximum
Big Dipper
I See The Light
Mr. Wrong
Been Around The World
Gimme One More Chance
Wedding Day
Lonesome Johnny Blues
Turn On Tune In Drop Out
Happy Birthday To Me
Eurotrash Girl

Teen Angst



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