I kind of like that i have been so busy lately that i haven't been spending as much time around lj. This means less frequency, more quality ( i hope). Have a good post brewing based on some of the reading i have been doing of late (and no, that doesn't include Harry Potter). I have decided i am going to wait on that, given a recently re-introduced pastime to my repitoire of regular activities.
Friday night I went with L to The Bowery Ballroom to see a couple of bands. First, we went to Chinatown and got some soup dumplings, followed by gelatto in Little Italy. After that, got to the ballroom just in time to catch Pony da Look. I am not a scenester, or a hipster, or any other kinda "ster". This band seriously sucked. They looked the part - four emo'd out outfits and bad hair. The drummer was the most talented of the lot which was not saying much. The lyrics and the sound were jarring like a dog and a cat tied in the same burlap sack. The lead vocalist looked like she had done a line from here to southern Colombia. I think she blinked three times through the entire set. The point at which I decided I needed something more to drink was when they did a number featuring the refrain "Blood and Gore!" which basically sounded like Gwar a cover, rendered by this silly blonde banshee screaming over her casio. Think Yoko Ono covering Cannibal Corpse. Yeah, I went there.
The next band was dressy bessy. These guys were actually pretty damn cool, but their set was about seven songs too long. Their sound was catchy, but their bag of tricks was waay too shallow to play longer than a half hour. I think they ended up playing for an hour and change. They had an odd little gig going, where they all wore white belts with this hologram belt buckle thing. again, the drummer led the way - he totally didn't fit in with the look of the band, which was kinda ndie-rock/grunge. He was wearing a pink striped shirt, and looked like a prep kid. He was a good drummer, and a decent backup vocalist (drummers who do vocals always amaze me; I seem to recall L echoing the sentiment).
Seeing this show made me reflect on why I now have such a hard time with live music. I have become such a musical freak over the last four years. I do love artists and bands as they come up, but even Tom Waits, who is at the top of my musical pyramid, cannot be listened to for more than two or three songs in a row. I need variety - I need to go from rock to pop to r&b to some obscure German opera from the 19th century, back to deathmetal, then techno then some synth 80's band that never released more than one albulm... My days of popping in a tape/record/cd and hitting play and not touching the musical equipment for an hour are clearly gone.
I am the byproduct of an overabundance of music. I know there is an art to album making. I can't bear to be a part of it anymore. I just can't listen to 13-15 songs by the same band, unless part of the band's mission is to be as diverse in sound, instrumentation and composition as possible. As much as I loved the NIN show I went to recently, what made it so good was that it was a power hour - they mixed up their new songs (which sound v. diff from the old stuff) with the greatest of oldies. For bands that have no great oldies for me, I have a hard time not getting listless.
The last band, The Hidden Cameras was very interesting. As my photo showed, they were a VERY large band (by contemporary standards). Of course, not realizing it was them (the reason we were at the show to begin with) I made some sort of sarcastic comment to L about the band being another bunch of emo fucks (the stand-up bassist was in a BSA shirt, and the band, for the most part, was in retro-mid 70's gear - no trucker hats though). I love the taste of my own foot.
As it turns out, they had some really clever lyrics.
I have to say, the biggest downers were the lead singer and this eye candy redhead they had bopping around on stage. The lead singer was a surprisingly powerful vocalist, but had all of the energy and appeal of a three week dead fish. I believe the phrase I used after the show was "a corpse who died with a buttplug inserted". It just kills me when a good band is lead by a bad masthead. Kinda like a ship of bloodthirsty vikings with a care bare at the masthead.
The redhead was even more annoying. The band featured (as one of th many instruments) a xylophone, which she attacked with all the ferocity (and talent) of a four year old in her first music class. She could keep time, but anything more than three note combos were clearly above her skill level.
Once again, one of the drummers saved the day (the band had two). She and her friend the violinist had a great stage rapport, and about halfway through the set, she lit up a cigarette. You could almost feel the nervousness of the band at this act, and someone backstage flashed her some sort of warning, cuz she put it out after only a few drags. My spirits soared for a moment, then sagged, seeing a live-action depiction of the death of rock.
But, then, 10 minutes later, she basically told the management to fuck off. She lit up and smoked with abandon, even sharing with the bassist and one of the other guitarists. That little taste of "fuck the man" definitely gave me some respect where redhead, who at this point was trying to get everyone to do a "dance number" she thought up (consisting of the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkey movements, and the Y from YMCA) had destroyed much hope of it.
Overall, it was a great fucking night. I listened to good and bad music, saw a wide variety of bands I would never have otherwise come in contact with, and had a great night with L. I liked The Hidden Cameras, despite my intial misgivings,and they even played a decent encore set. I ended up crashing in Brooklyn, specifically, the ends of the earth.
Saturday, had lunch with mrshellion and L at the comfort diner, whose tables I have enjoyed for many years. This was the first time I ever had a bad meal at one. Never ever get corned beef hash there. Their idea of "hash" is cubed corned beef, beets,potato, and sweet potato. It was like eating a plateful of meaty dice, with two poached eggs atop it.
After that we hung in a park, and wasted time talking, and having a great time. I tried one of the evil empire's new green tea frappachino thingies, and was pleasantly surprised. I swear the fucking put cocaine in the whipped cream, it is the only explanation. Saturday night was fonem's b-day bash at the Hayden Planterium. They are running this thing called Sonicvision (which is currently priced 2/1 admission with the coupon at the link). I highly reccommend it, I had an awesome time there. While the musical selection was not mind-blowing, the cgi/immersives were! It was like being inside a Winamp visuilazation library. Had a great time at that, then hung out at a Pizzareia Unos (of all places) where the "Ultimate" LI iced teas are only 6$! Oh man, I will be going back for that.
After that, many were evacuating to the LES for a club. Dancing was not on the menu, so instead we retired to a chum's place and watched the recently-released-on-dvd classic "Freaked!" I dunno which was scarier, the fact that I knew what the movie was after 15 seconds of description, or the fact that the thing I remembered about it was the giant rasta eyeballs with machine guns. Lots of fun either way. Retired shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately, my schedule was such that I screwed up, and had to postpone a job I had scheduled for yesterday morning until today after work. Minor pain, but worth it, since I got to make a kick ass breakfast (buttermilk pancakes, sausage, fresh peaches), and get out the door at a human hour to deal with the things that needed dealing with at the old apartment. Showing begins Tuesday - I need to re-blitz craigslit - I only got a couple nibbles last week. I spent almost all day there painting and sweeping and cleaning and stuff. I still need a ride from my bro to tote the last few things out of there - but the place is about 1000 times better than it was when I showed up yesterday.
So, yeah, busy week ahead. I will feel much better when my bank balance is secure, my old apartment off my shoulders, and next weekend lies ahead of me like a fresh sparkling beach at high tide.