Friday, March 19, 2004 at 12:37:41 (EST)

No evidence was found
Has anybody unearthed any photos form the WYSIWYG show the other night? The closest thing I have is this photo of me and A before the show started. Can you tell I already had a couple of drinks?


And after the show at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, we got a couple more shots in front of what may be the last cigarette machine in New York (are there any others? I thought they were outlawed).

Tonight it's the Alwood Sisters at Loisaida Cafe in the Lower East Side. Columbus immigrants will remember them as the primary singer/songwriters in the Velveteens. Show starts at 9.

Not sure what I'm doing the rest of the weekend. I gotta check out the new Mamet movie, I'm such a sucker for that guy's work. Ooh, and the remake of Dawn of the Dead opens today. Can it possibly top the original? I'm dubious, but it does have Sarah Polley, who is always cute as a button. Of course, North Six is having the weekend-long No Fun Fest, featuring members of Sonic youth and whole bunch of post-fun bands I've never heard of (except Sightings). Might be worth a look.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004 at 11:22:38 (EST)

I am going any which way the wind may be blowing
Yay! The first WYSIWYG Talent Show went off without a hitch. Everybody was great and I don't think we damaged the Matt & Ben set at all! It is interesting to note that several writers chose as the source of their betrayal stories events that occurred when they were children. This ranged from a first-grade tale of unrequited tattle-tale love by Blaise K, a junior/high school love triangle spawning even more goth poetry by Lindsay, up to Mike Daisey's high school story of his own betrayal of a fellow speech and debate team member. It is also of note that Daisey's reading was the only piece in which the betrayer was the author; I guess most of us just like to play the victim, huh? Michael Barrish's story of bondage-lite and post-Friendly's fantasy was probably fiction, but picturing Mr Barrish in the protagonist's position (bound to a sofa bed, naked with a boner when his girlfriend's sister came in) increased my enjoyment of the piece immensely. José and I were the only ones whose work was inspired by relatively recent events, mine being my break-up last year, his being the loss of his fiancée to some guy in a sarong. Yikes, it was heavy duty stuff (made all the stranger upon his admission that his ex had actually proofread it for him). But it nicely captured the strange almost-6th-sense that couples acquire when, even if they've had trouble communicating in the past, they both know simultaneously and viscerally that it's over.

And then there was my song, which despite song technical difficulties, seemed to come off all right. My song was mostly about the insanity that can accrue when you continue to live with the person you just broke up with, and the arcane logic that dictates your responses to it. I dunno if anybody gets that out of the song but that's what I'm saying it's about. MRK handled the sound effects on the laptop, standing behind the fake bar in the Matt & Ben set. Did anybody take pictures of the show? I wanna see 'em.

When it was over, we had more important things to do, since it was St Paddy's Day. We went to the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, which was already filling up. We would have stayed longer but Stephan, the ancient bartender was moving soooo slowly! It took him forever to get around to my order, much less actually making the drinks. So we piled into cabs and went back to Brooklyn. At the Alibi things were hopping and some woman put Mardi Gras beads on us (later, it was determined that such beads are way funner when put on an unsuspecting cat). I was shocked to find the jukebox playing no Irish songs, so I put $5 in and played such classics as "The Rocky Road to Dublin", "Streams of Whiskey", "Clinton Hill Lullabye." And it wouldn't be St Paddys Day without some dude who'd been thrown out of the bar pitching a hissy fit on the front stoop: "Aw, come on! Who said not to lemme back in?! My girlfriend's in there!" The only appropriate response to this is, of course, "Hey. A lot of people's girlfriends are in there."

So despite the snow, it was a lovely time. The next Talent Show theme is tentatively titled "The Dope Show," so start thinking about what you're gonna do. Sooner or later every New York Blogger should perform in this thing. And not just reading and singing, I'd like to see other talents as well. Like one of those tall guys who can stuff himself into a tiny glass box.

ADDENDUM: If anybody wants to know, my band is Motico and we're playing the Pourhouse on April 2.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004 at 12:14:15 (EST)

Despite the rejection, I know I'm all right
Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks. As you may know, in its home country St Patty's Day is not nearly as boisterous an affair as it is here in the States, although US influence is starting to change that. The Irish as a people seem to really love America and so they tend to be rather impressionable to out culture. For instance, you know what the top-selling beer is in Ireland? Budweiser. And they love to sing along to the Grease soundtrack. And St Paddy's Day is becoming more and more like our own version of the holiday. Hmm, this holiday is awfully close in proximity to Purim, another fete that encourages rowdy drunken behavior. Is there a connection?

Speaking of encouraging rowdy drunks, tonight is the WYSIWYG Talent Show at PS122! This is the beginning of the monthly series of blogger-related readings and performance. Tonight's show will not be as huge as the inaugural Worst.Sex.Ever. show, but it will feature the vocal stylings of yours, truly. I'll be playing one of the songs from my Catalogue of Betrayal (hint: MRK will be there to help me out with the sound fx). Hope you guys can make it!

After the show (starts at 7:30), we'll probably go round the corner to the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, and then possibly proceed back to the Alibi for $3 pints of Guinness.

Damn, it's snowing again.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004 at 10:55:46 (EST)

I'm the Pied Piper and I'll show you where it's Rat
Somebody brought it to my attention recently that my contact form just doesn't work. So if you've written me hate mail through the CONTACT page form, I probably didn't get it. I'm gonna find a better feedback script but in the meantime the form works for now. But for how long?

I met another blogger last night! Kathy doesn't live in my neighborhood but I think she can already see how superior the Alibi is to any of those middling watering holes in her native Boerum Hill (Kristy does live in the hood but she doesn't yet blog, alas). Where else but the Alibi can you watch inept pool tournaments and play "Spot the Rat" in the back yard? Incidentally, why does the Alibi attract rats in the first place? They don't serve any kind of food, just alcohol. People sometimes bring food in with them but not to the degree that would get the attention of rodents. However, the bar is smack dab between two other food service places, a coffee shop and a restaurant, not to mention the apartments that exist above all these establishments. Rats probably see the Alibi as the same sort of pleasant refuge as we humans do. With that in mind, I think we should set up a tiny bar under the outside bench for the rats.

If nothing else, there should be an upgrade to the Big Buck Hunter game that allows a shooter to peg rats in the bar's backyard. That sure beats blowing away cute deer.

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Monday, March 15, 2004 at 11:32:20 (EST)

It could be a short ride
I've got to learn to admit when I'm sick. Maybe it's some kind of Christian Science that seeped into my head over the years, but I feel like admitting to being sick is as good as being completely compromised by it. In CS, to name your disease is to give it power over your life. So they refuse medical attention even when they should, a combination of mind over matter and the idea that if you really are sick then god must be punishing you for some reason. Yikes. Anyhow, Friday I was again ill with some annoying cold/coughing thing. I probably should not have gone out, not have had dinner at Brick Oven Gallery (good pizza, enormous salads), not have gone to Pete's Candy Store to see Charlemagne and Company (they need a website!). But I did. It was worth it, even if it means extending my illness to the present. Company was really good, way better than I remember. Try to imagine a traditional country band that plays like Television and favors spiky drum beats. Neat stuff.

Saturday I felt better, but probably not as good as I would be had I stayed in drinking Lemon Zinger and watching Undercover Brother for the millionth time. I brunched at Thomas Beisl which, despite having been around a while, still hasn't become as popular as I thought it would. It's directly across the street from BAM, so I'm sure they get by okay, but people, ya gotta check out this brunch. The food is great and not too expensive (Eggs Benedict with salad and home fries for $9), and the interior of the restaurant is super old school. All the furniture and interior design is based on some old-world style that usually only shows up in the pricier restaurants. Maybe it's not as fancy as I think it is, but it sure felt like it was on Saturday. I'm glad it's right in the neighborhood.

Saturday night was a blur. Still not totally cured I descended into Lit and drank too much. Big surprise. The evening was like a Parade of Stars in the local/regional rock scene. Charlemagne again played, and I found out the lead singer guy is Carl Johns, better know for his work with Noahjohn. Fresh Kills, a Jesus-Lizardy rock band, featured the lead guy from Black Cat Revolver. I talked to the original lead singer from defunct Bob City, who confirmed that he and the former members of Cobretti are planning on putting together a new band. I met Luke, the drummer from Qatsi, who seemed genuinely surprised that I had heard of his band. I guess it pays to be modest.

At some point I was speaking with a woman named Rebecca and some Lester Bangs type guy who was interviewing Jason from The Means about bands we like and I asked if they knew Oneida. Duh, Rebecca co-founded Version City Records, the label that put out Oneida's Each One Teach One double album. The Means were better than ever, but why is the set so short? They should play for 2 hours, or until the last audience member collapses. Or I admit that I have a cold.

I ended up at The Hole, which seems to be a red flag on par with finding yourself at the Mars Bar (it's fitting they are within a block of each other). I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but why do people hang out at places like that? It's sort of the worst of all the bars I already don't like, but I also can't say I won't end up there again. I seem to have problems with learning my lesson.

Jami has had her own good times at The Hole.

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Week of March 14-20, 2004

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