Friday, August 13, 2004 at 13:18:43 (EDT)

I am one happy prick
Jesus H Christ, what is with Ticketmaster? What a total misnomer, they are neither a master nor do they have tickets. Well, eventually they have them. I've been trying to buy tickets to see the damn Pixies for the last three days. First it was the pre-pre-sale at That didn't work. Then it was the Ticketmaster pre-sale. No dice. Today is the general sale and already the first two scheduled dates are sold out. They added two more shows, which appear to be sold out already as well. But they added one additional show and for that I now have tickets.

So we're going December 15th to see El Pixies at Hammerstein. I dunno who the opening band will be, but I am bummed I can't get a ticket to the show with Mission of Burma (tho I will try again when they play here in January), who I've missed every other time they come to town. But then, this night isn't about going to any old show and hoping I enjoy myself. No, this is spending way too much dough to see a too-little, too-late performance of a band I should have been seeing in their heyday. I guess I could do worse than to see them at the Hammerstein. It's a far bigger spot than I would prefer but there's no way they'd ever play a smaller venue than that. But maybe I'll get lucky and they'll sign on McLusky to the bill, since they always get the Pixies comparison anyway.

UPDATE: Jeez, they added ANOTHER show on the 16th! Before they're done the band will be a Broadway show.

In smaller venue news, much is going on this weekend. Tonight, Asterisk is hosting Japanther and USAISAMONSTER, among others, which will prove to be a sweaty good time. Lord, I just realized, they have no A/C, and the guys in USAISAMONSTER do not practice what I would call the best hygiene. At least you can smoke in there. That'll clear things up!

After that show, Tommy's over in Greenpoint will house the members of !!! who will be hosting their recurring "New Taffe" dance party. It starts at midnight and probably never ends. I hope I can make it to this thing, although I also feel I should rest up because ...

MOTICO will be running the gauntlet of paradoxically over-yet-under-dressed people to get to Pianos performance space (the room in the back) to rock out with The Carlsonics, The Epochs and aDive. We're the second in the list, so we go on at 8:30. You don't wanna miss this, unless you're, say, getting married or something.

Sunday, the Dynasty Electric Duo will be kicking at Trash, a club I like so much I'm starting to find excuses to just to hang out there. Maybe it has something to do with the open bar they have from 9-10, which easily allows one to recoup the cover price. Dynasty's on at 10.


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Thursday, August 12, 2004 at 15:15:59 (EDT)

Radio G-string say something to me
I don't think I understand the allure of I guess it's a little faster than Friendster but after getting swept up in the excitement of that networking tool, I don't really have the energy to do much with a myspace profile, other than direct people to my real website.

But one thing myspace has over the competition is as a resource for bands. Probably because they were fed up with bands creating accounts meant for individual people, myspace has set up its own music site, allowing bands to make up their own profiles. It seems like this could come in handy, so I signed Motico up with it.

Then again, when I went browsing through the bands in New York, I got so many matches for bands I've never heard of as to make the experience unbearable. But I guess it's one more link to the band's website at any rate.

Meanwhile, can anybody explain why there appear to be so many half-naked women and other risqué photos on its profiles? I'm not exactly complaining, but I don't get it. Is this an LA thing?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004 at 14:34:59 (EDT)

John I'm only dancing
I was out hanging up flyers yesterday when I ran into JoshB and his gaggle of admirers. They were on their way to the open bar at the Leopard Lounge. Since flyering is kind of a pointless and depressing business, I went along to shore up my spirit.

Josh seems to know where to get every free drink in this town, and there appears to be no short supply of them for the determined cheapskate. This one is held every Tuesday from 10-11PM, all well drinks for free. Many a gin-and-tonic was handed off in that hour, but I really wanted some whiskey (as you may know, we ran through all of it the other night so I have been without that sweet oak-barrelled nectar since). I asked the bartender what whiskey was in the well and she dubiously produced a bottle of Philadelphia (oh Philly, I know so little about ye!). I asked her to give it to me on the rocks, which she did, adding that I could always trade it in for something else if it turned out to be total rotgut. It actually wasn't too bad, nothing special, and the ice immediately melted it to flavorlessness so I drank it. And then two more, as Josh advised that it's not worth going to an open bar unless you get at least 3 free drinks. Somewhere during this I noticed I was now getting a scotch called Whiteside, another whiskey I've never heard of. I should not have mixed these alcohols.

Meanwhile, a DJ was spinning moderately acceptable dance music and some guy was getting his groove on in a major way. I tried to get a candid photo of him but he was wriggling around like he was made out of tofu (yes it's a Bloom County joke). I almost suspected he was one of those guys people hire to dance at weddings and bar mitzvahs just to get the crowd going. It totally worked.

Amanda consoles Steve after his short-lived date

Another weird thing was the number of conservative and orthodox Jews present. As a partial Jew I am doing my best not to draw a correlation between the free drinks and the presence of My People, but it was certainly an odd sight. I dunno if this was supposed to be a joke, but one guy was wearing a yarmulke, a leather biker jacket, and had payot (hair side-curls) down to his waist. Maybe he's a member of Jewdriver!

After the open bar ended, we took ourselves to the next step up: a super cheap bar, the Cherry Tavern. This is the place that the Tecate-and-tequila-shot specials caused some friends of mine to get into a big fight several months ago, so I'm pretty leery of the place. Last night's special was called "Old Glory," a shot of whiskey and a PBR for $4. Bleah. Why did I agree to that? By the time I got home things looked a little like the picture on the right.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 14:23:31 (EDT)

Singing, then supper

Once again, Motico takes Manhattan, this time at Pianos. This is gonna be a very diverse show from the looks of it, from the galvanizing rock of our band, to the Radiohead-like sounds of The Epochs, to the trippy soundscapes of aDive, to the straight-out rock of The Carlsonics. This show will definitely keep your attention. We're scheduled to go on at 8:30, which I guess actually means 9.

After the set, head out to the corner for some Korean BBQ, kim chee hot dogs, burgers or wings at Sam's chow cart, which should be right at Ludlow and Stanton from 11PM onwards. This is exactly what you should be doing on a summer Saturday night, so don't try to tell me any different. No guff!

Oh, PS: We now have 3 kinds of stickers we're giving away! But you can only get 'em at the shows ...

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 13:57:37 (EDT)

They're gonna set you up pretty, Geronimo
Tonight they're dimming the lights on the Empire State Building, in memoriam for Fay Wray, who recently died at 96. I don't know much about her film career, but she'll always be known simply as King Kong's arm candy. It's a nice gesture, even though it's only for 15 minutes, but now it has me thinking about art and its relationship to location. The Empire State Building, which has played a part in many films, is a real building, in a real city which itself has played many roles in film, literature and paintings. So this memorial is like the real thing tipping its hat to the wholly fictional world which it partially inspired. That's kind of an odd notion, the genuine article paying tribute its fictional counterpart. Normally it's the other way around, it's not as though King Kong inspired the creation of the building. But I suppose at the time the building was only a couple of years old, and as such this was one of the first movies to utilize it as a landmark.

Speaking of which, remember when they put that bronze statue of Rocky in Philadelphia? That's an even weirder example, since it was basically just a prop in a pretty lousy movie (Mr. T's performance notwithstanding) which was then donated to the city as a gift. Eventually they moved it from the top of the library steps to a sports arena, where, it was assumed, it was arouse less ire.

So where do you draw the line? Luckily Fay Wray was around long enough for King Kong to be universally acknowledged as an historically important film, whereas the Rocky producers sort of forced immortality of their character on Philadelphia. Plus the light-dimming will only last for 15 minutes, it's not like anybody would complain about that.

Odder still are the cities that have no cachet, where there is scant hope a film crew will arrive, or that an award-winning author will be born. Cities like Metropolis, Illinois, which campaigned and won the right in 1972 to claim itself as the "Home of Superman" from DC Comics. I mean, it's no big deal if they want to do that, but honestly, we all know Metropolis is New York; if anything, Metropolis, Ill, more closely resembles Clark Kent's home town of Smallville. Are there any Smallvilles? Hey, there is! And it's in Illinois too, but you don't see them trying to cash in.

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Monday, August 09, 2004 at 12:24:58 (EDT)

Next stop: annihilation!
Another fine barbecue has come and gone in a blur of whiskey, smoke, and biting insects. Despite the fact that this crowd was almost completely different from our last fete, people were just as gregarious as the last one. I don't know how it works exactly, but it's always pleasant when a lot of strangers can get together and be really friendly and inclusive with each other. This is one of the reasons I avoid going to Manhattan parties these days. No offense to the Manhattanites, but I've just been to too many parties wherein everybody walked around with pursed lips and an agenda. This just doesn't happen as often in Brooklyn (obviously there are exceptions to each). Is it because there are more back yard barbecues here? Possibly!

This party was especially good because people really took control of their own food preparation. I didn't have to spend all my time behind the grill, I just checked on the ribs every so often. People brought lots of food; from Brooke's bizarre watermelon-and-feta dish (I'd still like a more detailed explanation of that) to Tracey's artichoke dip (which she made from scratch when she arrived), to the pineapple upside-down cake somebody brought. Which brings me to the Unsolved Mysteries of the party: okay, who the hell brought the cake? It was a homemade pineapple upside-down cake which magically appeared on the stove at some point. As quickly as it arrived it was devoured, leaving precious little evidence. I don't think it was brought by anybody I know first-hand, but I didn't get to interrogate all the guests, as a more pressing mystery evolved.

We had some 4 bottles of whiskey, most of them completely full at the start of the night. Well before the party ended, 3 of those bottles were empty, and the bottle of Knob Creek that was our last hope had disappeared. I just hope it too was emptied and discarded, for the thought that there was still whiskey somewhere on the premises was unbearable. At previous gatherings, people tended to stick to the beer and ignore the hard stuff. Not so this time, we got cleaned out. When the whiskey ran out, I got a little frantic, especially when I realized the only beer left was some Bud Light tallboys. I lambasted its presence at first, but eventually succumbed out of sheer necessity.

Other revelations of the party: people still really like hearing The Misfits, the NY Press does indeed eventually pay its contributors, and I get paranoically punchy when too many people compliment my stripy shirt at once.

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Week of August 8-14, 2004

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