Friday, April 08, 2005 at 11:39:10 (EDT)

The comfort of being sane

A sure sign that warmer weather is here is a sighting of the First Cat on the Roof of Spring. Mr Bones still knows how to get on the roof and then he wobbles around chasing squirrels and generally risking a plunge through the tarpaper roofs of the back patio. If he wasn't so damn fat we'd probably let him wander, but there's something so discomfiting about a big fat white cat on the neighbor's roof that makes us want to herd him inside as soon as possible.

Buzz took it upon himself to get into the mind of a cat on a roof, so he climbed up there to conference with Bones, mano e mano. He explained to Mr Bones that it looked like he was close to breaking the plastic roof tiles, but Mr Bones was strangely unmoved. As you can see, the neighbors were very interested in removing the unsightly feline from the skyline. Eventually Buzz just had to stuff Bones through my window, but he's been trying to get back out there ever since. Maybe we can just leave him on the roof all the time. If he can just learn how to climb down by himself he'd have no need to come back inside, and he can graze to his heart's content in the yard.

And of course, you can meet Buzz in person tonight at The Trash Bar! Don't miss this, because you could die tomorrow. Just like the Pope.








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Thursday, April 07, 2005 at 12:26:09 (EDT)

Why you wanna break up our family
I went to check out Japanther's gig at the Pratt Student Union last night. I wonder, does Pratt have these shows all the time or what? The show was held in what appeared to be a gym, so the acoustics were awful. But somehow Japanther actually sounded really good, they were a lot louder than they usually seem to be, except of course when they rely on their pre-recorded beats so Ian the drummer can stand on his drum stool and howl into the telephone-microphone.

Often when I'm at shows around the city I assume I'm one of the older people there. For some reason not so many people my age want to go hang out in sweaty basements with dangerously loud music. But after last night's experience I may need to reevaluate this assumption. The kids at this show were practically fetal, they were so young. Maybe a lot of the venues I normally visit are all 21+, so the 18-20 set can't get in. Or maybe those kids are all at CBGB's and Continental, bars I tend to avoid. At any rate they were in the majority last night, the young, fresh faces of the next generation, desperately trying to look cool and tough in their shaggy haircuts and inappropriate sunglasses.

As usual I looked around the room, picking out the kids who in 5 years' time will be staying in every night to watch Martha Stewart's Reality TV Network, the ones who will cut their hair and divest themselves of their thrift shop finds. Sometimes you can just tell by looking at someone whether or not they'll be the type who's just going through an art-school phase and the ones who really mean it. Later, J and I were lamenting the related problem wherein once single people get seriously involved, they no longer have any interest in going out to bars or shows, preferring rather to stay home and, I dunno, knit or something.

And I wonder if my own tolerance for the annoyance that drive many people away from the live music scene will start to drop at some point. I certainly go through long periods where rather than brave the weather, the trains, the crowds and the possibly watered-down liquor, I'd stay home and watch Heist for the millionth time. But that doesn't seem likely to take over any time soon, there are just too many good bands out there to see. For instance ... [cue the plug] MOTICO is playing tomorrow night at the Trash Bar, with a bunch of really interesting bands starting around 8:30. We go on at 11:30 (it better not be a minute before, either).

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005 at 12:26:19 (EDT)

I can be killed
I was going through my desk and I found a 50 Euro note from my trip to Paris a couple years ago. Between that and some other bills and change I still have, I have nearly 100 Euros to my name. So, I shoud like just hang onto this stuff for a while right? When I got them, the Euro was just barely edging out the US dollar, so my 'investment' has grown substantially since then. According to this currency exchange converter, I've made a whopping $28! Now I'm wishing I had taken back even more dough in Euros. In fact, there must be a subset of day-traders who convert cash from one currency to the next, hoping for a favorable return. Maybe that's my calling in life. Lord knows, I could use a good calling.

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Monday, April 04, 2005 at 14:22:11 (EDT)

The Wee Ones Parade

Hoping to find a good job when I get to America

Our band has a bad habit of losing stuff when we play shows. We've lost quite a bit of equipment, either though forgetfulness to outright theft. So we got even Thursday. Zack swiped a bass guitar from the Dutch Kills and took it home before they even went onstage. What chutzpah! They were forced to use his bass, which he thoughtfully left behind for them. I guess at some point they will return each other's axes.

The show was fun, if brief (Motico is pleased to report our set clocked in almost exactly at the half-hour time limit). It is interesting to note that not only is Galapagos no longer using their back room for performance, it has been almost completely stripped, now just a big raw space. What will they do with this thing? I am hoping they sell it to be used as Williamsburg's first Orange Julius store.

Then I was off to see The Giraffes at their early show for industry bigwigs. Why do label reps do this, hold shows at 8pm that should only happen after midnight? I guess it's telling about the Motico show that not only did I play the gig, walk all the way to the J train and go to Sin-e, but i was only 15 minutes late for the Giraffes set. Sheesh. Then it was time for Black Cat Revolver, who tore things up nicely. Finally we went over to Delancey to catch Fresh Kills, who turned out what may very well be their Best Show Ever. I dunno why it was so good, I mean, I've been drunker before at their shows before.


The Giraffes

Black Cat Revolver

The weekend was all about Lightning Bolt, whom we saw both Friday and Saturday. Friday's show was at Club Exit, normally a Polish dance club. This was, short of perhaps the White House, the single most inappropriate venue to see a band like Lightning Bolt in the world. The club was huge and garishly decorated with weird illuminated mushroom things and a million types of vodka but not one bottle of Irish whiskey in the whole place (there were at least 3 bars within the club). The show sold out and was pretty much packed to the rafters. And despite the size of the dancefloor upon which LB played, they had to keep telling people to step back as they were crowding the drum set.


So well behaved!

Brian of Lightning Bolt begs the audience to let him live

The audience denies him amnesty

Saturday night, however, was the real gig. Held at Asterisk and not really advertised, a good number of folks showed up, but not the usual constant-crush one has come to expect of the venue on a good night. The lack of advertising coupled with the hurricane-force wind and rain, plus problems with the L train meant only the most dedicated would turn out. What a change from the previous night! The performance room did get pretty packed but it was no more than anyone expected. The band got down to business and in a couple of minutes, the room temperature had jumped like 40 degrees. They couldn't open the back door, fearing noise complaints. But every so often some kind soul did crack the door a bit, providing much-needed air (there was so much sweating going on that opening the door produced a cloud of steam; I prayed it would start raining inside). After about half the set I had to abandon the room as I realized that even though I had stopped dancing I was still sweating buckets (my fingers even got all wrinkled). How does this band do this every night? When the set finally ended, disheveled concertgoers were treated to the musical styling of Puttin' on the Ritz, who are BJ and Kevin. They play drums and hoarsely 'sing' old standards like "The Girl from Impanena" in such a way to completely squash out any of the pesky sentiment of the original. This is handy for clearing a room after a show, although many did stay to watch the wonder of it all.


Puttin' on the Ritz: clearing rooms since '04

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Week of April 3-9, 2005

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