Friday, June 02, 2006

goddamn, do I miss this blog!

Too bad nobody ever really read it.

...I hate you all. But really, I love you. I really really love you. Even if most of you did miss some of my fine-ish moments. stupid readership! why don't you care?!

fer serious, this was kind of entertaining while it lasted. harumph.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

....And today my voice is going

So I was rolling down Delancey st. in a shopping cart with my legs dangling off of the side... wearing sheep print PJs... waving a disembodied mannequin leg in the air.
And that was the surreal conclusion to yesterday's bizarre adventure.

Six hours prior I was standing in the back of a pitch-dark Uhaul truck with nine other crazy motherfuckers and two stolen shopping carts, getting high on the gas fumes. Screaming "woohoo".
And that was the surreal beginning to yesterday's bizarre adventure.

Imagine the looks of bewilderment on pedestrians' faces when ten people stumbled out of a CARGO TRUCK onto the sidewalk in front of fort greene park with two pimped-out shopping carts. The occasion: the idiotarod ('06). The configuration: each team to a shopping cart, five persons idiots to a team. The requirements: steal your own damn shopping cart. Find a way to tether yourself and your teammates to it. (*Themed costumes and the practice of sabotage encouraged.)

(And now, in chronological order, the story of yesterday's bizarre adventure.)
The original plan was actually to haul the shopping cart into the subway station and onto the subway (nothing that every john and jane hobo don't do on a daily basis) but we aborted that plan the minute we learned one of my teammate's neighbors had assembled a team of his own and rented a cargo vehicle to transport team and cart to the starting line in fort greene. We raided their Uhaul. And so, it came to be that the ten of us, along with our (elaborately embellished) stolen shopping carts, rode as CARGO in a Uhaul truck to the starting line, our cell phones and camera flashes being the only available sources of light. EXHILERATING. You have not LIVED until you've done this! Because:
1 - windowless motor vehicle
2 - SEATLESS motor vehicle. This means four walls, boxiness, bare-bones. We were riding in what was essentially a box. A box. HAHA!
3 - total darkness!!
4 - bumpiness
5 - fumes
It was enough to make me squeal in delight.
loading & boarding into the Uhaul
The others seemed to think of it as some perilous journey into the Unknown, and I very nearly called them all prisses. Instead I woohoo'ed myself to death, like a mob of frat boys on spring break. (No, not one, but an entire MOB of frat boys.)

So the task at hand was to get from Ft. Greene Park to Manhattan Park. Can we say... TAILGATING PARTY ON THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE?? woot! In the process: hit up The Delancey, down a drink as quickly as possible (& stagger across the finish line buzzed). Valuable information gathered: the width of the manhattan bridge walkway will accomodate two shopping carts. So now I know. And now you know.

Some carts were abandoned at the finish line, we thought it a marvellous idea to jump in. Various people pushed various other people up and down the slopes, occasionally ramming into each other with (playful) intention. ...Then we thought it a marvellous idea to leave in the shopping cart.

Minutes prior to my boarding the shopping cart. Impromptu party at the finish line. Seen here, the girl I was to end up rolling through the LES with (who knew two grown people could fit into a shopping cart?), and the guy who was to end up pushing us. Later on, he also donned a cape that someone abandoned in a cart, and somehow obtained matching shorts that he put on over his pants. Other post-race artifacts acquired along the way (right outside manhattan park, in fact) include the lower body of a mannequin.... which we, with great difficulty, stripped the jeans off of and dismembered further. (And to each, an amputated mannequin leg!) The girl shown above called several of her friends on her cell phone to say, "hi. how are you? I thought you might like to know I am rolling down delancey street in a shopping cart with my friend -- both of us -- holding mannequin legs, and my boyfriend is pushing us." (Had I brought my own cell phone, I would most certainly have done the same. In fact I may have called you.) What a spectacle we had to have been; all who bore witness either deliberately pretended not to notice or looked on in bemusement.
Some little kids heckled us.

I was loitering on a corner in the east village outside a pizzeria (STILL in pajamas, mind you. that's all I had on me/with me!) with my fellow shopping cart passenger and mannequin leg-proprietor after one of the wheels on the cart broke en route to ave. B and 11th... giggling and staggering as if I were high or drunk or something or another even though I was neither. Several passersby looked at us curiously and prompted us for explanations during the time that we stood there. One of them was accompanied by a british friend, and looked vaguely familiar. I said, "is your name Sarah?"
...And that's how I met ultragrrrl.
(after which I said -- sorry, screamed -- "OH SHIT, THAT WAS ULTRAGRRRL" to my companions while she continued on her merry way down the street. Still easily within earshot.)

And it was all fun and games until I realized I had to get back to brooklyn in sleepwear. Ultimately, it came down to me trekking to Union Sq. (to catch the subway) from alphabet city in a sheep-print pajama set, the very picture of ridicule. Fortunately my state of whiskey-induced intoxication dulled my capacity to care at all.

In all my enthusiasm, I screamed all the livelong day until my throat was raw and my voice was hoarse by day's end; nevertheless, my inner child was verrrry satisfied.

extraneous visuals/articles of interest
starting line festivities
(more where that came from)


Sunday, December 04, 2005



In other news: curbed map mysteriously vanishes.
OH, sweet curbed map -- where have you gone?


Thursday, December 01, 2005

dancing like we can't hear the beat and we don't give a fuck

Every event that the (former members of the now disbanded) Sexy Magazines host draws in several pairs of exhibitionist scenesters making out publicly. In the past, the group of regulars included semi-notable persons such as a member of beloved local band The Shapes, but only last night were you able to spot Anton Newcombe making out with his lady friend in the middle of a packed room.... only at Shindig, baby.

Things you do at Shindig:
  • lose your headphones
  • double-take at the person standing next to you watching saints & lovers play, upon realizing it's anton newcombe.
  • try to carry a conversation with some hip foreign guys with exotic accents, whom you've so expertly and perceptively identified as being from... somewhere in europe
  • gain respect from scenesters because they are too drunk to tell that you're ugly or notice that your hair is appallingly uncool.
  • have moronic drunken conversations with everyone there that you don't know, and then wander silently away from them
  • dance like mad on the bathroom porta potty line (where you presume no one is watching)
  • in a drunken stupor, run into 50 people you know
  • ...only to be abandoned by all of them while you're in line for the bathroom porta potty (again.)
  • miss your headphones all the way home
  • regret everything you said to everyone the next day

    There's something left to be said about the tragic disbanding of The Sexy Magazines, a comprehensive analysis to be made of their gradual deterioration, and lengthy discussion about the inferiority of the "ex-y Magazines" to The Sexy Magazines, but that long, detailed dissertation will come in time. Sit tight.

    The "ex-y Magazines'" performance put such a damper on my night, that in my drunken reverie I swear I almost sauntered up to Franco and dramatically demanded "whyyy?" But I didn't. I got to see the drunk, lecherous, debauched sides of some people I've only known in their natural (sober) state. Yeah, it's always better when everyone's inebriated.
    ....see you at the next one? (December 14, bitches).


    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    Oh My Rockness added Soft to their band list.
    I repeat: OH MY ROCKNESS ADDED SOFT TO THEIR BAND LIST. Long time coming.

    This past tuesday I imposed on their secret show at Knitting, a lone interloper in a room occupied by about 5 others -- possibly 6, all of them close personal friends of the band. It should be noted that I haven't seen them play in months (seven? I think?), so imagine my astonishment when I bore witness to the tremendous progress they made in that time. (So it seems after all that the critics and the blurb-writers with nothing but kind words to say in recent months hadn't just been neglecting to mention their minor flaws like I'd naturally assumed.) Who dares criticize the singer's vocal aptitude or accuse him of being a setback to the band now? And who dares accuse them of being "sloppy" performers (which is what they used to be, despite their enormous potential and obvious talent)? The band members are very much in sync with each other -- much more than they've ever been, and noticeably more comfortable on stage than they've ever been. Love that bassist! I think at this point I like him best, more than John the dancey singer, more than Sam the awkward drink-spiller. They were all very much at ease, and while they've always been the sort of band to experiment with their live performances in regards to vibe and stage swagger, they were fuckin' ON that night. I suppose this is the new and improved Soft, and I suppose their accelerated progress can be accounted for by all the rehearsals and determination and the dedication they've all dutifully invested in the band. The week prior, I ran into John at a show; it was about 10pm when he took off, said he was due for band practice. That's dedication.

    I'm just going to keep on "dropping" in on their secret shows, because I browse venue calendars like that. Uh huh.
    They play another secret show at Scenic towards the end of this month, I plan on crashing that one as well.


    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    once more, with stage presence

    Eye-opening experience last Thursday: The Like at Pianos. I walked in skeptical and left converted.

    For a very long time I was ambivalent about The Like. It had been irritating me lately that they'd been garnering so much of what I falsely perceived as undeserved attention. In my very uninformed opinion, I had written them off as an "album band", the kind whose records are moderately listenable but whose live performances are punishing experiences that you would rather not subject yourself to enduring. I saw them in September last year, it was an unfortunate arrangement, for their company on the tour was Sahara Hotnights... and the stark contrast between the two bands' personalities only emphasized the tepid mediocrity of The Like's remarkably tepid and mediocre live performance. I was extremely put off by their collective persona: they were all rather demure, dressed like woodnymphs, and the drummer didn't wear shoes on stage. Characterized by a total lack of enthusiasm, they were received by an appropriately unenthusiastic audience, from whom they were able to elicit little more than a few smirks. Midway through the show, Z looked out into the audience and said meekly, "wow, thanks for coming out to see us... we really appreciate it," as if she expected her self-loathing charm to endear us to her. And it did, for a moment.... until she started singing again.
    Sahara Hotnights (dynamic performers that they are) blew them off the stage.

    And now, now this mediocre band that failed to impress me at all one year ago was being touted as prodigious new talent. And on Thursday I saw for myself that there was merit behind all the words of praise. Within the span of a year, they appear to have developed... character and stage presence, exhibiting a level of professionalism and overall maturity I never estimated they'd be capable of... I guess I underestimated them. Clearly the band has discovered musical refinement and Z has, to the gain of the world, discovered her lower register. So, the girl had the potential to be an outstanding vocalist after all.... who knew?

    One year ago they were a cutesy, girly band. I regarded them as an underdeveloped, amateurish, premature effort at creating music. I decided it was just a lucky coincidence that they always translated well in recording. This year, they have evolved into a real band, with a singer who's no longer afraid to make optimal use of her killer contralto. (By god, they even learned to play their instruments with an acceptable amount of skill... most shockingly of all.) The newer tracks, a little more structurally sophisticated, are not "moderately listenable" but infectiously catchy. I guess being picked up by Geffen had something to do with their getting their act together, because somehow, their evolution doesn't seem organic. Either way, I applaud them. Never has a band from LA been so warmly embraced by the cut-throat NYC music scene, never has any band born of hollywood's "lightweight" indie pop scene been so beloved within the circles of New York's most self-important music nazis. I had this notion for so long that if they were ever to gain recognition outside of SoCal, the same fate -- that is, descension into shameful infamy -- that befell their friends and contemporaries (if not predecessors, by a couple years) Rooney, Maroon 5, and Phantom Planet would befall them. But it happens that their path to indie rock fame is less convoluted than I would have imagined, much more similar to the respectible route Rilo Kiley took (and unlike Rilo Kiley, they didn't have to deal with the awful stigma of association with saddle creek!), and despite having been ambivalent toward them for so long, I am surprisingly proud of them. They drew in a sizeable crowd; we had a handful of local scene celebrities walking among us that night: Vincent from Soft, all the Surefire boys, Sam from The Fine Lines, ALBERT HAMMOND JR, Franco from The Sexy Magazines, and one of the guys from Vietnam (don't ask me which one, they all look the same). I gawked shamelessly at Albert when he walked in. But so did everyone else.

    It was just my good fortune that they shared a bill that night with Two If By Sea, a touring band from Baltimore. I saw them a while back for the first time at Sin-é, and if there was one band that night that I would most confidently have assumed were local to NYC, it would have been them. Their sound, their attitude, their overall appearance, everything about them suggested New York band. (With respect to similarities in musical sensibilities and a number of other factors, I associate them most closely with Interpol -- maybe that's why I think so?)

    Individually, they struck me as Bedford avenue types, the kind you run into at parties where Miss Modernage is DJing, the kind you see biking across the bridge on fancy brakeless bianchis, the kind you avoid eye contact with on the L train by burying your face in some pretentious book that you aren't actually reading. They seemed so distinctively and quintessentially New York City that I pretty much convinced myself they looked familiar to me. (I almost asked the singer if he also played guitar in this band I saw earlier that week... no joke.) I took one look at the band and started wondering if I'd ever seen them around town before, run into one of them at Sound Fix, perhaps a Greenpoint rooftop party...

    They played an all-around solid set this time but there was no one present save for a guy from The High Dials, me, and several other peculiar individuals who remained from earlier in the night. And they still played like it was nobody's business. Again.

    They've got some good material. Indulge your curiosity:
    Million To One
    Mont Blank
    Report From Damage Control


    It's friday I'm in love....

    I arrived in Hoboken last night carrying a rose that was handed to me on the PATH train by a stranger with a bouquet.

    I left Hoboken last night in MyTVs' van.

    Say what?
    Yeah. So there I was walking down Washington st. carrying a single long-stemmed white rose, being stared and "awww"ed at by passersby. ....oh yeah, and the dude who'd handed it to me on the PATH was walking alongside me. I'm sure anyone else would have been charmed; I was, to the contrary, irritated and for eleven blocks (Hoboken blocks. Freakin' LONG-ASS hoboken blocks!) I struggled to conceal my annoyance.

    By the end of the night, the lecherous local band MyTVs (you know them from all the logo stickers plastered on lamp posts and bathroom mirrors everywhere) had made friends with me at Maxwell's and I hitched a ride back to the city on their van. Which got me wondering... why don't I ride in the back of vehicles with no seats more often?

    To be honest, I look forward to the commute home from Maxwell's, particularly at those ungodly hours of the day... I love the PATH train, the route back to the train station, waiting for it, being on it. (Yes. I have an unexplicable fondness for the new jersey transit system, okay?) But when MyTVs offers you a lift back into the city, even at the sacrifice of the lovely 2am trip on the PATH, how do you decline that offer? Why, they only had to say, "it has no seats", and I was gone. SO IN. Being cargo in a van with five drunk crazy potheads sure beats being a passenger on the PATH any day, lovely though the PATH train and its passengers may be.
    Yeah, MyTVs are a fun band. That enjoys decorating the city with their logo stickers.

    Rather bizarre end to an otherwise flavorless week. But more bizarre things have happened, I suppose.


    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Monday you can hold your head...

    It was only Monday, and the week was already stale.

    I went to see a band called Big City Rock last night. The original plan was to drop in on the "secret" Big City Rock show taking place at small, intimate super-charming Maxwell's in super-charming Hoboken on a Friday.
    But I skipped it.
    Instead I ended up paying $30 that following Monday to stand in a room full of scary people who showed up for some band called Institute that apparently Gavin Rossdale plays in.
    I am a grand idiot.

    uh huh.

    I haven't felt this out of place since the last time I saw Phantom Planet, and at least their fans are only scary in a nymphomaniac fangirl kind of way. And of course it goes without saying that the Gavin Rossdale side project frightened me, so I was out of Irving Plaza by 10:30 fleeing back to Union Square with every intention of taking the subway home. But when I realized that everyone on the platform was either going home from work or leaving home for the LES, I went back up the stairs and sat in the square for half an hour listening to my iPod until it got too cold to remain sedentary outside any longer. (Being a bona fide creature of the night, I am never content to head home any sooner than the rest of the city has long retired to bed and even the LES has become a ghost town.) Nothin' like being displaced in the city at 10:30 on a Monday night..... sprawled on a bench in union square that I'm sure Al the cross-eyed hobo would have shoo-ed me off of by 12...
    Lame night.


    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    I return.

    This blog has effectively been resurrected.


    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    tonight, I missed...

    The Cloud Room, Radio 4, Group Sounds, Craig Wedren, Pela, Domino, and Au Revoir Simone at Southpaw.... and didn't realize it until I checked ohmyrockness a minute ago. I died.

    You see, I've been a little under the weather lately. Which is why I've withdrawn and fallen behind (as much as my lifestyle will allow). And why I need a hiatus. Speaking of which, I should get back to being AWOL.