Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Eric Clapton with Derek Trucks at the Brooklyn Musuem

Ok, so I completely lied, but it certainly is a catchly headline. More importantly, the truth of the matter is that tour dates have finally been announced for the much-rumoured (yes, British spelling) highly-anticipated Clapton/Trucks tour. As of now, they'll only be playing in Europe, but that includes a SEVEN-NIGHT STAND at Royal Albert Hall. Seven friggin nights... I would love to see one of those shows and I REALLY hope they come stateside. (Note that they're also playing at Globen in Stockholm, which is where I saw the World Cup of Hockey, and it looks like an enormous geodesic dome that you can see all the way from Stadshuset. You can check out the tour dates here.

As for this upcoming weekend, I'll be at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday night. It's the first Saturday of the month, so that means it's free and it's a big party. From 7-8:30, the Upright Citizens Brigade will "wander through the Museum performing hilarious routines in unexpected places." I love New York. Followed by that will be a DJ spinning in the Great Hall, then back into the city for a birthday party and then late night concert Raq at the Bowery.

Post script:
Here's a clip of an IM conversation I just had with Jarnow:
me: so, eric and derek!
Jarnow: what about 'em?
Jarnow: i mean, i knew they were playing together
Jarnow: is there anything besides that?
me: 7 nights at royal albert
Jarnow: heady
Jarnow: i'm not much of a clapton fan, but maybe derek'll make him grow some balls
me: exactly
Jarnow: little boys sometimes do that for crusty british dudes ;-)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

George Mason and Gomez

So, last night we went to see Gomez at the Hiro Ballroom. Big thanks goes to Brandon at ATO Records for hooking it up. Last time I saw Gomez was somewhere between Cuba and the Cayman Islands. God bless Jam Cruise! (See the above pictures--first is me with Tom from Gomez and below features Josh Baron, Tom and Jeff Waful. And a blue feathered boa. Some things are better left to the imagination...

So last's show was a blast... they had seats set up at Hiro (which I've never seen before), so we grabbed a spot up at the balcony. The crew was me, Baron, Gabe and Jen Safady. As Gabe mentioned to me several times, Safady would make the perfect companion for another European Romp (see Central Europe pictures, link on the right). And as Saf said this morning, she wants to be our Elaine. So based solely on physical description, Josh would have to be Kramer.

So then based on that, with the remaining options what they are, I guess Gabe would be George and I would be Jerry. I'd much prefer to be Putty, but I'm not a big chest-painter, so I'll stick with Jerry. And that's just weird.

Sports notes:
A bunch of us (me, Baron, Michael Weintrob, Mikey Greenhaus, and of course Rob Marscher) went to see Long Island University's womens' lacrosse game, as the lovely Regan Teti is their head coach. Unfortunately, the Blackbirds didn't win, but it was great to see Regan in action. And hats off to Amy Rizzo for scoring 5 goals in the game!

So college basketball tournament is winding down. Despite having the chance of placing last in both my pools (ugh), it's been one hell of a tourney. You have to smile for George Mason (DC pride!) for making it this far, and let's hope they can win it all. It's just a shame my Terps aren't playing right now... and so it goes.

Book notes:
No fewer than two weeks ago, I was lamenting to Jesse Jarnow that it's not fair that I've read all of Kurt Vonnegut's books. Now I have to wait 20 years until I forget which book is which and get to reread them. But when I was down it Atlanta at Seth's place, he had one book on his coffee table. And sure enough, it was a Vonnegut book I HAD NOT read before! So now I'm reading Slapstick and loving it. And so it goes. Ho hum.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Camera phone

Just got my new phone, with camera and flash. So, now we'll be able to update with more pictures (seeing as how I almost never keep my camera on me unless I'm at a festival or traveling). Sweet!

Music notes:
Just got the new David Gilmour album, very excited to listen to it. But, it will have to wait until I fix my computer/external hard drive/ipod problem (aka I can't put music from my computer onto my ipod right now. it sucks.)

At Langerado, Tom Hamilton gave a demo copy of his new American Babies project. It is pretty damn awesome, so check it out when it comes around.

TV notes:
I caught the premier of "Heist" last night (mmm widescreen). I wasn't blown away but I definitely enjoyed it and will keep it on my DVR list. And, my randomly free HBO came to a sad end last night. Alas...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough

I had the greatest cab driver last night. I was going from the World Financial Center (PJ Clarke's with Kelley) to 14th and 1st (to grab the L train with Russ to go see Matt Pond) and this guy just had a huge smile on his face. He was so happy to be driving me around, he loved NYC and he taught me something I didn't know--medallion numbers with letters A-F are independently owned. But more importantly, it was a very enjoyable cab ride (and I tipped him 100%).

Last night's show was Matt Pond PA at North Six in Williamsburg. Ran into Katie Caperton on the train, who never made it to the show (booo!). Got there as Youth Group was setting up. They were ok, albeit too derivative for my taste. I got a chance to catch up with Brian Pearl (Matt Pond's guitarist)--they've been on tour for six straight weeks. He told me that getting their equipment stolen (oddly enough fewer than 10 blocks from where we were) was actually a blessing in disguise, as they were insured and able to get all new equipment.

Their set was a blast. The cellist adds SUCH a perfect texture to the mix, and Matt's voice is pristine. Good show, no doubt--and a big shoutout to Brian (who knew he could play the keys too?). Glad to have a night off tonight (though, anything exciting going on?), that's for sure.

Music notes:
Built to Spill has postponed their spring tour--Doug Martsch is recovering from eye surgery. Now, it only took Sage a weekend to recover from hers, and I bet Doug could even play with his eyes closed. But, I do wish a speedy recovery and all the best to Doug and I can't wait to see you in the fall! If you haven't bought their new album yet, do so today. Conventional Wisdom will be in my top 10 songs of the year come December...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

PGroove and the Colonel (retired)

So, I'm back at the Mayor's place. I found it necessary to start calling Shimon the Mayor of Atlanta because everywhere we went, people would line up to give him a hug--like an acne-faced Bar Mitzvah kid's parents' reception line. He knew everyone and definitely knows how to show me a good time.

We left his place around 4 this afternoon and headed to the New Yorker Deli. Now, I'm one who is quite familiar with a good deli sandwich. And I'd even venture to say I'm quite the Reuben conoisseur, but apparently I've never had a *true* New York Reueben. Sure, regular russian dressing isn't enough, so I guess it is beneficial to have some spicy mustard as a counterpoint. That being said, logic stands to reason that simply having thinly-sliced pastrami between two pieces of rye doesn't cut it, so the only way to restore balance to the galaxy is to compensate with some added corned beef.

And so it goes... who am I to complain with some extra Boar's Head?

Onwards to TreeSound, where we found the band hanging out, low-key, at 5:30. A few red bull/vodkas later (and Josh would be proud that Ben bought a handle of Svedka),
the crowd started shuffling in. Plenty of people in green, ready to dance. At 8, the band took the stage and started off on fire with a great Space Paranoids. They kept loose and winded the first set through a high-energy Robot Waltz. Set break found us talking to some fun people (including Russ from Brother Bean). They boys really locked in during the second set with Adam and Albert dropping a solid beat throughout TSMM and Speed Queen.

The sound was spectacular inside the Cave, but what really impressed me was Huffer's lights. Not only did he do a great job lighting the band, but he really understands the beauty of not shining the bright lights in the audience's eyes.

But the real magic came out when the boys took the stage for the encore. Brock started it out slowly with Matt adding the perfect layers on top of the guitar work. 20 minutes later, the place exploded when the jam turned itself into Perihelion. All in all, a phenominal show!

After saying our goodbyes (until tomorrow), Seth and I headed over to Smith's Olde Bar to see Col. Bruce and the Codetalkers. We got there just as the first set was ending. Thanks to the Mayor's handshaking campaign, I was able to chat with all the Codetalkers, Guarav from Captain Soularcat, and Kofi Burbridge of DTB fame.

Indeed, Kofi sat in as the Codetalkers started the second set. With him on organ and the Col. (ret.) on lap steel, Bobby Lee was able to keep the band on task--everyone in the room was dancing and revelling in the green-ale upstairs at Smith's.

But most importantly, Rob Turner was in FINE form. And god bless him--he brings a smile to everyone's face. Our favorite wavy-haired pot-bellied writer's antics got even Bruce's attention, as he looked up mid-jam only to shake his head at Rob with an ever-inviting smirk.

After being on the receiving end to a few of Turner's punches Shimon and I figured it was about time to head home. (Hey, at least I walked out of there before he bit off part of my ear!) So now I find myself ready to get some sleep, very much looking forward to tomorrow's show.

Random Note
Before the show started, I found myself upstairs in the Degy office, flipping through the Xingolati program only to find myself reading the Thank Yous on the last page. It was quite a surprise when I saw that they thanked (in order) "Aaron Benner, Relix Magazine, [and]" Hey, it was definitely close enough to put a big smile on my face!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Down in hotlanta!

So, I'm down in the ATL right now... getting some work done from Shimon's office. I still haven't had a chance to decompress from Langerado yet--it's been a busy week, but no complaints. But I did get a chance to post my pictures from the festival. And I plan on adding links to all my Ofoto galleries on the right side of the page.

There I am with four hotties--Jenny, Jordan, Lisa and Jodi--down in Florida.

So a brief note about Langerado--cheers to the Biscuits and Brothers Past and Pnuma and all the bands who really made the weekend so perfect. It was really special to have the Biscuits play late night on Friday and then close the festival out with the surprise encore at the Conspirator show on Sunday night.

Travel Notes
I'm down in Atlanta enjoying some great southern hospitality. Big thanks to Shimon Presents for giving me a place to sleep and get some work done (but boo to him for making me flyer the Buckethead show last night, haha). I spent a few hours at TreeSound Studios last night. That place is pretty damn awesome. Cheers to Chad for taking the time to show me around. And cheers to the studio for keeping a brown ale on tap at all times :)

Music Notes
Since I can sleep later, I went out Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday I took Mike Toft to the Beacon to see a great Allman Brothers Band show. We grabbed two seats in the orchestra and ended up sitting next to the sweet couple who sat in front of me on the flight home from Langerado. The show was a blast--they opened the second set with an acoustic set of Warren, Derek and Elvin Bishop (profiled in the next issue of Relix). Then Pinetop Perkins (of Muddy Waters' band fame) played with the full ABB. Great great show--amazing Van Morrison cover and a fun version of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

Wednesday Lindsay and I went to see Jesse Harris at the Living Room. Short set, but a fun--he's a great songwriter (he wrote all of Norah Jones' songs) and a pretty good guitar player. Ran into Mike "Hernando Casa di Verde" and the indefatigable Tom Russell and had a night cap at Max Fish.

Last night after hanging out in TreeSound, Shimon and I went to the Variety Playhouse to see Buckethead. Unfortunately we missed the Pnuma Trio's opening set, but we still managed to have a great town. Seth is practically the mayor down here. Thanks to the staff at the Variety for their great hospitality too!

Though I have no good reason to be, I'm just a little jealous of everyone who's heading to Europe right now for Jam in the Dam. Have an AMAZING time--Biscuits, Umphrey's, the Duo, STS9, all my friends (James, Robyn, Dee, Rachel, Liz) and everyone else there--be safe, party down and kick ass for me.

"Unlock my body and move myself to dance" -Jeff Tweedy

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Langerado - festival achieves perfection!

So, I just got back from Langerado and it was indeed an amazing time. The music was spectacular, the people were amazing, the weather was ideal. All in all--the festival really was the perfect festival. Kudos to Ethan and Mark for the lineup and ensuring that everything ran as smoothly as it did.

Shoutouts are due to the following people (and many more too, but I'm pretty busy today so I'm sure I'll forget some people):
Ethan Scwhartz, Mark Brown, Annabel Lukins, Captain Toast, Carrie Lombardi, Amy Cummins, Lebo, Seth "The Rabbi", Hogan, Jeff Sadler, Magner, Brownstein, Barber, Allen, Tom Hamilton, PGroove (and their ladies!!), Brad, Jeff Wood, Judy Gex, Mike and Benjy (go cold turkey!), Kelli Schwartz, Brian Asplin, Andy Gadiel, Dave Vann, Michael Weintrob, Berkowitz, Joe Russo, the Butter boys and countless other people who made this festival so amazing.

I'll write more later when I get some free time.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Green Apple Music Festival!

Well, the time finally came. We just announced the lineup and schedule for the Green Apple Music and Arts Festival! Taking place from April 21-23 (The Jammys kick it off on April 20), GAMF will take New York by storm, with 75 shows at 25 venues over the course of the three days.

So take a look through the festival lineup and revel in how much fun the weekend will be. Personally, I'm most excited for the following bands: Umphrey's (at CBGBs!), Dan Bern, Baaba Maal, Everyone Orchestra, Ghostface Killa and Slick Rick (!!!), Kaki King, PGroove, Mike Doughty, McCoy Tyner, Rose Hill Drive, Steel Train, Kimock/Perkins, Toubab Krewe, the Slip and the Zen Tricksters. I can't wait!

Music Notes:
Listened to some Tom Waits this morning. Mule Variations. Fell in love with that album while living in Italy. Bought it in Amsterdam, where the guy at the used CD store played me a CD of the Dutch Tom Waits and I loved it but for some reason didn't buy the disc. So if anyone knows who the Dutch Tom Waits is, PLEASE email me!

The new Built To Spill album is still consistently blowing me away. With "Going Against Your Mind" and "Conventional Wisdom," the CD is solid through and through. In fact, it's *great*. But, it does leave me with one question: Who is Mike Jones?

Travel Notes:
Leaving for Florida tonight. Can't wait! Last time I flew JetBlue, the TVs weren't working (though on the return trip from Austin, they did show the Super Bowl). But, I have plenty of crossword puzzles to get caught up on today.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Finally joining the 21st century...

Well, I guess it's about time. I always try to live by the words of the Good Doctor--"If a thing like this is worth doing, it's worth doing right."--so, here's to a blog that is fun to read!

That's me as the Good Doctor on Halloween '04

A few notes--I don't plan up updating this every day, but who knows what will happen. I do plan on getting a new cell phone, ideally one with a camera. That will make adding pictures much easier, so as soon as I get back from my next two weekend trips, I should be in full force.

Travel Notes:

I'm leaving for Langerado tomorrow. It's a music festival in South Florida in its fourth year, run by my good buddy Ethan Schwartz. And Mark Brown, too (the genius behind Jam Cruise). This year, Wilco is playing, so I'm just a bit excited. Each day this week I've been listening to a different incarnation of Jeff Tweedy (Sunday was Wilco, Monday was Loose Fur, Tuesday was Tweedy solo, and today is Uncle Tupelo. All in all, great music.

Next week (Thursday), I leave for Atlanta. Perpetual Groove, a band I've really enjoyed over the last few years, will be performing to a very small audience at TreeSound Studios in Atlanta--they're multitracking it to be released as a live album. As if the band wasn't great enough, and the guys nice enough, they are bringing me down to Atlanta as their guest to hang with them in the studio and be a part of this project. I'm pretty damn excited!

Tonight will be the first real meeting of Team Zissou, which will be held at Slade's apartment. (The first meeting was postponed due to some members being sick and one member almost dying from cat allergies. Sorry Ernie and Jibboo!).

Music Notes:
Much thanks go to Erik Dane over at Cornerstone for giving me some great music a few weeks ago up in New Hampshire. Last night I put on Tapes 'N Tapes and was very much impressed. So check them out.
Other shoutouts are in order:
Jeff Harris and the Super Casual, featuring the lovely Lindsey Cloud on keys and vocals.
The Disco Biscuits have been rocking my world lately--including their side projects Conspirator and even more so, The Brain-Damaged Eggmen. Keep up the good work, guys!

Special thanks to Slade Sohmer, Mike Greenhaus, Jon Bahr and Jesse Jarnow for their support of blogs, and special thanks to the aforementioned four plus Josh Baron and Russell Kahn for their great taste in music.