Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jam Cruise!!! And some more Jeff Tweedy

So I'm about to leave for Jupiter Island, FL for some maxin' and relaxin' before I board Jam Cruise. But before I do that, I wanted to post some Jeff Tweedy solo shows that you should all download. It was three years ago this week that I first had an Tweedy epiphany--after Russ and Beth drove me down to Florida for Phish NYE, we finally arrived in Jupiter and ate at the Lighthouse. Then we got back to the condo and I put on this 1/4/00 Lounge Ax show and it hit the spot in a way that no other music could have done so that night.

So with that in mind, I leave you with the following Tweedy:
Lounge Ax Jan 4 '00

Tribeca PAC Nov 16 '05

Tribeca PAC Nov 17 '05

Lounge Ax Nov 18 '97 d1

Lounge Ax Nov 18 '97 d2

The Vic Jan 8 '03 d1

The Vic Jan 8 '03 d2

In the 11/17 Tribeca show, after the first or second track, you can hear someone tell Jeff "The abyss loves you!" Well, that's me. And I'd like to dedicate that same show to Russ and Beth for their birthdays.

Enjoy! I'm off to Florida and Jam Cruise...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Meet the parents...

So this past weekend was that big step in any relationship... where you meet the girlfriend's parents. But mine doubled up--I met hers and she met mine. And it couldn't have more perfect. We met her parents in Central Jersey at the train station where they drove us to a wonderful sushi meal where I got to know them. We had a blast! Liz and Irwin are as sweet and warm as can be. I felt very at ease with them and the sushi and wine were just the icing on the cake.

We spent the night at her parents' house and got an early start on Saturday morning to drive down to DC to see my folks. We got there around 1pm (after a quick stop off at Twinbrook Deli, where a thwarted robbery attempt was causing quite a stir). We hung out that afternoon with my parents and my sis. We celebrated the ninth night of Chanukah with my grandmother and had a very yummy latke dinner. We watched one of the best movies of all time, The Court Jester. And sure enough, the Vessel with the Pestle has the pellet with the poison and the Chalace from the Palace has the true that is brew. I mean, Brew that is True.

Sunday morning found us driving down the Mall in downtown DC to scope some musuems. We started off in the Air and Space (Aaron Space) Museum, which fortuitously is housing the 100 best artifacts from the American History Museum. So cool! We watched a decent IMAX, narrated by Tom Hanks (though sometimes it was Morgan Freeman talking, go figure...). We had a fantastic lunch in the Museum of the American Indian and set off for the National Gallery of Art. We drove home in time to watch the Redskins lose (boooo) and had a fantastic Vietnamese dinner. Monday was spent with brunch at my Grandma's place then driving back to Jersey and training back to the city.

Today and tomorrow I'm wrapping things up at the office and I head to FLORIDA on THURSDAY. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

And then, Jam Cruise. 'Nuff said...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thanks for stealing my laptop!

Thanks a lot, jackass. Way to break into my office and steal two laptops and one digital camera. Thanks for choosing my nice new laptop. Thanks for taking all the music I've downloaded or ripped in the last two months. Thanks for stealing all my passwords saved in firefox. Thanks for taking away all the emails I sent and received over the last two months--I really want those back.

Fuck you. But you're dumb. Why didn't you take the power chord, you fool? Why didn't you take the $150 bottle of absinthe on my desk? Why didn't you take my digital camera on my desk (thankfully I keep my camera in a Relix coozie so on first glance it doesn't look like a camera).

I hope someone has a very nice Christmas with my new laptop, but fuck you. I'm pissed.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Best of 2006

In no particular order:

Studio Albums:
Cat Power - The Greatest
Built To Spill - You in Reverse
Jason Collett - Idols of Exile
Gomez - How We Operate
The Duo - Play Pause Stop
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Nina Simone - Remixed and Reimagined
The Slip - Eisenhower
Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers

Archival Releases:
Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Passing Trains
Tom Waits - Orphans: Bawlers, Brawlers and Bastards
What It Is! - Funky and Rare Grooves 1967-1977
Phish - Colorado '88
Sublime - Everything Under the Sun

Best DVDs:
Jeff Tweedy - Sunken Treasure
My Morning Jacket - Okonosos
Phish - Live in Brooklyn
The Best of the Jammys - Volume 1

Tom Waits - The Tabernacle Theatre, 8/1/06 (listed first because it was the best)
Brain Damaged Eggmen - Jam Cruise 4, 1/10/06
Broken Social Scene - Webster Hall, 1/27/06
Perpetual Groove - The Cave, TreeSound Studios, 3/17/06
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Bowery Ballroom, 6/23/06
Surprise Me Mr. Davis - High Sierra Music Festival, late night 6/30/06
Bustle in Your Hedgerow - Rocks Off boat cruise, 8/28/06
Built To Spill - Irving Plaza, 10/4/06
Jim James - Vegoose Music Festival, 10/29/06
A Tribute to Bob Dylan - Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, 11/9/06
The Disco Biscuits - Hammerstein Ballroom, 11/24/06

Jam Cruise 4
High Sierra
Camp Bisco
Summer Camp

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Birthday cupcakes are the best

Just wolfed down two cupcakes for my birthday. So I guess you could consider this a birthday tummy ache. But it's so worth it...

This past saturday I was treated to the most wonderful day. A 90-minute massage followed by sauna and hot tub. Then the omakase at Sushi Seki. Holy shit. Best sushi meal EVER. SOOOOO damn good. Words can't even describe how amazing the spicy scallop handroll was. Or the chopped eel blended with seaweed served over avocado. Or the yellowtail with jalapeno sauce. Or the red snapper with sea salt. Or the horse mackarel with scallions. Or the king salmon with honey miso sauce. Best meal EVER. I'm talking top 3, if not top top. Nightcap at Common Ground. I couldn't have been happier.

And today is my birthday. Which started out with the aforementioned cupcakes. And will end with our holiday party blowout. Life is good!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Jeff Tweedy and the world's tallest man

Screw you, Jeff. What the hell is your impetus for doing a solo tour and NOT coming anywhere NYC? Let's be honest here--I'm very psyched you're doing more solo stuff, as I love it more than anything. Anything. But everyone knows that New York is the center of the universe, so WHY ARE YOU SKIPPING MY HOMETOWN!??

Sigh... I guess I'll be flying down to Atlanta to reprise my Tom Waits trip with Shimon and Rob Turner. And it's a friggin monday night. So it looks like I'll fly in on Monday morning, work out of his office all day, then go see some Tweedy at the Tabernacle. Hopefully I'll get my same pimp seats like I did last time.

On an unrelated note, check out this news story. The world's tallest man saved two dolphins by reaching his abnormall long arms into the dolphins' stomachs to remove plastic that they had swallowed. That's pretty incredible--but I still feel bad for the guy trying to squeeze into an airplane seat.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why I love the internet

I just saw this on a Phish message board, and it is quite possibly one of the most intelligent things I've ever read:

"i've been told there is no words that rhyme purple,
however, if a popes actions are considered papal,
then why couldn't a sherpa's actions be sherpal?"

I'm speechless...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The alphabet game is back on!

So in a past relationship, I came up with a fun idea. We had been eating at the same restaurants over and over again, so I thought it would be fun to try a bunch of new places, but doing so in alphabetical order. A restuarant that neither of us had been to that started with the letter "A" first, then a "B" restuarant and so on. Unfortunately, we broke up around around "K" I believe.

But the game is back on with Deanna. We started it two weekends ago with a wonderful brunch at Alias on Clinton. Last night we continued with Barrio Chino on Broome. Amazing Mexican food--chilean sea bass ceviche, enchiladas de mole (mmmm), fish tacos and some very yummy drinks. Fantastic meal. Here's to looking at "C"!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ice Luge + Best Friends = Party

So this past weekend was another epic one. Friday night started out at Blue Ribbon Sushi, thanks to the lovely and sweet Caroline. We had an incredibly epic meal, including japanese horse mackerel and fresh and salt water eel. God I love eel. Followed that with a chilly walk to the Brooklyn Lyceum to see The WoWz. Very mellow and different from what I expected, but fun nonetheless. Cold. But fun. Three Woman Blues is a kickass song... They missed a LOT of harmonies, aka sang off key a bunch, but when they hit their notes, they sounded fantastic. Go figure.

Met up with Senor Casa di Verde at Union Hall for a few drinks then skidadled over to Flushing and Classon for RUBULAD. Always a blast. Got there early and chilled in the cave with Jesse, Deanna and Tony. Stalked a blonde girl. Enjoyed tampon christmas trees. Ate a brownie. Had lots of drinks. Much, much fun. Best party ever.

Saturday we motivated out to my old hood, Prospect Heights, to brunch at Tom's Diner. I forgot how special that place is--from the coffee and cookies they bring you in line to the friendly staff to the amazing food; it really is the best. Went from there up to the Museum of Natural History and saw an imax about cowboys, did the Gold exhibit and saw some animals and dinosaurs. Very fun!!

Quick dinner at D's place and we were off to Common Ground. First ones there. Sculpted some of the ice luge out (it needed some work) and commenced drinking. Lots of goldschlagger shots on the luge (and you know I don't take shots). Even got to sing the birthday song to Josh. Rachel Dratch even made a cameo. I had a blast--it was great to see so many good people in one place. I'm so lucky--my friends are the best people in the world!!!

So all in all, amazing weekend. Looking forward to another one coming up!

Music notes:
In honor of Slack LaLane, I have uploaded my favorite Jeff Tweedy solo show - 3/5/05 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago. Enjoy!

And I've decided to post some Neutral Milk Hotel stuff... below is a video of King of Carrot Flowers parts 2 and 3. And check out this amazing collection of NMH audio and video delights.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How sweet it is!

So the word Schmoopy is defined as "Having or showing fond feelings or affection; loving and tender. Excessively sentimental. Given to or displaying mawkish affection or amorousness."

A few times this past month I've found myself stopping midsentence, smacking my forehead and proclaiming "wow, that was the schmoopiest thing I've ever said." It's a problem--it's annoying for everyone involved, especially me. And last night was the schmoopiest night of them all. And I loved every second of it.

I went to the gym after work, bought new headphones, ran home and cleaned my room a little (so pen-twirling Meredith could crash there) and picked up some wine. Cabbed it back to the city and arrived at Deanna's place--which smelled amazing, as she was cooking up a storm. Apple turkey meatloaf, with ground pancetta, topped with proscuitto. We're talking walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th of game 7 in the world series. We're talking 64-yard field goal to win the game with 0:01 seconds left.

I contributed a lovely Cote de Rhone and a yummy sauterne for desert. And life was good. But the uber-schmoopy moment came when we were doing the dishes and I put on Jerry Garcia Band's "How Sweet It Is" and we started dancing together. And it was one of the most sweet, precious and lovely moments ever. But thank god no one else was there to see it. Schmoopiest moment ever. But I'm still smiling about it :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ryan Adams - does the mediocrity outweigh the genius?

Last night was Ryan Adams and the Cardinals' third and final show at New York's Town Hall (think "A Mighty Wind"). I went to the latter two and I had a great time. Good friends were there, the venue is beautiful and historic, I had good seats and Ryan Adams is up there in my pantheon--along with Grateful Dead, Phish, Dylan, Tom Waits and Jeff Tweedy. I *love* his music.

From the first time I heard "Oh My Sweet Carolina" in college, I've always been a fan of Ryan. When Cold Roses came out, I became an uber-fan--it was the album I needed him to make (not that I knew it at the time). 8 songs from Cold Roses remain in heavy rotation: Magnolia Mountain, Cold Roses, Easy Plateau, Let It Ride, Cherry Lane, Sweet Illusions, Beautiful Sorta, Life Is Beautiful. That late night Bowery show on 6/23/06 was superbly perfect--every note and every song. Just an amazing show.

But I can do without the mediocrity. I can do without the crowd yelling shit at him. I was surrounded by the utmost douchebaggery last night, it was simply unbelievable--the drunken frat boy who is offended that people aren't up and dancing (we're at Town Hall, for cryin' out loud), who then encourages the girls in front of us (who only showed up for the last 15 minutes of the show) to get up and dance, and one of them sweetly turned around and asked my crew if we minded that she stood up and blocked Jen and Jeff's view completely--to which I said "Yes, I mind"--and she turned around and kept dancing. I can do without idiots yelling "Summer of 69"--it's just not funny.

I can do without the unintelligible banter in between songs (that's right, I'm talking about Ryan). I can do without a ten-minute setbreak when you're only playing for 75 minutes. I can do without you walking off stage 30 minutes before curfew. I can do WITH an encore or two. And I'd get down with more acoustic/harmonica playing (ok, that's just my nitpicky taste).

There were some completely transcendent moments--Nobody Girl, Come Pick Me Up, Oh My Sweet Carolina, Hallelujah, Cherry Lane, Easy Plateau, Firecracker, Stella Blue all rocked my world.

I guess all I'm saying is that it would be a whole lot cooler if he dropped the shtick and just played music. Lose the pigtails and high-heels (or pony tail and 8" platform knee-high boots) and eye makeup and let the music talk for you. Play us more songs--that's what we're there for. Grow a set of balls and don't let the hecklers get to you.

I'm sure it's incredibly hard for you to play shows being sober and I know you're sensitive. But you can't let jackasses in the crowd get under your skin. It's a rock show--people are going to yell out song requests. Ignore them or joke about it (like you did last night--"Oh my god, I don't have a setlist!), but don't end your show early because of it. Seriously dude--you've got to have grow up and be a man about it. I know it sucks, but deal with it. That's what we're paying you to do.

Music Notes:
I'm going to see the WoWz tomorrow night at the Brooklyn Lyceum, hopefully followed by Rubulad. Either way, it will all be preceeded by a fantastic dinner at Blue Ribbon Sushi, courtesy of Caroline Naughton and her very generous nature.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Catching up -or- Why I'm a Lazy Bum

So my excuse for this weekend is that I've been pretty much incapacitated with the stomach flu. And it sucks. I haven't left my apartment in 3 days... Sigh. But as for the last week+, I have no good excuse as to why I haven't updated my blog at all. So I'll try to catch up from Thanksgiving on.

Had a lovely Turkey Day at the Elson's house--one of the better meals Sandy has cooked over the years. Excellent bagel stuffing and cranberry-ginger sauce. Hated watching Romo and the Cowboys do so well. Sigh... Can't win 'em all. Flew back to NYC early on Friday. Got to an unseasonably-warm Brooklyn late afternoon and relaxed on my couch for a hot minute. Met Gabe in penn station (his birthday!) and hopped the train to the Upper East Side for Jordan Zucker's dinner party. Super swanky, great food, drinks a-flowin', fart machines a-fartin' and people a-laughin'. Much merriment. Everyone in good spirits.

Took a cab down to the Nokia Theatre (where I had only been once before, exaclty one year prior--for the Mediocre Meters). Hung with Russ, Beth, Dina, Jordan, Jesse and Gabe for the end of a hot '76 Orpheum show. Lots of singing and dancing and I even called the set closer (The Music Never Stopped). Caught up with some friends during setbreak and skeedaddled over to HammerTime Ballroom (Thanks, Dee) for the Biscuits. Got there during setbreak and saw everyone. Got to the side box for the whole second set--great Little Shimmy. Then ran down to Deanna's place to see her. What a perfect whirlwind night!

Saturday was a perfect day... slept in, went to an excellent brunch at Alias (which officially kicked off the letter game with Deanna--a restaurant that neither of us has been to, going in alphabetical order). Watched some college football and then went up to Mikey's pre-Biscuits party. Lots of good people there. We all went up to HammerTime together--me and 11 friends. Much thanks go out to the Disco Biscuits, their management and especially their tour manager, Mike Polans (who I've known since his Caveman days). The should couldn't be more perfect.

My whole crew found their way into the top side box. A fun Mulberry's Dream to open the show and everyone was dancing. A long, stretched-out Basis intro mid-eastern jam brought the energy up. The band nailed the composed section and segued very nicely into Spacebird. Which went right back into the Basis ending and Aaron was a happy camper. Nothing gets me off quite like a Basis endind...

And I was sure that would end the set, but then I heard a familiar ping sound. Oh wait, that sounds like Echoes! Where's Russ?? How did they know that covering Echoes well is the way to Russ's heart? Well, they did it perfectly--and during the latter half spacey section, they looped the pings and left the stage with the lights down and full of smoke. The loop lasted all of setbreak as I got to see all my friends (many of them seeing their first biscuit show) and life was good. The band came back during the second set to finish Echoes and Barber (wearing a Tiki Barber jersey) ripped it up. Man can these guys tear up a show!

The rest of the set was filled with peaks and tight jams. MEMPHIS was just what the doctor ordered and Hot Air Balloon seemed to come out of no where. Dribble was well-placed too. All in all, an excellent show. Everyone had a blast and I couldn't have been happier.

I'll finish up in another post... this is one is probably too long already...