Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blue Turtle Seduction and conquering "Q"

Monday was a tired day... just run down from the Green Apple festival. But, Jordan Kahn found a way to get me out and about that night--good bluegrass and sushi. I got to his place on 2nd ave to find a very happy band. Blue Turtle Seduction played 225 shows last year. I saw 167 concerts. I leave early when I'm tired and bail when I'm not feeling a show. They played 225 FULL concerts. Had to win over a crowd each time. God bless 'em...

Jordan is a mensch. For many reasons, but Monday night exemplified it. He ordered 4 huge sushi platters from Tatany, a nearby yummy spot on 3rd. He fed the band, had plenty of beer, gave them showers and showed off his view from the 22nd floor. Several band members had never been to NYC before. They were amazed. Jaws open, head constantly shaking while looking out the window.

The band (and I, of course) were SO appreciative of what Jordan had done for his Tahoe buddies. To have that wonderful respite from the rough side of the road is invaluable.

After stuffing our bellies we walked over to Rodeo Bar for Turtle's first NYC gig ever. They rocked the place! Hard-driving bluegrass with what feels like an Irish-punk slant. Great vocals. Solid rhythm section. They make you dance. This band is not to be missed! They're playing again tonight in alphabet city, so check them out at Banjo Jim's if you can.

Last night, Deanna and I took a break from all our house work to treat ourselves to a wonderful French meal. As much as I love my wine, I often neglect French wine for South American or Italian. But a nice Bordeaux is always a great change of pace. We ate at Quercy on Court Street and the meal was TOP NOTCH. Easily in the top 4 of our alphabet game thus far. And just a quick recap:

*Barrio Chino
Café Loup
Dumont Burger
*Freeman's Alley
Grape and Grain
*Holy Basil
Ivo and Lulu
*Kitchen Club
Nan Son
*Pearl Oyster Bar

(Hah! I decided to star only my favorites, but those meals were all so top notch...)

On to "R" next!

Monday, April 23, 2007

6 concerts in 3 days -or- why I love my life

So The 2nd Annual Green Apple Music & Arts Festival came and went, and boy oh boy was it a good one. Unfortunately, I only got to see the shows in New York (unlike Josh Baron who jet setted to Chicago and San Fran over the weekend), but it was the best. The biggest thanks goes out to Mother Nature for giving us 70 degrees and SUN. I literally have a small sunburn on my left arm. And I'm actually happy about that.

The weekend started out nice and early on Thursday at the Knit for an acoustic Duo show. Always good to see Marco and Joe and the highlight was forcing Cole to introduce the band (well, the actual highlight was standing on the side of the stage with the band, sticking out tongues out at her while she was doing it). Also got to the spend some QT with John, the guitarist from Raisinhill--good to catch up with him. Fun night.

Friday morning I spent up at Grand Central helping the Relix peeps set up the Green Apple booth. Nothing is better than closing down a street in Manhattan, plopping a stage smack in the middle and having good music played while the sun is shining.

First music of the day was The School of Rock featuring Jon Anderson (of Yes fame). His voice still sounds perfect and the kids are incredible musicians. Sarah, the 13-year-old guitarist seen here absolutely SHREDDED. I'd seen her before take over for Metzger during a Bustle in your Hedgerow and she is just incredible. She played an acoustic for "Roundabout" and nailed the harmonics in the intro. She's the best.

Ran back to the office to do some work, then went back up for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. She's so awesome. There's just no denying how great her voice is. Fun cover of "Sex Machine" and her standard set with most of the songs from her lats album.

Ran back to the office yet again and finished up work for the day, then went over to Rebel to set up for my show that night, featuring Chuch, Quintus and my boys, Hot Buttered Rum. Had some great people working my booth (Thanks, Larissa and Dana! You ruled) and got to spend time with the Butter boys (and Molly). Highlight for me was introducing the band on stage and their deadication of "Loose Lucy." But the most special moment was talking to Brian's dad. Jake Shimabukuro sat in and MAN can that kid tear it up on the ukelele.

Saturday I was up WAY too early to finish getting stuff out of Deanna's apartment. Had a great brunch with her and then ran up to Grand Central for Zero. That's her with one of the plushies on Vanderbilt Ave. And below is me with a rat. I'm not sure what the subway rat has to do with global warming and the environment, but so it goes.
Zero was a blast... while Kimock doesn't always impress me (frankly, he bores me sometimes), he can switch gears on a dime and blow me away sometimes. And it's always good to hear Donna Jean's voice (er, well, it's fun to hear it, when you choose not to remember "Playin in the Band."

Did some more apartment stuff that afternoon. Had dinner in the village with some friends from Florida and then went to see Phix. I love those guys. They just sound exactly like Phish. And they rule. Great songs--Buried Alive opener, Tube, Slave, Coil, Axilla, Sloth, CTB, and a pretty damn perfect Reba. I'm sad they won't be coming back again... My only question is why the marquee read "PHIX N," as in, we're phixing for our phix?

Sunday saw a trip to Ikea and some other housework. Had Gabe over for dinner--our first dinner party. More to come.

Music Notes:
Off to see Blue Turtle Seduction tonight. Their first gig in NYC ever. Can't wait! See you at the Rodeo Bar at 9.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Green Apple Music & Arts Festival!

The big weekend is finally here... so check out my schedule for the party:

Thursday - The Duo at the Knitting Factory (late show)
Friday - Grace Potter and Ozomatli at the Earth Day day stage on Vanderbilt Ave
Friday - Quintus and Hot Buttered Rum at Rebel
Saturday - Phix at BB Kings
Sunday - Fat Mama at the Knit

What shows are you hitting? Make sure you swing by the Green Apple table at each venue.

Enjoy! And stay green.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Umph, BP and cohabitation

Great weekend... Friday started with a bang as Gabe picked me up in his new Jetta and we cruised over to Billygburg. Had a drink and some fried clam strips at Surf Bar then ate at Planet Thai (I hadn't eaten there in years). Hopped the L train back into the city to check out Umphrey's McGee at the Nokia. Great time--awesome backstage room, good people, and Brownstein sitting in for Triple Wide -> In The Kitchen. Then he announced the Umph/Bisco (aka DUMB--worst name ever, sorry guys) show at McCarren Pool on Aug 15--but I'll be in Peru. So it goes.

Left the Nokia and walked two blocks down to BB Kings to see Brothers Past. They sound great with Ilya on drums and Tommy is the man. Always has been, always will be. Got home a lot later than I expected...

Woke up early on Saturday and did some cleaning, then helped Deanna move her stuff in. Thankfully we hired Kevin--the man with the van. He did all the loading and unloading. If you are ever moving, do yourself the favor and hire Kevin's Van Service.

Saturday night we were just too beat to do anything so we ordered in food and relaxed. Sunday saw the monsoon so we ordered in a huge shipment of wine (21 bottles, one bottle of port and a liter of vodka) and set up the new bedroom. I have to say--it's pretty weird when you think about it. I'm keeping my apartment but by switching bedrooms, I've actually moved. Go figure! Most comfortable sheets ever (400 thread count, mmmm)

Now I'm getting geared up for The Green Apple Music & Arts Festival this weekend!

Travel Notes:
Booked my flight for Lollapalooza. Thanks for pushing me, Levy!

And I just found out that Bobby D will be in Peru the same time as Deanna and I! Good stuff...

Music Notes:
Amadou and Mariam's Dimanche a Bamako has been in heavy rotation. And I just got the Dylan SACD box set. Can't wait to spend some time with those remasters...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes...

RIP Kurt Vonnegut. The world misses you already.

"Music for me is proof of the existence of God."

A sad day for literature and culture.

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

But on the brighter side of things:

Create Your Own PaloozaHead - Visit

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I feel the feeling I forgot -or- Page Against the Machine

Last night. Gramercy Theatre. Page McConnell. 600 Phish kids. 400 friends. 2 hours of solid music. Perfect night.

Started the evening off with Steph, filling up her ipod then taking a $10 cab ride to 30th and 3rd. Now mind you, I work at 29th and 6th. How in the world could that cost $10? I'm not quite sure, but I wasn't a happy camper. Oh well, such is life on a rainy rush hour evening.

We got to Iron Sushi and had trouble identifying the BBQ sauce they used, but nonetheless ate some good sushi. Tasty yellowtail and eel. My phone was ringing the entire time during dinner--it got me all pumped up; that same giddy feeling I used to get before Phish shows...

Walked to the Gramercy and saw a few friends in line. Said hi to everyone, got my wristband and went inside. Every 10 feet I ran into another friend. People I haven't seen in years like Deutsch, Bill and Susan. Barb was tending bar. It felt like a conglomeration of the last 5 years of my concert-going life. And it felt good.

The music was strong. Solid rhythm section. Pretty impressive guitar work. Jared added great touches (and vocals) with keys and guitar. Page's voice was perfect (and he's looking more and more like Sideshow Bob, which makes me chuckle) and he hit his stride early on in the set. He ran through all the material from his new CD--Maid Marion was definitely a highlight.

The jamming was very democratic. No one seemed to drown anyone else but they pushed each other just enough to keep everyone on their toes. Page's layering was such an important part of Phish--and he brought that same element to the show last night. With some gentle guitar solos swirling above, I really did feel the feeling I forgot.

The band left for the encore break and Page emerged for a solo tune. The place erupted with the opening notes of Strange Design. What had never been my favorite Phish song (a great soundtrack to bathroom trip, if you will) really struck a chord. Just relax, Page is doing fine.

We lingered downstairs for an hour after the show--no one really wanted to leave. We all felt the need to hold on to the moment--it's not like we have summer tour coming up... This is all we really have. Page Against the Machine. Page: 1. The Machine: 0. Looks like I'll be checking out the Irving show this summer.

Thanks to the boys at Legacy for taking care of me. Thanks to Page for taking his sweet time to make this happen. Good stuff!

One Set:
Back In the Basement, Runaway Bride, Maid Marion, Heavy Rotation, Complex Wind, Rules I Don't Know, Close to Home, Beauty of a Broken Heart

Strange Design (solo), Everyone But Me

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Railroad Earth and living solo

Quality weekend. In brief--we ate at Max's in alphabet city on Friday night. Check "M" off the list! Amazing meal... yummy prosciutto and the meatloaf was insane. Hard-boiled egg wrapped in ham wrapped in mozzarella cheese wrapped in meatloaf. Now THAT is a meal. Mmmmm...

Saturday I drove to New Jersey (Towaca) for cousin Rachel's triplets' first birthday. Zachary, Matthew and Jacob were as cute and sweet as can be. Good to see my folks and my grandmother. Drove back to the city to meet the crew at Chrissy and Kyle's place for a drink or two then went down to The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza (yep, I just said that) for Railroad Earth. I always forget how amazing they are--just solid musicianship with great songwriting. Todd is the man, but you just can't beat Tim Carbone on the violin.

Tons of good people at the show and one long set hit the spot. We had a nightcap at Common Ground and then crashed. Sunday morning drove out to Livingston, NJ for cousin Lisa and new new hubby Joel's wedding party. More family time with a yummy brunch. Came back into the city that afternoon to find an empty apartment!

Lauren has fully moved out and Deanna will start moving in after her test (this Saturday! Wish her luck...). I cleaned the kitchen spic and span and will work on the extra bedroom later this week. We bought a couch for the new living room--an "L" shaped microfiber comfy full-size sleeper. It's long enough for me to lie across the long part with Deanna lying on the chaise side. Good stuff! Let's just hope they can fit it through my door or window :-)