Thursday, May 27, 2010

11/17/05 Dead Kennedys (w/o Jello) @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY

This was the first show I worked as a volunteer for LifeBeat. I sat at a table and handed out safe sex info and condoms and such.

The show itself wasn't anything special, but I figured I might as well check out these punk veterans even if the outspoken Jello Biafra had long since moved on.

10/23/05 Brian Haas & Friends @ Blue Note, New York, NY

10/23/05, The Blue Note, New York, NY
Brian Haas, Jason Fratecelli & Mark Southerland
Davey's Purple Power Line1, The Spark that Bled1, I Mean You1, Monks Mood2, Peace, Epistrophy3, Dino Perucci Birthday Improv3, Rhythm-a-Ning34
1 Haas solo
2 w/Southerland
3 w/M.Benevento, J.Russo, J.Tomsovic
4 w/Becky tease

This was one in series of Blue Note Late Night Groove Series shows I hit up in late 2005. I guess the post-jam scene of the day was intersecting squarely with the illegitimate stepchildren of the early 1990s NYC downtown jazz scene or something.

The groove ruled early on in the late night show with smooth piano jazz licks, but the Benevento Russo Duo came in halfway and stepped it up a notch, certainly not the first or last time those two have taken an already enjoyable musical affair to the next level.

I think it may have been my first time at this legendary jazz haunt, and I snagged a seat right in front of the stage.


09/19/05 Particle @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY

This was a very late night show in conjunction with the CMJ music festival that takes over NYC every fall and features hundreds of bands in venues of all shapes and sizes throughout the city.

Particle seemed to have come out of nowhere and at this juncture in its career was beginning to come back down to earth after hurdling through the stratosphere of the jamtronica universe.

The late night show was highlighted by a cover of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Suck My Kiss" and a take on the Beverly hills Cop theme aka "Axel F."

I went to this show with one of my best friends visiting form Israel. Unfortunately, for a short spell in the Holy Land, he had fallen in with the wrong crowd and taken to harassing seminary students. One of the kids he had rumbled with was at the show and we had to leave a bit early to avoid confrontation.

I also met my erstwhile AIM buddy, as well as future (and current) roommate, at this show for the first time in real life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

09/13/05 Disco Biscuits/Sir Joe Russo's Flying Circus/Danjaboots @ Spirit, New York, NY

09/13/05 Spirit Nightclub, New York, NY
Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert
Set I: Voices Insane1, Little Shimmy In A Conga Line1, Svenghali1 2, Confrontation2, Three Wishes2, Helicopters2
Encore: Bazaar Escape1
1 with Mike Greenfield on drums
2 with Joe Russo on drums

The Disco Biscuits were in a period of turmoil in 2005. This seems to be the case more often than not with the group, but it was especially true in the fall of 2005. Their drummer, Sammy "The Professor" Altman, had played his last gigs with the band at the annual festival, Camp Bisco, and a replacement had not yet been named.

Despite their uncertain future, after the devastating destruction of Hurricaine Katrina, The Disco Biscuits sprang to action and put together a benefit concert on short notice, abetted by some friends from the jam community.

I think the show was announced the day before. I was pretty low on funds, but I figured it was a worthy cause. As it turned out, I ended up with a free ticket from some friends I ran into outside. I still wanted to contribute, so I bought some raffle tickets.

Scotty "Boom Boom" Metzger and Sir Joe Russo opened the night with their short-lived acoustic guitar country duo Danjaboots. There were covers of Ween and Bob Dylan and a rather profane ode to big record companies.

Another Russo/Metzger collab was next, this one dubbed Flying Circus and featuring the musicians on their regular instruments, drums and electric guitar respectively. They were augmented by Aron and Marc of the Biscuits and Kevin Kendricks on the 1's and 2's. The music tended towards the electronic improv of Biscuits' side project, Electron. The highlight was a tease of Phish's "Maze," appropriate since their unofficial fifth member, Chris "CK5" Kuroda, was running the lights for the evening.

Finally the Disco Biscuits took the stage for a set augmented by The Ally's Mike Greenfield and the omnipresent Russo. The set looks nice on paper in retrospect, but I remember very little of it. It was fun watching from the second floor lounge overlooking the dance floor and stage area.

It's always nice to catch a line-up of this magnitude at a relatively small venue on such short notice.

One thing that sticks out is the "Smoking Allowed" signs in the back of the club, a relic of a bygone era now, as smoking would be officially banned from all NYC clubs by the end of that year.

08/09/05 The Beatnuts @ Highbridge Park, New York, NY

We almost missed this show thinking it was at 75th instead of 175th.

I rarely venture so far uptown. The Harlem setting was somewhat appropriate for The 'Nuts, not so much due to the obvious hip hop connection as they are based in Queens. Their swirl logo is inspired by the cover art of jazz great Hank Mobley's Turnaround.

The location was a nice park with rolling hills and ice cream carts.

The show was great and there was even a Greg Nice cameo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

07/23/05 Allman Brothers Band @ PNC Bank Arts Center, Homdel, NJ

08/23/05 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
Set 1: Jessica, Statesboro Blues, One Way Out, Gamblers Roll, Maydell, Firing Line, Hot 'Lanta, The Same Thing1, Who To Believe, Melissa, Stand Back, Hoochie Coochie Man, Mountain Jam > Drums > Bass > Mountain Jam
Encore: Preachin' Blues, Whipping Post
1 with Chuck from moe

This show was a bit tricky because I had traffic court scheduled earlier in the day. For some reason, probably the late July heat, I was wearing shorts to court. The officer told me that the judge would not even see me unless I was appropriately attired (i.e. wearing pants). Luckily, I had some track pants in my car. This would factor into the equation come concert time.

I sat around waiting for my verdict for what seemed like an eternity.

The story of how I ended up there is the epitome of the series of unfortunate events that was seemingly substituting for my real thing called life at that time.

I was on my way back to Queens from picking up Arabic papers in Bay Ridge for my aforementioned short-lived newspaper delivery gig, when my 1994 Chevy Blazer decided to die on the BQE.

To complicate matters, I was on my way to make up a final. I had just finished my first semester at Queens College and I had almost straight A's. However, in my haste to get to summer, I left one page blank on a final exam. The professor realized it was an accident and gave me a chance to complete the test, but my automotive troubles negated that chance.

To further complicate matters, I had just started a job in White Plains the day before, a job that I would soon lose due to lack of transportation. I only worked there for a day and it was the most ass-backwards organization with which I have ever been affiliated. It was one of those companies that profits off needy college students, in this case harnessing our youthful naive energy to paint houses and solicit area homes for business. The "manager" was only in charge because of seniority, and he called me a liar when I told him my car was broken. No one seemed to have any idea how to paint houses. So at least that loss wasn't too serious.

Anyways, I had the vehicle towed to the nearest location and headed home. There was still, however, the task of delivering the papers to locations all over New Jersey.

I decided to head to my parents in Rockland and commandeer my mother's station wagon to complete my route while she slept. This was just before GPS navigational systems became affordable, so I printed out a stack of Google maps and hit the road, first returning to Brooklyn to retrieve the bundles of newspapers.

I figured I'd be able to bang out the gig in one sleepless night, but I was woefully mistaken. Whereas I had done the Conecticut route a number of times, this was my first go at the New Jersey one. Nary a stop went by without a wrong turn sending me traversing down endless side streets in various suburban enclaves.

Weary and world forsaken, I headed back after completing less than half the route. Half asleep and in a haste to get to bed, I approached 90 on the Palisades. That's when I got pulled over. A speeding ticket was bad enough, but I had left my license in my car and my mother had her registration in her wallet, so a relatively simple stop turned into a sticky situation. I escaped unscathed, save for three tickets that would bring me back to the wooded riverside parkway pre-Allman Brothers.

That should be the end of the story, but I had another night of newspaper delivery left. I decided to take a break midway through to complete a casual encounter, figuring it would lift my sunken spirits; it just made me feel dirty.

After what seemed like an eternity, I dropped off the final papers in Englewood and headed home. It was after midnight and the main strip, Palisade Avenue, was empty. I pulled a reverse U-turn at a red light and headed home. Alas, there was one car in sight, and it was a police cruiser.

I was pulled over for the second time in a 24-hour span and I just had to laugh. I was given two separate tickets for the single maneuver in addition to another for no license, bringing my grand total to 6 tickets in under a day, a personal record that stands to this day.

I just had to laugh and headed straight to a Suffern bar to drown my sorrows.

In the span of a few days, I had lost my car, my two paying gigs and a bit of sanity. I got 6 tickets and banged a fatty. If ever there was a time to let my soul shine, this was it.

So that in a nutshell is how my life was going in the summer of 2005, but I was still living in the city and catching live music with acceptable frequency, so things weren't all that bad.

To get back to the story at hand, I recieved a fine that I was ill equipped to pay. I may still have a bench warrant in New Jersey come to think of it.

So after that ordeal, I headed down to Holmdel.

I pulled in just a bit before showtime, copped a $20 lawn ticket and set about raging the lot proper.

This pregame stands out as one of the most successful in my career. I feasted like a king on tailgate burgers and drank the finest beers. One group of erstwhile lot bartenders asked me the most embarrassing thing I'd ever done in exchange for a shot. Guess that boombaladdy was good for something.

In my pre-show fervor, I neglected to safely secure my ticket (due to my loose track pants). Contrary to my previous luck, I was able to find another $20 ticket just before the Allmans hit the stage. I did, however, miss the opener moe.

I met up with my friends on the lawn and went on to enjoy a lovely summer evening getting down to some sweet southern soul.

I was still pretty twisted on the ride home.

07/01/05 The Aquabats/Soft Parade @ BB King's Blues Club, New York, NY

This was actually two separately ticketed shows at the same venue.

The first featured one of my favorite bands that I'd been meaning to see for quite some time. The Aquabats are a goofy ska band with songs about fierce midget pirates and worms and falling asleep on your arm. I only caught the last few songs, but one was a favorite of mine - the public school lunch ode, "Pizza Day." I have yet to see a full show.

The late show featured the preeminent Doors cover band playing all the hits and then some.