Tuesday, December 25, 2012

04/07/09 King Britt/Derek Plaslaiko/Zemi17/etc @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Brooklyn, NY

Though slightly past its prime, The Danger still knew how to put on a spectacle. This party brought ice sculptures and banh mi to the cavernous Brooklyn Masonic Temple, along with an eclectic line up. Things got a little weird.

04/13/09 Mission: On Mars @ Zebulon, Brooklyn, NY

I always thought this Indian classical fusion group deserved a little more love. Both the band and two of my favorite Williamsburg spots at which I saw them are now defunct.

04/11/09 Orchard Lounge/The Indobox @ Sullivan Hall, New York, NY

I think this was a Lotus afterparty. The late night was especially sloppy. I was denied admittance to the venue between acts and eventually ejected for the first time in nearly a decade.

03/08/09 Drive to Hampton, VA

On the final day of Phish's comeback shows at the intergalactic Hampton Coliseum, we decided on a whim to drive down without tickets to bask in the glow and it was glorious. The early March day was unseasonably warm and though we caught no music, a carefree day in the sun was a welcome respite, and set the tone for an extra Phishy year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

03/13/09 2020 Soundsystem/Ralph Lawson DJ Set/JDH & Dave P. @ Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY

Ralph Lawson's live band project seemed poised for big things at one point.

02/21/09 The New Deal/Quagmire Swim Team @ The Silo, Reading, PA

A couple weeks after our failed attempt at a day of snowboarding and music, we managed a weekend in Pennsylvania capped off by a very lazy day of riding at Blue Mountain. The venue was conveniently attached to the hotel.

02/19/09 Medeski Martin & Wood w/Cyro Baptista @ City Winery, New York, NY

For the final night of this run, for which I believe each venue was a personal first, the trio was joined by eccentric percussionist Cyro Baptista.

02/18/09 Medeski Martin & Wood @ Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY

The second night of this run was part of the Radiolarians album series which honed compositions through live performance.

02/17/09 Medeski Martin & Wood @ 92Y Tribeca, New York, NY

The newest of the bunch, this southern outpost of the 92nd street Y featured organic IPAs and overpriced grilled cheese to accompany stellar sight lines and acoustics. Medeski plucking the inside strings of the piano provided a lasting audiovisual impression.

03/22/08 Orchard Lounge/Pet Cemetery/The Indobox/Digital Frontier @ Paul Robeson Theater, Brooklyn, NY

Despite all the raucous behavior one would expect when allowing crunchtronica heads upwards of a 30 pack each in a dirt-floored church basement, the most memorable aspect of this was when my non-scene friend saw some kidz going gaga over some heady crystals in the bathroom light.

02/14/09 WigJam (Dead tribute) @ MexiCali Blues, Teaneck, NJ

I had planned a Valentine's Day of snowboarding culminating in Mexican food and surprise live Dead music. We never made it snowboarding, but the rest of the day turned out nicely.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

02/07/09 Soulive @ The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY

Seeing a favorite band in a smaller, brand new venue is always a treat. This night started at a friends' Park Slope apartment and took an adventurous turn to local funk ensemble HeyLady's practice space for a drunk and disorderly jam session after party. LISTEN HERE!

01/24/09 Electric Junkyard Gamelan/ATTN: @ Rubulad, Brooklyn, NY

This go-round at the expansive play land of Rubulad featured a couple of local acts. We came for the aesthetic allure of Electric Junkyard Gamelan's DIY twist on the traditional Indonesian ensemble, and we discovered the 8-bit beats of the eminently un-Googleable ATTN:.

01/24/09 Lachi @ National Underground, New York, NY

After this record release party, I believe my drummer friend was asked to leave the group.

01/16/09 Fuerza Bruta @ Daryl Roth Theatre, New York, NY

While not strictly a musical event, there was a DJ and some dancing at this theatrical performance, which featured gravity-defying, mind-bending, sometimes-interactive actors. It was fully worth the hour plus wait in freezing temperatures for discounted tickets.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

01/10/09 NYC Winter Jazzfest @ various venues, New York, NY

For the Manhattan portion of my ambition birthday celebration, I started a tradition at the NYC Winter Jazzfest and I haven't missed one since.

The highlights were Marco Benevento Trio, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (sans Reed Mathis), Burnt Sugar and a late night DJ set by A Tribe Called Quest beat master Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

The next day I completed the 5 boro birthday bash with a trip to Staten Island's beer lover paradise Adobe Blues for an intoxicating breakfast.

01/08/09 Brooklyn Freestyle Sessions w/Mobius Collective @ Rose Live Music, Brooklyn, NY

For my 26th birthday and to kick off an incredible year of music in style, I decided to go all city over the course of a long weekend. Tonight was the Brooklyn portion of the festivities - a jam session at one of my favorite Williamsburg haunts.

The next night took us to Boogie Down Bronx for a graffiti art gallery opening featuring work by several of my friends, after which we wound down back in Queens at L.I.C. Bar.

??/??/08 various artists @ various venues, New York, NY

Lest we forget all the friends' bands in back rooms and dirty bars.

12/31/08 The Danger continued @ warehouse, Brooklyn, NY

The early hours of 2009 were spent much as the early hours of the year prior - in a sweaty warehouse dancing the night away. It was no match for 2008 though. The Danger never really recaptured the fleeting devil-may-care whimsy of One Night of Fire, try as it might.

12/31/08 Samson & The Folkadelics @ The National Underground, New York, NY

This was my debut on the microphone as I kicked some rhymes as the Folkadelics jammed. I wish they would have played straight through midnight though. Countdown over house music? Never again.

12/31/08 The Danger Masquerade Ball @ Pussycat Lounge, New York, NY

To round out 2008, we reluctantly went with The Danger's massive year end blowout, despite having been burned at their Halloween warehouse event. Stifling crowds and an early end, along with missed connections on multiple fronts left a sour taste, but previous successes beckoned us back.

This event was certainly a spectacle employing every cranny of the Pussycat Lounge's three floors, which seemed to be in the midst of renovations. Brass bands blared, limbo lines lurked, go-go girls gallivanted and spirits soared.

But the crowds swelled to an uncomfortable level well before midnight and we departed for a comfier locale.

12/27/08 Disco Biscuits @ Nokia Theater, New York, NY

Set 1: Jam > Orch Theme > Tricycle > 42 > Orch Theme > 42, Uber Glue
Set 2: Jam > Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On1 2, Rock Your Dance1 3, Tamarin Alley, Reactor > Mindless Dribble4 > Reactor, Spraypaint4 > Little Shimmy In A Conga Line5, Bernstein And Chasnoff
Encore: Digital Buddha
1with Tuphace on vocals
21st time played (Funkadelic)
31st time played (Tuphace)
5ending only
This was the Biscuits' first New Year's run at Nokia, which has become their NYC home.

The first set was pretty solid and they had a very nice jam to start set two. The guest vocalist threw off the momentum a bit, but they recovered for a decent show. Nothing mind-blowing though.

12/12/08 The New Deal/Hippocampus/Otherwise @ The Warehouse, Hartford, CT

Having spent much of 2008 seeking out warehouse parties, I took a trip across state lines to Hartford's short-lived former warehouse venue, The Warehouse. The New Deal was one of those bands that guarantees a dance party every time making the two hour trip worth our while.

The opening bands were not shabby either. Otherwise played an electronic-infused dub reggae in a smaller side room and local jammers Hippocampus graced the mainstage with a standard yet effective noodle-heavy set.

It's a shame the venue is no more. It had great New England brews on tap, a spacious outdoor smoking area, pool tables, local art, ample dance room and most importantly a great vibe in a location far from Hartford's seedier side. The next time I saw tND in Hartford was at the grimy Webster Theatre.

10/24/08 Rob Da Bank/The Whip/Luciano/Late of the Pier @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY

I went to this show mainly because Pete Tong curated it, but I ended up leaving before the better, later half of the line-up came on. The most memorable part was when one of the opening bands played percussion with a pair of 2x4's.

09/27/08 Sex Mob w/DJ Olive @ Abrons Art Center, New York, NY

Some of the shows that might have once been scheduled at Tonic shifted to the more regal Abrons Arts Center. Here, Steve Bernstein's ridiculously tight combo Sex Mob performed their 2006 album Sexotica with help from jazzy turntablist DJ Olive.

09/13/08 Lightning Bolt/Growing/Krallice @ 979 Broadway backyard, Brooklyn, NY

This Todd P back to school party took place at a vacant lot under the JMZ line. The trains constantly rumbling overhead complemented the drone metal of Krallice and the more ambient drone of guitar/electronics glitch experimentalists Growing.

The Bushwick lot was perfect for the art school punkfuckery of Lightning Bolt, who elected to situate their sparse set-up in the midst of a rowdy all-ages crowd nearly to their detriment.

09/07/08 Stumblebum Brass Band @ private party, Queens, NY

I stumbled on the Stumblebum Brass Band in a subway station and I eventually got around to checking them out when they came to Maguire's Pub conveniently located within walking distance of my job. That night we ended up barhopping with the trio. Sometime before or after or next barhopping adventure at The Magician (after a thwarted loft party), I finally got the Stumblebums (or the brass two thirds anyways) to come rage a Baller BBQ. This was the 4th edition, subtitled Hello Goodbye, hello to my new roommate and goodbye to my friend who was about to move to Israel.

09/05/08 Soulive/Lettuce @ Highline Ballroom, New York, NY

This late summer throwdown featured two of my favorite modern funk jambands, with enough shared members and collaborators so as to be neatly interchangeable. Throw in the Shady Horns and it's always a dance party.

08/31/08 Team Robespierre/Ninjasonik/Whales & Cops/PoPo/DJ C-Lo @ Office Ops, Brooklyn, NY

This sparsely attended party provided skyline backdrop photo ops and not much else save for a Man Man side project performance.

Things kicked up a notch with an appearance by local hip hoppers Ninjasonik. Their entourage ensures a beer-soaked mosh pit whenever and wherever they perform. Team Robespierre ostensibly put on a show but I'd be hard presses to recollect it.

We followed the Ninjasonik crew to the after party at Happy Endings, an LES hipster hangout that still features the tiles of its previous life as a day spa.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

08/24/08 Agents of Mayhem (Molitz, Gutwillig,Travis & Hann)/EOTO/DJ Logic @ Spiegeltent, New York, NY

This jamband supergroup concocted by Particle's Steve Molitz featured Disco Biscuits shredder Jon "Barber" Gutwillig along with String Cheese Incident offshoot EOTO (Michael Travis and Jason Hann). DJ Logic spun intermittently and joined in several jams. The venue was the magical circular Spiegeltent inside Spiegelworld on the north side of South Street Seaport. It was the traveling beer hall's final NYC season.

The Agents of Mayhem was a nod to Yippie Abbie Hoffman's prankster ways. The band fittingly pranked the entire crowd when Barber was "arrested" onstage. Much of the crowd scattered after Barber got led off stage in handcuffs. Someone yelled, "If they got Barber, no one's safe!"

Those who remained began chanting "Fuck the police!" Our collective jaw dropped when the "cop" came back, guitar in tow. Barber explained, "He's a Biscuithead." The officer then led the group through a appropriate and rousing rendition of "Come Together".

They also covered the hit song of the summer, MGMT's "Time To Pretend".

08/20/08 Bachelor Sound Machín @ Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY

"Like the best garage of yore this quintet of Mexicans in NYC have found a way to turn their idiocy into art—channeling the traditional sounds of Veracruz through the Dada outbursts of punk."

This performance preceded a screening of the excellent film Duck Season at the Socrates Sculpture Park, home to eccentric public art and breathtaking sunset views.

08/17/08 Aesop Rock w/El-P, Rob Sonic/Chin Chin @ McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, NY

I made it to a fair amount of Pool Parties while they were still going, but I undoubtedly would have made it to many more if they did not take place in the relatively early Sunday hours when I was often still on Saturday night.

But even after a lengthy Saturday, I had to drag myself to Williamsburg once again for a free show by one of my favorite lyricists in backpack rap, Aesop Rock.

Overcast skies early kept the crowds away and allowed me to hit up the inflatable slip 'n' slide for the first and only time.

The opening band Chin Chin played a Lite FM disco R&B that someone likened to the band on The Loveboat. Afterwards a DJ spun the kind of block rocking beats that inspire B-Boys to show their stuff, which those in attendance did, busting out an array of gravity-defying handsprings and spins.

Finally, Aesop Rock hit the stage with a couple friends in tow. His verbiose grandeur is actually better suited to the studio, but hip hop rarely translates well live anyways. The block party feel and old school beats were a fitting end to a long weekend of musical adventure.