1.28.2007

Q: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?
A: BROOKLYN







(photos from the annual Idiotarod race in Brooklyn)

Mike of Bike Blog and Chris of Still We Ride fame made a fun little movie of the Idiotarod this weekend, check it out here. And a handful of photos by lil' old me are here. It was the shortest race so far, and possibly the drunkest too. I still have traces of a mix of glitter, flour, and maple syrup on me. . . shrapnel from the Condiment War tendencies that have become popular with the racers. At least I didn't get hit with the Penis Canon, generously provided by Black Label. Yum.

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MP3:

I seem to really like covers of this song.

• Namesake - When You Were Mine

1.22.2007

BACK BEFORE ANGER BECAME AN AFFECTATION


(Amateur Female Jello Wrestling)

Don't worry, no poetic pontificating about any homeless people this time. Just a heads up that if you're not headed to DC for the protests, don't you dare miss the Idiotarod this Saturday. Killer after party too. Let's hope it's freezing cold, snowing, everything is covered in ice, and there are packs of roving wild dogs to chase the racers.

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MP3:

I really got into the Mountain Goats back when Nine Black Poppies came out. That song "Cubs In Five" was on constant repeat in my head for years. And as things do, life kept going, John Darnielle kept putting out records, and everything kind of got confusing. I've always been pleased when I would run into some Mountain Goats, at a friend's house or wherever. But I had kind of gotten this idea in my head that a lot of his songs were really similar and you only needed one or two albums to be covered. Then I heard this song over the summer and sat there eating my words thoughts and being really pleasantly surprised. The music is great, much more dramatic than is customary for him. The lyrics are evocative and, well, here. . . "Kiss me with your mouth open, turn the tires toward the street, and stay sweet." I don't know, but that's hits a spot for me.

• The Mountain Goats - Dilaudid

A band's place in myspace.

1.20.2007

YOU CAN RUN WITH THE BEST
BUT CAN YOU ROLL WITH THE REST



(Best Fwends performing at Galapagos in Brooklyn)

I sat next to a man on the subway today who had obviously just escaped from a hospital. He was wearing nothing but a t-shirt, pajama pants, those little beige mini socks they give you, and a hand towel over his hairless head (keep in mind it was in the teens with wind chill today). He also had the tape/cotton balls on his arm from an IV, in case you thought I was jumping to conclusions. I was really confused as to what help if any I could offer. He looked kinda spooked, glancing around a lot and fidgeting. I thought about calling the police to help him, but then second-guessed myself that he was probably better off on his own. It did remind me of the last time I met someone who had recently "escaped" from a hospital, it was on my first trip to Detroit. I drove into Detroit having no direction or destination. So of course after sight-seeing at the abandoned office buildings downtown, I ended up wandering into a pretty damn rough neighborhood. Almost half the houses seemed to be burned out, people were wandering in the street, and there were the requisite fires in 55 gallon barrels. I drove into a pothole at one intersection, and then drove out of it at the other end of the intersection. I couldn't help but be constantly reminded of the movie Robocop. Less so because it supposedly took place in a bombed-out future Detroit, and more so because it looked like they didn't even have to change anything to film it there. Anyway, I stopped at a gas station to fuel up and use the pay phone (this was back before I could afford a cell phone). As soon as I get out a handful of people come over asking for a dollar and whatnot, I apologetically turn them down, except that one woman won't leave me alone. I eventually notice that she isn't asking for a dollar, but rather if I have a blade, "Hey mister, ya gotta blade mister?" A bit wary I respond yes (I had my leatherman on me). She then proceeds to tell me how the police had kidnapped her and put her in the hospital, but she had escaped. As she says this she rolls back her sleeve to show me the IV still inserted and taped to her arm. She had gone to a shelter and gotten some clothes (this was in January), but the shoes didn't fit well because of her bunions. She wanted me to cut the backs off of her new New Balances so they would be more like "house shoes." I figured they were her shoes, and this was what she wanted, so why not? She took off her shoes as I sat down in the lot of this gas station and proceeded to saw the backs of her shoes off. They cut pretty easily, although I did slip and cut my hand at one point. I gave them back to her as she thanked me saying how much better they were, and just as I was bidding her good luck and heading in to pre-pay she stops and asks me, "Hey mister, you got a dollar?"

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MP3:

This band is from Philly, and this cover is awesome. Best Fwends covered Hall and Oates at their show last night too. Whaddya know.

• The Method And Result - Private Eyes

A band's place in myspace.

1.15.2007

I WAS THERE WHEN THEY BROKE YOU IN



(We March playing a house show in Brooklyn this past weekend)

Sometimes you can be cruising along in life, workin' hard, enjoying things, not stressing too hard. And then suddenly get a brisk reminder that you live in a big scary world/city and bad shit can happen out of the blue if it so chooses. Like this weekend I was riding home in the rain, kind of taking my time, and in the span of a couple blocks I got hit by a drunk driver and then shot in the face with a pellet gun. I am fine on both accounts, but a bit rattled regardless. I'm still trying to figure out if I am supposed to get some sort of understanding from this. The only thing I can think of is "Don't get too comfortable."

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MP3:

My roommate got into a fight at a bar this past weekend. He used a table as a weapon, which is pretty cool. The best part though is that although the other guy instigated it by being a dick, Rattlesnake threw the first beer. However when the bouncers got there, the other guy was STILL being such a dick that he got tossed. And they left the Rattlesnake drink in peace. So that made me think of this song. Oh and if you're like me and you like good music and The Rattlesnake, you should read this.

• Lucero - Bikeriders

A band's place in myspace.

1.12.2007

LETTING GO OF EVERYTHING THAT USED TO BE


(note the guillotine in the background)

I spent part of my evening down at the Bowery Mission tonight. I was watching as a man giving a sermon began asking people to come up to the front and welcome Jesus into their lives. Very slowly a trickle of people started coming up. I noticed one man at the front as he stood close by with his back to me. He was wearing very familiar standard work clothes, black work boots, blue dickies, matching blue work jacket, and a black knit hat. His posture was slightly stooped and there was some scruffy white hair sticking out of the back of the hat spilling over his collar. He eventually turned around to face the room as more people came up. And then I saw his eyes. They were the deepest blackest thing I have ever seen. No color or pigment, just utter black surrounded by grayish white. I don't know what to compare them too. They didn't emote anything in particular, nothing evil or profound or cold. . . just black. I stared at those eyes for what seemed like minutes, and eventually noticed something else. There were the tiniest little streams of tears hiding in the crevice between his nose and cheek. They disappeared when they reached his bristly white moustache. His face didn't look sad, a bit tired perhaps, but nothing to indicate the tears. And there he stood at the front of this small warmly-lit chapel in a shelter on the Bowery, staring intently off into space surrounded by thundering praises to the Lord Jesus echoing out of loudspeakers while the tiniest tears trickled out of the blackest eyes.

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MP3:

Do you ever get a kick out of how inappropriate my musical selections can sometimes be in connection to what I write about in the same post? I do, but that's also why I have that little dashed line separating the two. It's like turning the page, like a fresh start. Anyway, I posted a photo of Juiceboxxx in my last post, but a lot of people may not know about his skinny rap-your-pants off music. So here are some samples. I wish I had a track from his brand new album, but there is a pretty good taste of it on the "sneak preview" clip. The guy puts on a damn fun live show, and isn't afraid to crowd surf on the six people watching him at a basement show.

• Juiceboxxx - Thunder Jam 3

• Juiceboxxx - Sweat (sneak preview)

A band's place in myspace.

1.11.2007

HE DRINKS TEQUILA AND SHE TALKS DIRTY
IN SPANISH



(Juiceboxxx and Free Blood performing at Micheline's)

Aren't photos and music enough? Here's more.

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MP3:

Remember the last time you felt like this? That was something, wasn't it?

• She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart

A band's place in myspace.

1.09.2007

BUT WHO BETTER TO BREAK YOUR HEART?






(photos from the Matt & Kim show at Studio B)

So (as previously mentioned) Matt & Kim played at this cavernous Polish nightclub in Greenpoint. . . and it was crowded. The whole show was pretty damn amazing. And as a bonus there was the poor bouncer who stood on stage trying to grab stage divers during Matt & Kim's set, he ended up getting taunted by both the crowd and the band (but he took it really well, especially for a bouncer). More photos here.

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MP3:

I met Sxip Shirey many years ago, when he had first moved to NYC. He struck me as slightly weird, but in an intense and probably very intelligent way. We didn't do much talking, but I have continually run into him over the years. . . whether it be at a show by his band The Luminescent Orchestrii, watching him beatbox with a harmonica into a megaphone on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, telling tall tales in the darkness of abandoned industrial buildings, performing an elaborate piece down in the Atlantic train tunnels in Brooklyn about a woman who gets walled up alive to please her in-laws, or that time years ago when I almost got stuck at his house due to a massive sudden blizzard. Recently I went to see him speak about his travels at Bluestockings. As part of his presentation he played a clip from a forthcoming gangster movie in which he performs a trademark Sxip song. The filming and the music were equally intense, sensual, and dramatic. Not bad for a guy alone on stage with a harmonica. The film is called Love, I'm not sure what the title of the song was, but this was the closest I could find on his CD (available at CD Baby). A sort of collision of Appalachian, Balkan, Gypsy, and Circus music. You should have seen how big the smile on my face was when during his harmonica-fueled gypsy-dance performance into a megaphone he seamlessly transitioned into an accapela rendition of the chorus to "No Diggity" (this was a while ago) and then back again. I love that shit.

• Sxip Shirey - My Own Dirge

A band's place in myspace.

1.06.2007

MAKE PUNK HOUSES THE NEW PARLIAMENT



Another killer Matt & Kim homecoming show this Saturday (and hopefully many more to come). Brought to you by (no surprise here) Todd P.

::

====> SATURDAY 1/6 @ STUDIO B <====

:: MATT AND KIM
:::: Meneguar
:::::: Aa aka BIG A little a
:::::::: Totally Michael

:: SPECIAL GUESTS @ 8PM:
::
:: Tiny Masters Of Today --> Brooklyn's youngest rockers @ 10 & 12 years old!

:: DJs Stachemaster, Dirty Finger, & Andersonic

[ STUDIO B ] ---> totally superclub style!
259 Banker St @ Calyer | Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford/G-Nassau | -ALL AGES- | --> $6 !! <-- | 8PM

:::

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MP3:

I had first heard of this band when I met one of the members through the Miss Rockaway Armada project. But then I was busy on a raft being eaten by mosquitos and sleeping on the ground, so I was a bit too distracted to try and follow up on them. Then I was invited to a show they played recently and was glad I went. The band was all dressed like vikings, and even had a crew of half/mostly-naked dancing vikings that were busy riling up/scaring the crowd. But you've probably already seen them.

• Fur Cups For Teeth - Buffalo

• Fur Cups For Teeth - Mystery Train

A band's place in myspace.

1.04.2007

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE NICE GUY
RUNS OUT OF NICE



Times Up! has organized a memorial ride to commemorate all the bikers that were killed in 2006. It's a full day of riding, with two possible routes (Bronx/north Manhattan, or Brooklyn/Queens). It's also going to be beautiful and unnaturally warm, which leaves very little reason not to pedal off some of those holiday pies. Details below:

:::

JOIN US THIS SUNDAY for the 2006 CYCLIST MEMORIAL RIDE.

Join us this year as we ride in honor of all the cyclists who were killed on the streets of New York City in 2006. We ride together in love and respect for those who were needlessly struck down. We ride together in outrage and anger, sharing their stories- those that made the papers and those that didn't- recognizing the fact that none of these deaths had to happen.

Working with the Visual Resistance ghost bike project which uses memorial installations as reminders of tragedies that took place on otherwise anonymous street corners and as a quiet statement in support of a biker's right to safe travel, the Memorial Ride seeks to bring bikers together to honor our fellow cyclists while bringing attention to the fact that all NYC bikers travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks every day.

Come to one memorial or ride with us all day. Please bring flowers, love, and rage.
Check listing for meet up times and locations.

Come to one memorial or ride with us all day. Check back on 1/6 and early morning 1/7 for weather updates, cancellations, and rescheduling.

Ride Schedule
Queens/Brooklyn/Manhattan Route
09:45-Meet @ Jamaica Center stop on the E or J trains.
Group will ride to Simpson Memorial together.
10:00-Frank C. Simpson, 174th St & Linden Blvd, Queens.
11:30-Jose Mora, North Conduit & McKinley, East New York
12:00-Shamar Porter, Linden Blvd & Williams, Brownsville
12:30-Keith Powell, Ave L & 93rd, Canarsie
01:00-Donna Goodson, Rockaway Pkway & Ave. D, New Lots
02:00-Bronx Jon, South 4th Street & Roebling,Williamsburg
02:45-Derek Lake, Houston Street & LaGuardia, West Village

Bronx/ Upper Manhattan Route
09:00-Meet @ Pelham Bay Subway stop. Last stop on the 6.
Group will ride to City Island Memorial together.
10:00-Ivan Morales, City Island, Bronx
12:30-Uptown Meet-up: 145th and 8th Ave, Harlem
12:45-Jamel Lewis, 145th St & 8th Ave, Harlem
01:30-Memorial for Pedestrians killed on the streets, E 96th and Park Ave.
02:00-Memorial for anonymous woman, 66th Central Park Traverse
02:45-Derek Lake, Houston Street & LaGuardia, West Village

The two group rides will converge @ the Derek Lake memorial.

02:45-Derek Lake, Houston Street & LaGuardia, West Village
03:15-Reginald Chan, 3rd ave & 17th street
03:45-Darren Lewis, 29th & 9th ave.
04:15-Dr. Carl Henry Nacht, Greenway & 38th street
04:45-Eric Ng, Greenway @ West & Clarkson

Ride will finish @ 5:15 at the Memorial for Unnamed Cyclists
(northwest corner of Lafayette and Houston Streets)

Ghost Bikes 1
Ghost Bikes 2

:::

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MP3:

I was really hoping to get to debut this track on the interweb the first time it was mentioned to me, but alas I was beat to it. The thought of a combination of what I had heard of St. Vincent with this Nico classic seemed like a perfect union. And obviously I was not disappointed.

• St. Vincent - These Days

A band's place in myspace.