Having been bizzy with Stuf of a Personal Natur, I have been remiss in describing the Concert Hi-lites of last week to you, sports fans. First, as a postscript to my Elf Power review of Thursday, I would add that following Elf Power's action-packed set during which I danced my azz off (fuck that lame Wii and Dance Dance Revolution shite), I (a) discovered a poster for Death of Samantha's first, last and only DC show collaged on the upstairs wall of the club as part of a much larger collage of dozens of said vintage flyers for shows that happened before the majority of the club's patrons were conceived; (b) manipulated the claw machine to win a stuffed American Eagle dressed in a Harley biker outfit and of course, Made in China; and (c) speaking of bikers, made my way to the bus stop post-show only to find it completely surrounded by an entire contingent of African-American biker papas and mamas, in leathers, Sturgis t-shirts and the whole nine yards, who'd apparently rode up en masse from Virginia on their shiny tricked-out machines to hit the Martini Bar. I don't have a problem with bikers, as Mitch Mitchell said they're generally nice ppl. However, I did wonder if their presence was causing the cabs to not stop for me, until a nice brother on a cell fone hollered to me that one stopped up the block, so I'm thinking maybe the cabs just didn't see me waving from behind all those parked bikes that I didn't wanna get too close to for fear of knocking them over and getting murdered or something.
Friday nite I went back to same club to see Half Japanese. Being a lazy sod I will just quote my lossless review here:
Finally saw Half Japanese last night. I could have seen them umpty frat times before as they are local and play out every once in a while but I didn't like that stuff when I was young, then I think they were broke up for a while so it was just Jad Fair solo, then whenever they got back together it seemed they were playing out in Virginia somewhere and I didn't feel like driving. I'm kind of glad I waited till they were all pushing 50 as it's a lot more entertaining to see 50-year-old guys who look like frazzled lawyers and have brung all their wives, teen kids and Aunt Susies to the show jumping around acting like idiots and singing silly art rock songs. It just wouldn't have had the same impact if they were all 30 and high."
It was a better show than I expected, although they had to cut the encore short and I still think Ubu did that schtick better, if for no other reason than Ubu hailed from the futoorless Rust Belt while Jad n' Co. came from the relatively futooriffic Balto-DC area and hence just seem to be having a larf. I mean, when Jad plays a tiny toy guitar and breaks all the strings, it's a joke. Whereas, if David Thomas did that it would be a comment on the futility of existence or vapidity of mankind, or else one of the Ubu guitarists would grab the untuned thing and play it Really Groundbreakingly Awesometastic on its one remaining string and people would exchange bootlegs of it next day.
Which bringz us to Saturday and the Hot Water Music/ Thursday show at Terminal 5 in NYC. I missed the first opening band and half of Thursday in favor of laying around my room looking out the window (hey I pay enuf for the room and the view, I like to enjoy it) and not looking fwd to the seven or nine LONG LONG BLOCKS I was gonna have to walk due to the venue being rather a hike away in an area unsullied by subways, but still close enuf that cab fare could not be justified. When I finally hiked to the show I discovered that approximately 1/4 of New Jersey was at it, that the venue inside looked almost exactly like Rams Heads Live in B'more, that the air conditioning was cranked wonderfully high, and that the club had a plethora of massively comfy leather-upholstered chairs in excellent repair on the upper levels, with almost no one sitting in them. I was truly impressed with the quality of the seatery as I am more used to places where there is nowhere to sit but a concrete step and the bouncers might make you get up or throw you out.
After watching the second half of Thursday's set, which was surprisingly not bad (the guitarist was kind of cute too), I went upstairs and watched Hot Water Music play from the third floor, pulling one of those comfy chairs up to a railing and having only a mildly obstructed view. Hot Water Music were cool enuf - I dunno if I'd see them twice, but once was certainly fun in a Bad Religion sort of way. The upper floor also provided a great view of the pit action below. I was particularly entertained by two balding six-foot 350-lb guys who I thought were prolly brothers and who looked like cousins of Zippy the Pinhead, with little heads perched on top of big fat tall bodies. They were pretty much just acting like human pinball flippers and barriers, bouncing smaller dudes offa their stomachs.
Afterwards I stood for abt a half hour in the World's Longest Merch Line. Note to self: next time in NYC buy shirts early in the show to avoid the line and cuz sizes do sell out. When I finally got my shirts and got out of there, I overheard some band guys on the corner telling some other dudes, "Yeah, you can use our practice space and equipment anytime! We're called 'Reacharound.' " My Inner Beavis found that pretty hilarious. Then I did the Bataan Death March in reverse back to the W. 53d 24-hr deli for a Life Savers Five Flavor popsicle and dirty potato chips and to marvel at the halal stand outside drawing a diverse line of people almost two blocks long at 12:30 in the morning. I'm not real sure what halal is although it appears to involve huge roasts of beige fleshy meat being cut up while customers dance to loud rap played on car radios in the middle of a fairly conservative hotel and office district.
So endeth my rawkshow advento0rs for a while as I have two classes, a doctor appointment and a business trip scheduled this week. I am a lost soul, I shoot myself with rock n' roll. I am proud and unsurprised that the dude who wrote those words was, of course, from Ohio, where we take such matters seriously.