The Hold Steady @ NYU

For better or worse, the crowd of NYU students and hardcore fans who finagled their way in was the most rowdy of any Steady show I've seen. The moshing and stage diving makes me slightly proud of my Alma Mater, but for some it was a bit much. Not that it was aggressive, but it was constant and pretty intense. Not bad for a booze-free venue.

First of all, where have the Thermals been all my life? Best set by an opening band I'd never heard of in a long damn time. I guess it was kind of a double bill, since they have a following. For three people who look more like a study group than a rock band, they tear in up. I bought their latest CD and can't wait to listen to it, though I can't seem to find it this morning.

The Steady started with Positive Jam, and you immediately knew this crowd was going to toss you around a bit. The setlist was pretty standard, no major surprises. Craig made a crack about A-Rod finally hitting, which I guess is better than him referencing that they're in last place. Lots of people snuck through a side door and onto the stage to stagedive/crowdsurf. In the Killer Parties encore, Tad Kubler(guitar) surfed while playing. Then as, Craig prepared to follow, my friend Dan stole his moment and beat him to it. There was a little bit of second encore blue balls, as it took a minute for the lights to come on. We were out of smuggled Beam anyway. It's so hard to rank Hold Steady shows. It's more a feeling of another great night to put on the memory shelf.

Also, the whole show but especially the Thermals were insanely loud. I guess we're old, but there is rampant hearing loss among my crew today.


RIP Kurt Vonnegut

Woke up to see my favorite author has died from brain injuries suffered during a fall two weeks ago. He was 84. His writing always struck me as totally original for blending wit, fantasy, absurdism and morality. He often wrote about beings from another planet, I believe, to have something to contrast people with. He seemed to speak for the human race to a vaccuum, with equal parts shame and pride. He also like to draw anuses.

Some of my favorite quotes:

"It used to be the whole point of smoking was that we were killing ourselves, and we didn't care."

"Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be."

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different."

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."

"1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them."

"By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas."

"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart."

"The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody would be to not be used for anything by anybody. Thank you for using me, even though I didn't want to be used by anybody."

"So it goes."

YouTube Gem

Stumbled on this while cruising youtube. I can't remember seeing a short this funny in a long time. Don't know anything about it except it stars Nick Frost, half of the comedy team behind Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, out next Friday.


The Clay Steady

Here's Steve's kickass video for the Hold Steady's video competition. He, Nicole and Chuck worked really hard on it and every bit of their labor paid off. Now give him the prize already.

Brooklyn Bars (almost) As Bad As Manhattan Ones On Weekends

If I knew photoshop I would have pasted little trucker hats on these fish.

Time Out is crushed that 90% of the great Brooklyn bars are mob scenes on Friday and Saturday nights. The article points out that "just a few years ago, the borough’s Tuesday and Saturday bargoing experiences were nearly identical" but that now a line to get in is not uncommon at the ridiculously popular community-center-like Union Hall.

It is true that on weekends a nagging feeling in my gut says, find a house party, hit an out of the way bar like O'Connor's or B61, or stay home. A recent Saturday at Floyd was jammed, and had some of the worst meatheads I have ever seen fall backward onto a bocce court and refuse to apologize to the nice people playing.

At least BBQ season is getting close.

(Thanks Lewis)


Hold Steady Play Bruce Springsteen Tribute Show

Someone said it was a little boring overall. But what a finish. I shouldn't have cheaped out. I saw Craig & Co. at Hi-Fi afterward, they were glowing.

Here's hoping they sell the audio on iTunes.


Bright Eyes Cassadaga


First off, this a Bright Eyes record, so if the sound of his voice makes your soul hurt, then this record is not for you. But if you love him, prepare to keep right on loving. Musically, it's closest to I'm Wide Awake It's Morning. Buttery and elegant, with that perfect amount of slide guitar/pedal steel bluegrassiness(32.8%). There's the perrenial weird first track, some lady yammering about the spiritual town in Florida called Cassadaga. He still doesn't like Bush. If The Brakeman Turns My Way instantly claims squatter's rights in your head. Like Poison Oak off IWAIM, many songs build to swells that are very worth the wait. The first listen didn't wow me, but man is she a grower.

BTW, I choose to believe the song Classic Cars is about Conor having a night of life-changing sex with Emmy Lou Harris. Seriously, listen to it. He's not even really cryptic about it. He may as well just call it "I got all Harold and Maude in Emmy Lou's business".

Human Giant Premiere

I've seen bits and pieces of the new MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant and I wish I could buy stock in it. Set your tivos and divos. Thursday night at 10:30.

MTV Human Giant Season 1 Trailer

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