Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Linkas de Drogas y Musica

--Like these New Mexicans in question, I also enjoy a nice warm cup of hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual (just four?). But we differ in the Connection with God Department. I usually connect with swirling images of Keith Hernandez and Bob Costas and get lost in the complex patterns of nature and vomit. So, Supreme Court, I put this to you: Am I obeying the law too, or is it just the religious who can trip their Godly balls off and connect with the Higher Power?

--He's often missing for a few weeks at a time, but Ahren over at ye ol' Physics blog always posts some well-written mindfucking material. Sunday he unveiled "the unofficial guide to using drugs recreationally, then driving," and it's dead-on-balls accurate.

He left out nitrous oxide, which should read "Buckle up, close your eyes and pray," but he got it right.

--Speaking of, I met up with the GZ Gang and caught a roll-a-rrific Umphrey's McGee show on Friday at New York's newest and already best venue, the Nokia Theatre.

Umphrey's was Umphrey's -- they're a fast-changin', prog-rockin' jamband with a killer sound and a knack for having more fun on stage than just about anyone I've seen. I can't expound much more on their act, but I do have a couple notes on the venue an the UM crowd.

The Nokia in Times Square may be an uber-corporate venue, and it definitely costs way too much to buy a ticket and get a drink (three bucks for a few sippies of water?). But that room is by far the best place to see a mid-sized show in the city, as the user-friendly experience is off the charts. They patch the soundboard into the hallways and bathroom for chrissakes, and they show a pixelated video of the show on a few screens in the lobby.

Every band out there should play that room instead of the older Roseland and Hammerstein ballrooms. I love the set-up there: stage, floor, another tier of dance floor, luxurious movie seats in the back with perfect views and sound and the VIPs on the sides.

UM's crowd is similar to, say, any hip hop concert. That is to say, it's loaded to the tits with affluent, white and quite drunk high school kids, and the ratio of guy-to-girl is about the same as white-to-black at an Anaheim Angels game.

So with all these youngins about Friday (and perpetually), the first floor was the high school cafeteria, the second floor was more student union, and the people in the back were chillin' in the adult lounge. My view from the lounge was perfect, and I pretty much had a whole row to myself where I could do a little hippie dance and chew off the inside of my cheeks.

All in all, a very fun show unfolded, a great group of guys and gals kept me company and UM did not disappoint. The show is already up on the Live Music Archive, and you can stream or download it here. If you're short on time, check out the fantastic Bridgeless opener, the sick dub-reggae version of Floyd's Breathe, and the fairly funny but rockin' 40s Theme and Got Your Milk (Right Here).

--And now for today's plug of the week: Jesse Jackson's (no, not that one) "Backyards and Living Rooms Tour"

I saw this on a Phish message board one day and thought the idea was cool as hell. Harkening back to a time when Dylan and the folkies passed around a donation hat in exchange for a solid performance, a young, talented nouveau troubador named Jesse Jackson wants to play at your house instead of running out on a label-supported tour. If I had more than 25 square feet of space, I'd definitely jump at the chance, but alas, I cannot.

Here's the best characterization I could find of this up-and-comer: "Jesse's music is a blend of folk, blues and jazz. He claims that 'if Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Louden Wainright III and Kris Kristoffersen had (not by force, only with permission) an orgy with Joni Mitchell, then I might be the result.'"

So if you have a place to play, or if you have some leads or words of encourgement, head on over to JJ's Myspace site and get in touch with him. Also, while you're there, listen to Truckstop in Chicago...it's just an awesome song. The tour starts on March 13th, so don't delay.

--And lastly, courtesy of our new friends over at The Function of Unguent, check out this fuzzy but cool clip of James Brown calling up both Michael Jackson and Prince at one of his concerts.


At 2:40 PM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

Am I the only one who gets just a little put off when an "up and comer" takes a legend's name in vain? And this guy takes five?

Yo Jesse, back offa Willie, will ya? Back offa Louden for that matter.

It's all so Michael Bolton / "Dock of the Bay."

I'm sure he's great. But we could wait 1000 years and never have another Willie.

Unsolicited nonsequitor two cents signing off now....

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous aaron said...

if you want, we can book him to play m rooftop as soon as it gets warm. can easily fit 100 people up there and we can snake an extension cord down.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous JMoney said...

Nokia rules! It's very dark too, especially in the back and they sell food if you're desperate enough to spend $9 on a chicken sandwich. Clearly Nokia is better than Hammerstein, Irving & Roseland, but what about Bowery (yeah it's a lot bigger but..)?

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I love the Bowery...probably my favorite small-sized venue in the city. But there's a big difference between 600 and 2,100.

Aaron, if you're serious, I'd totally discuss the possibility of that with you...

And Gypsy, let's just throw a big relaaaaax out there. I think it was more of a joke for the sake of characterization than anything else. But I still lubs you.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger ismateo said...

Umphrey's might be the best cover band around. I've seen them play Toto, Metallica and Fugazi -- all in the same show. their own songs are kind of hit-and-miss for me -- but when they hit, it's good shit.


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