Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This Boat's a Rockin'

I'm not sure if it's National Jaundice Awareness Week, but the Empire State Building emanated a bright yellow glow last night. The skyline sure did look purty from the Hudson River. So what the fuck was I doing on a boat on a mislabeled tidal estuary following a five-day meth bachelor party binge that begged for a solid Monday night's rest?

The occasional quasi-supergroup cover band known as Bustle In Your Hedgerow rocked the Rocks Off Boat Cruise for three hours last night. And between December's ridiculous performance at the Tribeca Rock Club and the promise of a free ducat, I felt there was no way in good conscience I could have sat on my couch while the boat circled our little island. I'm still hurtin' badly today, but hot damn am I glad I got off my ass and found that fuckin' (black) dog.

Last night also marked the return to live giggery for guitarist Scott Metzger, who brilliantly deParted a less-than-stellar techno-jamband about five weeks ago. Metzger joined his old friends Diamond Dave Dreiwitz, Sir Joe Russo and Untitled Marco Benevento on the three-year anniversary of the very first Bustle performance, and it's almost as if the four of them have been playing together nonstop since that night's debut. Talk about cohesiveness...I think this is the kind of overwhelming tightness to which pedophiles are attracted. That's a horrible analogy, sure, but dead on.

The boat was crowded but not nearly packed, and watching people try to dance in the small space when the waters whipped the ship around was pretty hilarious. But dance we all did -- it helps when you're prodded by four insanely talented musicians that get together rarely to cover one of the greatest rock bands of all time. What's more impressive is how amazing they do it, though. I could maybe perhaps kinda use a lead singer up there, but musically, I'm not sure I've heard anyone cover anything so incredibly in the history of live music. How's that for all-out fluffing hyperbole?

Marco and Scott re-create the classic Zeppelin sound, but it's Joe and Dave that make this band as perfect as it is. Dave could have piloted the Enola Gay because he drops serious, destructive bombs all over the Japs place, and sans analogy, Joe may actually be the best drummer on the planet. If anyone can fill the dead shoes of John Bonham, it's certainly this human octopus pictured above that simultaneously makes it look so effortless and yet so difficult. Parking my no-talent ass directly next to him throughout the whole second set was like a eunich watching an orgy.

The remaining highlight that I'd be remiss if I didn't point out: the two School of Rockers that sat in with Marco and Dave to open the second set. The female guitarist made Metzger look like a chump and the young longhair on drums told Russo to go home and get his fuckin' shinebox. Well, maybe they weren't that great, but they really were phenomenal. These two folks have a very fine future ahead of 'em (a kind anonymous commenter chimes in: "The special guests were Sarah Zimmerman on guitar and vocals and Eric Slick on drums...").

I took some video footage of Immigrant Song and the not-so- impromptu DanjaBoots two-song encore ("We're out of Zeppelin tunes," I heard Joe say), but I've yet to upload the clips. Hopefully one of the videos does justice to that rendition of Immigrant Song. I hate to use the Ace-cliche "off the charts...we need new charts" here, but good lord, sometimes I just have no words for greatness.

And that, my friends, is greatness: a Top Fiver for 2006, for sure.

More Pics: Metzger, Dreiwitz, Russo; Marco's jamface; pre-encore band meeting; other side of the meeting; Metzger & Dreiwitz; School of Rock sit-ins; The Statue of Liberty.

(All pics courtesy of the lovely Penny Lane Seiden and myself -- but, of course, Seiden took the future album cover shot above)


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous shoe5548 said...

Very nice summation of the evenings festivities-love the pic of all four guys! Definitely a sweet show, made even better by the small crowd in attendance.

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe the girl's name was sarah zimmerman. don't know the guy's name.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Yeah, I liked how you could actually move around easily in there...or be thrown around the boat.

I'm genuinely shocked at how under the radar this show was, considering how much people love Zeppelin, Ween and The Duo. I mean, if these guys did a full two-month tour, they'd be everyone's favorite band instantly. For real.

At 5:52 PM, Blogger dhodge said...

Thanks for working the dirty little secret about Hudson's River into your post, it's one of my current favorite random factoids.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger JBRhapsody said...

Damn, wish I were there. Few things better than a sweaty Metzger, Russo, Benevento shredfest.

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The special guests were sarah zimmerman on guitar and vocals and eric slick on drums...eric is currently the drummer in the new adrian belew trio along with his sister julie on bass...eric has also been on the road with project object, the zappa tribute band...

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Thanks much, anon. commenter -- Sarah and Eric have some promising careers ahead of 'em. Damn, that was super enjoyable.


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