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Monday, June 19, 2006
  stories and times from our trialing travels in NYC & mostly NJ.
did you miss us?

after our god damn exhausting weekend around NYC/NJ, we come back with stories and under-eye circles galore. even though this is a music/mp3 blog, i'm taking this post to tell you a few stories behind the review that is to come.

the genius that is the city transit system took us to the club - Maxwell's, in Hoboken - by 10. the first band, The Can't See, was not entirely rewarded with our presence (scoff) because by the second song they just weren't doing it for us, and we were overtired, overheated and underfed. we stepped outside into the not-so-cool night air, took a little walk down the intersecting street off of Washington, and sat down on a curb to take in the view of the NYC skyline across the Hudson.

...out of thin air a skateboarder went rushing by us, a shady dart of a figure that was one second controlledly careening around the corner and the next second was down for the count, sprawled on the ground.

"i'm dead." a voice crawled away from the motionless figure.
we just stared, dumbfounded.
"i'm dead. you just watched someone die," came the voice again.
stupidly, i just laughed, while alex choked out something to the effect of, "you okay man?" a small group around the corner peered over at the fallen figure and made a few remarks themselves.
"ah yeah, it's cool. i drank a lot of whiskey and now i can't skateboard," he ingeniously explained. i laughed while he retrieved his board and haphazardly continued on his way. we let it go as a funny encounter and kept our station at the curb.

we arrived back in the club just in time for the second band, Mt. Egypt. we weasled our way to the front (0% difficulty) and waited while the three of them set up. i was making subconscious notes in my head like, wow - they seem like a tight-knit band, a lot of love going on, woozy frontman but it's alright. suddenly, as the music progressively fell apart, and the bassist and drummer kept laughing and shaking their heads, it was apparent that the frontman was absolutely tanked. after a particularly bad song, the "frontman" - whom we now know is Mt. Egypt, and whose name is Travis - sauntered up to the mic and slurred an apology: "hey guys, you don't even know that song, but we just played it so bad." the audience all laughed. "i drank a lot of whiskey tonight.." suddenly, alex and i turned to each other, wide-eyed. "that's the skateboarder!" we got a good, astonished laugh out of that one. Mt. Egypt continued for three more songs, but clearly the competence rate was low (90% difficulty) - to the point that Travis kept stepping up to the bassist to watch his hands, intent upon regaining the rhythm of the song. it was funny, but rather a shame as well, because the set showed a lot of potential. i'll probably grab the studio album to see what they made of that.

another point from the show was the degraded quality of listening. we spoke to a few kids after the show and thankfully they agreed with us, but the audience was positively rude. Travis, though somewhat provoked by alcohol, had good reason to once step up to the mic and say, "hey, you guys are pretty loud back there, you know." someone from the middle returned with, "whoa, this is Jersey!" Travis stepped back up and said, "hey, i do whatever the fuck i want."

sometimes i can understand if an audience talks through an act they don't know, socializing in the barroom atmosphere until the headliner takes the stage. but even after Band Of Horses came on, everyone continued to talk over every song, inserting loud conversation in the beautiful quiet spaces of songs like "Part One" and even the beginning of the much-cheered for "The Funeral". the girls around us were especially locquatious, making remarks that had everyone in the vicinty rolling their eyes. no one was especially happy, like Marathonpacks described in his review of the show. there was even a small fight between an over-imbibed short blond and a very high popped-collar boy. we had an experience much more like Good Hodgkins. another huge issue for me was the flash of a million cameras, blinding and irritating me, working hard to ruin my time. one on either side of me had $200 models that lefts spots in my eyes every time they went off - which was about twelve times a song.

i don't want to brag, and i'm not a huge baseball fan, but we don't get this in Boston.

thank you for indulging me in the stories behind the night. the formal review is separate, clearly, and you should hit that up if you haven't already.

i love you, NJ. you set me up in unfurnished apartments for free and provide incredibly convenient hours of travel in and out of the city. but please - next time - shut the hell up.
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