December 30 - January 1
Ok. A year in review.
I’ll start by addressing the Gods Wisdom set at midnight on New Year’s. If you heard anything about it, believe everything.
Yes, he did a bunch of drugs. Yes, he lives on a dirt road. Yes, he wrote that song in Poland.
New Year’s Instagram posts kinda bum me out, but I feel pressure to push in that direction. There’s definitely a lot to say. It’s been crazy watching the energy change around my friends this year. I’m grateful to know so many artists I admire.
But I don’t wanna dwell on 2022. It’s link & build season. I’ll leave the retrospectives to the real journalists. I’m going mogul mode.
This year, enjoy yourselves, goddammit.
New Year’s had me feeling it—feeling like we really do have a special moment in NYC music on our hands.
I arrived while Precious Little Human was playing. I have a history of showing up late, and Christian has a history of getting mad at me for it. But this time it was actually Jack’s fault.
A (presumably) drunk woman kept yelling “I love them so much” whenever things got quiet. She put the crowd on her back.
It’s hard not to love Christian and his band of merry pranksters. I didn’t know Angel was lying on the stage until she stood up to leave. Christian’s songs are sensitive, sweet & sincere.
Feeble Little Horse showed us how it’s done. Featuring a Hello Kitty guitar. A confirmed hot band with hot songs. And it hits when they want it to hit. Alex noted that they’re all very tall. From the balcony, I saw Martin snapping pics in the mosh pit.
Sidney Gish is another reminder that artists should do what they wanna. She opened with a Starfucker cover. She described the song as “generational content.” She said, “It’s a calibration—like calibrating a smart board.”
Sidney also pointed out that the ambiguously spelled balloons behind her onstage could be read as three different words: yay, gay, or gag.
Last time I saw Sidney headline NYC, I was a fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed intern at Salty Artist Management. Sidney sold out Rough Trade. Then, in Boston, we lived together during the flowering of the pandemic. Sidney hasn’t released an album since No Dogs Allowed in 2017 and she’s never stopped selling out thiccc rooms. Pretty badass.
I acquired quite a bit of insider trading information as Sidney’s roommate: her LLC is called Yendis—Sidney backwards. She has a large framed needlepoint depiction of the Last Supper. Sidney also loves tomato paste.
One of the first shows I ever played was opening for Sidney midday on the lawn in front of the BU School of Communications. I remember her shows at so many Boston spots. The Shed Cellar. The Democracy Center. Lesley. Great Scott. Holden Chapel. So many moments with her & her music—very cool that the songs are still in my life.
When Sidney finished, Jack and I walked to the farewell party at Bella Ciao. I cannot verify that the spot is actually done for good. But Jack had never been, and he wanted his chance to see the promised land.
I historically hate Bella Ciao. But this time was different. The party was booked by local communists Grapenut Brunch Club.
Everyone was beautiful. It flooded downstairs, and Kevin Carpet was right there in the middle of it, partially submerged. Jack and I shared a cig inside just to feel like we were part of something.
DJ Thank You fired it up. This is where I claim credit for suggesting her for Harrison’s first show as The Dare. And in the spirit of claiming credit, a reminder that Jack booked that show—the gig colloquially known as “the shot heard round the world.”
It was the perfect amount of people in the space, and a fitting farewell. One person in the crowd was waving an Italian flag.
If you weren’t at Baby’s on NYE, that’s on you. I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink.
Closed out 2022 by throwing my card down at the bar for a $1,500 open tab. I knew the open bar money would ultimately come outta my pocket, but I didn’t anticipate how it would feel to just hand it over like that.
NEW YORK was electric, and you missed it. I know for certain. Because there were like 15 people in there. I left the live room and hustled people to come in. Even asked some people individually. I’m grateful I got to see NEW YORK take the empty-room-plunge. I don’t think they’ll be playing spaces like that for long.
All the industry heads bangin my line to talk about The Dare should get to the gig on Friday. The Perfectly Imperfect x Forever Mag party at Baby’s is a partial mashup of the NYE gigs at Baby’s and Bowery Ballroom. NEW YORK is flying in again from London.
Someone puked by the stage during Clovis. Which made me re-think the open bar idea. Throughout the rest of the show, I kept seeing her doubled-over in different locations. Her friends were having animated conversations while she was shlumped behind them, leaning against the wall looking damn near unresponsive.
Gods Wisdom didn’t want to do a new year’s countdown. Later in the night, I was a bystander as some long standing conflict played out between the Gods Wisdom and Ion Pack teams. I was surprised that they’d heard of each other, never mind having beef.
A wise man once said, “If you want a legendary music scene, you’re gonna need some genuine shit stirrers.” Gods Wisdom definitely stirred shit. And if u can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen. I looked back at Billy Jones while it was happening and he looked concerned. Isaac loved it. So eff the rest of yall.
I’m obsessed with BigKlit. There’s nothing more I could want from a performer. And she was pregnant as all hell.
A few quotes I wrote down during her set:
“I’m 36 weeks pregnant. Still the same Klit though.”
“Put some respect on the klit.”
The DJ wore a full-body bondage suit. At 9 months pregnant, BigKlit got down on the stage and moved her hips with an agility that I flat-out know I will never achieve.
During “What That Mouth Do,” BigKlit asked for a volunteer from the audience to demonstrate what that mouth do. Sabina stepped up to the plate and deep-throated the microphone. Another jaw-dropping display of sexual athleticism.
A lot of legends pulled through. We had secret late-night DJ sets from The Dare, Frost Children, and Alice Longyu Gao. Below is a list of the artists/bands that were represented in the audience throughout the night. The order is random. I definitely missed some—I was Cali sober but I didn’t sleep and it’s all a lil hazy. If you were there too, DM me and I’ll add you:
Kamixlo Dijon Pieri The Hellp Sean Henry Blaketheman1000 Cende Sub*T May Rio Daisy the Great Zack Villere Number1fairytale Usbtlety Shallowhalo Ben Kessler Sitcom Lowertown Slowdown Gang True Blue Everyone Dan English Porches Richard Orofino Katy Kirby Blums Turtlenecked Frost Children Like a Doll Alice Longyu Gao The Dare Malice K Ben Special Forth Wanderers 454 BigKlit Gods Wisdom Clovis NEW YORK Stella Rose & the Dead Language Precious Human Sidney Gish Grumpy GIFT Chips & Guac Catcher Plastic Picnic Jordana Sunflower Bean Workwife Caveman Big Dumb Baby The Water Cycle Lvl Up The Life Trace Mountains Garbage Girl Strange Ranger Sipper Lazylazy Birthday Girl Luisa 4u Soft Ronnie Hard Heaven Charlotte Rose Benjamin Karaoke Mood Killer Tomberlin Bloomsday
Very grateful for NYE. A bunch of dreams come true in one night. Including when BigKlit told Jack and I we were “interesting,” and she’s tryna come back and party once she offloads the baby.
Huuuge thank you to Alex, Billy, and big Jack. I’ve never really been involved in booking before, so I was lucky to have some battle-hardened vets making it happen. And to Greg, Manny, Veronica, and Xavier. And everyone else who was on the clock. Hoping we can scheme up more in the months ahead : )
Major props to the other NYE gigs. So cool to have so much going on, and to have so many friends making the moment special. I wish I coulda been at Bowery Ballroom, I wish I coulda been at Mercury Lounge, and I wish I coulda been at Rash’s blowout.
As always, the absolute hugest of thank yous to the photographers who let me use their work. It adds so much depth to this blog as an archive of NYC music at this moment. Grateful grateful grateful.
Sending love to u & yours. Talk soon.
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