Mostly Having Fun
July 14 - July 29
Every night, when I step out of my apartment, I could be discovered by the music industry at any moment.
We’re in the big apple after all—big lights city—and we gotta do it for the boys back home who can’t. It’s downtown rock season, and we’re not here to fuck around.
So, when I say come on, I mean, come on.
You've got to work with me.
Now, I don't wanna see any fake ass workers.
I need real builders.
My plan is to send out newsletters weekly. I am not sure whether I’ll cover everything I attend. I’m thinking I’ll have this weekly roundup as well as a blogspot page for quicker reviews. For now, it pretty much has the same text you’ll see here. Bear with me if you can while I figure out format & rhythm—I’m gonna send out a couple retrospectives and then get up to date. Thanks for reading : )
Some thoughts on the events of Thursday, July 14th, 2022. The night began with a music industry summit celebrating Beth Townsend of Carpark Records at the Applebees in Times Square. I sat next to Billy Jones and Natalie Miano—pretty cool. Six jumbo pretzel sticks and one Blue Bahama Mama later, I was on my way to Baby’s All Right for the Dots Per Inch 6-year anniversary party.
Weeks out, I knew this was going to be one of my events of the summer. I like Tom from DPI—I do. But it’s about the music. DPI works with my favorite artists in the world. Lucy is my north star, and a Lucy show at Baby’s All Right is the kind of night I plan my life around. When I arrived, Greg Rutkin was standing outside dressed like an 18th century aristocrat. Seeing him that way made a lot of sense.
Ernest Rarebergg kicked off the night. One of my favorite performances from my first year in NYC—why has it taken me so long to hear about him? May played second. She wore a red dress with a hoop skirt and her face was painted like a porcelain doll. Adam’s guitar was 100% chrome. Lucy was last, with DJ sets by Meetka, Nancy, Amiture, and Cole Haden throughout. The only other time I’ve seen Tom Moore smile this hard was watching people get thrown off the mechanical bull at the Baby’s staff party. The roar of the crowd after Lucy’s set gave me chills. Kevin Carpet was there. He showed me an angry review he left on the Pianos Yelp page.
The next night, Angel hosted Club Glam, so I trekked over to Wall Street. Smoking inside always feels celebratory, and you know how I am with my Irish heritage, but the Blarney Stone Pub was not what I needed that night. I remember telling someone, “Yep, we all gotta kiss the proverbial Blarney Stone this summer”; I don’t know what I meant by that but they didn’t think it was funny or respond so that’s probably where my night started going downhill. I sometimes wonder why aggressively sexy people don’t have better parties to go to than me. Can’t Sean Ford get in somewhere with AC? I hung with Molly Valdez, who is a joy, and Judson Valdez, who is my hero. Most of the night, I was just hoping someone would ask if I’m Irish so I could explain my family relation to Whitey Bulger.
On July 16, Customer had a show at No Aloha. I knew Greg was stressed about filling the place out, but I had to go to my friend’s birthday dinner. He said everyone seemed to have best friends with birthdays that night. I really did though.
7/20, 7/21 and 7/22
On Thursday the 21st, I picked things up where I left off at the Broadway for Malice K. Challenging vibes during that one. He wasn’t happy with it, so I wasn’t happy with it. His set at the Living Gallery in January was iconic, and I can only hope to get a few more nights like that before my curtain call. If you were not in that room, you were in the wrong room.
On Friday, I went to see the Bromo boys play Bowery Ballroom. Ben from Stella Rose and the Dead Language was working door. I was on the list—professional cool guy shit. Brother Moses dedicated “Bowling” to me. John Lewis bounced across the stage like only a lad from Arkansas can, and Corey laughed in the face of death.
After, I went to Baby’s to see Emily Yacina. It was over when I got there. I don’t know if I told Greg I missed his set again or if I just said he did a great job. He really always does.
Abby Kuskin is a confirmed legend for this. It was hot as hell, but it was also a scene and a half. A magnificent feat of party planning. I couldn’t stay inside for more than 15 min at a time, but cheers to A Sexy Party.
One wall was decorated with the party planners’ polaroid nudes for sale—a visionary move really—taking NSFW content back to print. I left with a lot of questions. How did they find a townhouse that would let them do something like this? At what point in the night did the kiddie pool water stop being sexy? Am I gonna have to go head to head with Ecco2k?
When Alex Gleeson calls, only a man of weak spirit would turn him away. We biked to Baby’s to see Cassandra Jenkins. When we showed up, Jack was training under the expert supervision of legend Blair from Why Bonnie. I ordered too much Mexican food so we shared with Peter and the security guard whose name escapes me. Maybe Chris?
Jake from Sitcom skipped. He sat out Dan English’s acoustic guitar orchestra to go to Blake’s party, which makes me question his commitment to rock music. I too would have gone to Blake’s show if I wasn’t devoted to a higher calling—to the stage.
Ernest Rareberrg was in the audience. It was cool to meet him. He had me text him some pictures of Kevin Carpet at the Harvard Club. Houndsteeth killed it. I played on bills with them years ago, so it was special to see how they’ve honed what they were already so good at. I love seeing them with a drummer; every once in a while, she’d hit the cowbell just once—bold move. Like A Doll was hypnotizing. Again, shouts out to the percussion. I’m big on auxiliary percussion these days.
Also, I refuse to believe that was actually Bladee in that picture with Blake. Update: Blake texted me pledging internet warfare if I don’t remove that sentence. Sounds like someone who has something to hide…
Some time ago, May Rio reached out to a group of friends and associates with an exciting proposal—a team field trip to the historical Apollo Theater. I don’t know the history of the Apollo, but I do believe it to be historical. My vague sense is that everybody who plays there kisses a lucky tree stump, and if you suck, they pull you from the stage with a cane. May realized she wouldn’t be in town, and I believe 2 out of roughly 8 people ended up going. Maybe next year.
Instead, I practiced with Steele FC, then popped over to Clandestino because I got word the Frost Children and BTM1K were in the neighborhood. When I got there they were at a table next to Ella Emhoff and Samuel Hine. Later on, they met someone from the music industry.
The claim that Brooklyn Made has a pool in their greenroom remains unverified. The claim that the architects who designed the green room want people to fuck in there is certainly verified. There’s a cubby in the wall big enough for one and a half bodies (two in close proximity) and the couches are excessively loungey.
The three-hour period before our set was some of the most effective cramming I’ve ever done. Aside from a tuning issue, I mostly pulled it off. After the show, I got pizza with Steele and legend Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean. We talked about our parents.
Shoutout to the John Carry sandwich at Sunny & Annie’s. Game changer.
Sitcom is one of my favorite bands to see. But outside the show on July 29, I made the mistake of telling Sharleen that Gavin was my favorite member. This is a problem because Sharleen dates the lead singer and driving creative force behind the project, Jake. I hope all the members of Sitcom will understand that I like them all a lot and admire what they do. But Gavin is my favorite.
Both of the Test Subjects are equally my favorite. They are two people, and choosing a favorite between two people is not kind.
After Nublu, I walked over to the Mercury Lounge and texted Alicia to let her know I was enjoying her beautiful venue. I only caught the last few songs of the last band. I don’t know who they were, but they made me wonder, “Is this what prog rock sounds like?” It was a packed house and it was wonderful to see Justin of Gift out there living the dream. Alex Gleeson has called Justin “the sweetest man in NYC,” and we all know it’s true.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that a lot of my friends are on some rock star shit. I admire them for it. See you at the next one.
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