I really want some scallion pancakes right now. There is a duo of Congee Village restaurants on the lower east side and they’re both
Amazin’. I wrote a blog entry about my last congee adventures, but I seem to have misplaced it. Or it’s published somewhere and I just don’t know about it. I think it was meatball and duck, it was sinful. I would suck dick for some more to materialize in my bedroom right now.
I wrote the majority of today’s entry while traveling to Chelsea and then to Fontanas. I’m not sure why you need to know this, but I am on the subway again (this seems to be becoming a habit). Here’s hoping that I leave Fontanas with more money I had then when I came in (It’s amazing how this happens sometimes) but Fontanas is indeed a magical place.
SO Let this be a love letter to the last NYC bar/venue I truly madly deeply love.
Jessica asked me what I thought was going to open in place of Motor City and I told her I didn’t care. No matter where you are
I can still hear you when you drown. It would be too sad and painful for me to ever go inside. All of my favorite bars and venues have been closing in the 00s and 10s and it’s really bumming me out.
It’s annoying you can’t bring dumplings from Vanessas across the street in but the do give you free pizza on Wednesdays for trivia. And I’ll often get free whatever they have leftover of from parties. I win trivia sometimes, and the last time I played my team was “done” so I got the 30 dollar bar tab all to myself and I just used it to pay my tab- which was kinda a necessity as Chase has a habit of closing my account when they suspect fraudulent activity without notifying me.
I thanked the bar-keep profusely, tipped in a controlled substance I know they indulge in from time-to-time, took a dump and said goodnight.
Like I said, home away from home.
One of the managers, who shall remain nameless followed me out and we wound up going to Pianos and partying and seeing a band play. It’s someone who was fired from Fontanas so again, they will have to remain nameless here to protect them and myself.
I would like to think they ALL love me at Fontanas but if they really loved me I’d be working there steadily and not just picking up a couple of shifts every month the way I have been for the past couple of years.
Fontanas was where I went to see the inaugural NY band draft. It’s still a great idea but back then I think it felt more fun, the vibe- more pure. I think people hadn’t yet caught on how rigged it was (despite the fact that the three organizers of the competition wound up to be the three winning bands) I think that was 2009. I went with Natalia and we hung out with my friends Ben and Susan. Phil was still my friend back then and not yet associated w “the commission”. Phil had told me all about adderall and I believe he may have given me one that night. If it wasn’t from him it was from another close friend, but I definitely broke my adderall hymen that night and I remember my knees feeling like jelly. This sensation was unbearable at a standing-room-only show and I thought, as I always do, ‘man, I am too old for this shit’
The sensory overload was overwhelming in the most unpleasant way so I rode it out through some bad,fake-band performances. I remember the worst was some blonde chick covered in tattoos - they were easily the only awful “band”, but on youtube they got the most views. Once again proving image is more important than talent. And this further fuels my persistence in purposely never using my own likeness on any videos or photos for Elijah Should, Magic Nose Goblins or Second Hand Coke releases. I am actually planning to do some Daft Punk parody in the future as Magic Nose Goblins, but I just haven’t figured out how to yet…
Band draft: It’s kind of like fantasy football and kind of like star search. Local musicians submit their stats and band captains are assigned (seemingly at random, I was one in 2011 and I did well, my band , the Dixie dicks, also my title, won best cover by doing “Africa” by Toto)
Natalia asked to be a band draft captain and Phil said sure, but to remind him in 2013. When she did, Phil said he had to ask anne. When she asked anne, anne ignored her. So i asked anne and anne said Natalia had to ask herself (are you starting to smell the ridiculous politics with these people? Don’t even get me started about how when Ben was a captain he picked two bass players and then they wouldn’t allow his band to bring two bass amps for the backline … WTF??) So Natalia did email Anne and she said no because she doesn’t have her own rehearsal space, though she told this to me, in person, she simply ignored Natalia’s request until they announced the other captains.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a VERY loyal friend, and Natalia is like family to me. (we met in the year 2000) If you fuck with her, you’re going to have to be prepared to fuck with me too.
They wound up selecting 3 captains who didn’t have rehearsal spaces. Needless to say no one in my inner-circle was that upset when band draft 2013 got cancelled. In fact, several of them called their bluff.
The last count I personally made when viewing their site (i had checked it every day) was 24. If only 24 people signed up, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they just used the venue closing down as an excuse not to do it that year, and then the next year (which is 2014, the year we are in now, the spring time came and went, so possibly their bullshittery finally caught up to them, I have much more fuel to add to this fire but a girls’ gotta know what cards to save up their sleeves- ya hear?)
Speaking of withdrawing, Debbie Chou actually withdrew her stats/listing/participation as soon as she caught wind of how they refused to let Natalia be a captain (despite their promise to her at the close of 2012’s band draft) Natalia’s stage energy and band was def a highlight of the 11-band showcase. I think that was one of the coolest things Debbie ever did. Not even I was going to withdraw. Nor was Nat. We can forgive. We have to. Debbie was less than cool with me the last few times I saw her, but again, I’m not going to air out everyone’s dirty laundry here.
BUT BACK TO this inaugural band draft-
before all the drama
before the name-calling
before the facebook shaming
before the literal finger-pointing
and before the confessions…
back at the FIRST great AWESOME fantastic FUN band draft,
they catered the event with pizzas (and I was just a spectator). They filmed the whole thing with HD cameras for a pilot (which also never got completed) but still, it was nice.
The optimism was still there. Anything was possible. Free pizza is always a nice touch too.
Rocket Joes was still open and they used to put sesame seeds on the crust like that place I love in Gravesend (ciccios). I’ll never forget a stack of 10 or so pizza boxes coming down the stairs.
I felt like I had stumbled into something magnificent that night, and I was right, as many of those people in that room became some of my best (and worst) friends in the next years- and sadly one of them is no longer with us.
I was care-free and drunk and even before I popped adderall i think I had a pair of someone’s underwear in my mouth.
Most of the bands original songs sucked but the playing was really awesome. The level of talent these bands of strangers brought was staggering. And they only had 3 1/2 weeks to write and rehearse two original songs. I am beginning to wonder if everyone secretly thinks I am a great songwriter, because compared to my peers… (martin luque excluded)
There was one band playing with this really cute bass player. He was solid. His arm was sleeved and covered in tattoos. My first impression was that he was latino or Filipino. Everyone knows (now) that he is Italian, but I vaguely recall him saying there was some Puerto Rican blood in him. Either way, he is sexy as hell. I heard rumblings in the crowd about how he just got back from tour. This only made me want him more.
I wasn’t sure if he was gay, or if I wanted to fuck him, or if I wanted him to fuck me, I think i just wanted TO BE HIM
I don’t remember his band’s original songs at all, but the bass was thumping and grooving in a modern (dare I say for the time, emo?) way and I said to Nat “I wanna play with this guy”
It wasn’t until 2013 when Archelao and I hired John Morgan (from Bowery Presents) to engineer some drum sessions in the basement there.
We recorded to DAT and they sound amazing. It wasn’t until right before we started the session, we were actually recording a podcast episode for a friends two year anniversary episode. I can’t recall if I mentioned this full-circle kismet or not, but I was definitely thinking about it!
My dream had been realized. I was elated to have Jay Giacomazzo lending his time (and hybrid) to play and drive Archie and I around. I played a 4000 dollar jazzmaster. With the mighty Archelao behind the kit we did 8 songs in an hour and a half. I went in prepared to get 6 down, hoping to get 5. And we wound up with 8, in less than half the time I expected to pay for. Again. Archelao Fucking Macrillo is the Fucking Man. (And soon to be dad, his wife and he are expecting twins)
When we first played with archelao in cereal hero killer in 2010(2011?)
I was so jealous tamas had found him. I wanted him for myself but I never said a word, I never let it get in the way for cereal hero killer, I just played it cool and over time he came to me, and offered his services to me for free.
No small feat for a session player who makes most of his income off of paid rehearsals, paid gigs, endorsement deals and of course, playing drums in churches on sunday mornings.
So yes fontanas is a place where dreams come true.
Not only did the jay g -honorary-jse-member-recording happen there, but I played my first shows with the barrens there.
Debbie and I shared this magic moment for Harmon’s mom:
It was inevitable that I would become a Barren as I attended 14 or so shows and knew most of their songs already. Debbie was also really not all that good on bass and neither was Colin (if you’re reading this, sorry guys, I think you know it’s true though!) as I had become really tight with Colin Fitzgerald it just seemed like the natural trajectory we were all on.
PLUS I really wanted to prove to myself that I could be a bass player. It always felt “right” to me, despite Michael alleging that you had to be fat to be a bass player…
Prior to this stint, I had only played one gig on bass at Crash Mansion
filling in with Patric’s band Pedestrian Crosswalk. I mean, I’ll play bass on home recordings and I played a little bass in the studio with Shane O’Connor but to do it as your main gig in a band- I had to prove that I could step up.
Colin suggested once or twice that I should or could audition, but they all lived in Astoria and I was in the middle of Brooklyn with no car. You literally need to train it into manhattan come back up through midtown, and get off at the last stop in Queens and then walk 7 to 10 blocks depending on if yer going to colin’s crib, chris and jen’s house or soundworks. The whole commute takes about an hour and a half, in the middle of the night- WAY longer. I scoffed at the idea for years. Chris Gersbeck then told me he was impressed when he invited me on to co-headline their west Memphis 3 benefit…
I did triple duty that night as I performed w ‘the mighty jse’ as my alter ego “Poindexter Twinklebottom” in which we played a shortened 45-minute set of all our “hits” (we have no hits, only fan/friends favorites), it was notable because it was one of the few “classic lineup” shows we did that featured both Joe Haines on 2nd gtr and Nappy on bass.
It was also notable because I don’t believe we played a cover, and we always play a cover or two.
the Pretentious Pretenses opened (which was patric valentine, Joe Haines, fix invictus and me, as ‘Eric Claptop’ at the time) which you know, was me in a different wig and with various broken and toy guitars.
OH, I also wore a masterlock and dog chain around my neck and had friends “sleeve” my arms in crayola marker “tattoos.”
here is one more of the Dixie Dicks, my fake NYBD band from 2011
After the Barrens set- “a black tie affair” went on, what a thrill. I think it was the first time we had played in a while because we were in the middle of recording our debut full length as a 4-piece band. I also think Johnny aquadora and Jason lisko checked us out for the first time, both of whom had become friends w me since. The set was filmed, but he was some wanker. A real nipple of a college student who didn’t know what the hell he was doing. Plan B exists, but you can barely see Natalia (maybe for one second) and it’s so obvious he didn’t synch up the drums or anything. It’s so bad you should see-
We played the majority of the new album, I wore a different wig, finally as “myself” and we covered “mother” by danzig as an encore. Fun was had by all.
and somehow booking and planning two birthdays in a row for a “friend” didn’t result in me getting an invite to the one this year. The first one we did at Don Pedros (which coincidentally turned out to be the first Barrens full-set I played with them on bass) and then the 2nd years bday party was moved to Fontanas with the help of Jasper and Chris-
and this magic moment happened:
two more things before bed- 1) Today I got bailed out by the banks. I just wanted to write that. Seriously though, Chase bailed me out. I am going to sleep easier tonight. I thought I was in trouble. I didn’t do anything illegal, I just spent wayyy too much money this last week.
I’ve Been telling natty cakes that everything always works out in the end when either of us seemingly stumble into financial troubles and I think I can speak on behalf of both of us when I say it happens more than we’d like to admit. That’s not to say we are not responsible its just that fraud happens and various other events and injustice.
and 2) Soot is still here. Our love affair grows more wild by the day. I rubbed her belly for 15 minutes and then took her to the park when I came home tonight. She fell asleep on my shoulder. I am so in love.
On that note I hope you all get the
Singapore mei fun you want
and have sweet and sour pork dreams