That's Just The Booze Talking

Friday, February 18, 2005

Pills and Powders, Baby

Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady win the chorus of 2004 award with this dyad from their debut The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me: “She said, ‘It’s good to see you’re back in a bar band, baby,’ and I said, “Well, it’s great to see you’re still in the bars.’” They have a new record coming out in May; in the meantime, here’s “Swish.”

King Friday

You’ve got two (2) entertainment options for tonight, and if you’re quick on your feet you might be able to take in both. First, you really need to go to Mercury Lounge to catch Robbers on High Street, who sound like Spoon if they had their DNA spliced with one of the lesser mid-‘90s Brit Pop bands and moved to Brooklyn. The pump on the hype machine is being primed and next week’s release of ROHS’ first LP, Tree City, should find the band taking on the Next Big Thing mantle, whether they want it or not. (Tonight, 9:30 pm, @ the Merc, 217 Houston.)

Also: Take a listen to the album side “Japanese Girls.”

Next, hop in a time machine and catch Old 97’s linchpin Rhett Miller as he trades the rock and rollick for a more subdued strummy-type thing. Technically, this is your first destination of the night, but we’re way more excited about ROHS, so we put them up first. Priorities, you know. Miller time is 7:30 at the soon-to-be-closing Fez, beneath Time Café, 380 Lafayette St.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola

Godard’s exhilarating Masculine Feminine is enjoying a limited run at the Film Forum (209 W Houston St, between 6th Ave and Varick), through February 24. It’s just as engaging as it was when we first saw it, in the first flush of our now long gone apple-cheeked youth, and the new 35mm print really amps up the film’s heady poli-pop dialectic. Loaded with Godard’s familiar touchstones––gamines, gamesmanship and guns––Masculine Feminine is a bit like what Tarantino might churn out if he dropped the chop socky flicks for a dip into Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, and swapped all the “motherfuckers” for a few well placed merde du temps. Rialto Pictures has a bandwidth chewing trailer here.

It’s a Methylphenidate

After a long hiatus, Lindsay Robinson’s Ritalin Readings* series is back with a new lineup of raconteurs, including the mighty Alex Balk, The Underminer co-author Mike Albo, Gawker editrix Jessica Coen and The Black Table’s Will Leitch. The overriding theme this time out is Love, which is an emotionally freighted word we reserve for naturally occurring elements like Natalie Portman and Maker’s Mark. The place: LES hipster Valhalla Pianos, Ludlow & Stanton. The date: Wednesday, February 23 (8:00 pm).

*This apparently has something to do with the duration of the event, as befits Generation ADD’s ever-shrinking––oh hey, look at that! Uh, again, the series is named as it is because of the bite-sized text chunklets each reader serves up and is in no way a reflection of our drug of choice. We switched to Adderall months ago, yo.

Also: We never got around to finishing this, because the Tower of Babel that is our consciousness wouldn’t let us, what with all the email to snigger at, the preponderance of weird shit on the Inter-Web and the demands of our stupid fucking job. The guy in the photo certainly is multitasking up a storm, though.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

Martha Wainwright, Rufus’ little sister, makes with the angry folk woman sturm und drang on this, the title track of her new EP. Buy it here.

The Plan Keeps Coming Up Again

So the original plan was to hit the Knit for tonight’s Gothamist birthday party/Movable Hype 2.0 throw down , but we just got a better offer. While we’re missing out on a couple of decent bands in The Information and Elkland , EF Slutton just called and requested our presence at our local, Lucky 13. We’ll be missing the dual-fisted Stereogum / Coolfer disk spin as well, but when EF Slutton talks, we listen. Picture one of the Suicide Girls without all the shitty music and a 170 IQ and you’re halfway there. Oh, and she’s got the kind of rack people write villanelles about, which is something I look for in a drinking companion. Plus, shit, it’s so close to bed and board.

Also, I recently read an interview with the guys from Elkland and one of them said something to the effect of, oh we’re less tainted because we’re from Upstate, blah blah blah, we are not heavy drinkers and we respect women. First of all, since when are a profound love for booze and showing a modicum of courtesy toward the fairer sex mutually exclusive categories? Secondly, this cat is fronting like he's some kind of emo farmhand. I know from Upstate. It’s the moustache capital of the Northeast, the kind of place where people lobby to put Alf on a postage stamp, where Toby Keith is always on the radio and the only way life could get any better is if your Uncle Rosco arranged a book burning and the ghosts of Selena and Dale Earnhardt came down from Heaven to fuck in the flames.

That last part surprised even me. It’s like bad, swearing ghosts are using me as a conduit to spread hurtful thoughts. I like it.

Update: I just realized that Lucky 13 has Dimebag Darrell on their splash page. There's a corregated metal background and in one shot of the collage, the former Pantera shredder is telling us he's #1. It's like he's the gatekeeper to the Underworld of $3 PBRs and chicks boasting wildly unfavorable tooth-to-tattoo ratios. Love that place.


The only difference between alcoholics and drunks is that alcoholics go to meetings. If you're one of those crabby, self-involved, town-elders-from-Footloose types who piss on everything fun and meaningful from a great height for reasons that have to do with your parents not buying you a pony when you were 5 or whatever, you probably shouldn't live in NYC, because we're the drunkest people in the world. Here's the proof.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

How to Forestall the Inevitable

When you go to your CPA or whoever it is who does your taxes, ask him if you can use the restroom while he’s going over the numbers. Say it just like that, with an emphasis on “restroom” and “numbers.” Once safely inside, enter the most remote stall and sit on the toilet until your feet go numb. Shake off the pins and needles and pee in the soap dispenser. Next, take the little woman to a nice restaurant. Let her order anything she likes. You will get the broiled chicken plate. Try not to think about the Death of Youth as you shovel forkfuls of mashed potato into your mouth. Later, as you brush your teeth before retiring for the night, try to reconcile the man staring back at you from the medicine cabinet mirror with the man you thought you’d become back when you were in high school. Keep this up for the next 15 years and you will become a John Cheever story.

Or there’s this*.

* “You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve.”

I’m Sawdust in a Sandpaper Suit

A few things you should know about Mclusky: The title of their last album was The Difference Between Me and You is That I’m Not on Fire, they make music that sounds like it would come out of the speakers and kill you if physics allowed for such a thing and they broke up last month. This song here is a pretty good evocation of Singer Andy Falkous’ rallying cry, to wit: “We ain’t sounding like Coldplay for any motherfucker.” More can be found elsewhere, although if you want hear scabrous gems like “Your Children Are Waiting For You To Die” and “The World Loves Us and Is Our Bitch” you should probably drop a few bucks at Amazon.

Clean Up Before She Comes

So last night I wander over to the bodega because I need some staples (beer, duct tape, poowipe, etc.) and I decide that it may be a good time to buy some paper towels before I run out. There’s a sale on some off-brand rolls with various comic strips printed on each sheet, and I think, oh that’s a good idea––I can read while I obsessively clean everything in my apartment with that purple Windex that smells like the Kool-Aid Man just busted through the wall and peed all over my belongings. Anyway, the pyramid of paper towels is kind of blurry, as things tend to be on Monday nights, so I sort of blindly make my selection, pay the cashier and return home. When I pull the new roll out, I am rather astonished to discover that I have inadvertently selected a Cathy print. Cathy. I fucking hate Cathy. Every goddamn strip is like, I can’t fit into my swimsuit and oh I have boyfriend problems and yay I love chocolate. (In the world of comic strips, Cathy is straight up cilantro. And you know what I say to cilantro. Well, maybe not. Here’s what I say to cilantro: Fuck you, cilantro.) So it goes without saying that I can’t have this in my home. I am a man with standards. They are shaky standards, and they often shift under my feet like the groaning timbers of a disused pier during a Nor’easter, but they are mine and this is one to which I plan on sticking. I march back to the bodega, and explain my plight, which lands me a 10-minute ontological discussion with the manager about my lack of a receipt and how does he know I even bought them there if there’s no receipt. Finally, I say, look you’re taking back this Cathy shit because I have no time for this, and I storm over to the rack and grab another roll without looking and I go home and it’s fucking Ziggy. And now I can never go back to that bodega.

Wave of Mutilation

It’s as good a place to start as any, 10:30 Sunday night, the drinks going dead under their collapsed canopies of lime, an itch born of the pills we stole from the neighbor lady’s medicine cabinet keeping fingers busy. Hard to believe people keep their Schedule II meds out where just about anyone with a shaky moral compass and a head full of bad ideas can find them, but there you are. Somebody seems to have remembered that the Grammys are on, and we sit through about five minutes of U2 doing the iPod song, which means Diana Ross gets to eat real food tonight, because the chorus is a total rip-off of “You Just Keep Me Hanging On.” Bono says something about Franz Ferdinand killing America, unless he’s somehow referencing the Killers, in which case he shouldn’t have bothered. Meanwhile, The Edge continues to fool no one in that knit hat, while the guy who fucked Naomi Campbell and whose entire contribution to the canon seems to be going “Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dum Dum, Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dum Dum” on his bass pretends that people are looking at him. Later, the Little Drummer Boy says something that is drowned out by the sound of drinking. And because this is an awards show and these sort of things are nothing if not drearily predictable, suddenly a bunch of people whose wares are to be found in wildly different sections of your local HMV outlet get together to put their gloss on The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” Bono steps up to the mic first, naturally, followed by Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, an even-more-sedated-than-usual Brian Wilson, Alicia Keys, the heroin guy from Stone Pimple Toilets, Billie Joe from Green Day, the Marlboro Man, Willie Tyler & Lester and the ghost of slain Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, who mutters something in coarse, dead guy German about getting shot in the head and thereby inadvertently starting World War I, only to have a quartet of ambiguously gay Scotsmen knock him off the top Google ref perch . To the surprise of absolutely no one who happens to enjoy the benefits of a central nervous system, the All-Star Jam sucks. While a noble sentiment is at the tiller of the effort––a version is available at iTunes, and all proceeds go to the Red Cross tsunami relief effort––the sheer unsuitability of the track makes us wonder if any of these music types ever read the lyrics sheet. (Of course, we don’t expect Stevie to read much of anything, although his little psyche! moment with Norah Jones when he pretended he was going to read the winner of Best mumble mumble (we were sort of staring at the face of adult contemporary, or more to the point, wondering what she looks like without, you know, clothes––yes, we know, but we have a thing for the spawn of sitar players, and besides, she was the only girl up there other than Alicia Keys, which we kept drunkenly insisting was Aaliyah––so we’re not at all sure what he was doing up there or how to end this sentence.) Which is to say, a key component of “Across the Universe,” when you get past the “Kangaroo Dave” or whatever hippie business they’re supposed to be invoking there, is the line “Nothing’s gonna change my world,” a bit of a blunder when you’re sending love to hundreds of thousands of people whose worlds were significantly changed by the introduction of a giant wall of water. Changed quite a bit, if you ask us. If you want to relive the circle jerk, go here and buy the song, although we think you’re probably better off sending a check to the Red Cross.