Thursday, January 28, 2010

A 212 State of Mind...

hi8us played a weekend run down to CT and NYC last weekend. The trip was really a ton of fun. As always, we had fun playing the night away at O’Neill’s in Norwalk on Friday 1.15.10. Saturday morning, Mike and I made our way towards the big city. Unexpectedly, we were able to meet up with a local legend, Mr. Ethan Insel, in his hood of Morris Park in the Bronx. Ethan brought us to Franky and Johnnie's for some afternoon Italian specialties. We sipped cappucinos and caught up with a solid 2+ hour “hang” that was long overdue.

After the restaurant, we stopped back at E’s place before heading out. The apt was great… completely unspoiled. Highlight of Ethan’s apartment is his cigar box collection, his original, turn of the century, World’s Fair upright bass in the corner, and his newly acquired seltzer-making machine which he showcased for us with amazing, seltzer-making precision. The seltzer that it produces has the perfect amount of bubbles, I would say.

After our refreshing afternoon in the Bronx, we descended on Manhattan Island. Part of our crew was already at our hotel on the east side hanging out when we met up. We all hit Fontana’s around 8. Everyone at the club was super nice, and we even found a parking spot smack in front of the place. These variables can sometimes make or break the enjoyment of a gig experience when looking back. Our parking good fortune turned out to be an accurate foreshadowing of the night as a whole. A bunch of our good friends made it out to the gig, and we felt that we pretty much melted face when we were up there playing.

“Then after the show it’s the after party.” In our case, this involved just hanging out at Fontana’s some more and catching up with our NYC friends while getting progressively more intoxicated. Mike and I split after a while and cabbed it back to the hotel. We met back up with Foss and crew and ventured back out into the big city. We were determined to take full advantage of the extended bar hours that the city has to offer. We stumbled upon a pub near the hotel that was whispering for us to come on over from across 3rd Ave. We obliged and headed in. We all hesitated right when we stepped in, since the pub kind of smelled like poop, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and they had a good beer selection, so we pulled up to a table. After a pint, we forgot about the poop, and enjoyed some oat sodas and gabbing.

After the Poop Pub, we headed back to the hotel, and I forced people that were still awake to play poker. We played… poorly. On the way home Mike and I stopped at the Silver Star Diner.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Red Square... I know you're giving me the stare!

After getting snowed out the previous weekend in Maine, we were able to make the trek up to Burlington, VT on Sat. 1.9.10 to play music at Red Square. The night was awesome, and we were psyched to have our MC sit-in, Adam Foss, along for the ride. He made friends with Hyle at the bar, and even stepped up to the mic a few times for some of our favorites during the show. The night was super fun, and the only downer of the whole trip was listening to the Pats get destroyed by the Ravens in round one of the playoffs during the ride home…

Oh, and when we got back to the hotel late night, some of our beers had frozen, as we left them out back to chill. Oddly enough, some did not freeze. We chose to drink the not-frozen ones first, then by the time those were gone, the previously frozen beers had thawed, so we then drank those. So, it actually worked out famously! It still stinks that the Pats lost though. See ya!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Eve and a Random Top Ten List

I was a bit concerned about this year’s New Year's Eve show going off. We all worry about rallying our friends out to these big shows, and as the date approached, it was still uncertain how the night would turn out. It ended up that we had a great room full of friends and fans, and the music was terrific. I enjoyed sitting in with John Doney, and it sort of memorialized the late night jam session he and I had the night before, which was a blast. It seems 2009 was a crazy one for most. All things considered, I feel totally blessed, and am thankful to whoever is looking over me. Sometimes it feels like bullets are whizzing by, and I am somehow still standing.

Anyway, I have been listening to a lot of albums. I have been turned on to some musicians that have been around, but that I haven’t paid much attention to, prior. There are also a few albums that I just popped back on, and they have resonated in a whole new way for me. So, here is my Top 10 List of Albums I Really Listened to in 2009. This list is in no particular order.

The Whitest Boy Alive – Dreams
Ryan Adams – Stone Roses
Seu Jorge – The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions
The Perishers – Let There Be Morning
Willie Nelson – The Essential Willie Nelson
Sun Kil Moon – April
Band Of Horses – Everything All The Time
Session Americana - Diving for Gold
Pinback – Blue Screen Life
Alice In Chains – Jar of Flies