Chuck Dukowski, etc.
I'm not sure what to believe anymore. This weekend was a tremendously long one, although I will admit I didn't spend any of in jail, unlike a few of our compatriots. Regardless, there are a few things we here at Puttin' On The Ritz have complete and utter faith in. We believe in having as much fun as possible. We fully believe that Jesus Christ may or may not have been our Lord and Savior, but to be honest we don't really think about it. We believe in throwing a bunch of shit on the wall and seeing what sticks. This weekend we threw a pretty good amount of shit on the wall, although it still remains to be seen what stuck.
August 27, 2004 -- Eat Records, Brooklyn
We thought we were going to play at like 9:30pm. We played a little before 11:00. Casey Block led us in with some sort of melodica solo, and then we started fucking around or whatever. We tried to turn in a low key set, what with whispering and quiet drums, but it is amazingly difficult for us to do that. It's weird to play shows at night sober somehow, it just doesn't feel the same. People seemed to like it, but it didn't feel like our best performance. There were maybe 10 people there (including us), but luckily for us the records store is a bit cramped so it didn't seem that empty. Not the best start for our tour, but I suppose it could have been worse. I might be forgetting something, but I'm a little hungover from the weekend so leave me alone.
August 27, 2004 -- Tommy's Tavern, Brooklyn
Kevin drank too much Wild Turkey 101 at Eat Records, so he was passing out by 12:30. We went on somewhere around 2. We got chastised for trying not to play last, but usurp a DJ set instead. All the employees and regulars at Tommy's love us, so playing there is always fun. Debbie brought her video camera, because she thinks her mother would really like us and she's a little too old to be hanging out at bars until all hours of the morning. She told me that after we're famous, she's going to use the video to prove that she knew us early on. I told her that no matter how popular our band is, we will always play at Tommy's Tavern. I think she might be more optimistic than us about the extent of our popular appeal. I suppose time will tell, but in the meantime I will not be holding my breath. We did play two encores, a new record.
August 28, 2004 -- Basement of 248 McKibbin Street 1J, Brooklyn
Again, we played last. We always have to play last. Shows always run late. We never get paid. Despite all these things, we had fun. Zeke was great, Fucking Lion was much younger than I expected, and I missed Fakers but I can't remember why. We went crazy and people were trying (rather poorly, I think) to heckle us. Yelling "Fuck You!" at a band isn't really as insulting or funny as people tend to think. Perhaps it would be better said that the people yelling such things find themselves much more amusing than they might actually be. But to be fair, I think I did ask for some sort of audience response, so it was all in good fun. It was quite hot in the basement and there were a bunch of other parties happening in a few of the neighboring lofts (it is sort of like a college dormitory there sometimes), so if you were there you got treated to a second set, just because we love you.
August 28, 2004 -- Garage of 248 McKibbin Street, Brooklyn
We took a snare and the music stand outside and went for it. The only difficult thing about playing unamplified is that it is not quite as easy to make clever asides, as they sort of have to be yelled and it's not quite as casual at I would like it to seem. Regardless, we got a bunch of people to come over and watch, and they all actually seemed to like it. I might need to get my jacket dry cleaned, as I've been rolling around on too many dirty floors, including the concrete one of this garage. The cops came shortly after our set and started cracking the whip on people drinking outside. Kevin was worried about getting arrested so we hurried his equipment into a car and got him out of there. I had to tell him three times that I wasn't going with him because my bicycle wouldn't fit in the car. When I finally got around to leaving the party, someone asked me if I was going to be allright getting home. I simply said "What difference does it make?" and rode off into the night.
August 29, 2004 -- Lyric Lounge, Brooklyn
Todd brought a bunch of vegan bbq goodies, which was nice. What wasn't so nice is that all the bands essentially played to each other. Luckily, we were all friends and whatnot, so we all actually watched each other and it ended up being fun. It was such a nice day outside, anyway. We played rather early, as Kevin had rehearsal at 6. We finished at 5:30, but Kevin didn't leave until 5:57 because he couldn't get enough vegan hot dogs. Kevin operates on his own schedule, I suppose. We were lucky to play with Zeke Healy, Benji Cossa, and Parenthetical Girls (who killed, by the way). Actually, everyone killed. I'm sorry you weren't there.
August 29,2004 -- The Tank, Manhattan
This was operating as some sort of post RNC protest party, or something like that anyway. Tianna was a little jumpy from having spent 30 hours in jail, which I suppose is understandable. We got Parenthetical Girls on the show as well, which was nice because their friends the Infernal Noise Brigade were playing as well (who were fucking great in a crazy, fucked up, marching band sort of way. It was intense, at least), unbeknownst to all of us. Somehow Tianna ended up sitting in with us again, which was a surprise to us all, somehow. Not an unpleasant one, of course. I think Kevin was using my shoe as a drum for a bit, he might have used my beer can as well. I was lying on Kevin's lap whilst he was playing the drums and I thought he kept playing my stomach (which hurt, by the way), but it turned out it was Tianna whacking me with her bow. Her pickup broke, which I gave her hell for because it seemed like the right thing to do. We're supposed to antagonize each other. I ended up talking a lot during this set, even more than usual. I think quite a bit of it may have been garbage, but I was so bold as to declare "Are we protesting yet? Have we started? If so, I have a list of grievances against Kevin Shea..."
There you have it. Our tour of New York City, six shows in approximately 48 hours. Fuck I'm tired. I feel like this band is starting to take over my life. I need at least three days to not even think about it, but I'm probably not going to get it. Alas. I will say that without telling you, we were holding a contest this weekend. The winner was the person who was at the most shows. Can you guess who that was? That's right, Zeke Healy! I mean, he was performing at several at them, but he actually watched three of our six sets, which he didn't have to do. For his generous contribution, he wins a free copy of all of our releases (whether he wants them or not) for life! He also gets an all expenses paid trip for two to a show of his choice! Well, what that really means is that we'll put him +1 on the list for any show he wants, but he has to make his own way there. Thank you, goodnight.
Erratum: People have been telling me that my comment about the overly aggressive girl at the Asterisk show was a bit cruel. I will admit that perhaps I exaggerated for effect, we here at Puttin' On The Ritz cannot be nice to everyone, all the time. We're cynics and bastards on occasion as well. Please take note, however, of what I actually said. I did not call her ugly. I did not say she was obese (which she wasn't). I said she was unattractive, with ridiculously thrown in because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was not at all attracted to her at first, and then when she repeatedly tried to make out with me and got overly aggressive I became ridiculously not attracted to her. I think that's fair. People don't get better looking when they're making you feel uncomfortable. So I'm sorry if you were offended or think I'm a jerk, but that's what happened. I'm sure you all think my apology is heartfelt, and I'm sure now everyone is back to thinking I'm a nice guy. I'm not convinced that things work that way, and I'm sure this little erratum is having the opposite effect I intended. Oh well. What are intentions worth these days, anyway? What is my motivation? Where's lunch?