Puttin' On The Ritz

More sophisticated by the second, etc.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Apologies And Salutations, etc.

I am quite tired, my friends. This often happens the morning after a show. Perhaps I should take it easy on the sauce and the stress, but I suppose that should go without saying.

November 30, 2004 -- Trash, Brooklyn
Well, it was supposed to be at Tommy's Tavern. Cop on Fire made it through their set, but then Kylesa went on and the cops turned up. They said if they came back, they were going to seize everyone's gear. Todd made a phone call, and the show was quickly moved to Trash. Somehow, about 75% off the attendees made the move, although several Puttin' On The Ritz fans abandoned ship. A few more did turn up later, however. I managed to make a bit of an ass of myself. Why do I always stress out so much about our shows? It would appear that I am stressing out about having a good time. It is easy to be rational about these things after the fact, but much more problematic when it is all happening live and in person. I snapped at Kevin Shea and Sophie Churchill, but I think it was because they caught me right in the height of my hysteria. I sincerely apologize to them and anyone else my brief bad mood might have incovenienced. I managed to calm down, somehow. Of course, it wasn't until after I had failed to enjoy myself because I was so worried about everything being perfect, when in fact part of our charm is that we often fail to even approach perfection. We work with what we have. So, we waited for Cheeseburger, Kylesa, and Big Business to play before we began our set. This was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2am or so, give or take a few minutes because I had been drinking. We played in the front room, but somehow it was not nearly as friendly as the front room at Tommy's. Maybe it was because the owner didn't like us so much, whereas all the Tommy's employees do. To prove just how much he disliked us, he kept the music playing throughout our entire set, going so far as to actually turning up the volume towards the end. What did we do? We soldiered on, even taking a request (we took two for the night, I guess our modus operandi of not taking requests has been forgotten), lengthening our set for the believers. It was a bit intimidating, playing so late for a mostly uninterested crowd, but what can you do? I looked out and saw Kristy and Joe and Joel and Tianna and probably some other people and they all looked pretty stoked, they all had smiles on their faces. For some reason, the people who really love us (and we love you too, believe you me) enjoy our sets more when the atmosphere is a bit hostile. Joel remarked that he always feels like he is going to have to get in a fight with someone whilst we are playing, that they are going to get so pissed off at us that it will come to blows. His words were, I believe, "What, you got a problem with 'It Had To Be You'?" Before we began our set, some dudes were about to rack up a game of pool. The pool table was conveniently located some inches from where we were performing. I tried to tell the dude that he might want to wait until after we finished to play his game, and then he started telling me to be cool and asked why a young gentleman like himself was not entitled to a healthy game of pool. I informed him that he could do whatever he wanted, but that his game would probably be interrupted. At one point I started rolling around on the table and knocking their balls all out of place, and I think he eventually got the point. As soon as our set ended they set the balls back up, and calmly began a new game. He was warned, wasn't he? Hadn't he ever heard of us before? This is what we do! But we are not all about bragging and moxie. We are humble men, mostly. Well, I am neurotic, mostly. Kevin is on another planet, mostly. We occasionally meet at The Hub, as that is where good friends meet, after all. Be afraid, be very afraid, or something to that effect. More on that later, etc.

A little note to all of you out there who choose to read this. Hello. That is not the note, however. The note is that I occasionally go back and edit posts. You may or may not have noticed this, I cannot tell. I like reading over them once some time has passed, and sometimes I will remember some details that I had forgotten, or find a mispelled word, or a grammatical error. If I feel like it, I might fix it. That is to say, the text might change from time to time. I feel no shame in this, as I am trying to compile an historical record here. It is not about sentiment, it is about sex (although there has been a dearth of that), drugs (well, alcohol in large quantities anyway), and rock and roll (if you can consider jazz standards rock and roll, which we may or may not do). Then again, maybe it is about sentiment. I can't really tell anymore. Suffice it to say that we are slightly out of our heads, one way or another, a good deal of the time. You can make of that as you will, my dear and gentle readers. Do not read too deeply into things, or else.

Special thanks for this show go out to Sophie Churchill, for trying to calm me down; Paula Zaslavsky, for actually calming me down; and Todd P for letting me use his car and his mic and just generally helping us out, as he has extensively throughout our career. Without him, we would have played nowhere near our now staggering 35 shows nor would we be enjoying our current level of success (if you can call it that). So I guess you can say Todd gets extra special thanks, if you want. It doesn't really matter that much to me what you want to call it, but if it means that much to you, go ahead. Thank you to all our friends who came to Tommy's even if they didn't make it to Trash; thank you to all our friends who came to Trash even if they couldn't stay until we played; and to all of you who stayed, a hug and a kiss from the member of your choice, should you so choose. Use of tongue is discretionary on the part of Kevin or myself. To those of you who didn't make it at all, we still love you, although we'd like to see you making a bit more effort. Simply reading the blog is a poor substitute for seeing Kevin and I in the flesh; you miss out on all the things I'm forgetting and/or lying about. I'm not quite sure what award I just accepted, but I hope it sounded heartfelt. Thank you, goodnight.


  • At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey there. I totally had no clue about this show. In any case, what normally happens is I hear/read about one of your shows 1-2 days after the fact (woops) or at most, 1-2 days before, usually the day of, and then I'm already booked up. Is there a mailing list? Because if I were emailed the upcoming gig(s), I'd be much more likely to attend, as I'd know of them *further* in advance, thanks.


  • At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what's the hub?

  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger B.J. said…

    The Hub is, as I mentioned, where good friends meet. That is it's definition. So, you could say that anywhere good friends meet is The Hub. Were you to meet with good friends on the top of Mt. Everest, for that moment, you could say you were hanging out at The Hub. It is more of a psychogeographic principle than an actual location. For more information, etc.


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