Puttin' On The Ritz

More sophisticated by the second, etc.

Monday, February 21, 2005

For Those About To Rock, etc.

We here at Puttin' On The Ritz would like to tip the 40, as it were, to our good friend Hunter S. Thompson. We are truly saddened on this day. If there is a heaven, we assume that you may or may not be in it. We miss you terribly, already. Fare thee well.

Yours in Jesus,
Puttin' On The Ritz

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I Know The World's Got Problems, etc.

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

February 18, 2005 -- 381 Hooper Street, Brooklyn
I'm sure this apartment had some sort of name, but I only saw it briefly and managed to immediately forget it. These things happen. There was this party happening, that Cop On Fire, Battletorn, and HIV+ (perhaps the worst band name of all time [even if it does sort of put HIV in a positive light]) were playing. Todd talked me into meeting him at his club and then going over to the party. Cop On Fire were loading out their gear, and Bret asked me "Is Puttin' On The Ritz playing the party tonight?" I immediately called Kevin and the ink was barely dry on the deal when we arrived at the local discoteque. The show was in the basement and no one knew that we were playing. Since we were playing last, that added up to about 10 people being downstairs when we went on. Then someone unplugged the microphone, a few songs into our set. It seemed to be lacking a certain energy, anyway. So we grabbed a few drums, and set up upstairs and resumed our set. This was apparently much to the surprise (and perhaps even, delight) of the vast majority of the partygoers. The microphone was plugged back in and put in my hand. A speaker materialized from the basement, so I didn't have to shout over the records playing in the other room. People were singing along and not as bummed out as I expected them to be, perhaps they thought that a band materializing out of thin air to bang out some jazz standards was an allright way to spend a few minutes. A nice break from the monotony of trying to make out with each other, perhaps. What was nice was that our audience (and perhaps even, fans) were mostly attractive women. I did not make the obligatory remark regarding our respective dating statuses (single, and, err, single), despite the fact that I would love for Kevin to meet the love of his life at one our shows. He might even settle for the love of his evening, I would think. Unfortunately, not long after our set ended, the police arrived. No cops were set on fire, although everyone was forced to clear out, spoiling our chances to make a futile attempt at groping later in the evening, or whatever it is the kids do these days when they're drunk and feeling amorous. I cannot recall. Kevin disappeared and I did not get to rest my weary head until well after sunrise. All in a night's work, apparently.

Many of your have complained to me in the past that you would like to see Puttin' On The Ritz, but you always find out at the last minute (or several mintues too late) about our "performances". This might be attributed to the fact that we tend not to get too much notice of them, either. So I will announce, here and now, that we are playing at Trash in Williamsburg on 3/28. Mark your calendars now, if you like. Kevin already has. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Aortas, etc.

Did you all find something old to love about someone new, or something new to love about someone old? I might have, but my judgement may have been impaired at the time.

February 14, 2005 -- St. Marks Church, Manhattan
So Kevin and Ariel and I were standing in front of the Bowery Poetry Club wondering why no one there had heard of us. James Hoff was refusing to answer his phone, apparently because he did not have it on his person. I eventually got in touch with one Laura Coxson, who claimed to have heard that we were playing a show. I informed her that we indeed were, and went on to ask if she knew where our show actually was. She mumbled something about a St. Marks Poetry Project, and then I recalled something about a church and James occasionally putting on events there. So off we went, in the rain, and me with holes in my boots. We arrived in time for the end of a reading, I cannot recall who was reading what, etc. Rebecca Moore then played, and I continued drinking. Then, at long last, we took the stage. People had already put their coats on, and were preparing to leave. They all lingered by the door for the duration of our performance, which was probably more surprising to them than to us, even. So, we put on a show for them. I rolled around extensively. Kevin played someone else's drums extensively. We had such a good time the other night with him singing a song, we decided he should do it again. I decided that I should take my shirt off to play the drums. Kevin sat down at the piano and hammered away at that whilst whispering the vocals into a microphone. People would occasionally try to sing along. They were generally disappointed, as I have been known to change (some would say fuck up) the cadence of the songs. What can you do? I demanded and received some punch mid-set, somewhat gracefully. People looked a little annoyed when I talked about ugly girls being preferable, on occasion, for certain reasons that you might imagine, to pretty ones. I would like to think that everyone had a good laugh, especially when I chastised them for the slightest chuckle. I just wanted to make sure they knew we are most certainly, probably, in all likelihood, not comedians in any way, shape, or form. We're not, really. We might be funny, but we're not telling jokes. Is Kevin the straight man, or am I? These things are hard to discern after a long night of hard drinking. I will let you be the judge, as I mentioned earlier my judgement seems to be impaired. Keep dry, etc.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Whiskey, Wine, and Women, etc.

I am ridiculously hungover.

February 12, 2005 -- The Llano Estacado, Brooklyn
So, check this out. We played with Bloody Panda, Deerhunter, Child Abuse, Younger, Narchitect, and No Things. That is to say, if you hung out until 3am, you got to see us go completely apeshit, perhaps even more so than usual. Todd decided it would be hilarious to keep bringing us shot after shot after shot after shot, etc. I believe he just brought out the whole bottle of Kentucky Gentleman and handed it to Kevin, who poured most of it all over himself. I had done well all evening in terms of pacing myself, as I knew we would be performing quite late. That all went down the shitter as soon as we started, as I just mentioned. Drums kept getting moved around. Someone offered to be Kevin's valentine, but then was curiously absent by the end of the set. I let Kevin sing "Fly Me To The Moon", whilst I played drums. I think there was a lot of "fly me to fucking moon, bitch", but I could be wrong. I think it went well. Apparently we dropped Kevin off just as Laura Hannah was walking by, and I was screaming "Kiss Me!" or something like that at her. It was news to me when I was informed of this fact. I then spent the next hour or so vomitting, and then Todd and I watched Mr. Show and then I passed out.

Addendum: I have managed to recall a few more events from this, perhaps our most drunk, performance. Jesse Jane was throwing beer cans at my head (and actually connecting with it) for some time, despite my repeatedly running over and trying to tackle her. I could be heard, faintly (as it was not spoken into the microphone), to say "Could you stop that? It really hurts!" The sound of the cans hitting my noggin could be heard all the way in the back of the room, which I think merely illustrates my point. Apparently there is a photograph of me playing drums whilst Kevin is climbing over me (and the kit), with his head upside down, bottle of bourbon in one hand the microphone in the other. Apparently he was trying to pour the bourbon into his mouth whilst trying to get words to come out as well. I have no idea if he was successful or not, the results might be lost to history. Brett and Joel also managed to wrap both of us up in toilet paper, somehow. I'm not sure if it affected our fidelity. More on this story as new revelations are revealed.