Puttin' On The Ritz

More sophisticated by the second, etc.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On The Power Of Positive Thinking, etc.

March 28, 2005 -- Trash, Brooklyn
Last night I had all these great and transcendental things I was going to write about the show we had just played. Unfortunately, many of them are lost to history as I was quite drunk and didn't have the energy to actually type them out. In the sober light of morning, the haze has lifted but it also wiped my memory clean; I am now a blank slate, tabula rasa. Well, I do have some recollections. I recollect that I am currently on spring break, and that spring break has turned out to be much different than I had initially imagined. I have somehow been appointed tour manager for The Coolies, which consists of three hooligan girls from New Zealand. How I gained this appointment remains unclear; perhaps it is because I am on spring break and thus have all the time in the world and no real responsibilities. The best part is that I am not even in college anymore. Sunday afternoon I telephoned Anna Barie to see if I could get The Coolies added to our show Monday evening. Anna said that she thought it was a possibility, and that she'd get back to me later about it. She rang back a few hours later to inform me that Knife Skills had just broken up and thus would not be playing the show with us. The Coolies were more than welcome to take their place, apparently. To make matters worse, it might have been pouring rain outside. FACE! opened up, playing to approximately ten of their friends, myself included. We vs. The Shark (from Athens, not Atlanta as I had previously been informed) went on next, and were nice enough to allow certain girls from New Zealand to borrow their gear. Kevin was still nowhere to be seen, and was not answering his telephone either. Nakatomi Plaza followed, although I didn't really watch them as I was trying (and failing) to get in touch with Kevin Shea. The Coolies then went on, and they were fucking great. It is nice when everything works out. Kevin finally rolled in during the last five minutes of their set. We immediately took the stage and went into it. Someone might have brought us beer, although I can't recall exactly who it was. I had really wanted to learn Lime in the Coconut, in honor of spring break. Since I could only manage to remember the chorus, I sang it in the middle of Girl from Ipanema. I neglected to inform Kevin that I would be doing this, but I think he figured it out. Before the show, I had asked Fiona to come up and sing a song with us. She claimed that she would feel uncomfortable singing without a drum kit in front of her. Despite this, I starting screaming about her joining us on stage and she kept screaming back something about me dropping in the standings (I had been in the top five previous to this, although I guess now I have fallen back a few places). There was another casualty last night as well. Somehow I managed to break a second pair of glasses in about two weeks. I don't even know how it happened, it was like they committed suicide or something because they literally broke off my face. Perhaps someone threw a beer can when I wasn't looking and just grazed me -- these things have been known to happen. After the show I went and asked the bartender if there was any money. He almost laughed at me. He held up an o with his fingers and claimed that was how many people had paid to see us. He said that if you can't get ten people to pay to see you in New York you shouldn't bother playing. Perhaps he is right, but perhaps it was pouring rain outside and perhaps he is an asshole. Out of our (literally) tens of fans, several of them actually came out despite the inclement weather. The fact that every single one of them was on someone's guest list should not reflect poorly on us. I only put two people on and they both turned up. They purchased alcohol at the bar. We even made some new fans last night. I think everything is going to be okay, somehow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hello, etc.

How flattered am I to be a guest blogger for Puttin' on the Ritz? Very. While I was firmly instructed to write about relevant topics, there are a few matters I'd like to address first.

Bus Etiquette. Please, when you are exiting the bus, do so from the rear. The front is primarily intended for entry, and exiting there simply creates negative bus flow and general anger. A front exit is acceptable a) late at night, and b) if there are shady characters in the back. A front exit is never acceptable if you are walking all the way from the back, and especially if, when you exit the bus and go wherever you're going, you walk back towards the rear. The latter scenario is the most extreme and horrifying, yet I witness this on a regular basis.

Hitchhiking on Bedford Ave. Opinions? Concerns? I've considered doing this many, many times (e.g. this morning) while waiting for the B61 in the rain (or otherwise inclement weather).

Summer Fashion. Predictions? I plan on purchasing (or making?) a few tube tops and a sundress or two. Oh, and shorts. My line of work won't allow for cute shoes, but that's ok. Headbands will also make their customary appearance.

After receiving a call from BJ (no word from Kevin, of course) about a last-minute PotR appearance at the Glasshouse, I stopped by after a long day of serving the people. I missed their set, but got to hang out with them anyway. Oh my, those two are handsome! Kevin went on and on about the baked tofu, cucumber and red onion sandwiches that I make, and BJ continued to charm everyone in the room. Since I missed the show last night, I'll say a few words about the performance last Saturday at Eat Records. Courtesy of Mr. Mathew Lynch, esq, I screened video footage of this. I am not allowed to post it here, per PotR blog policy. But I must say the show went very well, and I'm glad they accepted my invitation to play (I know they are very busy, and it was possible that they wouldn't be able to make it). There was a point at which BJ, whilst singing, lunged at me and sort of embraced me or something. I may have squealed a little, but it was all in good fun. They were a bit too loud, I guess. We're trying to make a good impression on the landlord and neighbors, so it's important that we don't come off as a bunch of hooligans. Anyway. Thank you. I enjoyed this tremendously. Word to all my peeps.

On Faking The Funk, etc.

So, check this out. Earlier today I was totally hanging out in this 5 dimensional plane, which is sort of weird because things are perpendicular in ways that would totally blow your mind. I kept falling over and I wasn't even drunk. I was chilling with some natives and they turned me on to some really heavy shit. Stereo doesn't even begin to describe it. Then I made some calls and then Puttin' On The Ritz played.

March 22, 2005 -- Glasshouse, Brooklyn
Apparently Sexy Thoughts was supposed to play, but Kevin thought it would be more satisfying if The Ritz (Shahin kept talking about The Ritz, and I have to admit to being super psyched about being referred to in that manner. Much the same as I dig people calling me The Beej, which people do almost instinctively without even knowing that I super love it. Something about the word the in front of it just makes it transcendental, although I'm not quite sure what is being transcended. Just load up the bong or something and humor me) played instead. Was that tangent too verbose? Just load up the bong and humor me. Whilst you are humoring me, maybe you can riddle me this. Why do people think it is a good idea to throw shit at us when we are playing? I mean, I don't make announcements or anything. I believe my pants currently have banana residue on the crotch. We realized that we don't even need a drum kit anymore; setting up with total garbage is sufficient. The banana was totally Kevin's fault -- he was eating it, putting it in some sort of case (which appeared to be designed for it, although I cannot imagine anyone manufacturing banana cases, despite how lucrative a venture it might be), and tossing it about. Everyone seemed psyched, which is a bit of a rarity for us. I broke character in that I had a smirk on my face, although my character is really only me playing myself in a weird band. If you have any questions, fax them to me and I will make sure to meditate on them for a week before passing out. Actually, I might break that promise. Don't look to me for salvation; I can never be your Richard Nixon. Pass the salt, etc.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

My Darling Dear, etc.

Me: "What's up? You were supposed to be here a half hour ago."
Kevin: "Well, I'm not."
Me: "I can see that. Where are you?"

For some reason, every time we record, we have to play a show as well. I'm not quite sure why. We had a great session; in fact it was our best to date. Thanks are due to Bill Racine, who in addition to being my roommate engineered the shit out of the session. I believe he is available to record your band as well, his rates may or may not be competitive but he is quite skilled, apparently. Listen for yourself. That this all went down in our living room probably helped as well, the vibe was just on, man. Dude, we even overdubbed some backing vocals. We actually overdubbed melodica for christsake. Then we went to visit Casey Block and his cronies at Eat Records.

March 19, 2005 -- Eat Records, Brooklyn
I love riding my bicycle to shows. There is a certain, um, I don't know what about it. Regardless, we were special guests (per usual). That is to say that we played last and not many people realized we were playing. Thus, people starting leaving just before we went on. Alas. We powered through, somehow. Not everyone left, although we have played to virtually empty rooms in the past. Casey brought me a microphone and a busted cord, which meant that I was not amplified. After the first song he told Kevin not to hit his one cymbal so much, as his landlord lives upstairs. Undaunted, we soldiered on. I walked around the room, rolling around on the floor and screaming. When, as is our practice, I informed the audience we were going to take them to outer space, Kevin got behind an organ that someone had used for something and began playing "Earth Angel". We didn't get much farther than the chorus because neither of actually know the rest of the song. During the last song I pushed Kevin out the front door and sang the last few lines, whilst he sat outside and talked to someone on his cellular telephone. For legal reasons I have decided to forget the rest of the evening. Thank you, goodnight.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

crapola androids

the beings of whichc i associate time and genre be that as it may, being that which is belief, vs argument, or you might add sophistry, so we may disassociate ourselves from that which we might otherwise scalimna responsibility for -- the android lovers that came down from outer space. dear bj, i know you know what i am talking about. the android lover bitch who with many opinions ruins arguments . dear people out there we offer you that puttin on the ritz has freedom, we have freedom by the balls, and all we need you to do is pledge $5 and then we be able to keep those balls in the freezer

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rote, etc.

March 11, 2005 -- Asterisk, Brooklyn
There were some casualties last night. I regret to inform all of you that my glasses, considered by many to be one of my defining features, are now totally busted. Someone threw what I now realize to be a snowball at me, although at the time I couldn't really tell what it was through the drunken haze. Perhaps I did not expect to be pelted with such things indoors. Regardless, I took my glasses off and put the in what seemed like a safe place at the time. We, per usual, had set up in the hallway. There was a table in the corner, and Kevin decided it would be a good idea to set up on top of it. There wasn't room for much, so he was playing a snare and a cymbal. I put my glasses under the snare stand, which in retrospect might not have been the best place for them. Kevin did not even bring his bass drum, mostly because he seems to have misplaced it. How do you lose a fucking bass drum? Kevin Shea, apparently, is capable of things you and I cannot even imagine. Mike Colin brought his over, and even played it with us. It is always nice to have someone sit in with us. We debuted "Unforgettable" last night, despite never having rehearsed it. To be honest, I don't really remember much else about the set. It is not incredible how forgettable it was, although I might have been drunk. I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all our brothers in arms who performed with us last night, as it was a distinct pleasure to share an evening with them. So thank you Diamond Nights (best rock and roll band in town, hands down), Cheeseburger (who are currently partying like it's last week, or something like that), Aa (whom twenty year old girls seem to swoon for, those lucky bastards), Telepathy (who were down a man but came out swinging, nonetheless), Lucky Dragons (Luke was seriously amazing last night, I really wish all of you could have seen him play), and Benji Cossa (we'll play shows with him any day of the week). I spent the rest of the evening stumbling around Asterisk, not being able to see very well and being approached by strange women. All of them seemed really interested in telephone numbers, although I did none of the soliciting. I did get to dance extensively with shirtless dudes, including Ted, for some reason. Todd fell asleep for a bit, and then I called him a car. I walked out at 6am into what seemed like a blizzard, which is probably what it was. I mounted my bicycle and rode home drunk, without my glasses, in the snow. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, to be honest, it seemed like a terrible idea at the time. But I needed to get home.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Bicameral Mind, etc.

So, as you may have guessed, Kevin and I have many treats and surprises in store for you, our (apparently) rabid fans. Only some of them involve sexual favors, and those need to be paid for, in cash, in advance. That is the way these transactions are usually conducted, right? Regardless, we are attempting to compile some sort of digital video disc. Right now we have a dearth of video footage, which you or maybe your friend or perhaps a total stranger can help us with. I have, I believe, seen a video camera at more than one of our shows. Some of the details, such as which show it was or who was behind the camera, escape me right now. So I repeat, if you, or anyone you know, has any of this footage, please contact us immediately. Well, you can wait a day or whatever, but the sooner the better. We would be willing to take the subway to your residence and/or place of business to acquire said footage. We will even give you a credit, for what it's worth. My email address is available on this very page -- so run, don't walk, etc. In the meantime I will be waiting underwater. No really, I mean it.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Superfluous, etc.

Welcome to March, comrades. If you are currently in New York City, you know that it is ridiculously cold. Kevin Shea might be aware of this fact, but he is, as we speak, working on his suntan in Los Angeles. If I were there I would be doing the same. We have exchanged a few emails, but I'm not sure if that really constitutes practicing. Since we have not held an official rehearsal yet this year, I am content to act as if emailing or speaking on the telephone is the same thing as honing our craft. I will let you be the judge, as I will probably be too drunk to remember. Perhaps that little artifice is wearing thin, the whole drinking until there's nothing left to drink to sort of thing. If you have any recommendations as to what sort of recreational drugs we should explore in lieu of smashing our livers with unholy amounts of alcohol, I would be more than happy to hear them. Keep in mind that we don't like marijuana nor stimulants. Whilst it might be amusing to watch us melt our brains with LSD, I'm not sure how interested we are in that experience. We could just as easily melt our brains with eurodisco or, say, freon. Perhaps we will stick with what we know, for the time being. Anything else you might have to say would be appreciated, as we appreciate your comments and suggestions. We know you're out there, someone has to be reading this bullshit. Well, I suppose it did not actually emerge, fully grown, from the ass of a bull, but you I think you get my meaning. I'm not going to reduce the number of commas per capita, as I happen to like them, etc. So if that is your suggestion, you can save your breath. Suffice it to say that I just wanted to say hello, and it would be nice if you did the same. Go with God or whatever it is that you do with your free time.