Puttin' On The Ritz

More sophisticated by the second, etc.

Monday, April 25, 2005

String Theory, etc.

Tonight, for some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to attempt to reconnect with people from the past (I am not referring to ex-girlfriends, because I am not really all that sure what I would say to them and many of them appear to be married), although I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is because I like the idea of communicating with people in other time zones, it is a bit like traveling faster than the speed of light. Causality be damned, I would love for someone to hear me say hello before I actually say it. Suffice it to say that I am now communicating with you because I am feeling a little chatty and no one was taking my calls. I am not assuming the worst, and I can also think of much worse things than having a chat with you. I feel like I haven't seen you a little while, so perhaps this is also an attempt to reconnect with past lives or whatever. How are you doing? I appear to be doing quite well, although I will admit to having a few glasses of pisco which I think might just be good for the soul. I have no real proof of this, but that is really neither here nor there. I would connect with Kevin but he is also not taking my calls at the moment. I would like to think that it is because he is getting heavy with some chick that he is really into; it may or may not be happening but I prefer to believe that it is. Do any of you have any good theories regarding quantum gravity? I would super love to hear them. I'm not just making that up, I am actually curious. Feel free to blow my mind, now or later. Do you want to know a secret?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Unfortunately, I Went Home

I rode my bicycle past the Glasshouse at about 10:45. I stopped, made some telephone calls to speed dials 21 & 22 (They happen to be 21 and 22 for no particular reason. I don't assign the lower numbers to more favored friends; rather, I entered the numbers in my phone as I needed them, and these two friends happened to be the 21st and 22nd people I called.). Then I rode home and looked at shoes on the internet. I could post photos of shoes I'm considering, but I think the PotR blog is text-only. Anyway, I was looking at shoes, because at my place of business, shit is always getting dropped on my feet. Corn and potato chowder, roasted garlic mayonnaise, whatever. I guess that's why food people always wear plain black wipe-offable shoes. Anyway. I went home because I felt like it needed to happen. Like maybe, in this time of transition and perpetual exhaustion, it would help if I just cleaned my fucking room for once. I'm talking about getting rid of superflous objects in my life, winter clothes, random bits of nostalgia, flyers, what have you. Spring cleaning, making sense of the clutter. Instead I ended up compiling a nice little collection of shoes I want, and then borrowing some music from Bryan's computer. The music sharing was made possible by "eChoad," our home's pleasantly named wireless network that references the strip of tissue between one's genitals and anus.

I guess when I see PotR, things make more sense than they do when I'm sitting in my bedroom, surrounded by piles of clothes that I last wore in January. What's under your bed? What's under mine? What's under Kevin's? BJ's? Perhaps you should ask them.

Goodbye for now!

Greetings From Planet Earth, etc.

April 19, 2005 -- Glasshouse, Brooklyn
We were a last minute addition here, for some reason. Kevin was playing a money gig (read: playing music to help ease the digestion of some diners at a fancy-pants restaurant, or something like that anyway) but made it down to Williamsburg in time for us to jump on this show with USAISAMONSTER, Gang Wizard, Hi-Red Center, and Child Abuse. It made sense at the time, I promise. I told Kevin to come straight down rather than going home and getting drums or sticks or anything, actually. It appeared to me that there would not be enough time, although my neuroses got the better of me this time because he totally would have had time. I am weird about punctuality and we needed to be ready to play as soon as USAISAMONSTER was done. Real or imagined, etc. There were drums set up on stage but we could not discover who they actually belonged to, so Kevin dug up some weird little drums (read: mostly buckets and other bits of detritus) that were lying around and set up on some sort of staircase that didn't really seem to lead much of anywhere. There was a microphone that was failing to actually amplify my voice, so I began screaming at the top of my lungs, struggling to compete with the din of conversation that was wafting through the room. I'm not quite sure if I was successful or not, but that is not really the point. So we played a quick set, which seemed prudent as I'm not exactly sure how many people were actually paying attention. Chris and Jeanie were, and they even appeared to be enjoying themselves. Thank you for that. We closed the set with both of us playing buckets and banisters and me screaming (quite hoarsely, by this point) something about lunar bodies. I cannot recall all of the details. No, that's not true. I can totally recall. Volume might have been an issue but fidelity has never been our strong point, exactly. We do our best, despite the circumstances. I think we do a pretty fucking good job, too. So there, it would seem. We would like to extend a hearty thank you to the bands, thanks again to Todd for letting us play simply because we thought it would be a good idea (the validity of that is still under review, it would seem), and to our friends who stuck around and watched (I'm looking at you Joel, Luke, Paula, Nadav, the people previously mentioned, and anyone else I might be forgetting -- I apologize for not giving you the proper credit), etc. That might not have made a lot of sense, too many parentheticals might spoil the sentence, but that is my way. We here at Puttin' On The Ritz encourage you to revel in the fact that it is spring; get close to a loved one be it your girlfriend, husband, bottle of bourbon, etc. You know what we mean. We will not be cowed by the new pope, mostly because I am a Jew and Kevin is from outer space. Do not be afraid, we are here for you, be you gentile or Yeti or whatever.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Verdant Fields Of Green, etc.

April 15, 2005 -- Juvie Hall, Manhattan
Our Golden Jubilee! And it could not have been weirder! One Elliott Kalan, co-worker of mine and host of Midnight Kalan, asked us to perform on his comedic talk show. We agreed, not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into as neither of us had ever seen it before. Knowing Elliott from work, I figured it would be obscure and fun. There was a guest before us, whose name totally eludes me because I was drunk when I walked in the door. It is too bad that the audience was not back stage with us during the opening act -- not necessarily because it was not entertaining, but because Kevin and I were wasted and screaming at each other in hushed tones. Kevin really wanted to get laid, apparently. I informed him that there may or may not be attractive, available women in the audience but I would see what I would do. He had told me that he did his research for the show by drinking a bunch of bourbon. I did similar research, it would seem. Apparently whatever we were saying was sort of audible in the front of the house, but I don't really know. I snuck out a window in the back to have a cigarette for a little bit so I wasn't really paying all that much attention. Then, Elliott called us out for the interview portion of the evening. Kevin immediately sat down in his chair and proceeded to say nothing at all. I was wasted, drinking a 40, and being really combatative. What do you expect? For me to politely answer any and all questions? Then pizza came and we played almost 2 songs, during which I think Kevin threw his drums around and I screamed because the microphone did not work very well. Elliott cut us off to ask some more questions, most of which were directed at his first guest because I don't think he really knew what to make of us. Were we in character, or are we really just drunks? Then it all ended and I played a solo version of Fly me to the Moon which I don't think anyone really paid attention to. What are friends for? All things considered, I think we were pretty good guests. Wild and unpredictable while surprisingly articulate. At least I don't think I was slurring too much. I couldn't tell if Elliott agreed, but we did our best and despite the strange format, we had fun. I hope that you like them apples, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other, etc.

We here at Puttin' On The Ritz are not a bunch of total luddites, although we have been accused of being such. Why, you wonder? Perhaps it is because in general, the level of technology we employ predates fire. Well, that is not entirely true, as I often sing through an amplifier and Kevin's drums contain refined metal. But the spirit is there, we could be banging on wooden drums with animal hides for skins and screaming. We look forward to the day when chips are implanted in our brains and we can be with you, virtually, any time, no matter where you are. Video chatting will seem primitive compared to the technology employed to bring us closer to your hearts. That being said, I somehow found myself at some Italian restaurant in New Jersey last night, not really the first place you would expect to find me. One Uncle Floyd was playing piano and singing, along with a revolving cast of characters. Reputedly he is some sort of cable access hero in New Jersey, a legend if you will. Bad jokes were told, people danced. Somehow Nattles (who orchestrated the whole adventure and claimed it was seven years in the making, despite the fact that I had only found out about it the day before) talked me into singing Fly me to the Moon with Uncle Floyd. I went on to attempt to sing it straight, but at this point I can only hear the song the way we play it so I'm sure Uncle Floyd had a hell of a time keeping up with me. I think it went over well despite my tonal difficulties, although I have to admit that I was actually nervous. Me, nervous! Weird! It would seem that I've gotten quite used to having Kevin there for moral support. I hope he feels the same way, but as I am pretty sure he is still sleeping I'm not going to count on it. Would you wait underwater? I suppose it all depends on what you are waiting for. So until we all become cyborgs, I guess we will have to rely on more traditional means of communication. We are a little bit psychic, but that does not mean that we can read your mind. We will continue to blow it, however. Six of one, a half dozen of the other or whatever. I'm still waiting for the aliens to come take me away, or at the very least faster than light travel to be discovered so you can read this before I even write it. Mere light is not fast enough to convey our sentiments, which might occasionally be mixed (depending on a variety of factors including but not limited to being drunk or asleep) -- but know that we care, even if no one else does. You are not alone, even if you do not have a chip in your brain that allows us to be in constant contact. You are in our thoughts, and we miss you when you are away. Relativity don't mean shit, can you dig? Well, actually, this is all about relativity but I'm not sure this is exactly what Einstein had in mind. So do what you need to do but don't forget the Alamo.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

One More Time, etc.

In case you were curious, we're totally serious. I believe that it is currently dawn and that I am being made painfully aware of the fact that it is a brand new day. Whilst this means that I will, in all likelihood, sleep through the vast majority of it, I am glad that we can have this quiet little moment together. It has been a long night indeed. And I, I took the one less travled by. And it has made all the difference. I am so serious that I am quoting poems that I don't even like. What does this all mean? It means that I need to start going to sleep a little earlier because I don't have curtains and the sun really does wake me up in the morning. It also means that some thing are better left unsaid. Actually, I don't really believe that either. What it really means is that you should, in every possible instance (well, I don't actually advise this), damn the torpedoes. Damn them indeed, ramming speed seems much more appropriate and ill advised but really, at the end of the day, a much better story. I think I might have had you at hello, but as I never actually said that I think this whole series of events might be problematic, what with causality and all. If you could turn the clock back to August 13, 1978, would you? I pick that date arbitrarily as it is my birthday. If you could not only have your sins forgiven, but erased, would you? How far back does the clock need to be turned back before we are innocent again? Do we really miss the innocence? I think I just miss being skinnier and feeling more healthy. But that is neither here nor there. This might all be for the birds, my fine feathered friend. I will allow you to be the judge, as I am obviously in no shape to be. But know this -- it is never all for naught. Even when it is, it isn't. I am trying really hard to be positive right now when all I really want to do is get some sleep. So with that, etc.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Respect Love Of The Heart Over Lust Of The Flesh, etc.

Today was a pretty amazing day to be alive, from my personal point of view. This is to say that it was not a day to be stuck in a windowless room, which I may or may not have been. I will make no admissions at this juncture. Spring is in the air, my friends. For those of you that are in New York City, I say kudos. Well chosen geographical location. For those of you who cannot be here, I hope that you are also enjoying the coming of the season for loving, etc. I was not paying attention to the degrees Kelvin you might have been experiencing, I do not know how far above absolute zero that you are currently living. Did you know that all motion stops at absolute zero? In other words, electrons stop moving in their shells, neutrons are not decaying into protons (and not emitting an electron in the process, either), and I run out of ways to say I love you. Despite the fact that you cannot know the precise location and velocity of my sentiments, know that they are heartfelt. What this all means is total hearsay and most likely a bit vague. But really, I'm dodging the issue here. The heart of the matter, so to speak, is that Puttin' On The Ritz completely adores you, despite the fact that "on" and "the" probably shouldn't be capitalized but I don't really care. Such trivial matters are not important; we are currently in love. Who are we in love with? I just told you! You! Weren't you listening? We're not even drunk, even if I am working on it right now (Kevin's actual state of inebriation cannot be determined right now as I am not in contact with him). But I know how he feels, and if he were here right now he would probably give you a sloppy kiss or something to that effect. All these 1s and 0s cannot convey the extent of the joy we feel to be in your presence. Really, it is what makes life worth living. If we are lucky, our next conference call will be a little less virtual and we will have some sort of tactile interaction. Next time you see us, make sure to blow kisses instead of throwing beer bottles; the bottles actually really hurt. We are not immune to pain of the body nor of the heart. But we love you despite the fights, despite the pain, despite the grief. We accept you with all your faults, as we certainly have our share. We really mean it. Really.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Small Change, etc.

April 2, 2005 -- Asterisk, Brooklyn
So somehow we convinced the right people that it would be a good idea for us to play with Lightning Bolt. By the right people I mean, of course, the people who live at Asterisk. By convincing I mean, of course, asking. Everyone I spoke to regarding the show was sort of afraid all hell would be breaking loose, there were probably 1000 people or so at the show the night before and Asterisk doesn't really have that sort of capacity. Luckily, the show wasn't well promoted and it was raining and people were timid. Thus, it was crowded, but not uncomfortably so. Well, perhaps in the back room whilst Lightning Bolt was playing, but not everywhere the whole time. It was nice to see steam wafting out of the room, and people occasionally emerging with their faces bright red, out of breath. I had no illusions of trying to get in, so I stayed in the hallway and help Kevin set up. That way we would be ready to play as soon as they were done, which is exactly what we did. I think most of the people who walked by were so dazed that they didn't even realize there was another band playing, I guess Kevin and I can be unassuming on occasion. I was trying to chat some of them up, but for the most part they just vaguely glanced my way and kept walking towards the exit. We've had plenty of people walk out on us before, I suppose we're just lucky no one tried to start a fist fight with us. I was sort of expecting that. So, we were quite drunk and somehow managed to get through a bunch of songs. Some of our friends stuck around, and some people we didn't know as well. We always enjoy making new friends. We had four compact discs available, 2 of which I gave away, 2 of which person or persons unknown simply walked off with. Alas. The people in the other bands who saw some of our set seemed to enjoy it, but that is generally the case. We get on better with bands than we do with their fans. Which works well for us, because it allows us to continue to play shows that we might not otherwise get to play, due to our apparent lack of draw. But people did come out, and I would like to thank them for it. I apologize for the $12 cover charge, I had no idea it would cost so much. I believe that would make it the most expensive show we have ever played, and probably are likely to play anytime soon. Perhaps we will be asked to play some black tie affair at Lincoln Center sometime in the future, but I will not be waiting underwater, so to speak. As amazing a drummer as Kevin is, and as amazing a singer I am, it would not seem that we are well suited for such an environment. However, should any of you like to book us there, we would definitely consider it. In the meantime, we will continue to bring our ragtag outfit here there and everywhere, even if that only includes three New York City boroughs. Well, mostly Brooklyn. But anyway, everyone involved in the show was very gracious in allowing us to perform, which we genuinely appreciate. Michelle Panache, Lightning Bolt, DMBQ, Drama Queens, Shellshag, and everyone at Asterisk -- gracias. I wish I could recall more specific details from the show, but I managed not to break my glasses again and no one felt compelled to throw anything at us. I actually removed my glasses before playing because I feel like I've had some bad luck with that sort of thing happening as of late. So there is no one crazy or wild thing that really sticks out, I guess even we have shows like that sometimes. I was pretty mad about losing an hour, though. Fucking daylight savings time. I know, I know, I will appreciate the extra light all summer long. But I really could have used that hour this weekend, it would have come in pretty handy. No sense crying over spilt milk, I suppose. My funny valentine, this song is dedicated to all the lovers in this or any other house. It is dedicated to everyone, it is dedicated to you.