I did go on a random bicycle adventure downtown last night in response to a flier for the New York City! (this always comes out in my head in the voice of the Pace salsa cowboy) indie rock band the Weed Hounds who were traveling in a rented mini van alongside Girlfriends, more of a punkish band from Boston. The sound mix was a little rough but the bands were super cool and talented (and young.) The experience left me feeling both invigorated and ancient.
Valuable information I soaked up on my Wed night rock adventure:
1. The kids are into vinyl. I still have my first stereo from 1989 that I bought with tutoring money but I’ve lost track of the record player. Dang! For $7 I could have walked away with a pressed recording of awesomeness. Also I can download for free from myspace.
2. The kids are friendly! I guess with a band name like the Weed Hounds (not the Bee Hounds, flirtatious hippy lady!) you’d expect them to be agreeable, but these young city folks were downright congenial. I got extra credit for being a member of the almost non-existant audience, but I enjoyed the pre-show conversation as much as the jam session.
3. The NYC music scene has lost the middle ground. Apparently small venues like BoBo’s on Lexington Ave are almost non-existant in New York b/c of occupancy limitations and the hassle of hosting music. And with folks lining up to buy $20 coctails why bother? The most excellent drummer of the Weed Hounds (who let my buy him a ginger beer in a support the band kind of way since there was no cover) was telling me about venues in loft apartments where there’s a common space under the vaulted post-industrial roof- aka a big living room. These underground venues create house party coolness open to the public and help pay the rent to boot. I think it’s a fantastic coming together of youthful energy/poverty and talent and architecture to make a home brewed music scene. Makes me wish I’d done the big city thing when I was younger.
4. I learned that I am too ancient to recover easily from Wed night adventures. (Bookend) Arrrggghhh!