What’s goin’ on? How are ya? The boys and me are just headed back on that bumpy road after what proved to be a most rowdy, exciting and unforgettable few days in New York after a fun gig in Philly.
Philly is a really cool spot. We played at a bar called the Kung Fu Necktie with our buddies in a killer band called RumpelstiltskinGrinder. Last time we played Philly we were extremely late because our GPS took us on a hellish route through midtown Manhattan rush hour traffic while we were stagnant and pulling our hair out with stress. So this time we made a point of showing up in good time. RsG were really tight as always. The whole band really meshes great, and their solos were clean as a whistle. Their singer Sean Riley is a superb frontman. Plus you can tell that he is naturally a very funny guy and an excellent performer, as his banter is effortless and comfortable.
We were met by 3 of the 4 members of space-thrash geniuses Vektor. I am so glad to have them as friends because before we met I was a huge fan of their music - we all were. I find them very inspiring because they have a sound that is completely their own, which is a difficult feat in the world of heavy metal. Their arrangements are extraordinary, and every member is an absolute savage on their instrument. They moved to Philadelphia from Arizona last year, so they came and met us at the venue while we were in town. The show went great and afterwards we went to the bass player and drummer’s apartment in West Philadelphia for some sleep. Trying to find a place to park, we saw a space down one block but were instructed not to go down that way “unless you want to be shot.” Needless to say this made our suburban white arseholes pucker with fear. Once we got to their place we had a few drinks and listened to Blake the drummer play us some unbelievable classical piano. I also bugged him to play me some Billy Joel and Elton John songs while I incoherently belted out the vocals from the other end of the room.
The following day a few of the Vektor bros took us downtown to get some cheese steaks and we laughed away the afternoon in anticipation of our very first day off in New York.
Last time we were in NYC we had a full afternoon there, but I knew that New York is a city that comes alive when the sun goes down, and boy was I right. This time around we had a night off, so we decided to head to Manhattan to see a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar which is like Mecca for comedy nerds like me and my brother. This is the place that is famous for having huge stars come in to do sets regularly like Louis CK, Jim Norton, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and many other comedy greats. It isn’t uncommon at the cellar to get to see huge touring acts working out new material. When we got to the front of the line, the bouncer almost didn’t let us in because he said I looked too drunk. He wasn’t far off. I reasoned with the blurry gentleman of color with a walkie-talkie by saying, “Listen man, I’m here to laugh not to cause problems.” Unfortunately, as I reached into my pocket to show him my ID I accidentally dropped my keys all over the goddamn sidewalk like a mongoloid buffoon. I really have the class and social sophistication of a public masturbator. Pardon my French, but I was nothing short of a good-for-nothing scallywag on this particular evening. The show was tremendous and the comedians had us all laughing our asses off the entire time. Us 5 dirt bags going to a comedy club, we may as well have had a bull’s-eye on us. The host Ardie Fuqua saw us and knew we were in a band just by our appearance. He asked us from the stage, “What’s your band called?” we reply “Fatality.” Then he goes “Well you know what else is dead? Your careers.”
We were seated right next to Cuba Gooding Jr. As he got up to leave the comedian told a joke about anal sex. As Cuba was passing us he put his hands on Eytan and Sean's sun burnt shoulders and yelled “ANAL!!!!” and left the club. Luckily, this wasn’t the first time Eytan and Sean had a man holding their shoulders while a man stood behind them screaming “ANAL!”
New York is a magical place. You don’t ever need to look for a wild time; it just finds you as long as you go with the flow. When the show finished and we were standing on the corner preparing to head back to Brooklyn, where we were staying, a woman named Tracy from the comedy show approached us and invited us to the bar next door to play beer pong. When we got to the door of the next bar guess what happened? The bouncer didn’t want to let us in. This time it wasn’t my obvious and palpable one-eye-open intoxication, but rather mine and Eytan's slovenly tour attire of cutoff sleeveless shirts. Tracy ran in and grabbed some Corona promotional T-shirts from the bar and we headed in to our own little section of the bar with a beer pong table. Tracy bought us a bunch of pitchers and seemingly endless rounds of shots. We spent the night drinking, dancing and laughing our dicks off until last call and finally we made our journey to Brooklyn to stay with our friend Nick from a band called Bröhammer.
The next morning we all awoke in a haze all at the same time. Mason had crashed on one of those really tall air mattresses that was supplied by Nick and set up for our arrival. To my complete delight I noticed that there must have been a giant hole in the side of it and mason ended up on the hard floor. We watched him wake up and realize his unfortunate predicament. He stood up immediately in his undies and mumbled angrily “Fuck this. This sucks!” and we all had an over-tired giggling fit that lasted about 15 minutes. After such a wild and magical night, the next morning it all almost seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Where did this Tracy girl come from, and why did she treat us like royalty? Did she even exist? Or is she just a ghost of New York parties past?
The next day we were playing a venue in Brooklyn called Saint Vitus bar. This is the place to be in New York. It really is a killer metal bar. When we got there the first thing we did was order our favourite drink: the Pickleback. It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of Brooklyn pickle brine. Sounds nasty, but I assure you the 2 flavours complement each other beautifully and leave you with a joyous taste like you just had a nice warm Ruben sandwich covered with booze. And I haven’t been able to find them anywhere except Brooklyn. The show was fun as stink, and it was great to see Bröhammer perform. The singer Joe has an amazingly powerful falsetto that he wields with such aggression that it’s almost like watching someone walking a tight rope, you know that it can all go wrong at any moment. But it never does. We spent a lot of time with the bass player Nick. He is such a savage, and also one of the funniest dudes I know. We spent most of today driving the streets of Brooklyn while he made us laugh till or faces hurt by saying the most ridiculous shit to pedestrians. Every time we past a gorgeous woman he would lean out of the window and bellow “Yo gurl, how’s that smell? Yo, what dat smell like?” in the voice of Tracy Morgan.
Not even 2 weeks into this tour and I am already having the most incredible time of my life. I absolutely fell in love with New York this weekend.
Now, take me to Baltimore...