Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones
andee's world: January 2009

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Footsteps On a Wire

From the "Only In New York" file:

So, about a year ago I officially retired yet another pair of boots after literally running them into the ground for a good 16 months or so. They were standard black hiking boots, distinguished only by the little white stars I painted on their sides.

I thought it might be cute to throw them over a telephone line; about halfway down my block, there's a wire that currently supports a bunch of defunct and dangling shoes, so I figured I'd add mine to the mix.

Kept putting it off, month after month. I wanted it to go down at night, when there would be the least amount of possible witnesses. But alas, my street has become a busy one, with bars and all-night delis and people seemingly always on the street. Cops, too. Seemed like every time I went out there, planning to do the deed, I'd chicken out. After all, it takes several attempts to get a pair of heavy boots to successfully wrap around a telephone line 20 feet above street level (I'm estimating that height).

Then a couple of weeks ago I finally got tired of looking at my old boots, standing sadly by the door of my apartment. I was either gonna get them up on the wire or throw them out. I tied their laces together and took them down the block. It was late but people were still out, smoking and talking. I looked up at the hanging shoes over Metropolitan Avenue, then down the block. I finally decided I wasn't in the mood for hurling the boots up in the air, so instead I placed them on the sidewalk, against the wall of the nearest building, and left.

A few days later I walked out of my apartment building and happened to look up -- my boots are hanging from the telephone line right in front of my building.

Thank you , mystery boot-thrower! It's good to know someone is looking out for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Records and Concerts and Life In General

During these past arctic weeks in New York, my CD deck has been keeping warm thanks to a heavy rotation of Tomahawk, The Damned, TV on the Radio, Cocteau Twins, Zappa, R.E.M, Replacements and Cure B-sides.

My new favorite artist is Kristeen Young ( Wow. Imagine Kate Bush stripped down to a Dresden Dolls-esque presentation style and given an economical but modern production makeover, and you might be in the same room with this phenom. But she's really got her own thing. Plus she designs her own gowns, which make Bjork look like Martha Stewart. She's earned the breathless praise of Bowie and Morrissey (both of whom she has recorded with, btw). Big thanks to Joe W. for turning me on to this music!

I got a chance to see the great Marshall Crenshaw a couple of weeks ago at the Highline Ballroom and not only that, I sat right in front of the man. What a treat! To me this guy is as great a pop/rock songwriter as any other, and I grinned ear-to-ear, $7 Stella in hand, as he and his band (bass, vibes and drums) ripped through a set of solid gold tunes from past and present. Marshall burns on guitar, too. It's no wonder he's been playing for the post-millenial MC-5 of late. It's criminal that more people don't know this guy's music. I strongly urge you to pick up Rhino Records' flawless The Best Of Marshall Cranshaw: This Is Easy if you've never indulged.

On the opposite end of the quality matrix was Crystal Castles' New Years Eve shitshow at The Williamsburg Music Hall. What a waste of 40 bucks. I like CC's clever, cut-up garage electro recordings as much as the next guy but their "live" show was a farce; in the first song, the singer's mic went on the blink and nobody bothered to replace it. Not that it mattered; all she does is scream and the chorus vocals are all piped in from a laptop. So nobody, including the band, seemed to care. Pitchfork-approved Brittney Spears. I walked out after three songs. The band stole my money, but I wasn't about to let them steal the rest of my night.

Despite that dubious intro (and don't worry, NYE got much better), 2009 has been pretty swell so far. I spent the first three weeks without internet, which was curiously kinda great. Much more time making music, that's for sure. This portal to the world sure is dangerously addictive. It lures you in and it's hard to come out. You waste a lot of time. Anyway, here I am again.

Been busy playing gigs in NYC with my new band and a few with others as well. Gonna be doing some touring in the next few months that will get me out of town and probably overseas as well. Looking forward to that.

Loving the snow and the cold, making things, watching our new prez get to work. Things feel better already and the hangover's slowly wearing off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Over

I almost cried when I looked at my "The Official George W. Bush
Days Left In Office Countdown" clock (on the right) and saw...a line of zeroes.

Welcome, President Barack Hussein Obama.