Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Trey Busted for DWI & Drugs

Trey got nabbed by the federalies with some pharmies. He likes his Zannies! Here's what The Smoking Gun said:
Former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio was arrested in December 2006 by upstate New York cops for driving while intoxicated and illegal possession of a variety of medications (Xanax, Percocet, and Hydrocodone) prescribed in someone else's name. Anastasio, 42, whose real first name is Ernest, was nabbed by Whitehall police just miles from the Vermont border following a traffic stop. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, DWI-drugs, and driving without a license.
Trey has a new chapter in his E Hollyweird story. You're not really a rock star until you get a DWI or a drug bust anyway.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Phish: Peanuts

This originally appeared on Saturday Night Live in Dec. 2002 that Al Gore hosted and Phish appeared in their first TV gig since their 2000 hiatus.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Phish on Hanging with MTV (1992)

BTreotch sent me a link to a great video clip of Phish on MTV circa 1992. Enjoy!

Friday, December 01, 2006

My Morning Jacket Roseland Ballroom Setlist

My Morning Jacket 11.30.06 Roseland Ballroom, NY, NY

Set 1: One Big Holiday, What A Wonderful Man, Gideon, The Way That He Sings, Off The Record, Just One Thing, It Beats 4 U, Wordless Chorus, Lowdown, Lay Low, Phone Went West, Dondante, Run Thru, They Ran

Encore: Tonight I Want To Celebrate With You, Nashville To Kentucky, Golden, Steam Engine, Dancefloors, Mahgeetah, Anytime
I'm always in a good mood on the day I'm going to see a great band, like my new favorite band My Morning Jacket. I'm fortunate that I can go see a live concert from the band that I'm listening the most these days. That's so rare and when it happens, it's magical. I was shocked to find Roseland Ballroom on 52nd Street packed with fans. MMJ had that many fans in NYC? I guess so. The Slip opened up, but only a handful of the paid audience was there to see them.

The crowd was an interesting mix of hipsters and indie rock kids. The wookie factor was very low if none considering most of the band looks like guys you bought weed off of during college. There were a few Phish kids and crunchy souls in the crowd smoking tough, but the majority of the crowd looked they just came from work and the average age in the crowd was about late 20s. Then again, it was a Thursday show in NYC. These people had jobs and all of them were packed onto the floor to see Jim James and the rest of My Morning Jacket blow everyone away for a few hours in hard rocking concert that is a meld of Wilco meets Widespread Panic.

I left feeling satisfied that I only paid $32 to see one of the best live acts on the planet and even happier knowing that I get to see them on New Year's Eve. At first glance, My Morning Jacket looks like a bunch of wookies who tried to start a speed metal band and ended up with MMJ. The band is fronted by three guys who look like my buddy Sweet Sweet Pablo and a guy on drums resembling Animal from The Muppets and a guy on keyboards who must have been the weird kid no one talked to in high school. Jim James is what would have happened to Jim Morrison if he smoked more weed and was less of an asshole and did too much speed.

MMJ opened up with a sick five song run to start their gig. A huge cloth/curtain covered the stage and came down after the played a minute or so of One Big Holiday. The other obvious highlights included their big songs like Gideon, Wonderful Man, and Mahgeetah for their epic encore. And the crowd was attentive and receptive.

When I walked out of Roseland Ballroom, I was in the middle of checking my messages and sending a text, when I turned the corner and headed north on Broadway. I wasn't paying too much attention and bumped into someone as we collided. I looked up and saw an extremely attractive woman with dark hair. She looked like actress Rachel Weisz. That's when she said in a British accent, "Pardon me."

She was gone two seconds later and a couple of kids who just left the show were pointing at her like, "Hey we just saw Rachel Weisz."

That's when I knew it was her. I could have copped a feel and gotten away with it. And I blew it because I was too busy texting The Joker telling about the show.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Langerado 2007

Tickets to Langerado go onsale this Friday December 1. Basically it's a Vegoose/Bonaroo type festival on March 9, 10, and 11 for 15K freaks in Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida.

A few of us will be there to check out a sick line up that includes:
Widespread Panic
Trey Anastasio
My Morning Jacket
The New Pornographers
Cat Power and the Dirty Blues Band
Cut Chemist
The Hold Steady
O.A.R. (...of a revolution)
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
Medeski Martin & Wood
The Disco Biscuits
Sound Tribe Sector 9
Los Lobos
Taj Mahal
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
North Mississippi Allstars
The Greyboy Allstars
Toots and the Maytals
JJ Grey and MOFRO
Explosions in the Sky
New Orleans Social Club
Perpetual Groove
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Yerba Buena
Tea Leaf Green
New Monsoon
The Mutaytor
Band of Horses
Kieren Hebden (Four Tet) and Steve Reid
Paolo Nutini
Assembly of Dust
The Slip
Girl Talk
Toubab Krewe
Apollo Sunshine
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Jake Shimabukuro
Kid Beyond
Stay tuned for more info and late night shows lineups.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Phish Poster in Amsterdam

Change100 and I went to bum around Amsterdam for a week. We stopped by the Grey Area, a tiny hash bar owned by Americans. In addition to seeing tons od SCI and Widespread Panic stickers on the wall, I also spotted a Phish poster plugging their 1996 gig at the Paradiso.

If you are going to Amsterdam, stop by the Grey Area. It's only a few block from Dam Sqaure and definitely buy some of the Grey Haze. It was the best stuff we smoke in Amsterdam.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Vegoose Day 2

The Joker rolled into our room around 6am as the eye piercing sunlight screamed through a tiny crack in the curtains. After catching STS9's late night show a few hours earlier, we were a little late getting to the second and final day of the Vegoose music festival. Most folks were heading to church, but thousands of spun out neo-hippies and indie rock hipsters were converging on Sam Boyd Stadium to soak up the last remnants of Vegoose.

On Saturday, we saw 16 different bands and musical acts. For Sunday, that list would be much smaller since there were specific artists that we wanted to see and wouldn't be wandering around as much. The Sunday lineup was much stronger and featured Widespread Panic closing out the festival with a three hour set scheduled on the main stage along with a highly anticipated Phil Lesh and Trey Anastasio collaboration that also featured John Medeski on keyboards.

We quickly showered and changed into our costumes. The traffic on Tropicana was light and we stopped off again to get Texas Toaster breakfast sandwiches at Sonic.

"We should get two," suggested The Joker. "Today's going to be a big day. We need the extra energy burst."

The Joker and I ate two each in a matter of minutes while Nicky only had one. By the time the night ended, she wished she had two.

We got into the lot later than expected and missed the tail end of Built to Spill. When I asked BTreotch his recommendations for Vegoose, Built to Spill was at the top of his list. Originally from Boise, Idaho, I first heard about Built to Spill when I lived in Seattle. I caught one show in the late 1990s in a shitty dive bar in Seattle and another show in San Francisco in 2001. They're often listed as indie rockers but their sound is more like a combination of Neil Young meets Modest Mouse.

Sadly, we missed Built to Spill but could hear the last few songs of their set as we wandered through Shakedown Street which was jumping with activity. I didn't take two steps into Shakedown before I was offered a plethora of party favors. The doctor's costume attracted a bevy of pill heads and kids slinging drugs. I couldn't walk for more than five seconds without hearing faint whispers of "Rolls. Pharmies. Heady nuggets. Opium. Doses. Molly."

I stopped one scruffy look kid with a tie-dye shirt. He had a Southern accent and I realized the influx of people in the lot were Spreadheads in town to Widespread Panic's Vegoose set and their Halloween show on Monday.

"Pharmies. Pharmies," he whispered.

"What's up?" I asked.

"Zannies bars," he answered in his twang

"Break for five?" I said.

"Five for 25," he answered as he put his hand into the pocket of his hoodie and cupped his hand over mine. I slowly unfurled my hand and saw five Zannie bars. I slid him a twenty dollar bill and a five spot and we both disappeared.

In case you don't know what went down, I'll translate that last passage for you...
"I'm selling pharmaceutical drugs. Are any of you law abiding American citizens interested in purchasing pharmaceutical drugs?"

"What are you selling?" I asked.

"Xanax. 2mg Xanax pills," he answered.

"If I purchase bulk quantities, can I work out some sort of discount?" I asked.

"Yes. I can sell you five pills for $25."
Yeah, I picked up a fistful of Xanax which helps insomniacs like me fall asleep after partying for a few days straight. A crusty chick sold me a couple of rolls and I scored some molly off of a sketched out kid with dirty fingernails and a STS9 hat which he wore sideways. We stocked up before the show and headed into the show, but not before I was stopped a dozen times by random people looking to buy drugs.

"Hey Doc, you got any nuggets?"

"Hey Doc, any pharmies?"

"You selling rolls, Doc?"

"Doc, I have back pain, can you hook me up with medical weed?"

That pretty much went on for ten straight hours as random people walked over to me to either try to buy or sell me drugs.

We got to the stage where Galactic was playing just in time to see them come out at 2:30pm. Nicky and I caught the boys from New Orleans a week earlier at the House of Blues in Hollyweird and I saw three shows at the end of the summer in Colorado with The Joker. Those four shows restored my faith in Galactic as they finally got their groove back after the Houseman left the band and after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their city, homes, instruments, and practice space.

Galactic opened up with The Moil as we noticed a group of chicks wearing all pink with pink boas and other feather like accouterments. They were part of the Pink Flamingo crew and we'd see them over the next few hours. Rich Vogel experienced technical problems with his keyboard so Stanton Moore did a quick drum solo while they corrected the problem. After Vogel's keys were fixed, they ripped into FEMA which is a dark and funky song with serious political undertones. The highlight was an ass shaking and slamming version of Doublewide.

The G-men introduced Blackalicious onto stage and he rapped while they played. Galactic got a bunch of hip hop artists to do vocals on their new album and we caught a glimpse of some of that collaboration. I dig Blackalicious, but I would have preferred to have seen Galactic play by themselves for an hour. He left after a few songs and they busted out Spiderbite before they introduced Ladybug Mecca from The Digable Planets. She sang on a few songs including a cover of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir to close the set.

We were buzzed on the verge of getting properly fucked up when The Joker told me about his idea for a costume next year.

"I want to dress up like Chewbacca and hand out stickers to everyone around me that say 'I partied with Wookies' or 'I danced with Wookies'," he said in a straight face.

I couldn't stop laughing. His idea was so good that I wanted to make t-shirts and sell them at various concerts and music festivals.

We skipped Guster at the Cabaret Tent and headed over to catch the second half of The Rhythm Devils featuring both drummers from The Grateful Dead (Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart) along with Mike Gordon from Phish, Jen Durkin from Deep Banana Blackout, Steve Kimock, and Sikiru Adepoju.

The played a couple of Dead and one Phish song which seems to be the "cool thing" these days as members of Phish and The Grateful Dead have been playing with one another and covering each band's songs. We caught a hot version of The Eleven which segued into The Wedge with Mike on vocals that got the crowd all fired up. They also played Fire on the Mountain and Lovelight (which they started at exactly 4:20pm) before they closed with Good Lovin'. The Joker was worried that we'd be seeing two hours of drums and space. We were pleased with their Phishy-Dead related efforts.

During the Rhythm Devils set, The Joker sought out more people in costumes to deliver packages to. We found two guys dressed as characters from The Big Lebowski, which included The Dude and Walter. They even had a red Folgers coffee can which they carried around with "Donnie's ashes inside."

The Joker also delivered a package to a bunny with big tits who was at the festival with a dude dressed as Jack from Jack in the Box. As I tried to scribble down notes about the Joker's deliveries and write down the setlist for the Rhythm Devils, I was stopped by people wanting drugs. Without skipping a beat, I turned my small notebook to a new page and wrote down a faux prescription.

This one frat boy ran over and began screaming, "Doc, I need you to hook me up. Vicodin. Percosett. Klonapin. Oxycontin. Doc, you got get me some oxycontin."

I wrote down, "100mg Valium," and ripped off the piece of paper from my pad.

The frat boy looked down and screamed, "What the fuck? Valium? Fucking Valium? Fuck you Doc! I want something stronger."

We walked over to see the end of Fiona Apple. Another fragile female singer/songwriter took the stage and just like the 100,000 people who show up to watch every Nascar race because they might catch a glimpse of a wreck... we went to see Fiona Apple to see if she had a meltdown on stage.

What we did catch was her announcing that would be her last live performance. Ever. I dunno is she's being melodramatic or bummed out at the low attendance on her most recent tour. Regardless, she's got more musical talent in her left pinky toe than Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson combined. I kept teasing Nicky asking her, "What's the name of this song? I know you know!"

She actually knew the titles to a few of the songs. I pretty much zoned out and smoked up or ran to the beer stand to get Sierra Nevadas as The Joker sought out possible deliveries and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot made fun of all the indie rock kids who were "too cool to wear costumes."

At 5pm, we met Friedman, JW and some of The Jokers friends at the Ferris Wheel. That included Ziggy Stardust, Rainbow Brite, and Alice in Wonderland. Except Alice wasn't in her costume. Instead she wore a red wig and had wings.

"Nice butterfly costume," I joked.

"I'm not a butterfly," Alice insisted. "I'm a fairy. The anti-drug fairy. I'm going have to report you because you look like you've been doing drugs."

We made our way over the the main stage to see Phil and Trey's set. Since Daylight Savings Time kicked in, the 5:15 set was under complete darkness when they took the stage. Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell played a series of shows in San Francisco in April of 1999 with Phil Lesh. It was only a few months after Lesh's liver transplant and a friend had given him a few Phish bootlegs to listen to when he was in the hospital. Lesh dug them so much he asked Trey and Page to be a part of Phil and Phriends for a three show run at the Warfield Theatre. I caught one of those epic shows and that was my first glimpse into members of my two favorite bands playing on stage with each other including each other's original material.

When everyone asked about Trey & Phil's Vegoose set, I told them, "A for effort but a C for execution."

They gave it their all, but without being able to practice with everyone parts of their set were sloppy, chaotic, and flat. But when they clicked, it was amazing.

Also in the lineup with Trey and Phil were Jon Medeski from Medeski, Martin, & Wood (keyboards), John Molo (drums), Larry Campbell (guitar), and Christina Durfee (vocals). It was a tight lineup and Molo was a part of the 1999 Phil & Phriends shows with Trey and Phil.

The crowd went a little crazy when the opened up with the Grateful Dead's epic song Shakedown Street before Trey played one of his solo songs that we heard a few nights before at The Orleans. They segued into Row Jimmy and Trey fucked up. He was playing/singing in the wrong key. He apologized and started over as the crowd gave him a round of applause for admitting his mistake. I dig Trey, but no one could play and sing Row Jimmy like Jerry Garcia.

There's an entry in my notepad where I wrote in extremely sloppy handwriting:
6:48 Take mushrooms
By that point, the roll had already kicked in and I hit peak fuckedupness of the entire weekend. I'd be chasing that high the rest of my time in Las Vegas. That was just around the same time when I found our group dancing in a circle around our stuff and I huddled everyone together for a group hug.

Trey played another one of his slow songs before they did a lukewarm cover version of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. Then the crowd erupted in jubilation as Mike Gordon took the stage. He started out playing Trey's guitar before he switched over to banjo.

"Possum?" JW said to me.

They started playing a jam which resembled the beginning to Possum when it took a turn and they played Get Back on the Train (Phish song). Mike left the stage and they closed the set with a Dead sandwich that included Bird Song segueing into Help > Slip > Franklin's Tower.

Like I said before, Phil and Trey get an A for effort but a C for execution. I'm harshly critical of Trey's solo band which I've often referred to as his Phish cover band. At Vegoose, I dug Phil and Trey's Dead cover band. But if I want to see Dead covers, I'd go see Dark Star Orchestra.

After Phil & Trey and just before Panic, the Vegoose organizers announced the three best costumes. One of them were these dudes who dressed up like Ghostbusters and had ghosts on poles chasing them around. The flight crew from Two High Airlines (who the Joker gave packages to) also won along with three people dressed as a BLT.

By the time Widespread Panic took the stage, my brain was waterlogged in a mental puddle. I told JW that they'd open with Surprise Valley. I wanted to hear it but would have to wait for the second song. Instead they opened up with Climb to Safety which would be the beginning of three straight hours of Widespread Panic.

If you have a chance, download the show because it's the best Panic show I've seen since Mikey Houser died. After a one-two punch of Climb to Safety > Surprise Valley, I knew we were being treated to a special musical performance. The boys from Athens, GA never let up. Because they played one set and didn't take a break, they kept momentum going.

As one Spreadhead admitted, "I love Jimmy Panic!"

He was talking about new guitarist Jimmy Herring who shredded it up and took Panic's jams to places they had not been to since Mikey died.

In the first hour they also played Henry Parsons Died and Pigeons and a I lost my shit during a seventeen minute stretch when they busted out a funkified Rebirtha featuring Dave Schools on bong-rattling bass and a high-powered Tallboy.

Everyone in our group was properly intoxicated after a few dippies and at one point Nicky turned to me and said, "Rainbow Brite just smacked me in the ass!"

Girl on girl action always gets me hot. The Joker's friends from Boulder brought in a bottle of Jim Beam and I'd pick it up and take a swig in honor of Mikey Houser. I'd walk over to people in our group and say, "As your doctor, I advise you to take a swig of the nectar of the Gods."

The bottle of Jim Beam brought more flashbacks of my college days. That was the drink of choice back then and the shots brought that early 90s wild streak out in me. I kept feeling the rolls and mushrooms in waves. Just when I thought I was sober, I'd be attacked by a wave of wastedness.

There was a forty minute stretch of intense insanity when Panic played just three songs: Fishwater, Conrad > Thought Sausage and I got blown away by how amazing Jimmy Herrring sounded and was astonished by how one musician could elevate a band. He's no Mikey. No one can ever replace him, but for the first time since he died, Widespread Panic actually has a bright future with Jimmy Herring in the band. I hope they lock him up for a few years because I'm looking forward to see more Panic shows in the future.

I called Senor's cellphone during Papa's Home because that's his favorite Panic song. I never heard them play Little Wing before and I was impressed especially as they segued into a nostalgic Porch Song which gave me flashbacks of sitting on my porch at my fraternity house in Atlanta and listening to Panic while drinking cheap beer and smoking even cheaper weed.

The soul-numbing and funky Ribs and Whiskey has become one of my favorite Panic songs and I saw the best version of Good People with lots of JoJo jamming. They had been playing Good People at almost every show I saw in the past year either in New York City, Red Rocks, or in LA and they finally sucked me in.

At one point, JW pointed to the Eastern sky and we looked at a dozen or so planes getting in line to land at the airport.

"Bags of money," he said. "Bags of money."

He was right. Those planes were filled with loser who were ready to lose their shirts in Sin City. But not us, we were dancing our asses off.

They ended the set with a dark and devious Chilly Water and I ducked everytime the chorus came around. I was one if the tallest people in my group and being tall at shows is great except during Chilly Water when everyone throws water and the rest of their drinks around. Then there's that Panic Urban Myth that southern frat boys piss into water bottles and toss it around during Chilly Water. I'm sure that's just an urban legend, but I didn't want to take any chances and get drenched in piss so I ducked during the "As long as there's water, chilly wet water..." parts.

They rushed Ain't Life Grand for the encore because I think they ran out of time. Three hours of Jimmy Panic? Unreal and the highlight of Vegoose and the entire weekend. Shows like Panic's Vegoose performance restore my faith in a particular band and gets me all fired up to see them again. And again. I had all but given up on the notion of Panic in Atlanta for NYE. But after that show, I put it back on my list of potential NYE parties to attend.

After Panic's set we headed back out to Shakedown and I scored some more supplies during the post-Vegoose firesale. I actually drove as The Boulder crew climbed into the backseat. Eight? Nine of us? I forgot how many people I drove to the Orleans, but I made it safely. That was the biggest gamble of the trip and I came out ahead.

We were at The Orleans to see String Cheese Incident's late night 1am show. Nicky had never seen them but Alice was excited because it was her favorite band. The Cheese are from Boulder and their fans are an eclectic mix of happy Colorado hippies, spun out wookies, and Cheesekids.

The stage was decorated with a jungle theme including two huge screens on either side of the stage playing jungle images and animals like chimps and other monkeys.

Hunter S. Thompson gets a package

The Joker handed out more packages and we hit the floor when Cheese took the stage. Balloon monkeys were dropped from the ceiling as the band dressed up in animal costumes. A few Cirque de Soliel dancers were suspended above the stage on swings.

The Cheese plays light jammy music which was perfect for me as I came down from a mind-bending day of music and getting wasted.

Our favorite LA girl was weirded out by the high percentage of wookies and hard-core hippies at the Cheese show. 90% of the crowd was dressed up, but most of them wore rave-related party costumes more so than Halloween costumes.

"The wookies are scaring me," mentioned Nicky as a dreadlocked girl in a pink Jellyfish costume (which included an umbrella and tentacles illuminated by glowsticks) wandered by us.

... to be continued

For Vegoose pictures... click here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vegoose Videos: UPS Guy Part I

Here's the first in a series of videos that we took at Vegoose and posted over at You Tube.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vegoose Day 1

The first day of Vegoose would be one of the most epic music filled eras of my life as I caught no less than 16 different bands and musical acts inside of a 16 hour period which included Gomez, The Coup, Cat Power & The Memphis Rhythm Band, Praxis, Yonder Mountain String Band, Medeski Martin & Wood with Maceo Parker, The Rancontuers, Yard Dogs Road Show, Damian Jr. Gong Marley, The Keller Williams Incident, Mars Volta, Black Cowes, Tom Petty, The Killers, Jurassic 5, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. The layout of the festval this year (four stages in a small area) allowed us to see more music than we could have at other festivals like Bonnaroo, Cochella, or at Vegoose last year.

I passed out around 5ish after Trey kicked off the Vegoose Late Night concert series on Friday with a Midnight performance at the Orleans a few hours earlier. I quickly penned a review when I woke up four hours later on Saturday morning as the rest of the crew (Nicky, Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot, and The Joker) finally woke up. We were pretty much on schedule as we left the Castle and drove down Tropicana to Sam Boyd Stadium where the Vegoose festival was held for a second year in a row.

At Bonnaroo in June, we started a daily ritual and ate at Sonic before we headed to the festivities. We'd chow down on Texas Toaster breakfast sandwiches in the car while we chatted about the bands we were about to see. More often than not, that would be out only meal of the day. We all pretty much took up the tweaker diet at Vegoose this year and stopped at the Sonic a few blocks from Boulder Highway to fuel up.

The traffic surrounding Vegoose was light and we pulled into the parking area with no problems around Noon. The Joker put on his UPS driver costume and got all of his props and packages ready. The Joker is a festive guy and always adds to the fun quotient of any party he attends, especially Vegoose. This year, he pre-addressed packages specifically designed for people wearing costumes like "Sexy Cow Girl" or "Hunter S. Thompson." His goal for Vegoose 2006 was to hand out all the packages he addressed. His costume idea became an instant hit last year, and he wanted to continue to share the joy. Costumes are one thing, but an interactive costume at a place with a lot of wasted people is something completely different.

Before we went inside, we wandered up and down Shakedown Street in search of party favors. Thanks to Nicky's medicinal marijuana source, we were stocked in the vegetation department. However, we were light in all other areas until I found a guy who sold us a few rolls. Several vendors in Shakedown were still setting up and we decided to return to Shakedown before we left for the night to restock supplies.

Attendance was down for this year's festival so organizers decided to not use the football stadium to house the main stage like last year. Instead, they held the entire festival on the soccer and practice fields adjacent to Sam Boyd Stadium. They squeezed four stages into the same area that held three in 2005. The main stage (Double Down Stage) was located on the far end, with a smaller stage in a tent in the middle of the fairgrounds and two other stages (Snake Eyes and Joker's Wild) on the other side of the field. The two smaller stages alternated acts and were so close to each other that you could stand in one spot and see both stages.

I wanted to see Gomez badly and made sure everyone got up early enough so I caould catch their early set from 12:20pm to 1:20pm. The English band was one of the first indie rock groups that I got into in the late 1990s. I dug their set at Bonnaroo in June and was excited to see them perform at Vegoose as they were supporting their seventh album called How We Operate. We caught most of their tight set and the highlight was a snazzy version of Devil Will Ride. Nicky kept packing bowls as we smoked tough and drank overpriced beers. The Joker showed up with a few Bud Lites and I gave him shit over drinking Missouri piss water so I wandered over to the Sierra Nevada stand and bought a couple of real beers.

We stopped to listen to The Coup for a song at the Cabaret Clubs Tent. They're a collaborative effort including Tom Morello and Dwayne Wiggin from Audioslave and a few members of Parliament Funkadelic. They were OK and sounded like a Prince cover band on one too many valiums.

The Joker went to work handed out packages. He found one sexy cowgirl and she ended up being one of a half of a dozen or so other cowgirls. As I snapped photos, cowgirls kept jumping into the frame. Where the fuck where they coming from? Then they started rolling around on the grass with The Joker. He's from Texas, so I knew he could handle himself, and kept shooting.

Several hours before at Trey's Friday late night show, the Joker spotted a cute chick wearing a Gryffindor costume. I have never read one Harry Potter book nor seen any of the films, so I have no idea what that entails aside from the fact that the chick looked sexy in a cape and a short miniskirt. Anyway, the Joker spotted her again when Gomez's set ended and ran over to give her a package. We'd end up crossing paths a few more times before the weekend was over.

We eventually made our way over to Praxis. The Joker had been talking up the legendary Bill Laswell's group that featured Brain (the drummer from Primus) along with the ultra-freaky Buckethead on guitar. Laswell's been around the block a few times and is one of the pioneers of funk with his "darkly subsonic bass."

Praxis was an interesting mix of reggae, dub, funk, and heavy metal. Yeah, depending on the song you got to sample their variety of tastes and musical influences. Their songs also featured plenty of abrupt changes. Where they started off with a heavy metal sound (that would have gotten AlCantHang's fists pumping and his hair moving in seventeen different directions), they'd end up with a mellow reggae groove. You have to hold on for the chaotic ride of your life when you listen to Praxis.

We were up close and I stood behind the guy dressed like Buckethead, who was shredding it up from the moment he wandered onto stage wearing his trademark KFC bucket on his head and a white mask. Buckethead described Praxis as, "A big binge loaf, like terror long dangler buddies on a scoop rack."

After a few songs I motioned to the Joker and Nicky to leave as we lost Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot.

"Let's go see Cat Power," the Joker suggested. "We might catch one of her nervous breakdowns on stage."

An ex-girlfriend of mine was infatuated with Cat Power's Chan Marshall. She described her as "our generation's Joni Mitchell." But Joni Mitchell wasn't a drunk and a drama queen, so that description was way off.

I've heard friends suggest that Chan Marshall's instability is just an act and she's more of a showman than an alcoholic as the music press hails her. She's been known to walk off stage due to her chronic stage fright and she's stopped playing songs midway. Marshall, who grew up in Georgia, returned to her Southern roots as she took the stage with the Memphis Rhythm Band.

We didn't catch any mental breakdowns. Instead she did an impressive cover of the Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. She's got a decent voice but she can' play a lick of guitar. That's why she was playing with the smooth sounds of the Memphis Rhythm Band. If she can consistently play at the level she played at Vegoose, I'd be willing to check her out again.

I was super excited to see Medeski, Martin & Wood with Maceo Parker. I've seen the trio almost fifty times. They originally started playing all acoustic jazz in NYC and have come a long way from playing tiny clubs in the Village and dive bars in Brooklyn to playing big music festivals.

MMW were casualties over last few festivals/events that I attended. They lost out at last year's Vegoose and at Bonnaroo as I chose to see other bands that I don't get to see very often. When they announced that the legendary Maceo Parker (played sax for James Brown) would be performing with them... I inked MMW in. I wasn't going to miss that momentous collaboration. And you know what? MMW with Maceo was the highlight of the first day of Vegoose and perhaps one of the best performances overall at Vegoose. The tore the shit out of a Meters tune (that I can't recall) and they busted out one of my favorite MMW tunes... Chubb Sub.

A girl in front of us argued with her boyfriend during MMW's entire set. I felt bad for her boyfriend. He wanted to capture a rare treat with Maceo's horn filling the air with melodious funk. Instead, he got an earful of his girlfriend bitching at him.

The Joker found a Sexy Stewardess and rushed to give her a package. She was a part of a group costume that also included another stewardess, a captain, and a tarmac guy. They ended up as one of the winners of Best Costume at Vegoose... and they deserved it.

We caught the end of Yonder Mountain String Band as the Joker denied his first and only package of the festival. He had a package for Marilyn Monroe and when he tried to get her to sign for the package, she didn't get it. And kept asking, "What's this for?"

Mostly everyone gets the joke from The Joker. And they appreciate the fact that he went through all the trouble to get into costume and hammer out all the little details including addressing packages to them.

"In a way, the delivery sort of validates their costume," he said. "and they feel great that they're being recognized for their efforts."

So when people don't get it, The Joker doesn't even bother explaining it to them. He knew he'd see another Marilyn Monroe so he put the package back in his bag and gave one to girl who's costume he didn't understand. Her friend said that they remembered the Joker from last year. How could anyone forget him?

We checked out The Rancontuers which was a band made up of Jack White (White Stripes) and a few old friends of his from Detroit, which were in the Greenhornes. The reason Rolling Stone and Spin were at Vegoose were to check out bands like The Killers and The Rancontuers. I like some of the White Stripes material and The Rancontuers music is somewhat edible. We were just killing time and The Joker made fun of all the indie rock kids who were "too cool not to wear costumes." The best part of their lukewarm set was the 4:20 smoke break.

I wandered around by myself for a few songs as I went to take a leak and grab another beer. I caught the first two songs of The Keller Williams Incident. I'm not a Keller Williams fan, but he was backed by String Cheese Incident. When I heard the first few notes to the Talking Heads song Burning Down the House, I quickly hurried over and found myself dancing a puddle of Cheesekids. Keller eventually segued into another Talking Heads cover song, Once in a Lifetime and I was impressed. But not that much, because I rushed back to catch the beginning of Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley. By then JW and Friedman made it to Vegoose and we all hung out for Marley's set.

JW pointed out the flag waver on stage. One guy with super natty dreads waved a Jamaican flag for the entire 90 minute set. And he never stopped. That's a full time job, along with the one dude in Beck's band who gets paid to just dance around onstage and run in place.

Damian Marley got the entire crowd grooving when he played two of his father's songs Exodus and Could You Be Loved. By then the last moments of early evening sunshine slipped away (with day light savings time due to kick in later that night) as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Aside from MW with Maceo, Marley was the second most impressive set of the first day at Vegoose.

I really wanted to like The Mars Volta, a prog rock band with heavy punk and Latin jazz influences headed by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. I heard some of their material and it didn't quite stick. Their album De-Loused In The Comatorium was a heavy and intense effort that was inspired by the suicide of their friend Julio Venegas, an artist from El Paso who they grew up with. I hoped that seeing them live would prove to be more enjoyable. It wasn't. I was disappointed and let down. Perhaps the expectations were too high from the hype I heard from other friends. Simply put... Mars Volta reminded me of a huge Hollyweird film that bombed. I left after two songs.

"That's one more song longer than I gave them, " admitted Friedman.

And it just wasn't me. Our entire group was eager to leave when I said, "I give up." By judging from the reaction of the crowd, they too were bummed out and started slowly leaving.

We hung out and caught half of the Black Crowes set. They were pretty good and I haven't seen them in a while. We kept arguing back and forth if their guitar player was George McConnell (formerly of Widespread Panic). Nicky joked that we should have made those celebrity heads like we did at Bonnaroo and got out Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson to try to get Chris Robinson all worked up (he and Kate recently split while she's banging Owen). Robinson still has some mojo left in his skinny frame, as he belted out a smoking version of Save Me and played random tunes off of Amorica. The Crowes also played a solid cover of Cripple Creek.

There was an elderly couple standing next to us at the Black Crowes. The were in their late 60s. The guy wore a ripped tie-dyed shirt and the woman wore a flannel shirt. The old guy whipped out a joint and started puffing down hard during Save Me. They quickly disappeared into the darkness of the audience. I never saw them again.

We headed over to see The Killers. The hometown band got a sweet spot from 8:05 to 9:35pm but were up against Jurassic 5 (we heard one song on the way to The Killers stage) and The Black Crowes. The Killers played their hit song, Mr. Brightside, which was an instant crowd favorite. Other highlights included The List and For Reasons Unknown.

We found Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot in the Sports Lounge watching movies trying to pick up spun out hippie chicks. We drank a few cocktails before we caught a few songs from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Rumors swirled that it would be his last tour. Ever. We decided to leave Vegoose and head over to Shakedown. The drugs wore off and it got very cold as soon as he started his set. We figured that Petty would play the same set at Vegoose and our gamble paid off. He pretty much played the same stuff. We didn't miss anything, because we could hear Petty in the parking lot.

The late night scene at Shakedown was hopping with plenty of entrepreneurial activity as we were offered enough drugs that could keep the entire state of Delaware high through 2020. Beers, nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, doses, t-shirts, opium, extra tickets to STS9, rolls, pipes, yay-yo, and heady crystals were all being hawked as we navigated the crowded area. I almost stepped on a tour dog as a spun out wookie chick lost a hold of her leash as she carried a basket of ganja cookies.

We drove back to the Castle and got ready for another late night show. Sound Tribe Sector 9 played the 1am show at The Joint at Hard Rock. The Joker busted out his Disco Santa Claus outfit and we took some party favors ready to get down. He handed out candy canes to gamblers at the Hard Rock and kids going into the late night show. The entire crowd at STS9 was lit up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza by the time STS9 took the stage at 1:30am.

Originally from Atlanta, STS9 relocated to Santa Cruz where the perfected their instrumental dance music. Sometimes they sound like something you'd hear at a disco in Berlin. It's not Eurotrash music, rather it's slowly become the music of choice for spun out wookies and hippies looking to groove out at 4am on a head full of molly.

One chick wearing a unicorn costume passed out behind us as STS9 played a savory set which included a jiggified Rent and a bouncy Somesing. The closed the quick set with a grandiose version of Be Nice.

The Joker met a couple of cool kids from Boulder at the show. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to read about the misadventures of Alice in Wonderland, Ziggy Stardust, and Rainbow Brite...

... to be continued

* * * * *

For 2006 Vegoose pics... click here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

2006 Vegoose Pics

Here are a few random pics from Vegoose. Click on the photos to see an enlarged view. More to come...

Vegoose Head (with moon in the background)

Best Costume at Vegoose: High Airlines Flight Crew

The Joker and a gaggle of Cowgirls


More weirdness

Guy in Buckethead costume watches Buckethead

Doc and the UPS Guy

The Sisterhood of the Broken Bong

The Dude and Walter

Nice tits

Saggy tits...

Nacho Libre

Kush High Cheerleaders

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Widespread Panic Halloween Setlist

Amazing show with lots of covers including songs from Jerry Joseph, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, REM, Hot Tuna, The Doors, and the Beatles. Review pending. I know I keep saying that, but I've been partying too much to ost pictures, videos, and write up show reviews.
10.30.06 Widespread Panic, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Contentment Blues > People Are Strange, You Should Be Glad> John's Other Jam > Pilgrims > Greta > Sharon > Time Zones, Stop Go > Three Little Birds > Imitation Leather Shoes > Chainsaw City

Set II: Can Get It Here, Slippin Into Darkness, When the Clowns Come Home, DOner > Proving Ground > Halloween Movie Theme Jam > Drums (with Carrot Top) > Airplane > Morning Dew, Love Tractor

Encore: ?, Radar Love, I Want You So Bad

Monday, October 30, 2006

String Cheese Incident Late Night Vegoose Setlist

The boys from the Cheese played a weird show at the Orleans. Our crew stopped by around 1AM to take in the late night scene which had a monkey and jungle theme.
10.29.06 String Cheese Incident, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Hey Hey We're the Monkeys, Black Clouds, Bam, Piece Of Mine, Round The Wheel > Solution > Birdland > Wheel Hoss > Birdland, Las Vegas > Welcome to the Jungle > Drums > Jam > Welcome to the Jungle

Set II: Shantytown, Rain, Little Hands > Concrete Jungle > Bumpin' Reel, Eye Know Why > Jungle Boogie > Texas

Encore: Doin' My Time, Daryl

Phil Lesh & Trey Anastasio Sunday Vegoose Setlist

I give the guys an A for effort and a C on execution. Trey flubbed the lyrics on Row Jimmy. The highlight was Mike Gordon playing banjo on Back on the Train. There was a "roll" theme which was funny because everyone I knew was pretty much rolling. Stay tuned for a complete review.
10.29.06 Trey & Phil, Vegoose, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Shakedown Street > Sweet Dreams Melinda > Row Jimmy, Let It Ride > Sleep Again, Like a Rolling Stone, Back on the Train > Bird Song > Help's On the Way > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower

Encore: Donor Rap, Not Fade Away
Also in the band were Jon Medeski from Medeski, Martin, & Wood (keyboards), John Molo (drums), Larry Campbell (guitar), and Christina Durfee (vocals).

Widespread Panic Sunday Vegoose Setlist

Post and review pending...
10.29.06 Widespread Panic, Vegoose, Las Vegas, NV

Set 1: Climb to Safety > Surprise Valley > Henry Parsons Died, From the Cradle > Pigeons, Rebirtha > Tallboy, Blue Indian, Solid Rock > Fishwater, Conrad > Thought Sausage > Barstools and Dreamers > Action Man, Papa's Home, Little Wing > Porch Song, Ribs and Whiskey > Good People > Chilly Water

Encore: Ain't Life Grand
Sick show, BTW!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

STS9 Late Night Hard Rock Vegoose Setlist

Sound Tribe Sector Nine played a late show at The Joint at Hard Rock Casino. Of course, we went and the entire crowd was lit up like a Christmas tree. The Joker busted out his Disco Santa costume and all the ladies were swooning. Here's the incomplete setlist:
10.29.06 STS9 Late Night Setlist, The Joint, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Rent, Some Song, Pianoir, One A Day, ??, Blue Mood, ??

Set II: (order is off) Low Swagga, F Word, Moonsocket, Aimlessly, Orbital, Arigato, Mischief of a Sleep Walker

Encore: You Don't Say, Gologi
The Joker didn't know the two unknown songs in the first set. And the entire second set's order is off and we're missing a few songs.

Phil & Trey Late Night Setlist

Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead and Trey Anastasio from Phish joined forces and played an amazing show at the Orleans Arena late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Also in the band were Jon Medeski from Medeski, Martin, & Wood (keyboards), John Molo (drums), Larry Campbell (guitar), and Christina Durfee (vocals).
10.29.06 Phil & Trey at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Ghost > Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Drifting > Dark Star > Mountains of the Moon > 46 Days > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Plasma

Set II: Dark Star > Run for the Roses > Dark Star > Wharf Rat > I Know You Rider

Encore: Viola Lee Blues > Here Comes Sunshine > Shine
Phil and Trey will be back to play a long set at Vegoose on Sunday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trey Rocks Vegoose Late Night

This is the ten minute version of my review.

We arrived at the Orleans early and drank at the bar next to the poker room. We had a good crew with myself, Nicky, The Joker, Friedman, JW and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot ready to kick off Vegoose with the first of several late night shows.

The Orleans filled up with plenty of kind faces as the Joker kept yelling at Phisheads, "Trey sucks!" while Neil Fontenot would run up to Phishkids and yell, "Go home hippies!"

At the bar, a drunk chick stumbled over and screamed at the sluggish bartender, "Give me two bottles of beer with the highest alcohol percentage that you have!"

We figured that Trey wouldn't take the stage until after Midnight and slowly made our way into the show. Robert Randolph and the Family Band opened and I've been seeing him since 1999. RR played a few songs that I was familiar with but didn't know the name. I Need More Love got the sparse crowd rocking and shaking their ass.

The Orleans Arena is where a minor league hockey team plays in Las Vegas. The joint was no where close to be sold out and I estimated about 1/3 of the venue was filled or around 1,500 to 2,000 people (estimated by Friedman). The security guards were out in force and busted several people for smoking cigarettes and other things. Perhaps it was due to the late time of the show, but a lot of people in the corwd were drunk. Very drunk which borderlined on annoying. One dude passed out and hit the floor. His friends had to carry him out and he puked on a guy standing near us.
10.27.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Simple Twist of Dave, First Tube, Stone Free*, 46 Days*, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Push On Til the Day, What's Done, Goodbye Head > Plasma, Gotta Jiboo

Encore: Mr. Completely > Tuesday

* with Robert Randolph on pedal steel
Simple Twist Up Dave started out slow and then picked up in intensity. The second half of the jam impressed me as the band peaked to an amazing freight train rocking jam. That would be a glimpse into what type of show we'd see. Trey has a variety of influences and his shows can take on a poppy, funk, reggaish, or psychedelic air to them. That night, Trey would show off his best rock ensemble. Those oxy jams are a thing of the past, when Trey would be so jacked up that he'd noodle his way onto the other side of the solar system.

We were shocked to hear First Tube so early in the set. I dunno if Trey was pissed at the bad ticket sales, or the group he put together finally gelled after a few weeks on the road together, or maybe he was simply happy to be in Vegas (where he always loved to play). Regardless, he picked up the slack and the rest of the band fed off of his mega-high frenetic energy.

Robert Randolph sat in for two songs including a sizzling cover of Jimi Hendrix's Stone Free, which the Joker caught in Boulder on Tuesday. Next up was a bluesy 46 Days with a nice jam between Trey and RR.

The melodious Sweet Dreams Melinda was followed up by a crowd favorite Push On Til the Day. The jam featured Jen Hartswick playing several Miles Davis riffs as she belted them out in the second half of Push On. I thought that was the highlight of the show and that Trey would end the set. Instead he kept going which meant we'd get one long set instead of two short sets.

I took a piss during What's Done and got another beer as I wandered around the back of the floor. It was sort of empty. Too bad. Everyone who stayed home missed a stellar Trey show.

Goodbye Head > Plasma was an intense twenty minutes. The mood of the show was hard rock and the jams fell more towards the rock and roll sensibility of Trey than spacey or trippy shows I've seen in the past.

Trey closed with Gotta Jibboo which pleased the crowd immensely. The Joker called the encore. "They've been playing hard rock which means Mr. Completely is up next, unless Trey cheeses out and plays Tuesday or something to the equivalent of Velvet Sea."

And on cue Trey came back out for the encore and played Mr. Completely > Tuesday. During Mr. Completely, Trey did that weird thing when he gets really close up to Tony Hall and gazes into his eyes as they jam back and forth. I think Trey likes black men. Nicky called it "the Homo jam."

Overall, it was one of the best Trey shows that I've seen in the last few years. It took on the feeling of one of those hard rocking Phish shows. The best part of the one set format was that once Trey got hot and rolling (somewhere in the middle of the first song), that infectious playing got into the heads of everyone else on stage and they overall level of play was raised.

Instead of getting one of those let down moments when Phish is playing a smoking set and then they end to take a set break, Trey never let up and the more he played, the more comfortable he got with the acoustics of the arena. The result was one of the best Trey band shows I've ever seen.

Trey Vegas Setlist

Review pending of one the Top 10 Trey Band shows I've ever seen. Robert Randolph opened. Here's the setlist.
10.27.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Simple Twist of Dave, First Tube, Stone Free*, 46 Days*, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Push On Til the Day, What's Done, Goodbye Head > Plasma, Gotta Jiboo

Encore: Mr. Completely > Tuesday

* with Robert Randolph on pedal steel

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Galactic Goes Hollywood

The G-men brought their booty-shaking slamming New Orleans trip-funk to the House of Blues in West Hollywood where hippies and hipsters converged to pay tribute to one of the best live bands touring today.

The guys in Galactic are not just stellar musicians, but they are also one of the few direct links between the heart and soul of New Orleans and the rest of the world. For a few hours every night, no matter if they are playing in Tokyo, Boulder, or Copenhagen, they're the vehicle that magically transports the audience back to the Big Easy as they bring the "I hope you brought your sunglasses because we're party to dawn" mentality to your hometown.

Since the Houseman, Galactic's lead singer, left the band they substantially reduced their play list. New Orleans musicians always had a large repertoire due to their ability to cover traditional jazz standards and other local musicians' songs with relative ease and at the same time adding their own distinct sound to flavorful old school favorites. They know that the majority of the audience is not following them from city to city and catching multiple shows in a row, which means they could settle upon a core of 20-30 or so songs which they have been rotating every other show.

My setlist is incomplete but they pretty much played 75% of the songs I saw in Colorado at the end of the summer. And with a band like Galactic, they could play the exact setlist every night and it would still be an amazing ass-shaking experience.
10.21.06 Galactic, House of Blues, W. Hollywood, CA

Set 1: FEMA, The Moil, Tiger Roll > Bounce > Space Headz, ?? New Song, Bongo Joe > Kashmir

Set 2: Garbage Truck, Black Bird Special, Spiderbite, Doo Rag, Shibuya, ??, Bongo the Dog, Little Miss Lover

Encore: Quiet Please
The House of Blues is located on a hill on Sunset Blvd in West Hollyweird which boasts of decriminalized marijuana laws and plenty of tranny hookers. I was told by Showcase that the IHOP around the corner is tranny hooker central, the epicenter of the freakiest of the freaks.

I went to the show with Nicky, Showcase, and his new girlfriend Tina. Nicky drove and we were worried that the valet guys would rummage through the car looking for weed once they whiffed the aroma of a recently smoked medicinal marijuana.

We walked in just at the start of the opening band's set. The Stanton Moore Trio opened up as Galactic's drummer took the stage with two musicians, Will Bernard (guitar) and Brian Coogan (organ), who played in support of his recent solo album. I heard Licorice and Weak Sauce. They were a nice warm up as the late arriving crowd slowly trickled in.

During Stanton Moore's last song of the opening set, I kept my eyes on one corner where a barefoot wookie and his girlfriend twirled around while a few feet in front of them, a couple of industry folks were drinking Grey Goose cocktails while checking their email on their Blackberries.

During the break, Stanton signed a few CDs by the merchandise table. I happened to be walking by after taking a piss and I found myself face to face with Stanton Moore, who I've always suspected was an alien since the first time I saw him play. I'm a few inches taller than Stanton and said, "Hamp's Hump. Time to break it out."

He laughed and gave me a look like, "Not tonight, pal."

I happened to see Galactic's setlist at the soundboard and I didn't see Hamp's Hump on the list. That's why I had to ask.

The House of Blues was almost full, but the floor was crowded for the first set. The G-men opened up the first set with a new tune called FEMA. From the moment they started, the sound at the HOB was high quality and they boys were shredding it up. FEMA is a song inspired by Hurricane Katrina and there are moments when the song takes on a dark and spooky vibe and at times it feels bittersweet. Rich Vogel on keys stepped up right away on FEMA and aside from Stanton, he might have played the best out of the rest of the band.

DJ Kwiki Mart joined the band and scratched away on his turn tables during Bongo Joe. He's from New Orleans and recently relocated to the LA area. After a heavy Bongo they quickly segued into Led Zeppelin's Kashmir which brought an enthusiastic cheer from the crowd as the energy level increased exponentially. Ben Ellman mimicked Robert Plant's lyrical wailings with his saxophone as Stanton Moore kept the hard-rocking driving pace to close the set. The first set was quick, tight, and intense.

During the setbreak, Nicky and I wandered outside while mostly everyone went outside to smoke cigarettes. The late arrivers were valet parking while we sat on the curb admiring one guy who looked like Jesus except he wore a purple bathrobe. One chick slowly got out of her BMW wearing sunglasses (at Midnight) while yapping on her cellphone and rubbing her burning nostrils. She wore black hooker boots and what appeared to be just an oversized white dress shirt as her outfit. I wondered if she had anything underneath as she stumbled over to the VIP entrance.

At setbreak I went back to the bar where one bartender had been hooking me up with triple SoCos. AlCantHang would have been proud. For $10, the guy poured me a glass (all the way to the rim) of SoCo with a little ice. I estimated that each drink was at least three shots possibly more. I had three of those and by the middle of the second set, I was properly intoxicated.

Spiderbite and Doo Rag were the highlights of the set until they boys kicked it into their highest uber-funk gear with Shibuya. The house lights came on and the crowd jumped up and down as the floorboards began to shake. The harder the band played, the rowdier the crowd got during the climax of Shibuya. Jeff Raines' busted out a few licks on guitar that would have made James Brown turn around and shout, "A fuckin' white boy played that?"

Little Miss Lover without the Houseman was interesting since I'm used to hearing him on vocals. That's one of the few Houseman tunes which they kept in rotation and played all instrumental without a guest singer.

They threw the crowd a curveball with a Quiet Please encore. I was expecting a Zeppelin or Meters cover to close the show but their slowed down and spaced up version was impressive nonetheless.

On the whole, Galactic has been consistently tight and solid for the last four shows that I've seen them play. Gets me excited to see the G-men in Las Vegas in a few days. They're playing New Orleans for New Year's Eve and I'm tempted to go down to the Big Easy and see them ring in 2007.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2006 Vegoose Schedule

Hey kids, the 2006 Vegoose schedule has been released! Here's who I'm excited to see:
Medeski Martin Wood w/ Maceo Parker
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Ranconteurs
Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley
The Mars Volta
The Black Crowes
The Killers
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Built to Spill
The Rhythm Devils w/ Mike Gordon
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Phil Lesh & Trey Anastasio
Ben Folds
Jim James from My Morning Jacket
The Roots
Widespread Panic
Click here for a printable version.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Album Review: Trey Anastasio's Bar 17

I listened to Trey's new album Bar 17 a couple of times and I didn't like it. I have to say that every time Trey releases an album... I don't like it right away and I eventually warm up to it. At this point in his solo career it's evident to me that my favorite variation of the Trey Band was one of the firsts when he released his self-titled album. All his releases since then wither in comparison, particularly Bar 17.

Bar 17 is an album that features an interesting mix of dozens of musicians including Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and John Medeski. Everyone knows that Trey is a talented guitar player and unheralded composer. Individually some of the songs he put together are remarkable especially when he mixes an orchestra with his acoustic guitar. But when you look at the album as a whole... it's schizophrenic. Bar 17 lacked cohesion and a central theme.

At least on Shine, Trey's album from last summer, we all understood the source of inspiration, energy, and emotions. Trey was crushed after Phish broke up and he hid in his studio aka The Barn and wrote a ton of music while he sobered up and watched his marriage evaporate and he allowed the last lingering memories of Phish to be blown away by the cool Vermont air.

While listening to Bar 17, I felt very lost and I think Trey is also confused. SuperDee said in best in her review of Bar 17 over at Jambase:
"More than anything else, this album confuses me. Does Trey want to be a composer of modern symphonies or musical theater? (This could be an intriguing direction.) Or perhaps he'd like to be a pop darling? (Sorry, my love, this doesn't seem likely.) Does he want to sing lullabies or does he want to be the bad-ass guitar rocker for which we are all yearning? With Bar 17, I just don't know."
On Bar 17 it seems like Trey is wearing too many hats. Perhaps he should have released three or four different albums with each focusing on a specific genre such as symphonies, popish tunes like Lou Reed or go hard-core rocking guitar via the Santana Highway.

Despite the clustered Bar 17, there are some good tracks such as a thunderous Mud City and a mellow Good-bye Head which Trey wrote with his daughter. She obviously didn't arrange the music that Phishkids twirl around and take ecstasy to, but she did write the lyrics and even got a liner credit in the album notes. Of course the biggest disappointment on Bar 17 was Dragonfly which sounded like a weak attempt at a Luna-esque or Velvet Underground Valium-induced version compared to what we saw and heard at the Super Jam. The Bonnaroo version of Dragonfly was 100% frenetic energy and that song nearly busted the roof off the tent we were in.

Trey knows his shit but this thick hearty soup of songs doesn't taste as good as his previous meals.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Trey New Years Run

Trey Anastasio can't sit still. He's getting his current band and adding some horns and will be playing five shows in four different cities including a two night stint at the House of Blues in Atlantic City to end 2006. Yes, you can go see Trey, throw some dice, and get a hooker... all in the same night!
Trey's New Years Tour Dates
12/27 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
12/28 Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
12/29 Palace Theatre - Albany, NY
12/30 House of Blues - Atlantic City, NJ
12/31 House of Blues - Atlantic City, NJ

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monday Trey at Webster Hall

A few friends told me that the Sunday night's Trey show to open his new tour was a sizzler. I tried to contain my enthusiasm. Over the years I've learned to go into shows with an open mind and not to expect anything special because that way I don't leave disappointed and feel like my expectations were not met.

I still say that most of Trey's solo gigs fall somewhere in between him fronting a Phish cover band and publicly masturbating on stage for three hours. And you know how loyal Phisheads are... they'll happily let Trey jizz in their mouths for $42.50 a pop.

I met Bruce in front of Webster Hall an hour before Trey took the stage. Bruce was mingling with a few older Deadheads out front while I tried to recall the last band I saw at Webster Hall. In the 1990s I went there when it was mainly used as a dance club. In the last few years I've caught a few indie bands but no one as big as Trey and I never caught a band of the Phishy genre there.

After you go up 1.5 flight of stairs and pass no less than two bars on your way upstairs, you walk into a nice space much smaller than Irving Plaza. There's a balcony surrounding the stage which was for VIPs only. Bruce and I headed over to the far left of the stage where there was a raised section. We ended up hanging out there most of the show after one of the guys next to us said, "I was here last night in the same spot and the sound was awesome. You missed a great show. Trey's best in years."

Trey's not just a musician, he's a performer and salesman. He knows what the crowd wants. I'd say a good percentage of the fans at his solo shows are there out of respect for his talents. Some are there for his new stuff while others are there because they simply miss Phish and need any kind of fix. For hard core junkies, Trey Band is like methadone. And then there's 5-10% of the audience who's there because deep in their hearts they have this insane notion that Phish will get back together that night. We've been to enough Phish shows to know that the main reason we go to multiple shows is because you never know what might happen. So a crop of Phisheads religiously attend Trey shows on the off chance that Mike, Page, and Fish walk out on stage. They'd hate to skip the night that the band gets back together while they sit at home pulling bongs on their couch while they get a text from their friends at the show saying, "Holy fuck. Phish is playing Tweezer!"
10.9.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Webster Hall, New York, NY

Set I: 46 Days, If You're Walking, Spin, Heavy Things, What's Done, Mr. Completely, Bar 17*, Good-bye Head*, My Friend My Friend > Guyute **

Set II: Push On 'Til The Day, Sand, The Way I Feel, Mud City, Let Me Lie, First Tube

Encore: Divided Sky**, Dragonfly

* with orchestra
** Trey on acoustic guitar with orchestra
Trey opened up with a lukewarm 46 Days and threw all the Phisheads a bone with an average version. I watched the new drummer Jeff Sipe which wasn't hard because we were only about 10 people back from the front of the stage, just off to the left of Ray's keyboards.

"Dude, where's the cow bell bro?" Bruce asked.

I guess he missed Fishman's unique random usage of the distinct cowbell on 46 Days. Trey did some weird semi-gay "I'm gonna gaze into Tony Hall's eyes and try to have a sick bass-guitar duel." It was a little strange to see Trey smiling close next to another man but it looked like he was having fun. And the more fun that Trey has... the better he plays and the more fun we get to have.

They played a new track If You're Walking for what seemed like twenty minutes. I'm sure it was shorter and I used the time to smoke up and watch Sipe some more. The guy is good. Bruce and I saw him play drums with Phil Lesh and Friends at the Beacon Theatre almost a year earlier. My initial impression was that he was solid and consistent. He wouldn't make too many mistakes but I wondered how his improvisational skills would be. The problem with Trey's drummers in his solo projects were that they lacked one of Fishman's strengths... to be able to push a jam in specific direction when Trey is so far gone and out there. I've often compared Phish to a fire engine weaving 100 mph down a crowded street. Trey is out front speeding with his foot on the gas while Fishman is the dude in the back steering the rest of the truck and making sure they don't crash into anything. Although Skeeto Valdez had his moments and could play kick ass rock-n-roll bong rattling drums... he couldn't push or pull Trey out of those jams with the same consistency and confidence as Fishman did every night for over two decades. Shit, that's part of the reason the band was named after him.

I'm a fan of Spin. If you've ever been caught up in depressive funk agitated by drug use, then you can empathize with Trey's lyrics and his message about losing your shit. His version was average but since he doesn't play it too often, I was happy to get that special treat.

Trey threw the Phisheads another bone when he busted out Heavy Things which got the crowd even more excited. It was not as long as the fluffy Phishy versions but Christina and Jen on the vocals were delicious sounding especially the "Ooh ooh waaaaaa" parts along with Ray's magnificent keyboard playing.

Trey had been following a formula... play a old TAB tune or Phish song then play something new. That way he knew that the crowd wouldn't be restless for more than six or seven minutes at a time. What's Done is one of those songs that sounded better live in concert. I'd say that about all of Trey's tunes on Bar 17... they sounded better live which is not to say they were spectacular. I'm still getting used to them and it seems like the band is starting to mesh with the new material.

Mr. Completely was all Trey as he opened up his guts and unleashed hard-rocking guitar riffs as the entire room exploded with chaotic jubilation and the floor bounced up few inches as everyone in the crowd jumped up and down and danced their asses off. Bruce, who's a drummer, often relays cryptic musician speak to me during concerts. I often have no idea what he was talking about when he said, "Bro, Sipe is busting out the extra turbo rolls and fills on Mr. Completely."

Trey brought out an orchestra of six or so classical musicians to play a few songs including the title track off his new album Bar 17. They sat in the back of the stage behind a huge plexiglass sound guard. They looked like they sat in the penalty box at a hockey game. Anyway, at some point Bruce turned to me and said, "Those orchestra guys get to sit in and play for two minutes and now they're sitting there bored as shit waiting for Trey to finish up his ten minutes of noodling before they finish up the song."

Yeah, the orchestra added to the mix seemed awkward like a Saturday Night Live sketch that's funny the first five seconds and then for the next three minutes it's utter torture. The orchestra with Trey playing electric guitar is bad. But Trey playing acoustic guitar with the orchestra is good.

I'm indifferent about Good-bye Head. I've seen good versions and blah versions. I smoked up during Good-bye Head and I watched the group of high school aged Phishy chicks in front of us who were on some very good drugs. They kept dancing the entire set and all I kept thinking was although I get older, Phishy chicks stay the same age.

Bruce called Guyute but I could have swore I heard him tease My Friend My Friend to start before he busted in Guyute with the orchestra. Trey was onstage by himself with an acoustic guitar and just the orchestra. Trey ended his ninety minute first set with Guyute and took a half hour setbreak where I tried to get the score of the Denver-Baltimore game. It was tied 3-3 at the half and I had Denver.

Trey opened up the second set with an early TAB tune Push On 'Til The Day. I dig the song because Trey references to doing lines of blow in a Tokyo hotel room during Phish's trip to Japan in 2000.

With the crowd in high gear they didn't waste anytime before Trey slipped into Sand. Originally a TAB tune, it often gets mislabeled as a Phish song, although it appears on a Phish album Farmhouse and has been made insanely popular by Phish's sick versions. The lights went down as the song drfited into heavy funk riffs and Trey closed his eyes and imagined that he was playing with Phish again... kind of when you are having sex with someone and you are thinking about someone else... that's what I think is running through Trey's mind when he covers Phish tunes with his solo band.

The second half of Sand featured intense jamming between Tony Hall and Trey. But as I stated earlier, they repeated the same jam for over three minutes as Sipe held pace. With Fish at the helm, they would have evolved the jam or Fish would have pushed them in a different direction as the snaked their way into a better place to segue into a different tune.

I've see a few amazing versions of The Way I Feel and since Trey doesn't play it as frequently as other songs, I was happy to hear it. They didn't let up in the set and played one of my favorite cuts off of Bar 17 called Mud City. I caught a version of Mud City with Mike Gordon and the Duo at Bonnaroo and have been hooked every since.

Let Me Lie is one of those Trey lullabies. I hope he wrote that for one of his kids instead of trying to bed 19 year old Phishy chicks as Trey exposed his sensible side swooning the audience. I could sense the wetness in the crotches of all the Phishy chicks in the crowd. The background vocals with Christina and Jen add a nice harmony to Let me Lie and I wondered if Trey ever put his penis inside of Christina.

Trey closed the set with First Tube which started off choppy and bland but they boys picked up the slack and the crowd jumped around as the floor shook while the band built up the intense jam. It wasn't a clean version and nowhere near from perfect, but the packed audience loved every minute of it.

Trey brought the orchestra out for a version of Divided Sky. He played it on Sunday and dedicated it to his mother but decided to play it again. "Tonight, I'm dedicating this to you guys for making me feel so good."

It was a solid version and sounded great with the orchestra. It made me miss Phish though. I kept thinking about the encore at the 12.29.98 show when Phish played Divided Sky at Madison Square Garden to end their second of four shows. Talk about an epic run that happened almost 8 years ago.

Trey didn't pussy out with a lame version of Dragonfly. Instead it was a funkified rocking version like he played with GRAB this past summer. The lyrics are lame but the progressive jamming is intense and Trey shines on.

I've seen Trey play a solo show around 50 times and Webster Hall was a better than average show. I'm still ambivalent about the new stuff off of Bar 17 but Trey is doing the right thing and mixing it in with old material and classic Phish songs, that way everyone gets something that they want at his shows.

I don't care if Phish ever gets back together and I actually hope they don't. But Trey needs to stick with the same lineup for a few years and build a band around him instead of having revolving musicians come in and out. It seems like they have to relearn all the songs everythime a new member is introduced and that kills precious studio time with them getting used to playing with each other.

I'd sure like to see Trey in Boulder, Co on the 23rd but I'll be in LA and eventually making my way to Las Vegas... that's where I'll see Trey next.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pigs on the Wing: Roger Waters @ the Hollywood Bowl, 10/5/06

(Note: Hi. I'm change100 and I'm a new contributor here at Coventry. I enjoy music, gambling, recreational drug use, and long walks on the beach. Read all about my other cannabis-fueled Hollywood adventures on Pot Committed. Many thanks to Pauly for inviting me to the party!)

"Goddammit. We SO should have taken that spot back by Ivan the Russian drug dealer's building" sighed Showcase, as we sat in gridlock on Franklin Avenue on our way to the Hollywood Bowl.

We had noticed only moments ago that this particular slice of the road was home to no less than half a dozen out of work actors and narcotics salespeople that we'd befriended over the years since Showcase migrated west from New York City. There was Ivan, of course, and sketchy Mario, Elisha, the girl from our college theatre program who took her top off for art in a little-seen indie film and Zack, who got dropped by his acting agent and started writing scripts for the Russian version of The Nanny. All on one block.

This very scene-- the two of us stoned out of our minds while sitting in pre-concert traffic for a Roger Waters show-- had played out nearly six years ago, shortly after Showcase made his home in Los Angeles. Only that time, the scene of the crime was the far-right lane of the 405 freeway in Irvine, where a mile-long line of hippies, ravers, and other assorted drug-friendly folk, pulled out their pipes while sitting in gridlock and flashed each other the thumbs-up as they snuck a few tokes during the wait at the exit for the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre. Which, back then before corporate buyouts and Degree all-in moments was better known as Irvine Meadows.

"Dude, it is still WAY too far to walk and with our luck we'll get a parking ticket. Just keep going to Hollywood & Highland" I said, as I bent down to pull a hit of Super Silver Haze. "At least this time you don't have to pee and require a Chinese fire-drill in the middle of the freeway so I can drive while you urinate in the bushes."

It took us 30 minutes to inch the last mile or so and we parked in the structure at the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall. After grabbing takeout from CPK, it was another 20 minute walk up the canyon to the concert past a legion of ticket scalpers and T-shirt salesmen.

I have a special affinity for the Hollywood Bowl. It was the site of my first summer job over 12 years ago. Ushering wealthy season ticket holders to their boxes for minimum wage and enojying a full menu of free concerts six nights a week was (and still is) the best gig a 16-year old performing arts junkie could ask for. I saw everyone from Bernadette Peters to The Who in those mid-nineties summers, and all from the prime perch of the first level of seats. Most of the money I earned was promptly dumped off in the used CD section of the late, great Aron's Records on Highland Ave.

Showcase had never been to the Bowl and was instantly impressed. The place is huge-- an 18,000 seat ampitheatre sunk into Cahuenga Pass in the Hollywood Hills. The two lowest sections are made up of four-person boxes where can yuppies enjoy gourmet picnics before showtime. At a show like this, however, wine and cheese are scarce and the boxes are primarily home to celebrities whose agents got them good seats. Like Lisa Loeb, whom I saw waving for a friend just before the lights went down. Our seats were pretty good for commoners-- in the first section of benches above the boxes toward the stage right side.

Roger Waters, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA. 10/5/06

I) In the Flesh, Mother, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Shine on You Crazy Diamond > Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Southampton Dock, The Fletcher Memorial Home> Perfect Sense (Parts I and II), Leaving Beirut, Sheep

II) Dark Side of the Moon: Speak to Me > Breathe > On the Run > Time > The Great Gig in the Sky > Money > Us and Them > Any Colour You Like > Brain Damage > Eclipse

E) The Happiest Days of Our Lives > Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Vera > Bring the Boys Back Home > Comfortably Numb

Roger Waters draws an eclectic crowd-- hippie kids, indie rock kids, forty and fiftysomething parents with their teenage sons, entertainment industry douchebags, L.A. Weekly-reading NPR-listening Silverlakers that valet-parked their Priuses and strung out, glassy-eyed wookies who looked as if they'd crawled out of the hills themselves. At this point, Pink Floyd songs, especially those of their magnum opus Dark Side of the Moon, are, in a way great muscial equalizers. Whether it was in your parents' basement with an apple bong, at a light show in Griffith Park or synched with The Wizard of Oz in the dorm lounge, everyone has their story about the first time they listened to Dark Side. It transcends genres and generations. My 59- year old father loves it, I love it, and if I'm ever sober long enough to bring a child into this cruel world, I'll make sure it loves it too. Even Showcase, who infamously thought that Trey Anastasio was a member of the Beastie Boys pretty much knows all the words.

Waters doesn't vary his setlists too much, opening as usual with a hard-charging "In the Flesh" that got the crowd fired up. We sparked our first joint during the sweet acoustic opening of "Mother" and the long haired high school kid in front of us begged for a toke. I passed to him and made his day as Showcase cringed.

"I want a new joint. God knows what diseases he has."

"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", while not one of my favorite tunes, was a dark, trippy excursion into the early Floyd catalog, while "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", "Have a Cigar", and "Wish You Were Here" satisfied the crowd's appetite for the classics. About halfway through the first set, the dippy blonde girl in the tight pink sweater sitting two seats away from me experienced a personality transplant as her roll kicked in. She started spastically dancing at completely random intervals, occasionally, during the spaciest musical passages that are usually more, well... swayable than danceable. She was in her seat... she was out of her seat. Oh wait, she's standing on top of the bench... oh now she's down. Her enormous breasts bounced freely inside the sweater's clingy rib knit as a lascivious man with a goatee stared slack-jawed at her from the row behind us. Showcase and I started prop betting the over/under on how many seconds she would remain seated before experiencing another urge to dance.

A definite anti-war sentiment ran through the show, beginning with "Southampton Dock" and continuing with the new Waters song, "Leaving Beirut." He wrote it about a day he spent in Lebanon as a 17-year old when his car broke down and an Arab family took him in for the night. It was also one of the more unabashedly anti-Bush rock songs I've ever heard, with lyrics such as "Oh George! Oh George!/ That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small" and "Don't let the might, the Christan right/ fuck it all up for you and the rest of the world." Naturally, the California hippie blue state crowd (including myself) ate that shit right up.

The first set ended in stunning fashion as Waters broke out into "Sheep" off the Animals disc. During the song, a giant inflatable pig flew across the audience, the phrases "Impeach Bush," "Kafka Rules OK" and "Vote Democratic Nov. 2" graffitied in black on its sides. Thousands of cell phone cameras flew open as the pig traveled around the ampitheatre, and was finally released into the night sky during the song's killer coda.

After a quick setbreak, Waters and his band lit into Dark Side. And while hearing it live is always thrilling, there was something too clean about their rendition. David Kilminister, tackling David Gilmour's guitar solos, had every note down perfectly, but was missing the spontenaity and soul that could have taken those elegant riffs to a whole other level. Carole Kenyon, however, ripped the shit out of the vocal solo on "The Great Gig in the Sky." Girl can belt a perfect high F like it's nothing. During the finale of Brain Damage > Eclipse, a black pyramid rose out of the top of the stage and a neon rainbow of light burst from its right side, mirroring the album's famous cover.

The encores all came from The Wall, beginning with a smoking rendition of "Another Brick in the Wall." More anti-war sentiment was abound during "Bring the Boys Back Home" as images of Iraq flew by on the video screen behind the band. Comfortably Numb closed the show in a thrilling fashion as fireworks shot into the sky from behind the stage shell.

As Showcase and I maneuvered through the buzzing crowd back down the hill toward Highland Avenue, I wondered aloud if the old black man with the dog puppet was still around, singing improvised gospel songs to the departing concert-goers. Not a night had gone by back in the summers of 1994 and 1995 where I wouldn't walk out of the theatre, bound for the bus to the employee shuttle lot and see this guy belting his heart out, a tattered gray dog puppet, mouthing the words along with him, an open suitcase on his lap for donations. Sure enough, he was there. He looked almost exactly the same. The puppet, however was rather worse for wear. I tossed a dollar into his case as we passed by.

As we headed back in to Hollywood, we trudged along with the rest of the audience, all in various states of intoxication. Approaching Franklin Ave., Showcase suddenly seized my arm and pulled me around to walk on his other side.

"What the fuck?"
"See that guy up there? "
"He has grabby hands."
"Grabby hands?"
"Yes. Grabby hands. Look at him. He is fighting one hell of an urge to grab that woman's ass."

Showcase was totally right. This dude looked like a total child molester and walked with both hands cupped out in front of him, as if he were about to do the deed. Buzzing from the joints we'd enjoyed inside, we got a serious case of the giggles and Grabby Hands must have heard us, because he shoved his hands in his pockets and took off running down a side street.

Just as we turned to look at each other in surprise, a six-foot tall platinum blonde feat of plastic surgery with glossy fish lips so collagened they were about to burst squeezed right between us in the crowd, heading "upstream."

Only in Hollyweird. We laughed so hard it hurt.

Trey Anastasio Band Webster Hall Monday Setlist

Set I: 46 Days, If You're Walking, Spin, Heavy Things, What's Done, Mr. Completely, Bar 17*, Goodbye Head*, Guyute **

Set II: Push On 'Til The Day, Sand, The Way I Feel, Mud City, Let Me Lie, First Tube

Encore: Divided Sky**, Dragonfly

* with orchestra
** Trey on acoustic guitar with orchestra
Stay tuned for a review.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Trey Anastasio Webster Hall Sunday Setlist

10.8.06 Webster Hall, New York, NY

Set I: Drifting, Sleep Again, Wherever You Find It, Money Love and Change, Tuesday, Sweet Dreams Melinda, A Case Of Ice And Snow, Alive Again, Skip The Goodbyes, Love is Freedom, Goodbye Head, The Divided Sky

Set II: Host Across The Potomac, Dark And Down, Gotta Jibboo, Plasma, Night Speaks To A Woman, Shine, Shadow, Bar 17, Come As Melody

Encore: Cincinnati

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New York City Music Scene: 10.9 thru 10.14

I missed out on some good bands and musicians this weekend in New York City. I didn't get tickets to British indie rockers Gomez at Bowery Ballroom or the Latin porn funk gurus of Los Amigos Invisibles because I knew thought the Yankees games would conflict. But I have a ticket to Trey Anastasio at Webster Hall on Monday which kicks off one helluva week of music in the big city.

On Wednesday, The Supersuckers are opening up for Social Distortion at Warsaw in Brooklyn. The Supersuckers are playing a ton of shows in NYC all week at Irving Plaza while they are on tour with Social Distortion. I first saw the Supersuckers perform when I lived in Seattle. One of my roommates had a crush on the guitar player and she dragged me to a few shows down in Pioneer Square. I dug their hybrid country-rock sound. Although the band relocated from Arizona, I consider them a Seattle band especially since they were on the infamous Sub Pop label. During the years I lived in Seattle, The Supersuckers were trying to discover their identity as they jumped back and forth between country music and rock and roll. Of course, you can get away with playing country in a music rich city like Seattle. Most of the stoners, drunks, and pillheads will dance to anything.

On Thursday and Friday, Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins are playing at Town Hall. The lead singer and guitar player from the LA indie-hipster rockers Rilo Kiley released her first solo album with the Watson Twins (LA transplanted sisters originally from Kentucky) earlier in the year which features a sweet cover of The Traveling Wilbury's Handle with Care. On Friday the Violent Femmes play at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Man that would have been a great show twenty years ago!

On Saturday Tea Leaf Green will be playing at Irving Plaza. For a while TGL was my new favorite band but that distinction got snatched away from My Morning Jacket. TGL caught my eye a few years ago when a friend gave me one of their bootlegs. I recall that she empatically screamed, "You have to listen to these guys!" I saw them first play in their hometown of San Francisco but it wasn't until their 2003 show at the Knitting Factory in NYC where their sound clicked inside of me and I shifted from a curious observer to a fan.

Several jamband pundits labeled Tea Leaf Green as "the next Phish" while Justin Kreutzman (son of The Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzman) shot a documentary film about TGL which he chronicled over at his blog Rock and Reel. Their song Taught to Be Proud won Song of the Year at the 2006 Jammy Awards and their Wilco meets Phishy sound makes for great writing music. Out of all their albums, the one I listened to the most had to be their live album from The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

With the Yankees out of the playoffs, I can spend my free time seeing shows. Next up... Trey at Webster Hall.