The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Monday, August 09, 2004
NYC Awesomeness Edition

Since I ended up accumulating 12 hours of sweet, sweet overtime Friday, getting up early the next morning to get to NYC at a somewhat decent hour was simply out of the question. Of course, since I'm so accustomed to getting up early all the time now, 10am justifies a late alarm clock setting. When I finally managed to get up, I packed my bags, burnt a Sondre Lerche CD, and was on my way. My desire of buying an iPod increased tenfold when I was up to track 7 on Two Way Monologues when I realized the second half of the CD was all but a coaster when the Buick spit it out after several attempts of trying to read the damn thing. On top of shuffling through my album binder to find suitable replacements, it was a complete buzzkill. I read a New York Times article about this iPod accessory that actually interfaces with your car's audio system so you don't have to look down and mess with the touch wheel, saving yourself from hitting some dude who was probably crossing the street listening to one as well. It amazingly allows you to control it through your built-in car stereo. Of course, it costs almost as much as the iPod itself, but if you make a lot of road trips I guess it could provide to be useful in the long run. Speaking of the omnipotent MP3 device, there were a ton of these Fuse billboard ads I came across in NYC that essentially mock the iPod ad campaign with some funny ass silhouettes. Checkout this one I found near Lincoln Center:

After about four and a half hours of driving, I finally got to Queens. I met up with my grandparents and my mom and had dinner at what used to be known as the Sage Diner (now called Pop Diner) off Queens Boulevard but was recently renovated into a more modern, art-deco place, but yet still a diner. Yes, it was somewhat strange. The menu was typical diner fare but the atmosphere made you feel like you were at some artsy Manhattan lounge, sans the puzzling Chinese food smell and jukeboxes at each table. Another thing that bothered me was the fact the menu was only like four pages, when typically most diners have at least eight pages making the food ordering process nearly impossible. Does anyone else notice that diners list Pickles as an actual a la carte item or is it just me? Anyways, after a sub par Chicken Parmesan, I headed over to Bri's new pad in the Upper West. It was actually bigger than I'd thought it would be since their living room was pretty spacious. The bedrooms were another story, but then again, his roommate pays about $200 more for about 4 more feet of living space. My friend Dana was in the city earlier meeting a friend for dinner, so she came over afterwards and hung out with us before we hit the bars. Definitely awesome having best friends from both high school and college going out together in the city. We first went to Metro 53 which was a pretty cool place but incredibly crowded, but then again most of the girls that constituted the crowd were gorgeous so I really couldn't complain. After a few rounds of beers, I decided to buy a round of Jaeger bombs for the three of us. If you take the total amount, it would've been equivalent to a week's worth of groceries. I can't say it was the biggest waste of $30 I spent since they were so delicious, but it's like saying you could've bought 3 CD's with that. Bri randomly punching me in the cash and prizes wasn't too satisfying either. After that we headed over to Jake's Dilemma which was a little more low key but still good times. The DJ was spinning Jet (ugh, and played 2 of their songs back to back) and Franz Ferdinand, but when I requested the Von Bondies he seemed straight up confused. That of course got me somewhat frustrated but knowing that I would see Modest Mouse the next evening leveled me out.

This was the first time I've seen a show at Hammerstein Ballroom, but it looked like the place held maybe 2000 people. It appeared a lot bigger on the website, but was surprisingly fairly intimate, at least for those on the floor. They had a few levels of balcony seating that I'm sure the late ticket buyers got stuck with, suckers. The opening band Wolf Parade was actually pretty decent, kind of like The Vines meet Hot Hot Heat meet The Unicorns if that makes any amount of sense. The acoustics in the venue weren't the best as I kept hearing an echo every so often when they were performing. After about a 30 minute set, DC locals French Toast took the stage next. If two people were responsible for sucking the life out of every concertgoer inside Hammerstein, these guys pulled it off flawlessly. Their music could be summarized as being a soundtrack to an attraction at EPCOT. It was during this monotonous set I met up with my former intern cohort Joey who I really haven't seen in about 3 years. You may know him as that witty asshole behind ToTC. This was apparently his third Modest Mouse concert, Bri's second, and my first. The band put on an amazing show, the majority performed from Good News which was pretty much expected. I was kind of concerned how they were going to pull off some of those songs live but they really blew me away with their performances. They threw in "Never Ending Math Equation" and "Paper Thin Walls" which definitely made my evening. I wish the crowd was as good as the show these guys put on because it seemed like some of these people on the right and in front of me had no frickin respect for anyone. There was this one guy dancing with his girl slowly coming my way and basically rubbing against me, yet to the right of him was about 3 nice square feet of empty space. Of course, I refused to move for this asshole, so he proceeded to do the same thing to Bri. Then there was this girl in front that refused to shut the hell up. If she wasn't attempting to piggyback on her 5 foot boyfriend and give the devil horns, then she made up that time by screaming every 10 seconds. I think they were so E'd out that by the end of the show they were immobile/dead. Anyways, I'm definitely a proponent of respecting your fellow concertgoer, but some of these people in attendance there completely sucked. The worst is when you have people charge their way from the back to the front, elbow and shouldering anyone that gets in their way during a set. I'm sorry, but where the hell were you the last 2 hours when the doors effin opened? Sorry for that schpeil... in summary, music - good, crowd - bad.

Overall it was an incredible weekend capped off with a great show. On another note, I knew it was a mistake showing Joey the GellFone. I forgot the fact his readership is about 300 times larger than mine.

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