September 9th, 2006


Emily et Steven Go To Sputnik

And they had a bunch of crazy Communist Propaganda on the walls! It was like a really fucked up, pistol-whipping Shenanigans!

Emily's boyfriend Shawn (I impose that spelling myself as I'm not a fan of the S-E-A-N spelling. That's Seen! Or See-ann, either way it's no good) had a 25th birthday yesterday. Well, fuck, technically Thursday. Anyway, he's in a band; actually, he's in THREE bands, drumming for the lot of 'em. As a birthday treat, he got all three bands together to play at the same venue, in a row. The venue was Sputnik, a hipster bar in Southern Brooklyn (I'm still not hip to all the damned "Neighborhood" names, but apparently I live in Bushwick).

As soon as we walk in, we notice there's an upstairs and a downstairs. Two bars, the upstairs one featuring a DJ playing some pretty cool mixed music (not necessarily techno, but definitely on the verge). The downstairs had the stage. Behind the stage, there was a large white screen that they showed movies on while the band played. Yeah, that WOULD'VE been cool had they not shown the same damn 30-minute loop of random Reservoir Dogs scenes for the last four hours we were there.

Did you know, in New York, just because it's 2am, you don't have to fucking LEAVE? I was amazed. It was 1:30am - where in Seattle they'd be hollering for last call - and there were still three fucking bands left to play!

OK, so Emily and I left here around 9pm, took two subways and got there in time to see half a set from this band who fancied themselves as Built To Spill prodigies. Except, they'd be more like super-early Built To Spill prodigies, back when they couldn't play their instruments or sing on key. Messy.

Then came the Apostles. Ohh man, I know one Mark W. Sloane who'd LOVE this group. They're a hip-hop group, but they're a Bush-bashing hip-hop group with a trombone player, a sax player, a big fat over-alls-wearing black drummer, and three MCs (one of which had a T-shirt with a picture of Larry Bird choking out Dr. J - another reason why I think Mark would've dug 'em). They were definitely far-fucking-out. One of the MCs sounded an awful lot like Shaggy, but I won't hold that against them. How could I with lines like these:

7-dollar Heineken
9-dollar gin
I was gonna get drunk
But they chargin' a limb

So, I bought a $5 CD at the door and gave them my e-mail for their list or whatever. It appeared as if I was the third person to do so, but this didn't strike me as a Hip Hop crowd.

Then they had this two-man band. Holy FUCK were they terrible! First of all, they had a tall, gangly guitarist and a hipster-doofus keyboard player in some lame knit cap. The rest of their band? A laptop. Yeah, the guitarist guy would hit something and some drums and bass would kick in. Meanwhile, the guitarist is playing nothing but behind-the-head distortion, thinking he's all badass; and the keyboardist is all brooding, every once in a while walking out from behind the keyboard looking all sorts of uncomfortable exposed as he was. Emily and I sat for a song and a half, then busted the hell outta there. I think they were TRYING to go for some sort of Interpol-meets-Sonic Youth sound, but they ended up achieving a Crap-In-A-Bag-meets-Fire sound.

And, yeah, like I said, it was 1:30 before her boyfriend Shawn and his first band hit the stage. It took them over a fucking hour because they wanted to record the show. Emily and I had the good fortune to hold a video camera in the back of the crowd, killing our arms trying to hold it over the kids standing in the way. Oh, you better believe I was making ample use of the zoom when it was my turn to hold the fucker! At one point, I started recording the white screen with Reservoir Dogs on it. Man, you gets what you fucking pays for.

Anyway, that band was OK. The lead singer kinda reminded me of Mike Patton a little bit, but a highly sucky Mike Patton with no vocal range or sense of flair behind the mic.

After that, we were outta there. After waiting around for two subways (those running late night are at least 20 minutes apart, unlike during the day when they run every five minutes), we just got back at 3:30am. Had we gone by automobile, it would've taken twenty minutes MAX.

All in all, I'll give tonight a 6 out of 8. I'm a sucker for live music, regardless if it sucks or not. Emily had toilet paper in her ears for that one two-piece "band". I was straining my neck looking for a hot poker to completely obliterate my eardrums, but that's neither here nor there. I saw an ad for a Gov't Mule show with special opening guest Wolfmother. Tomorrow night, I gotta look into that.

I also thought of a cool name for a band: Sam's Hot Car Lot, courtesy of Reservoir Dogs. If you can tell me what the reference means without looking it up or re-watching the movie, I'll give YOU a gold star.
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