Summer shows are a double edged sword aren’t they? The heat makes us acutely aware of the sticky auras enveloping ourselves and everyone around us. Forced to mingle, we herd ourselves into the small venue or cram ourselves as close as possible against the outdoor stage, sacrificing our personal space like the legions of L Train morning commuters riding in from northern Brooklyn. But the shows, they are amazing and they are aplenty. This summer looks to be very promising indeed.
Of course for me it has gotten off to a piss poor start. I intended to write a feature about a Norwegian band called Pirate Love. It would not only review their tiny EP, but talk about their live show as well. I was fortunate enough to be guest-listed for last Thursday’s performance at Pianos. A few companions and I had arrived early for a little pre-show drinking. I bullshitted with the bar-back, discovering that he is from Nebraska and that we know a few of the same folks—an altogether enjoyable experience.
Then it turns out that my name slipped through the cracks and was omitted from the guest-list. What to do? I had money for beer or the show, and seeing as one of the expenses was unforeseen, like any normal human being I chose the beer. A few other friends arrived at Pianos later that night. They relayed to me the following day that Pirate Love played a great show. From what I gather it would be a big mistake to miss these guys next time they are in town.
The following night a few friends and I were off to Prospect Park to catch Blonde Redhead. The weather, we can all remember, had been shitty the past couple of days, and it wasn’t looking good for our Friday plans. Again we arrived a bit early and stopped at a pub to drink some pints of Bass and tequila shots. After drinks we began walking toward the park as it began to sprinkle and spit. The line into the venue was very long, but clearly the fans were willing to suffer the rain—for a while. When it came time to open the gates, the park workers kept the doors closed. What was at first a slow drizzle turned into a down pour and no umbrella could really do the job. So, defeated, we walked back the F Train and headed on home. When we finally arrived in Bushwick the rain had passed and the sun broke through. Mother fucker, two shows in two days blown—and we actually made it to the venues. We did the best we could to make up for the lost time. We bought and ate some baguette, stinky cheese, and pastis while watching the sun go down on our converted factory roof.
What will come of the rest of summer is anyone’s guess but I certainly look forward to actually getting inside venues. As always, there is a standing invitation for suggestions on venues and bands. Let us know what should be seen and where. Next week, we go to Wilco opened by Yo La Tengo at Coney Island’s ill-named Keyspan Park. I haven’t seen these guys in a while, although I was able to get a copy of their newest effort months ago. A review is certainly pending.
But listen people…the best news of the week is that Sunny Day Real Estate will be reuniting for a 20 date tour (see dates below), supporting the rerelease of their first two records Diary and LP2. My fucking God this is amazing! Jeremy Enigk is without a doubt a major hero of mine. I feel slightly ashamed that the last time I got the chance to talk with him was 2003 and I was quite drunk. My brother and I drank dirty gin martinis until he puked and was booted from the venue. It was his 21st birthday. I felt like such a dick. My brother’s inebriation didn’t stop from seeing what was then a Fire Theft show at a joint called Knickerbockers. I asked Enigk something to the effect of “Jesus or Buddha?” He snarked back at me and said “Both.”
Luckily he wasn’t too offended about my mocking allusion to his past exploits in Christianity. He went on to disclose that his favorite band is The Who. After the show I got to sit in the booth with Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith. I am not sure how I pulled it off, but it was one of the greatest moments I’ve had. We’ll see what we can do this time. Although they play at Terminal 5, a shitty venue with what seems like a million people, half of whom will be complete assholes because they hate the music. Their friends dragged them there. Enigk had an amazing showing at the Bowery Ballroom supporting his 2006 solo record World Waits. This is easily the most anticipated reunion of the decade. I wonder what else, if anything, could top it.
Here are the calendars for a few of the better NYC venues:
Sunny Day Real Estate Tour Schedule
September 17 Vancouver, BC/Commodore Ballroom
September 18 Portland/Crystal Ballroom (Musicfest NW)
September 20 Salt Lake City/Murray Theater
September 21 Denver/Ogden Theater
September 23 Minneapolis/First Avenue
September 24 Chicago/Metro
September 25 Detroit/St Andrews Hall
September 27 New York/Terminal 5
September 28 Boston/House of Blues
September 30 Washington DC/930 Club
October 1 Philadelphia/Trocadero
October 3 Atlanta/CW Center Stage
October 5 Dallas/Granada Theater
October 6 Houston/Warehouse Live
October 7 Austin/La Zona Rosa
October 9 Tempe/Marquee Theatre
October 10 Anaheim/House of Blues
October 11 Los Angeles/Henry Fonda Theater
October 13 San Francisco/Fillmore
October 15 Spokane/Knitting Factory
October 16 Seattle/Paramount Theatre