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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

311 w/ State Radio @ Hammerstein Ballroom 11/28/09

This was a whole different experience right here. Hello once again, and better late than never we're back, with the twenty first edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series and this one brings us back to the same place we were on Tuesday, Hammerstein Ballroom(or, again, as the sign would indicate all over the building-the Manhattan Center). Tonight, 311 plays for their second night in a row in NYC. They have a new album out “Uplifter”- fans should check it out it's good stuff. The opener is State Radio-Pam and I head in after getting drunk around the corner at a real deal Irish Pub(it said Irish Pub on the sign).

Walk in there feeling great made sure not to give them my lighter at the door this time. The crowd for this show at Hammerstein compared to the Pixies on Tuesday were two totally different animals. Both were equally dedicated, but tonight was more, searching for a word to use here: more one entity where as the Pixies fans were a bunch of separate individuals together-the 311 fans were more together, more in sync with each other. And there was a lot more pot in the building tonight. We hit the merch table as I pick myself up a tee shirt says 311 on the front and November 28th 2009 on the back with an “NY” and it's Jets green so it looks kinda like team memorabilia- they had Giants blue ones as well. It was only 25 bucks and they had a XXL, so it fit right over my Pixies hoodie. Then we went and bought seven dollar beers and now that I remember, I owe Pam a beer I never paid her for.

State radio was pretty cool. I had no idea who there were before tonight but they had some good vibes flowing. They were sort of like 311, a little conventional hard rock orientated yet still had that little dash of reggae/ska bop to it. It was cool, no weird instruments that I need to go look up on the internet, no stupid things like “This is a song about hope” or anything like that. The best compliment I've come to be able to dish out to a band is that they didn't annoy me in any way-and that's what this band did. They rocked because they didn't annoy me. I'm sure they have a myspace, probably .

The they took apart the stage and started rolling out the 311 gear, as they took the sheet off the drum kit to a huge roar from the crowd. Their lead guitarist uses a shitload of effects pedal because I saw them bring out like a two level rack of toys. I need to invest in some effects pedals. Anyway, 311 hits the stage after 9PM and at this point it's getting real cramped up there-we're like, pretty far up there and it's about to get rowdy; and it did. They kicked off the set with “Beautiful Disaster” and the place was jumping. I'm telling you these people are crazy-song by song it just got worse, and by worse I mean better. It was frigging rocking in there! And everyone was dancing and shit and it was dark so I was actually getting behind girls like, groovin' because they didn't know I wasn't there boyfriend then they went and found him. I did this all night, even with that hot chick in the white top that I told Pam I thought was hot. Awesome. A couple songs later(wasn't taking down the set list because I was jumping up and down like a maniac) when they got into “Come Original” and “All Mixed up” is when I began to get “all bruised up”-there were different sorts of moshes going. You had the hardcore punk circle of death is what I call it, thats what when down at the Germs show I saw. There's a circle of people and there are usually 3 to 4 people being pushing one direction to the other slamming into everyone surrounding, me and Pam were  getting knocked aside from time to time. Then there was also the 'push everyone forward spring' as I call it-where like 5 dudes line up and push everyone in front of them so everyone leans about 5 feet forward and then flings back at the rest of us spectators-but I saw this happen a few times and it was like right in front of us. The ruckus subdued after they ran off and had the drum solo followed by the whole band beatin the shit outta snare drums simultaneously-it was crazy. Then Peanut with the 10 minute bass solo, he's a frigging beast with it-I think he plays a 5 string bass(if not a 6 string). Then they all came back out and played something for “all the old school 311 fans” and jumped into “Down”, literally. I took flight lunging forward on to a bunch of other people(Pam said it best: “I don't think my feet were on the ground at all in there”) and then when I got flung back I was in the middle of one of those circles of death and I got knock around pretty good before landing back in my spot to just jump up and down in unison with everybody in the building. Weed is being smoked everywhere, and cigarettes too people were just going all out. And funny at the beginning of one of the songs they played after that dude was like “Alright everyone put your lighters up for this one” and there were dozens of flames lit as event staff looks on, not being able to do anything about it because we smartened up and didn't tell them we had lighters at the door. Take that! One disappointment I had was that they didn't play “Who's got the herb” or “Amber” (or their cover of “Love song” now that I think about it) but they have an album to promote so you gotta play the new stuff and you can't play everything-that's why I'll see them again next time they hit town. Ended the set with a song called “Jackpot”, of which crowd participation was asked for-I don't remember what we had to do but we sang along something. It was just so nuts in there all night, afterwards was just a complete dead feeling. Felt like I got beat up, and it was a good thing!

Amazing, can't wait to see them again. Well, next time I thought I'd be posting was after I saw Weezer on December 10th @ the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. Pam also planned on riding along for this ride as well. As of December 5th the rest of the december leg of the tour was cancelled : Rivers Cuomo's tour bus went off an icy road and he cracked three ribs. I got a refund, but that doesn't make it not suck-  

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Meat Puppets @ Bowery Ballroom 11/25/09

And we're back again for the 20th installment of the Jay Porks Never ending concert series. Tonight takes us to the Bowery Ballroom in New York City to see the Meat Puppets! I love this band so much, and I hope you people do too because they're awesome and totally worth going to see. When I strolled into the place, I pulled out my iPod Touch and started taking notes.

Got to the Bowery around 7:30- I saw a poster that said the Meat Puppets don't come on until 1030. I am really early it's not even eight and I already had a beer and smoked a cigarette after I came in and got stamped and wristbanded and all. I don't even think the doors officially open until 8 o clock. This is going to be a pretty long and great night withstanding this being first time the effects of a show the night before might be getting to me. When I see people moving in I'll head to the merch table and claim my poster. I don't think this place is sold out, although there are a few people here who are early just as I am. I wonder how awesome this night is going to be. The Meat Puppets, My 6th time. The show doesn't start for 2 and a half hours! The suspense is killing me And I know how they get down already- come on close to 11 and get off around 1. I just heard someone say they're opening the doors. Let's do this.

When I walked in I passed the merch table and saw a dude wearing a Devo tee shirt working the table I said “cool shirt dude, is Moped around?”, Moped being the person who Dennis (a friend of mine who usually does the merch and works everything Meat Puppets related) told me has my poster. He said he was also waiting for him to come over and if there was anything he could have helped me with, I said I'd be back and headed to the main floor which had like 4 people there. So I just walked away from this dude wearing a cool Devo tee shirt who could have definitely halped me with something, I would find out later during drum check, that this cool dude is actually the new drummer in the Meat Puppets: Shandon Sahm... who we will get a little more into later on.. Anyway, walked back in, leaned myself on the stage and turned to see Cris Kirkwood walking in my direction, so I was like “there he is!” in the obnoxious way I talk before getting serious and asking him “How's” the tour going?” Cris said “It's really cool man been great”-as he looks around- “we got three great bands tonight. I hope more people show up for Dynasty (Electric)”. I said told him how I thought they were cool last time they opened for the them and then he went on to talk about Elmo Kirkwood, Curt Kirkwood's son and member of the band Kirkwood-Dellinger, who were up after Dynasty Electric. Cris: “My nephew's band is really rounding out and he's a beast on guitar man. He's playing is getting so much better-like, me and brother have been playing together for years and this kid just sits around playing and we look at him like dude how'd you do that?” He seemed excited, didn't wanna keep him from any pre-show rituals.

First up is Brooklyn's own Dynasty Electric. With Jennifer DeVeau (lead vocals, synth, theremin) and Seth Misterka (vocals, guitar, saxophone, laptop) doing about a 40 minute set that was pretty cool(this being the second chance I've seen them) I can say I like a few of their songs now, and a band like this is usually a little too electronica for me. I was the only one who knew who they were because they opened for the Meat Puppets in June at the Mercury Lounge. I was explaining how cool the theromin is to the unfamiliar spectators of this band. When they came up on stage I said to the guitar player “You guys got the theromin right?” and he said yea and kind of looked happy that at least one person thought they were kind of cool. One example of them being cool is they covered Shocking Blue's “Venus”, which was awesome as they played to about 9 of us who were there. I have a picture that looks like that both band mates tried to get into the show for which was cool. Maybe late arrival for the rest I guess, but they're missing cool stuff .

After they went off I ran out to smoke a cigarette on the way back I saw another dude working the merch table and I said “Moped?” and he goes “Yea” and I was like, “I'm Jay Porks from Staten Island, Dennis told me to come see you” and he was like yea I got something for ya, you're on the list as he hands me an autographed Sewn Together Meat Puppets poster. Shout outs to Dennis, Moped and the Meat Puppets for being so cool!

Kirkwood-Dellinger was so much cooler than I thought they would. They were almost groovy at times- Elmo Kirkwood is a frigging beast with it. The stuff he was doing was pretty interesting and noisy. He didn't have as many pedals as his father, but was an absolute monster. There whole band was well rounded, as they switched instruments after every couple of songs. Played from like 930 to about 1030 probably a little after. Then, a warm moment, as I turn to take a look at the crowd about halfway through their set, there leaning on a pole about 15 feet away, is Curt Kirkwood looking on as a proud father watching his son become a rock star. After they went off we all sat in suspense awaiting that proud father to hit the stage with his great band, The Meat Puppets!!!

The Meat Puppets fail to disappoint once again. They hit the stage at about 11PM.  Meat Puppets have a new drummer, the aforementioned Shandon Sahm(The son of legendary fiddler-singer-songwriter Doug Sahm of The Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados Small world isn't it?) The place is still not packed out at this point-but there are a lot more people than before, the crowd had a nice roar going when came out. I'm right in the middle leaned on the stage because they took the two amps in front of me away so I had plenty of room to put my note pad and camera down. Good times front row. They kicked off the set with “Plateau”, it was right at these first chords that for the first time of the night I'm past feeling tired and way too deep into feeling: “Wow this is freaking awesome” to even think about it. After that another favorite of mine in “Commin' Down” and that's when things started getting cerebral in a sense that everyone in the place had, for lack of better term given themselves to the music at this point. “Touchdown King” is a song off the 'Monsters' album (they're most interesting album-in a good way) that's been a staple in their live set for years now-so they drift off into oblivion in the middle of it. It's a blissful switch from song to outer space to song throughout every Meat Puppets set. They got into “Station” next-on the video you hear me say 'Station' before the song starts on the video because I saw Curt point to Cris(which is also on the video), signifying that this is the one he sings lead vocals. “Go to your head” was the first song of the night they played off the new album 'Sewn Together', which is an awesome record. The dude next to me asked me if I heard it and what I thought and I explained to him the intricacies of the greatness of the album. Then I saw Shandon tell Cris “Oh Me”, and off we went. The crowd is building as the night go on-I can't see it but I can feel it; the room getting smaller and everything being louder. “Up on the sun” was awesome, I should have taped that one but my arm would've got tired I think it ran about 8 minutes. That's when stuff started getting lost in the little light show we had going on-I'm not sure if they bring a light show or they just use whats there when they show up but you notice some of the pictures just look like cartoonish almost. Then a change up-I've seen it on YouTube but never personally, they jumped into “Sam” and for lack of a poetic description here: That sh!t was crazy! Who can keep up with those lyrics? (It's faster than R.E.M.'s "It's the end of the world as we know it", a song I have karaoked successfully without lyrics.. ) I tried and failed and for a dude with no voice I was getting it in. I must have screamed out “Attacked By Monsters” 5 times-I really wish they'd play that once when I see them-I've said before I bet they can't play it live. After 'Sam' they went into “Monkey and the snake” before doing “Light”, another one I don't recall ever seeing live personally-so I got that one too. “Aurora Borealis” was the yin to the yang of “Light”, a twangy, instrumental tune that makes you close your eyes and differentiate each instruments sound, switch back and forth from bass to guitar. Amazing. And if it couldn't get better-”Backwater” smacks everyone in the face. There's a light mosh behind me as I get bumped into every now and then. They got into “Lake of fire” fairly quickly after that, where when Curt was slowly strumming I said “Lake of fire already?” and they rocked it with that one-the extended version. Clocked at 6 minutes with the noise fest jam type ending of the song they always do. Shandon Sahm is the real deal too-I noticed it during lake of fire that he was fitting in just fine. With his cool Devo tee shirt on. After that they said goodnight and went off stage.

Not so fast my friend. They came back out, with, as introduced by Cris Kirkwwod “ladies and gentlemen New York's own Ted Marcus”, who had been fired from the band a few months ago as told to me by Shandon.  Before the set after he was doing a little drum check when I screamed "Where's Ted?".. He came over a few minutes later  and asked "You screamed where's Ted right?" and introduced himself.. he also said that Ted was in the building, to which I replied “yea, because he knows the chick from Dynasty Electric right?” and Shandon's like  “yea.." bewildered look on his face.. "how'd you know” and I said “That's what Cris told me back in June when I caught both nights at the Mercury Lounge. He told me thats how they got on the bill that night”.. He seem surprised of me being in the know, but shook my hand and asked me my name and stuff. So they came back out with Ted to play “Rotten Shame”and another song I didn't write down. I know they played “Lost” tonight, and they also played a song mid set called "Be Real" which is written by Doug Sahm-it's all a trip man when you go to these Meat Puppets shows.. you never know what's next... for example: the  final song of the night, which I got on tape, ATTACKED BY MONSTERS! Yes! I updated my Facebook with that as soon as I got out-it got crazy in there when they broke into it-the guitar parts in the song have so much stuff going on the mosh behind had gotten rough and empty beer cups were tossed on stage by this one drunk douchebag. As they neared the end of the tearing down the house with this song, the Sahm starts kicking his drum set around, and I thought that was so fucking awesome I started screaming “yea!!” and he stacked up his drum set in the middle of the stage and walked off as Curt Kirkwood was at the amp.. slowing turning it down....and down...and down...until the noise was gone and the only sound left was roars from the crowd and a “Thanks a lot, goodnight”.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Pixies at Hammerstein Ballroom 11/24/2009

It's been a while but we're back in full force for the next couple of weeks and tonight, the 19th edition of the Jay Porks Never ending concert series brings us to Hammerstein Ballroom 311 West 34th street, or as the outside of the building indicates: The Manhattan Center. Tonight we are here to see the one, the only The PIXIES, who on tour celebrating their 20th anniversary of the release of their major label debut 'Doolittle'. The Pixies are a phenomenon of proportions which I thought had passed me by already, broken up for over a decade, who would've thought the opportunity to see them would present itself, and yet so timely-Last show I went to was the Breeders just days after this tour was announced in August. Three NYC dates were announced, Novemeber 23th, 24th and 25th, taking a look at my concert calendar, the Tuesday night, middle show is where we land (Meat Puppets @ Bowery tomorrow night)-$50 any of the nights with no opening acts listed. Who could NOT be there? Doors open 6:30, show at 8pm.

Was twenty minutes after seven when I stepped out of a cab, on a rather chilly NYC late afternoon turning into night-I stand in front of a movie theater across the street from the venue which is flooded with a mob scene in front of movers and shakers, people headed in headed out, event staff making life a little harder for everyone-the norm. I take it all in, get my stuff together(camera and notepad out of the back pack and into the pockets) and head across the street and step on up to the door where the event staff asks me “Sir, do you have a cigarette lighter on you?” Myself, somehow overcome with a sudden honest Abe demeanor, replies “yes I do” as proceeding to hand my lighter over to be thrown in the garbage. I don't care that the dude threw it away, its his job-but why would I say that I had one? It had a flashlight on it too. Damn. Anyway, continuing in I found the merch table and beer. Get a $7 beer(and then they put it in a fucking dixie cup whats up with that??), and start pondering on what I'm gonna spend my money on at the merch table. There was a few $35 and $40 tee shirts to choose from. I was settled on the shirt that has these tour dates on them-but then I saw a hoodie. I asked if the XL would fit me and I took a look at it. It's cool its brown and it has a 'P' on it, that $60 is feeling snug as I change and check my bag. This hoodie is kinda tight-but I'm still loving it.

One odd thing about the merch table is that I notice they were also selling “Jay Reatard” stuff. Then all of a sudden I hear a band sound checking at like 7:40. Walk in and I see three dudes on stage. The lead singer and guitar player (playing of those flying V's, cheesy) has long hair in front of his face, the bass player looks bored out of his mind and the drummer smiles a lot. At about 8 o clock when I realized that the Pixies were obviously not coming on stage at 8-I turn to somebody next to me, and I ask because I need to be 100 percent sure, I'm like “Who the hell are these guys?” and it was in fact, Jay Reatard. I mean, I tried to sit there and listen to it but it's a tough spot to be in being the surprise opener for the Pixies, I just looked at the ceiling pissed every time they started another song. Soul reason being that they weren't the Pixies, myself and I bet a few others who have never heard of him before didn't really give them a chance. They didn't suck, they did some things that were interesting...sort of. They played til about 840, then the roadies tore down the set and prompted it for the one, the only, Black, Deal, Santiago and Lovering-The Pixies!

A video screen type backround the stage has, began to roll before 9:10 showing a video. The clip is “Un chien andalou” in its entirety. I know, I know-What the hell is that you're asking. It's a surrealist film from France -short about 15 minutes long and it came out in like the 1920's. The first scene is an eyeball being sliced open, hence the lyric from the song “Debaser”, when Frank Black says “Slicin' up eyeballs I want you to know”. I looked it up a few months ago and was fascinated by the deep underlying of the song. And I'm not the only one who knew what I was, in fact I was probably more out of the loop then most people as I heard it being explained to others around me by each other. A shrieking simultaneous gasp through the crowd when the eyeball gets sliced open(the same people who have watch every version of SAW to ever come out) and I gotta tell you-though spacious, where I was standing was a tight squeeze and I wasn't even that close. The tall people in front of me were pissing me off, don't they know I have video to take? And this is in the wake of people bloggers saying the monday night show was over sold and that Livenation should be ashamed of themselves. I didn't think it was “over sold”, just tight up at the front not to mention very hard for me to navigate my hand held camera device, I got some really crappy video but the sound is awesome. They came out eventually and Kim Deal screams out “B-Sides!” right before they kick off the night with “Dancing the Manta Ray”, “Bailey's Walk” and “Weird at my school”. The way Joe Santiago and Frank Black sort of trade explosions of noise with every chord-the way the sound meshes is brilliant. Music is so much better live. The harmonies Deal and Black kicked out on every track was, if not better, than equal to the swiftness it was 20 years ago and on some songs you get Deal's voice in the same exact key as Joe's guitar combining the two elements to one. They did “Manta Ray” (not to be confused with “Dancing the Manta Ray”) before they kicked off the album part of the set with “Debaser” and proceeded to rock that shit out, Doolittle in listed order. “tame” came next-these songs were almost obnoxiously loud and we were loving every second of it. “Wave of Mutilation”, “I bleed”, “Here comes your man” followed with jokes in between songs by Deal-like when she said “Anyone here last night?.....Yea, we're doin the same thing” and she kept saying “We're almost through side one”. It got nuttier in there when “Dead” came on-the jagged guitars stabbing through all attending and Lovering and Deal pounding out rhythms. “Monkey's gone to heaven” was cool”, and I love “Mr. Grieves” and “Crackity Jones” so I'm glad I got video of those two back to back. “La La Love you” was fun, the only song where drummer David Lovering sings lead vocals. Then we got into the extended version of “No. 13 baby”, that one went long it was so awesome. We took a trip far away from that song with the melding of noise between guitars, like the aforementioned of trading explosions. Finishing out the set was the rest of the record, “There goes my gun” followed by a crowd sing along “Hey” (words from the song scrolled on the screen in the back ground), “Sliver” and “Gouge Away” before they pretended to say goodnight. They took a bow and went off with the screen showing a picture of the four of them together. This was freaking incredible- I mean I wouldn't blame them if they didn't come back out.

But they did as Kim Deal screamed “More B-sides!”, as they played the UK Surf version of “Wave of Mutilation” and “Ed is Dead” before the smog machine starts to really fill the place and we get into “Into the White”. At this time the screen had a visual that was hypnotic-strobe light effect along with the smoke clouds on the lights I swear it was an epileptic seizure. It was insanity, I was floored after into the white-what a moment. Then they went off again only to come back out to play, and correct me if I missed one in the midst of taking in all this, “Caribou”-which was very, like, make the crowd lean in sync like trees in a forest when the wind blows. “Broken face” and “Plant of Sound” to end the night-and someone needs to hit me up and let me know which one I missed because I know there's one that I'm leaving out, I didn't have enough room to take notes.

Overall it was so worth it. I'm so glad I got to experience that at least once before I die. They were on my list of bands I must see before I die. Check. Right now cutting up the video into pictures the songs are bringing me back to the moment as I listen-it's really cool. It was an amazing show, from the instrumentation to the light show to the vocals to the songs to the atmosphere. It all melded into a unique beauty-just seeing that fog as the drum beat to “Into the white”. Just indescribable.

Now in a few hours I'll be back here to tell you people how the Meat Puppets Wednesday November 25th show at the Bowery-there's already a autographed poster waiting for me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Breeders @ Bowery Ballroom 8/18/2009

Come one come all-I'm work shopping new introductions bare with me-Welcome to the 18th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending concert series. Tonight brings us to the 'Sold Out' Bowery Ballroom at 6 Delancey St. in New York City. The Bowery is a venue that's been on my radar for a while, considering that the Bowery owns(or at least sponsors) most of the venues I attend for concerts in the city. Tonight the headliner, the band I'm here to see is the one, the only, THE BREEDERS. Lead by Kim Deal(along with twin sister Kelley), I'm so psyched to see them because I missed them in Brooklyn last year at McCarren Pool. Doors are set to open at 8, and I didn't think the show was going to take until 9:05 to start, but hence being at a Rock and Roll concert.

While awaiting the doors to open, so I can get a spot up front; I sat at the bar and had a few beers and was talking music with a lad from Ireland who's in New York for the week. We were talking about the Pixies and then suddenly the house music switches from like AC/DC to The Vaselines, at which point I said “i saw these guys, that show kicked ass” and one of the bartenders over heard and said “What, the Vaselines? That was an amazing show”. I'm telling you, I feel at home. Right now I'm surrounded by people who I can have a conversation with.

So the “doors” opened at 8 and people were permitted to head upstairs to the stage area, and I headed straight to where we all know we're headed-the merch table. Picked myself up a Breeders 'Mountain Battles' tee shirt for $15. It's a cool shirt too, I put it right on and headed near the front of the stage....where all the good spots were taken. How? There was like 10 people there, where did all these people come from? So I had to get all the way at the end of the stage, so you'll notice in my pictures and video there's a guitarist missing because I'm blocked by a curtain.

What's really pissing me off is having to sit in this crappy spot for this opening act I've never heard of- “Whispertown 2000”. I was getting antsy, felt like screaming “lets go already” and here they are setting up there equipment at 9:02, do they realize it's a Tuesday night? But then came out these two hot chicks, one holding an acoustic guitar (which in my book makes a girl like, extra hot) and assuming the role of lead vocals. They played they're first song and I noticed the end of the song the drummer was playing a harmonica as well to add a little folk sort of feel. And the song wasn't bad, I was nodding a bit. They had a weird looking bass player, and the other hot chick who wasn't the lead vocalist was using that jingle-jangle thing that have the mini cymbals on them. I'm not going to look it up-you know what I mean. But when it came time for the third song she picked up a telecaster and added some effects to the bluegrass feel. All of a sudden it went from folk sounds to loud noise in a flip of the coin. Next song, the drummer gets up and switches spots with the chick just playing the telecaster, so now she's on drums and the drummer is on electric guitar and the lead singer has put her acoustic down for a few songs. The drummer is kicking ass on guitar on this first song he's playing on, and the drums haven't skipped a beat (no pun intended) with the chick drumming. Then everyone returns to their spots, a little tuning up and then I see the bass player pull his strap up really high and then he takes it and hands it to the drummer-now the drummer is playing bass and the bass player is on drums. Even if the music sucked, the interchangeable musicians was really cool. And they're weren't half bad. I thought they were kind of groovy if that word is still allowed to be used. I would definitely recommend checking them out @

A little after 10 o clock ladies and gentlemen........THE BREEEDERS!!!!!!

They came out kicking ass man. There was a drum set up in front of Kim Deal for the first song and they kicked it off with “Hoverin'”, a song by The Amps-another past side project of Kim's, they released one album called “Pacer”(It's being communicated to me that the song was actually recorded by the Breeders as a B-Side for Divine Hammer). After that song she moved the drum away and pick up her guitar, and there were smiles all around. You love to see a band enjoying themselves and not just punching the time card so to speak. They rocked through a couple more songs before getting into a few crowd favorites. “Huffer” off they're previous record Title TK was when I turned around and noticed the room had filled out and heads were nodding everywhere. And every time I looked up I saw pot smoke in the air-it wasn't me this time. Then “Divine Hammer”, a great song altogether. The Breeders have three guitarists so the abrasive, noisy intertwined melodies were freaking awesome-they were in top form. And just as everyone's rocking, you see Kim going to the effect mic set up on her mic stand and start breathing-you know what's coming. The baseline drops, drums kick in and here we go...........CANNONBALL! What half the people in the crowd came to see. Pandemonium breaks out in there, good times all around. That was definitely the bong in this reggae song of a show and we're only half way through. They played some songs off “Pod”, including 'Happiness is a warm gun'. I love that song. They encored about five times seriously. They went off first at 11:14, and came back on right away. Now we have people in the back of the crowd chanting for “Gigantic”, a Pixies song written by Kim Deal that they have done live before-but I doubt they wanted to get out of Breeders form-and good for them. On the last encore, Kim actually sat and played drums while the drummer played keyboard, and not your old mans keyboard. This thing was run through effects pedals and sounded nuts. They overall show sounded nuts, it was nuts. They went with the loud, quiet, loud format with the way they set their songs. Here's a soft one, here's a hard one-here's everything at once. The Deal twins and the Breeders proving yet again that all the good bands just fly under the radar. What a show. Loud, abrasive, sweet, soft and grinding guitars. Can't ask for anything more. I'll be wearing my tee shirt tomorrow proudly.

Someone at the show left a comment with the set list, which was a very nice gesture. I was almost able to grab the set list, but it was snatched from my grasp. So here it is: Hoverin'
Little fury,I am decided,Walk it off,Divine hammer,Night of joy,No aloha,Do you love me now,New year,Cannonball,Saints,Happiness is a warm gun,Iris,Oh!,Fate to fatal,Bang on,Flipside,Huffer,Safari

(1st Encore)The she,Overglazed,Driving on 9

(2nd encore)
Tipp City

Couldn't have asked for more out of that show. Amazing. And what a great way to set up the next concert I have purchased tickets for. You see, Kim Deal is so important because she was and now is a member of the Pixies, one of the most influential bands to come out of the 80's alternative scene. It all starts with the Pixies, and I'm going to get the privilege to see them November 24th @ Hammerstein Ballroom in, where else? New York City. I will kepp everyone posted if concerts get added in between now and then. But until then, enjoy the video if they let me upload it. 9 comments: Links to this post

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meat Puppets and Stone Temple Pilots @ The Borgata Event Center 07/18/2009

Atlantic City- And already we've reached the seventeenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending concert series and the 2nd leg of this years Jay Porks Summer Concert series(last year STP was a part of that as well) on this amazing day weather wise here in Atlantic City, NJ at the Trump Marina located across the way from the Borgata hotel and casino. Tonight we will all be witness to The Meat Puppets and the Stone Temple Pilots sharing a stage at the Borgata event center. I'm going have to be honest this was a last minute thing. I wasn't buying tickets to an STP show ever again after the PNC debacle(refer to the blog posted 5/31/2008) but I'm on a mission to get to every Meat Puppets show that is anywhere I can get to so I bought it on like sunday night monday morning. It's strange, I have this thing where I enjoy hearing the live music of legendary, great bands-hence the Meat Puppets for a 5th time. Bare with me as this review isn't posted until a full night after because this hotel is having problems with the WIFI connect.

I walk up the steps into the Borgata casino and Hotel after I checked into my room at the Trump Marina and dude-the Borgata- that's high class right there. Freaking huge too, I almost got lost on my way to the Event Center which is inside the casino. Air Conditioning blasting in this utterly beautiful establisment. The place is amazing, like something I've never been in before. Millions of slot machines and poker tables and scantly clad ladies serving drinks. But no time to party, must get to the event center and try and find Cris Kirkwood(never found him).So after about two miles or so (it's an exaggeration of course) I saw an escalator that led up to the event center. Lets rewind a second because something with this night is prevalent. I had a Meat Puppets shirt on that I ordered online, and right before I walked into the Borgata around 7 o clock I noticed some dude tapping his girlfriend and mouthing to her “dudes got a meat puppets shirt”. I didn't realize until then that this would be happening to me all night considering the Meat Puppets were just added to this show a week ago. Some guy stopped me and said “wow man that's a cool shirt, I saw them in 94 with these guys(referring to Stone Temple Pilots)” and I said “yea man that's what I said, it feels like 94 with the Pups and STP sharing a stage” and with that his reply was “They're playing with them tonight? That's really cool” then quickly spits out “hey man you don't know where I could get a 50 of blow anywhere do ya?” I said the truth, “no” and he was said laughing “I figured hey why not give it a shot ya know” and I said “ Oh definitely, I'd be doing the same thing if I needed something.” Up the escalator I see people who are headed down on the other end noticing the shirt, and some drunk dude was like “yea man, awesome shirt”. I was like a frickin' rock star man. I made it up to where they sell the merch and there were only STP tee shirts and I have one already so I didn't even head over there-I didn't see the Meat Puppets dude Dennis I saw at mercury lounge so I grabbed a beer and headed inside the actual venue.

Imagine you're middle school auditorium. You know how there are seats that get higher as they get up but there's still seats on the ground level? Well, picture those seats gone and a way too much space in between the wide opening and the seated area. It was pretty big, but really tacky considering I'm at the friggin' Borgata like, come on. So 8:15 rolls around and Ladies and Gentalman, The Meat Puppets!!!

Let's get one thing straight, Curt Kirkwood can fingerpick with anybody you have lined up. Being that I did not have an opportunity to be up right in front hence all the STP fans being crammed up there - I got to see the Puppets full big stage(this stage is bigger then most clubs I've seen them at in there entirety) performance from behind where most of the people in the standing room section were. I'm usually in Curt Kirkwood's amp. Like I said I had only seen them in small clubs prior to this; but I gotta tell you they pulled out all the stops tonight. I enjoy that some

times when I see them it appears as if Curt is trying out new stuff with or maybe even polishing up some old stuff with his "GEEE-TAR", pedals(I don't even know if we call those solos-just long psychedelic jams away from the song and swings back), creating new sounds etc. But seeing it all perfected, seeing it all exactly how they planned it to be; so tight, yet so loose. So into it, this is also the first show I've seen where Curt had his hair down and not in a pony tail. Again, most likely because he's not in a sweaty club like we usually are. And the sound translated so well. Like, everything was on cue. Led it off with “Oh Me” and once I heard the first chord of that I knew we were in for great set. It was adventurous at times but in an amazing way. Usually people don't recognize the song until half way in because it's usually so purposely distorted that they make it difficult for you “3 songers”. That's what I'm calling these people now, the ones who show up to Meat Puppets shows for the three songs covered at the Nirvana Unplugged and have no other idea what any other song is. A dude after the set asked me(when he noticed my Meat Puppet tee shirt) asked me, and I'm not kidding- “Hey man, what's the name of that last song they played? I know its a Nirvana song,
but they played a cool version of it. I said “It's a Meat Puppets song, it's Lake of Fire”. He surprisingly replies “ now way, really? Wow” Dude had to be 15 years older then me. Come on. Anyway, back to the set-after “Oh Me”, they were tuning up and I said “Touchdown King?” and sure enough, they broke into it. It was like me and Curt were like synced and shit. It was weird. Then a song from the new record called “The Monkey and the Snake” which has Curt whistling over finger picked melodies that were (to me at least) mind blowing. At times they could be so sweet and calming but then mid song Curt hits a pedal and blows the place up-and it's freaking awesome every time. Then a sudden change of pace, as they burst in “Backwater”, forth song in there set. I believe one of two factors contributed to this decision: A) They wanted to get the STP crowd won over or B) To piss off the people who are only showing up for Backwater and know they usually encore with it. My theory is that it is the ladder of the two. And that kicked ass because the crowd that was there so far started to rock and probably saying to themselves “Ohhh yea I remember this song.” Then Curt lightly strums down three times and I said “Plateau!” and once again I hit the nail on the head. But here we are 5 songs in and they've already played the 2 of the 3 songs for the 3 songers. Then we were “Commin' Down” down the mountain as they played the acid folk/country classic song off there 1995 record 'Too High to Die'. After that I put the camera down for a second because we got into “Look at the Rain”, a great song to hear live-a total different experience from any recorded version. Then I heard a familiar song that I couldn't name. I figured it was a song I hadn't heard in a while, then all of a sudden I hear lyrics about a”Tennessee Stud ” and I'm like “wait a second, are the Meat Puppets doing Johnny Cash right now?” How cool is that. Even cooler is that it's a Jimmy Driftwood song(and its probably someone else's song before that) and Cash only made it famous(as he normally does). The solo was frickin' insane-this show is totally rocking. Then it was an 8 minute version of “Up on the Sun” which had Curt Kirkwood acutally looking thrilled to be there, rocking back and forth getting into it with Cris, just taking us normal human beings up on the sun where they reside. The guitar sound Curt had going was mind blowing and god like during the time they totally killed it during the song and then I hear a soft melody. I knew it was Lake Of Fire because that's what they always do- they try and sneak it in there loud and really fast generally. I mean, they get through the lyrics part fast and then just kicked ass for a about 8 minutes until They some how found there way back into the song to end their amazing set. They went off at 8:50 with a ten minute version of Lake of Fire to end it. Wow. Right when they went off I knew the ticket was well worth the $95. There's not a chance STP tops them, in my eyes anyway (and I'm the one with the blog). I just wanted to be back Up on the Sun right all night.

So I head out to concessions for a beer(beers are actually a moderate $7, at a casino I'm going to call that cheap) and I'm headed down the elevator as someones headed up and dude is like “How was the set?” after seeing my shirt I shook my head, widened my eyes and said “Crazy” with like this blown look on my face-it was my true feelings. That set was absolutely the best set I've ever seen them do live-everything was perfect- it's like, the only thing I could complain about is that I couldn't get close enough to the front and I wish they played longer. Two things the band itself has no control over.

Stone Temple Pilots are set to hit the stage at 9:15 says the event staff right in front of me(this is the guy that will later tell me to stop recording), as not I'm leaning on a railing but I'm all the way left of the stage where there's a gate blocking half my view but still better then freelancing in the back with all these people who should' have been on there high school basketball team-why is everyone so damn tall all of a sudden? Anyway, at like 9:25 I turn to people next to me and I'm like “Here we go again”, referring to the May 31st 2008 STP/Filter show at PNC Bank arts center. But they came out at 9:32 or so(event staff probably lying pricks anyway) and then it was on. There's Scotty Weiland in a suit which we all know will slowing be undone over the course of the night. By the second song (Wicked Garden)in they were rocking the joint. Scott looked on point , And Rob Deleo really showed me how much of a factor his bass plays into the sound of this band. He was rocking, with the shades on looking all 'Joe Cool' style. Dean is over all the way on the other side of the stage from me, but he is tearing it up over there. Lit cig hanging from his lips and head swingin-totally rocking. During “Vasoline” I distinctly noticed that the band was really tight, really going after it. They played a few new songs, says Scott in between”Big Empty” and “Lounge Fly”. He also announced to a roar from the crowd that the band is in the works of a new album. I guess Weiland realized where he cashes his checks; it's not with those lame solo efforts. They played a lot of my personal favorites (as they did at PNC). They got into a really cool sounding “Sour Girl”, “Creep” was where I noticed how packed the place had gotten. Everyone got into “Crackerman”. Then the climax for the crowd(besides the encore) that night was “Interstate Love Song”. They played a new song after that, good move on there part. There was also some crowd participation when Scott would hold the mic out and have us sing the chorus. True bred arena rock. I don't kill them for it like most critics because I don't let the fact that they like big crowds effect me liking the music. “Down” was amazing, I was screaming lyrics to all these songs attempting to blow my voice box out. I'm in Atlantic City in the Borgata seeing a crazy rock concert-life is sweet right now. Then “Sex Type Thing” I thought they were going out on cause they played the shit outta there instruments on that one but they followed it with “Unglued”-another one of there songs I really love. Then they ran off stage at 10:55. Killer set. Waiting for the encore, loud chants of “S-T-P!, S-T-P!” from the crowd as they ran back out to play “Dead and Bloated” and ended the night with “Trippin on a hole in a paper heart.” 11:04pm was where I clocked the show ending. Great set-good, professional band(if Scott is on the his hinges of course). Good to see them again, it was awesome.

Not as awesome as being in AC and catching the Meat Puppets again though! Wow, I need to recap how good they were. All I keep thinking about is that show and sometimes when I day dream I'll close my eyes and go back to it. It was such a great set, such an experience not only to see them for the fifth time but to catch them, and then head up to my hotel room I paid $320 for to write this review. There was not one thing about this trip, show, adventure that I can say I didn't like. Everything was so amazing. But the highlight of course is Saturday night 8:01pm to 8:55pm. Unforgettable, indescribable and overall the best night of my life. Sitting in the bed of my hotel room looking out at the Borgata, I can't help but think how fulfilling this show and trip were. Indescribable.

I don't have any tickets purchased, I'm wiped man. I'm catching the Meat Puppets again in November at the Bowery in NYC but I haven't bought those yet(they're not on sale I don't think). As I normally say at the end of these things, thanks for reading if you made it this far and check back within the next couple of days as I will be adding video from the show to this page. Hope everyone had a great time, because I had the time of my life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Germs @ Mercury Lounge 7/2/2009 (For Bobby Pyn)

He was once Landon Carter-Now he's Darby Crash. I'd like to welcome everybody back to the Mercury Lounge for the sixteenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight, I had the honor and the privilege of seeing The Germs, a band I have missed playing in NYC on many occasions. Not this time, bought my tickets around midnight last night. With public transportation not being friendly to me, I showed up about 9:30, same time the opening act 'The Krum Bums' were hitting the stage; The Germs slated to hit the stage at 10:30.

As we all know, the original lead singer of the Germs, a man by the name of Jan Paul Beahm later known as Bobby Pyn and then even later and most infamously Darby Crash is dead. He had “overdosed on China white heroin in a suicide pact with close friend Casey Cola,” And if her name isn't storybook enough here's the kicker- “who ended up surviving”. At the age of 22 in 1980 Darby Crash and the Germs were done. In the rock and roll history books the Germs are one of the first and most influential L.A. Punk bands to come out when punk was forming into it's own. Put it this way, your band has to be good if Joan Jett was so much of a fan that she produces your only record. Crash's death gets overlooked in hindsight due to the fact that the very next day he committed suicide another rock musician died. Some guy named John Lennon, you may know him.

As mentioned before I walked in at about 9:30, just in time to pick up my Germs tee shirt for $15 and a sticker for $1. Then on my way to the main room I grabbed a Heineken for 7 bucks. The Krum Bums seemed to have just started there set. They were loud. Almost every band member (5) had a mic and was singing harmony somewhere on a song-or should I say screaming harmony. The lead singer set the table, he had a Rancid style mo hawk and tightened up in leather. The band looked like they were Punk, but they played this loud, heavy all over the place hardcore stuff. You all know the riff, really fast and as loud as possible then the complete 3 second stop and back into it. We've all seen this one before. By their third song (or by the time I finished that beer), I had enough and it was time to go back outside and schmooze with my fellow punk rockers.

I was smoking a cigarette when I noticed Pat Smear sneaking into the door avoiding contact with anyone with that same old smile he's been rocking for 30 years. The Mercury Lounge is great spot because there are so many other bars and hot spots on that same stretch of blocks that the tail that passes by this place is amazing. One chick had on a pink dress thing on and the skirt was really short (don't worry this part of the story goes somewhere), boobs almost coming out and she just looked way past drunk. She was with someone who looked like her boyfriend and they headed in. 10:30 was coming up on me fast, so I headed in to try and nail my usual front row spot. I get up front, and I see that drunk chick lying on the steps that lead up on stage. Now she stumbles up, and she's in full slut mode by now lying on stage lifting her legs up, bending all sorts of ways and she's asking people if they have “connections”(to the band). Right now I'm thinking “damn, her boyfriend is going to go ballistic” but there was no boyfriend as she stood up and began to have her right boob pop out of her dress. And it wasn't even debatable, there was full nipple out. She was posing for pictures but is so whacked that she doesn't know her tit is hanging out while shes making these faces towards cameras. She was up there about ten minutes before event staff (one of the two dudes who are the event staff) tries to get her off stage and she's trying to make out with him. Then he escorts her out while myself and others booed the guy. I blurted out “hey, she coulda make a great riot girl.” The house music they were playing before the Germs came on consisted of heavy punk rock-and I can't believe they play D-7 by The Wipers. That was cool. But to the main event

About 10:39 here come the one, the only, THE GERMS!! On drums dressed in cub scout attire and a furry viking cap on was Mr. Don Bolles, he's a funny guy. Playing base the lovely Lorna Doom, who was outside on several occasions I just didn't know it was her. To be honest, she looked kind of like a high school teacher, but I got to tell you when she strapped that bass on-what is she 50 something?-I'd hit that. On guitar the one and only Pat Smear who gained more notoriety in the mid to late 90's when he played guitar in Nirvana for their In Utero tour and then with the Foo Fighters. And taking the place of Darby Crash, is Shane West-sporting a mo hawk and a glove on one hand that he said was “in memory of Micheal Jackson”. Shane West starred as Darby in the biopic of the Germs titled “What we do is secret”. The band members were so impressed with his portrayal that they decided to have him be the front man and reform the Germs. Don't think I'm fooled. In 2002 my girlfriend at the time dragged me to see “A Walk to Remember” starring Shane West opposite Mandy Moore. So it could have gone one of two ways: I could have enjoyed a great punk rock show or I could have made fun of this guy for an entire passage.

As soon as the first chord was strummed complete hell broke lose at 212 E Houston Street. I usually mean that in a figurative sense-as in the atmosphere, head nodding, etc. This time when I say hell broke loose I mean I'm physically bruised from the hardcore moshing and dudes jumping on stage and attempting to stage dive. I'm right in front, I'm getting pushed into other people constantly while trying to hold my camera steady because I was taking really long videos. I think Pat was trying to knock my camera out of my hand with his head stock, he was whaling away. Pat Smear,
definitely under-appreciated punk rock guitarist. He uses one switch, no pedals. The overall way he controls the sound of each song with how powerful his playing is. The riffs bleeding through the amps in unison with Shanye West's (He called himself Shanye- yes like Kanye)

rambling aggressive lyrics and style. He was nuts. He fell
off stage at one point I may have it on video, he had the Henry Rollins lean into the crowd thing going. He spilled water on us. Like I said before he was once Landon Carter and now he's Darby Crash. There were three main people that really kept the mosh going. I'm not even sure if it's a mosh it was just like a couple dudes bouncing off each other and slipping on the wet floor. Everything was with reckless abandonment except when one of them fell to the floor-that was when they were brought back to their feet quickly by their fellow moshers. But one of these dudes got on stage, sang some lyrics into the mic with Shanye, dived off stage and was caught by people, and then tumbled off of that crowd and landed into vacant space on the floor-trust me he hit the deck hard. But hey man, we're at a punk rock show this kicks ass. You could see Lorna smiling when she sees this, as if she's proud that there's still some people who know how to have fun. I mean, I'm bruised up, got poked in the eye, slapped in the face and my hair pulled and I was NOT participating-I wonder what these dudes will feel like in the morning. No one fought, people even lit up cigarettes and no one cared. They played every song in their catalog in about a hour, they went off stage 11:43pm. Such a fun time, so hard rocking. So punk, so.. well so friggin Germs!! amazing.

Keep checking back in the next couple of days as I will have added some videos to this. Thanks to everyone who gives a crap. Next stop is the Borgata in Atlantic City- Stone Temple Pilots with the Meat Puppets opening! going to be insane

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Concert Review: Meat Puppets! 2nd of two nights @ Mercury Lounge 6.12.09

Back so soon? Of course you are. Who would miss the fifteenth edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series? Especially when we're back at the Mercury Lounge, to date the best place in the city I've been to for seeing a rock concert. The first opener is different from last night, as tonight we will be hearing a band called “Dynasty Electric” along with Retribution Gospel Choir and the almighty Meat Puppets. Last night I got there early and TK Webb and the Visions went on at 8:30, so for tonight I caught the 8:30 ferry into the city and figure for once in my life I'll be the guy who only shows up for the headliner, like the rest of those people- I mean come on now I've had to go to my actual job before and morning after both these shows-I'm a little tired. So I had planned to miss “Dynasty Electric”.

I roll up to this place at 9:15 and there's the same amount of people in this place as there were last night 2 hours prior. So I go outside and check the little chalk board to see the times. Dynasty Electric at 9:30, then RGC at 10:30 and the Meat Puppets at 11:30. Then as I'm walking back in Cris Kirkwood passes by and pats me on the back and is like “both nights, sweet” and I'm thinking wow this dude remembers me, how cool is that. Well anyway back to things, I get to see this band after all. I look on stage and I see three things-one stand that looks like a keyboard with an antenna on it. Weird. They also had another thing that looked like a keyboard but wasn't. It just made sounds I believe. And last but not least they have a guitar player. He's the only person on stage-equipped with his guitar that is hooked up to his Mac Book Pro. One guy on stage and a bunch of machines AND a computer. I turn to the dude next to me randomly(as I'm known to do) and said “wow a macbook pro? We're in for a long night”. It gained a slight chuckle. Then this totally drunk chick crawls on stage puts her bag behind some equipment and crawls over to a couple of people a few feet from me and says “Ted-the drummer in the Meat Puppets. He's my friend”. When she starts messing with the machines I'm like, looking to see if security is on their way in when I that she was dressed a little too sluttly (sexy) to just be in the crowd. She, being Jennifer DeVeau was the other half, and lead singer of Dynasty Electric( she actually started her career touring the UK as a teenager with her all-girl Beatle-cover band “Girl”). She steps up to that weird looking keyboard antenna thing. It's a freaking THEREMIN. You know what that is? Google it, it's cool-you move your hands near it and it creates like sound effects from the waves or some shit. And it's tricked out with effects pedals and all. The Mac is for the techno sounding beats that they use in there songs. When I said that an older guy said “Nah, it's really just like 80's new wave”. Great, that's like permission for me to enjoy them. It was a really interesting cool sound. Kind of electronica but when the guitar player all of a sudden pulled out a saxophone and started whaling on it the crowd if it wasn't already was won over. And DeVeau was definitely hot. She was all over the stage. She stood on the table that the amps where on if front of me and literally it was wild man. My face to face with a vagina in the tightest pants ever. I heard Ted is the one who got her in on this gig. A freaking Theremin, now there's something I haven't seen live before or even heard of before.  Could have sworn they played Shocking Blue's "Venus" before they went off. Good set.

I go out to smoke a cigarette and I'm standing on the sidewalk and Cris sees me again and walks over and I'm like “That band was pretty cool- no?” and Cris says something to the effect of “Yea they are. She's(referring to a friend of Ted's) is. See the thing is, Ted has no game with the girls-they're both from here so they end up on the bill”. I was almost pissing my pants, you never get the honest answer you know?. I was saying how much I love the venue and he says “man there's something about the city-I'm from the fucking desert man” and I said how I'd never experienced life like, living outside of the 5 boroughs and he's like “Yea like I can't even imagine it. So much goin on all the time. It's like the opposite for me." Someone had mentioned that they saw a picture of him hanging out with the dudes from Ween from this afternoon when the Pups played an afternoon show in Philly before tonights show. He's like "Wait a minute-from like this afternoon? they're on the internet already?  then says "that's crazy man the world went and got itself in a hurry”- and did the funny voice as he continued quoting Brooks from 'Shawshank Redemption'. Then of course some guy gets out of a cab, another fan and starts saying stuff like “man Cris I'm so glad to see that you're all better and stuff. And he also mentioned how he's a lawyer and he was looking into Cris's case when he went to jail and didn't take it or something. Not for nothing, we're out here having fun-does the first thing out of everyone's mouth have to try and remind the guy of a part of his life that's behind him. Funny story though, Cris says “When I was sitting in prison a friend of mine, this girl, had like a shitload of coffee mugs made up that said 'FREE CRIS' on them. She was trying to raise money-I mean, I know your hearts in the right place and everything but I don't exactly think the feds are saying wow look at these great cups, open the gates.” After that the merch clerk, same as last night, very nice guy(name's Dennis, does WAY more than sell tee shirts); comes over with someone and says “Cris this guy is a huge fan, and one of NY's Finest.” Then the laywer dude is like “wow man , you could have been of use a few years ago” and then Cris's eye's widen as he says “Yea you could say that again”. Then Cris's phone rings and he picks it up but doesn't leave the circle like so I say to the dude next to me who just got his CD autographed(and help with getting me another signed ticket stub with his sharpie), I'm like “Can you believe we're standing on the street having discussion with Cris fucking Kirkwood?”and I said it as if I didn't meet him in December which I did, because I didn't want this dude thinking that he wasn't exclusive-he was loving it. The crowd disbands leaving just me and Cris and I didn't want to keep him any longer so I said “ight man, I'm gonna catch you in there-rock on” and he's like “Yea I gotta head in anyway, I have to say hi to Ted's mom” then he surprises me. Cris says as he puts his hand out of a shake “yea man see you inside-it's Jay right?” and I was like “Yea it's Jay like the letter” and then we both headed inside. He knows my name. Great stuff.

Redemption Gospel choir were already on when I walked in, and they were a lot more hard rocking tonight. They didn't do anything differently it was just having heard the songs already I don't have to study them; I can enjoy. And I did. They had changed from the all black suit attire from the night to differing colored suits. Cris had said that they're drummer was going to come on stage and sing on a song with them during their set. I noticed he does sing some light harmony. They did the same sample of songs from last night and headed off stage at 11:15.

The Meat Puppets! Every time I see them about 10 minutes before they come on I start turning to everyone around me saying things like “Wow this is so fucking cool” or “I hope they play Attacked by Monsters”. They hit the stage at 12:01 AM; after midnight, now I feel like I'm at an actual rock concert. The Grateful Dead used to start show's at midnight and play til 8AM, damn do I wish that would be the case tonight. Bands don't do things like that anymore, but in reality they rocked harder then they did the night before. Last night almost seems like a test drive compared to tonight, being they played a similar set of songs with a few exceptions. The drift off solo's during songs were absolutely epic. The version of “Up on the Sun”(I clocked that version at 13 minutes at least) with Alan Sparhawk again coming out to play it with them and they also covered a song that, to be honest was so filled with heavy riffing feedback driven guitars that I have the slightest clue what it was. Eric Pollard, the drummer from RGC sang on Plateau with them, but only did the chorus parts-sort of like singing harmony. When the RGC boys headed off stage I tapped Eric's shoulder and said to him “man, welcome to the greatest day of your life!”. It had to be an experience for them, not only touring but sharing a stage with the brothers Meat. “Aura Borialis” was great, I love that damn song man. They played it last night as well, I'm not sure if I had it down Cris's vocals on “Station” (Curt makes him sing that one) were better sounding then last night, I think they added more monitors in his vocals because the harmonies were different sounding also. And I gotta tell you I can't get that song “Rotten Shame” out of my head, it sounds like a throwback Puppets song when it's on the latest record. Then the fastest, hardest version of Lake of Fire to date-Curt always fools the crowd like-he starts this really sweet melodic couple of chords and you're trying to figure what song its going to be then out of no where it's Lake of Fire. Meat Puppets show's are indescribable so pardon me if begin to lack adjectives after these two crazy nights. They ran off stage after that(with me getting the sole hand shake from Cris on the way off stage (I'm telling you we are total BFF now) and everyone was wondering if they were coming back out-everyone turning to me asking me if they came out for an encore last night and the answer was no they didn't-but last night they played Backwater and now they're off stage without playing it. Don't worry, here they come after about 10 minutes get up on stage and play “Backwater” like a millisecond slower version. The rhythm section was slower pace but Curt was going full force. Absolutely just played the shit out of that Strat to end they officially went off stage at 1:35AM. Unbelievable, the Meat Puppets once again fail to disappoint.

What a show-what a two night Meat-fest. That was really cool to do that, the same band back to back nights, but it worked out to be really cool and something I will definitely do again. Next up on the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series calender is.... well, I don't currently have tickets but I would love to know if anyone has any ideas. E-Mail me if anything, thanks everyone who read-it shouldn't be long before something else pops up. Late!


In the following weeks, a blog comment of mine on the Meat Puppets MySpace blOg was replied to, by the Pups, it reads:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

Jay Pork was on it June 11-12. He skipped the Yanks-Mets series, trekked off of Staten Island, caught back to back killer sets at the Mercury Lounge.

Get this Jay, we're headed back to NYC, Nov 25th, this time, at the Bowery."

That blog titled "Summerfest Notes" can be viewed at


Friday, June 12, 2009

Meat Puppets!! @ Mercury Lounge- Concert Review 06/11/09

I'm telling you, it'll never get old I'd like to welcome all of you to the fourteenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight brings us to the Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston st in NYC. The bands: Who else? THE MEAT PUPPETS!!!! The opening acts for tonight are “Retribution Gospel Choir” and “TK Webb and the Visions”. Doors are due to open at 7:30, just about the time I show up.

The Mercury Lounge-this one is new to me. I've never attended a show there so I was eager to see how many people this place holds. Remember the last show I was at I was with about 15,000 other people. So I pass by this bar, and notice someone that looks like Cris Kirkwood. Wow, it is Cris Kirkwood; and that's not a bar that's the venue. Cris was talking to like 3 fans and I already had his autograph and met him at the Williamsburg show so I' decided not to interfere and be 'that' guy. “Hey remember me!”-Definitely wasn't going to make a fool out of myself there. Anyway back to this cool venue. The place holds 250 people(I didn't count I got it from the website). I swear it looked like, for lack of a better term, the size of your living room like doubled. The ceiling is like not much over 10-12 feet high(don't quote me on these exact measurements please) and the stage was about 3 feet off the ground. The stage, has no exit or entrance to it. The way to get up there to climb up(step up) or there's like 3 steps on the far right side(left if you're on stage. It was like a bar with a stage with a rocking band coming on at 10:30. There was almost no one in there for the openers, and the place was still almost full. You could tell right there it was going to be a great night-the couple of people I spoke to felt the same. The merch table was right at the front door and me and someone else were scouting it out waiting to see what they'd have. The guy comes and he's got a few XXL's left with another box coming for tomorrow night's show (good news then I can get another one)and CD's. I get a shirt and the new album, which I had since it came out-I figured I'd give money to my artist as oppose to no body. So we get the CD's and the clerk tells us to open up the plastic because there's some cool artwork in there, which there was along with lyrics and linear notes all that cool album stuff that has gone away from the mainstream world. Then the guy says “You know I can get these signed for you” takes our names down and holds on to the albums (and our stuff as if it was coat check. He didn't have to do that-nice guy) til after the show. Awesome. Getting autographed CD's for supporting my artists. I wasn't going to buy the album in the store-I got it autographed for 12 bucks. Can you beat it? Maybe we should get to the show

At like 8:40 “TK Webb & The Visions” hit the stage. They had a keyboard next to the second guitarist-he was alternating at times. Excuse me while I roll my eyes. I would have given them more respect had I know they hail from Brooklyn, but they just didn't really do it for me. Kind of sound like they grew up worshiping Dinosaur Jr(I think the second guitarist/keyboard player was wearing a Dino “Green Mind” tee shirt). Not that it would be a bad thing but there was this sort of folk fused into almost psychedelic rock. Almost; I mean they weren't terrible-the lead singer/guitarist actually cracked a few jokes in between songs when it was absolute silence. He says something to the effect of “none of you know each other? Talk to each other or something” while they're tuning for the next song he says to the dude standing next to me who I was hanging with most of the night who turned around for a split second he goes “no man-please don't go”. Funny stuff. I'm almost certain that they have a Myspace page you can check out, they were bearable. They went off at 9:15 promptly.

So straddling the lines of 9:40, out to the stage comes Retribution Gospel Choir hailing from Duluth, Minnesota(that's what it says on their Myspace page). Get it? “I knew a lady who came drum Duluth-bit by a dog with a rabbit tooth”? That's kind of a cool coincidence. As for the music they were much louder then the TK, though they only had a tree man band. Great guitarist-in a technical sense. He held his own with the effects pedals. They were wearing black slacks, black button downs and black ties; the drummer had a white tie. Total opposite look then the band previous. Like I said they were louder and a little heavier but the music itself didn't differ much. These bands are all trying to do some sort of sub genre of psychedelic rock. Some of there riffs had me in head nod mode; they kind of rocked. We'll see more of there lead singer/guitarist during the next set.

The main event!! THE MEAT PUPPETS!!!!! They hit the stage a little after 10:30(Curt in pajama pants-hey, gotta be comfortable right? and the blast off begins. They opened with their title track from the new album “Sewn Together” which was a blessing to hear. Finally a band that I love came out with a brand new great album and I'm seeing them on the supporting tour. I had said before the set that I hoped they played “Touchdown King” and they got into that 2nd. I was loving life a this time. When you love songs coming out of speakers in your car, headphones etc. it's a whole different experience. Next was another song off the new record-one of my favorites-'Blanket of Weeds”. And do I even need to mention how almost every song is dragged out a few

extra minutes with amazing solo's that at times get so far away from the song that you think it's the next song and then Curt winds it back into the song. He sews it together I guess (cheesy, but couldn't avoid it). After they got into “The Monkey and the snake” and a great version
(take it, this is my third time seeing them) “Commin' Down” it was time for some stuff off their second record. “Oh me” followed by “Plateau” had myself and the whole crowd going nuts-including Curt, who was unusually in a good mood. He was having fun, they were jamming. Cris is over there in his own little world jumping around in total rock out fashion. He's hilarious. Suddenly a drumstick comes flying into the hands of the dude who has now become my buddy throughout this night. Ted must have mishandled it but he didn't miss a beat there were spares to his side. Lets go “Up on the sun”. Such a great song, this is the song where the dude from Retribution Gospel Choir comes out mid song to add and extra layer of guitar-totally cool. Like I said, that dude was really technically sound, and he was Up on the sun with us(only did the last half of that song and went away). I mention it every time I get back from a Meat Puppets show-its like a trip, an experience, a mind altering substance. Sometimes we blast off to outer space and tonight leaving the venue I was still up on the sun. “Rotten Shame”, another one off the new record and then one of my favorites “Station” in which before they started Curt says

“Cris you're singing on this one” and Cris proceeded to leas vocals on that-which was cool. I have some close up shots of Curt going nuts on his Strat that I'll post here soon. End the night rock star style with the best of the bunch I order “Look at the rain” (the place was pandemonium at this point) the everyone's favorite “Lake of Fire” for what felt like 20 minutes and closed down the first of two nights with “Backwater”. After the song Curt said goodnight and dropped his guitar down by the amp leaving a never ending trail of feedback through the place as the light came on and everyone exited.

So I got my autographed copy of Sewn Together for $12! And even more important, what an amazing show. And what's even better then that is that I'll be back at the same place tomorrow with the same band! Only difference is that the 8:30 band is not TK and etc. Alright glad I could try and bring this experience to you, and thanks for reading and of course you know if there is a good show in my area you want reviewed send me there-e-mail me @ . Late

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails @ PNC Bank Arts center June 6th!

So here we are are for the thirteenth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. We had a little hiccup on my way to the 'Cake' show that lets just say left me missing the show and plus a desk appearance ticket. Anyway, this one is special. Special because we kicked out the jams on the 2nd annual Jay Porks SUMMER Concert Series, and what a place to begin. PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, NJ-what a venue. I love this place. The whole atmosphere, it's a great place to see a concert. It plays intimate for it's 17,500 people capacity. The bands performing tonight: Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction. Street Sweeper Social club(Tom Morello's like 73rd side project) opened, but the group I was with-we were all in the parking lot enjoying cold beers and friendly conversation with what looked to be the rest of the crowd. When you buy tickets to show at PNC first thing you think of is “Will we be allowed to tailgate in the parking lot?” and when we showed up and were directed to park on a lawn in Lot 9- I noticed tons of red cups. Beer is good to go.

While hanging out (drinking a Shaffer-now that is some horrible beer right there) we encounter a group of some friends and there we are in full posse mode. Got to love posse mode; I mean, I'm used to being by myself and latching on to people for small fragments of time during a night, but now I'm surrounded with people who actually AREN'T trying to get the hell away from the weird kid taking notes.

We eventually make our way from Lot 9 up to the actual parking lot. See, we're actually parked on grass on the side of the highway seemingly. So we get to the other half of our posse and the good news is they're waiting on a cooler full of beer being rolled up the lot from another car. Hello Heineken Light, thanks for showing up. While we're standing around drinking beers, smoking pot(Well, at least I was smoking pot) something happens. Hard to describe, but have you ever seen word of mouth traveling through a crowd of people? Like, thousands of us in the parking lot, and word from the row ahead of us was that Nine Inch Nails was going on at 8:15pm as oppose to the slightly before 10pm slot where the headliner would be. So all of a sudden, a pregame adjustment moves this to a Jane's Addiction show. Which would lead you to believe that people would start heading in. But when that Nine Inch Nails going on at 8:15 news broke-first instinct was “alright, plenty of time to have another beer” as oppose to “lets hurry in to see NIN” and as I looked around the same sentiment seemed to be the common denominator in everybody. A lot of people psyched for Jane's Addiction- I was excited. It was going to be complete ruckus in there. Was suppose to be anyway.

I was walking up the steps as I heard the sounds of Trent Reznor and his machinery already playing. So I guessed we missed Street Sweeper Social Club. No but seriously I was surprised that Reznor had a band with him, but he did. And he had a guitar hanging off him, but I didn't see him play it much. There were two stands set up in front of him that appeared to be keyboards but were actually just soundboards. I swear the dude was rocking out sounding like an 1800's assembly line in a hollow factory. So I'm waiting for them to play like the three or four songs I actually like by Nine Inch Nails and I look around and everyone else is sort of doing the same. People are more hanging out, running errands at this time. During NIN's set is when I bought my Jane's Addiction tee shirt for $35 (yea we're back to big business rock and roll for this show) and a $9 Coor Light. I paid nine dollars for beer that tastes like they poured water in it. You noticing that Nine Inch Nails really isn't gaining much of my attention. Play the songs I know already. The crowd was pitiful, can we get some life in here? Or out here I should say. It took until 9:30 for them to play “The hand that feeds” and then the last song they got into was “Hurt”, which was a really like, low-boring version of it. Come on man you have like 15 thousand deep can you do me a favor and put on a better set then that next time? And it was 9:44 so that was their last song of the evening. So lets get this straight: Nine Inch Nails did not play “Closer”, they're best song to date. How do you not play that? That's like if the Meat Puppets didn't play “Lake of Fire” at a show. Are you kidding me? The crowd (the posse I'm in included) got into those last two songs but overall I don't know if I was more disappointed with the lackadaisical crowd or lackadaisical set by Trent Reznor and his machines. I had previously heard various reports that he has crazy light schemes and just puts on a great show. I just didn't see any of that tonight.

At 10:02 we're talking bout heading to the bathroom when all of a sudden Jane's Addiction hits the stage-and that's when we (Pam, Renee and I) dart towards the front of the lawn and rock out for about half the set over there. I need to state one thing right now. Dave Navarro can play that guitar a little bit. Wow man, every single song my rocking out was interrupted by raw, loud, free flowing , absolute genius solos. Seriously it was like excuse me while I kiss the sky-I underestimated his skills. It was amazing how I didn't know he was that good, I've heard the records. I guess just seeing the quick, clean chord changes on the jumbo tron
(I don't think they actually call it jumbo tron I think its just a big screen) made me realize his ability. The lit cigarette placed between the nobs on the headstock-like a freaking rock star. He is a freaking rock star. Too bad he didn't bring any porn stars with him. He's probably as good as Slash-well, maybe not but he's damn well close

Perry Farrell's stage presence is amazing. He is exactly what Scott Wieland tries to be. Only difference is: Perry keeps it together. Was he on a lot of heroin tonight? Most likely. Did he even falter at any point during the night? Absolutely Not. He did his whole schtick, air guitar next to Navarro, jumping on speakers the whole thing. Wearing a tie without a shirt on-just classic stuff. Sure Farrell is older, but hasn't lost a step.He's been criticized for being one of those guys who thinks he invented music. I got to tell you they invented something tonight. That shit was rocking. You would think Nine Inch Nails would have been a lot louder and harder then Jane's Addiction but it was the total opposite. As we're rocking out having a ball, it's noticed that the audience, other then a few head nods in unison wasn't really into it as much as we would have expected. I though everyone would be going nuts like me-jumping around screaming lyrics having fun. All I see is a sea of macho Jersey boys raising lighters waiting for Phish to come to town, give me a break. I'm in utter disbelief of the stagnancy of these people. We're at a rock concert for crying out loud.

ducked off stage at about 11 before coming out to encore and all that's going through my head is “I will riot if you don't play “Jane Says”. Well, finally the people that were still there got into it when they played “Stop” followed by, what else; “Jane Says”. It was freaking awesome. I can;t tell you how much fun I had. Great show. I can't believe Jane's Addiction ended up closing down the house. What a charming turn of events. The venue (besides the people and the prices) was great- let me have my camera in there and all that didn't bother anyone bout smoking pot-good friends. Good times. Good way to kick off the summer. I need to get out to PNC again this summer. I should add another picture or two in comming days-I'm having trouble with the screen capture as of this moment

Next up for us is the Meat Puppets June 11th AND 12th @ the Mercury Lounge somewhere in the city. And the answer is yes, I will be writing reviews for BOTH of the shows, the thursday and the friday. It' going to be insane. If anyone hears of anything you think I need to be up on then you need to E-mail me at Thanks for taking a few minutes with the Porkster, hope you didn't feel it was a waste of those minutes. See you June 11th!!!