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Friday, June 24, 2011

Dinosaur Jr, Henry Rollins, OFF! and Fucked Up..6/23/11 @Terminal 5

The 50th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series takes us back to the famed Terminal 5 (610 West 56th street 11th ave in NYC) to see a special Dinosaur Jr show tonight.. Well of course all Dinosaur Jr shows are special, but the band isn't really on a tour right now-they're playing a handful of dates, one of them happens to be tonight.. opening bands are 'Fucked Up' and 'OFF!' (a new Keith Morris outfit) along with another added treat as according to Brooklyn Vegan, Henry Rollins will be interviewing Dinosaur Jr live on stage. I've seen Dinosaur Jr twice before, once here on a bill with the Meat Puppets and Built to Spill and a crazy set at the Brooklyn Bowl that left me deafened..Been a while since I was this excited for a show.. anyway, the plan is to head straight out to the venue after a 4 o clock exit from the day job, with hopes of getting there around 6 and being on of the first few people on line-I need that spot along the railing on the third floor I had for PJ Harvey.. that spot was insane. Place is huge (capacity 3000+), so fingers crossed as we head out for the latest Jay Porks Experience..

So I showed up early enough where the doors were open but technically not open, as all of us who are here pre-6:30 are being shuffled up flights of steps to the roof top smoke deck thing to await the official 6:30 doors. "Early doors" is what they're calling that, I call it: “Instead of these kids flooding the street, lets flood them towards somewhere we can sell stuff”... So at about 635 event staffers begin to wave us in. As people dart passed me(one girl even busted her ass on the steps) racing for their lives to get down near the stage, I calmly walk myself over to the spot I've been dreaming of for weeks...and I got it. Third floor , left side along the railing WITH an ottoman pulled up that I'll sit on until this show gets on the road and inbetween sets. Look at all those schmucks down there squeezing in to try and get really really's Dinosaur Jr for christ sake, I'm going to be deaf from up here on the top floor.. so have fun hearing for the next month....saw a sign behind the bar that said "OFF!" goes on at 7:30, Fucked Up at 8:30, Henry Rollins will interview at 9:30, and Dinosaur Jr will go on at 10 playing 'Bug' in its entirety, hopefully along with some other hits..

Quick random question: playing "Bug" in it's entirety, why is the backdrop of the stage a picture of their latest album" Farm"? Maybe they're just going with that as the default thing.. As 7 rolls around I start to wonder how this interview is gonna go down, doesn't look like they left much room on stage..

“OFF!” is Keith Morris's latest vehicle (Circle Jerks/Black Flag)., and sticking with these speedy hardcore punk roots, OFF! has a set list 3 pages long, and they are running through songs at a ferocious pace. .. Like I wonder if any of these clock in over a minute.. Did anyone tell Keith that the dreads with the receding hairline is not a great look..he looks like a hobo I'd see on the train.. 56 years old and still gives off that angry at life with his music-I envy that.... There's a whole area of the floor section circled off with slam dancers... Jesus they are getting rowdy down there... They went off at 7:57.. Thanked us for coming out early repeated, and for all we know ran through 37 songs in the last 25 minutes. Awesome.

“Fucked Up” hails from Toronto, and they've been much the buzz every time they come to town.. plus, a former professor of mine Brian Cogan (Who's book you can purchase here ) says that Fucked Up is a “brilliant band with a great sense for the absurd”.. Well, I consider myself a fan of the absurd, but only NOW I get the full meaning of the word.. Fucked Up gave us a three guitar onslaught of heavy riffs topped off with a gigantic jolly front man who isn't afraid to take his shirt off..first song in he's in the crowd.. he's screaming these lyrics as the microphone cord is like endless feet long so this dude just walks through the crowd hugging members of the pit..And it's not like he got back on stage any time soon...the bass player is a chick,which always peaks interest of mine.. Nice little bass player cleavage... This band is pretty odd..and pretty cool.. Over thick, raspy screamed lyrics the other members of the band provide a little vocal harmony... it's like a lot of these acts labeled “hardcore punk”.. it's an interesting sound if there wasn't all the screaming.. still a band I'd recommend.. I guess this is how they do things in Toronto, eh?

So I need to bring this up, and I really don't care if this person reads it or not ( every time I mention a random fan in a blog they find me).. In-between Fucked Up and Dino, there was this girl who tapped me on the shoulder and said "excuse me, can I like sit on the floor in front of you.. like down there?(pointing to the spot) You can kick me if you want.".. First off, I've been here in this same spot since 630, now you wanna come and sit in front of me so you can see? I got up for work today at 9AM, came straight from there in my dorky white button down shirt and took a bus to a train to a ferry to a train and walked 10 blocks just to get THIS spot. I would love if you didn't come and try and Bogart that .. How bout you get here early enough to grab some prime real estate?.. Furthermore, let me get all male chauvinist pig here(I am Porks after all) for a second- Note to ANY girls in the future who want to tap me on the shoulder and ask me for something at a show, you better have something to bring to the table.. A make out at least.. something! Don't use that "I'm a girl" bullshit to get whatever you want, this isn't the 40's anymore- we're all equal here.. That said, my reply to her was "Do what you want"..

Safe to say I went hoping Rollins can squeeze in a few minutes of his humorous spoken word stuff that I missed out on March 2010..So about 9:30 they set up four chairs on stage as we wait for this interview to go down.. About 9:45, Henry Rollins came out to a resounding ovation-now all of a sudden this place is packed.. Instead of transcribing the interview and give my two cents, you can view the video at this link: ( )

We were all set up when the interview ended, so the band headed off to return in a few minutes- and at around 10:15 they hit the stage.. J Mascis says playing "Bug" straight through the last few nights was "a little weird", so they kicked off the set with "In A Jar" and "Off the Wagon".. Absolutely electric-and not just due to the fact they're plugged in. For the first time ever, I'm getting to hear JM's vocals; previous two times I saw them I was inches away and I couldn't hear a damn thing, I figured it was customary for them with the noise they me a good two floors up it's all sounding so crystal clear to me now- this is incredible..

"Freak Scene" and the rest of the tunes as we got through "Bug" put some insane guitar work on display by our platinum haired compadre downstairs.. His pedal board looks like something out of Star Trek, colors and buttons everywhere.. And a light show, who knew? Green and purple beams bounce off the walls and crowd.. And as I look around I think to myself: " I was lucky enough to accidentally be introduced to Dino Jr a few years back that's how I know them.... how are all these 17 year old kids chapter and verse on a record that came out in 1988?" The first song of the encore I didn't recognize, but the room did.. I taped it I'll find out..

Towards the end of the set songs got more and more intense.. For the last song on the album "Don't", We had a guest screamer on the mic.. See, bassist Lou Barlow blew his voice box out while cutting the track for the album- and he says he did the same first night of this tour, so they enlisted a fan (With a stellar afro) to come up and sing clocked over ten minutes as it was about 11:15 when they went off for the encore..

They came back out a few minutes later and played a song before "Feel the Pain" started playing and my camera was tapped out of battery.. so I started to head closer to an exit, maybe check some other views of the room to finish off this set.. It's gonna take me 4 songs to get outta this place anyway... 1st floor was terrible, as on stage Dino invited the lead singer of "Fucked Up" out to help them finish off the last song of the evening-which wasn't "Just Like Heaven", much to my chagrin...

Love to get my money's worth, especially on our 50th installment.. fun night, plus that fact that I caught all the trains and boats with good timing on the way home, so I can queue up all this video to upload tonight... Sweet times... Thanks for hanging out for a few, and stay tuned..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Joe Budden @Irving Plaza 6/17/2011

I always wondered what it would be like when I saw that show I was extremely unfulfilled with. I've never left a show thinking “I'm gonna trash the sh*t out of this thing”.. Well, let me try not to give away the ending here as the 49th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending concert series is sort of a continuation from where we left off last time. A few weeks ago we endured Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5'9'', Crooked I) at SOB's in the city. Tonight is the alleged main event, as Joe Budden headlines Irving Plaza in Union Square. We came to these tickets like this, have you ever tried to set yourself up for a good birthday present? Well, that's what I tried to do as this was my representation for my friend Chach's birthday present, in hopes that when December rolls around they'll be some awesome show I'll get bought in to. And as previously mentioned here, Joe Budden's music and the ears of Jay Porks usually get along very well.

Before we left for the city, I had tweeted something like “never been so unenthusiastic headed to a show before” and tagged Joe Budden in it, not thinking anything of it. What happened after that is completely out of my hands as sh*t got real and all of a sudden I had a way more powerful voice that I thought I did. So Joe Budden decides to tweet back at me, asking me why I paid for tickets if I'm not enthused. Here's the back and forth via twitter:

-Jay Porks: me and @oneshotchach headed out to this @JoeBudden show with LOW expectations... I don't remember being this unenthusiastic for a show b4.

-JoeBudden: @JayPorks then y exactly are yall paying to come ?

-Jay Porks: @JoeBudden It's this little thing fans do. You know, where they like your music and come out to show support...

-Joe Budden: @JayPorks u ever been to 1 of my shows ?

-Jay Porks: @JoeBudden 2night's the 1st time I get the exclusive Joe showcase.. was at SOB's a few weeks ago. I wrote this:

-Joe Budden: @JayPorks I read that b4.. All of it leads me to ask.. Y so unenthused about tonight ?

-Jay Porks: @JoeBudden If I had more than 140 characters, I'd have added "unenthusiastic due to in-climate weather and a trek from Staten"

First of all I'd like to thank Joe for walking directly into my trap by being so annoyed by my lack of enthusiasm he felt the need to Re-tweet(RT) it to all of his almost 296,000 followers. And I owe dude another thank you, as it was the perfect lead in to link him up to the review I wrote of the Slaughterhouse show. And of course the key line in all of this being “I read that b4”, now that is awesome-an admitted fan of my work... By the time all this is going down I still haven't left my house, I'm up like 10 Twitter followers-the 'mentions' are out of control. NOW this night just got interesting. Too bad this would be the peak of this evenings surprises.

Me and Chach aren't pulling any punches-we showed up after 9 (doors opened at 8:30).. last Hip Hop show I attended I sat through 27 opening acts before my headliner did a whole 40 minutes give or take; was not taking that chance this time. I've heard stories about (and could've sworn I read tweets directly from the horses mouth about) three hour Joe Budden sets. Which I wouldn't mind-just would like to skip the additional 2 hours of standing before that. Irving Plaza, much like a lot of these NYC venues, if you're not one of the first 15 people on the line and you don't get a spot up against the stage-your standing place is going to suck balls anyway if you're under 6 foot 2, so why rush there in the rain. And besides if doors don't open til 8:30, I don't expect to see this dude hit the stage pre-10:30.

Like I said it was after 9 when we walked in, and there on stage is a funny dude known as “Low Key” (Twitter @LowKeyUHTN) who is serving as the MC for the evening before the acts hit the stage. They're spinning records, getting the crowd pumped and all that. It feels like a “club” in here, and it's PACKED. People are already out the doors into the hallways packing into every inch of this place. The most full I've ever seen a place that wasn't listed as “Sold Out” . And wait a second, there is an opener who is yet to go on stage, his name is Drue Hudson (I was calling him Dru Holiday all night, but Chach had to inform me I was thinking of a basketball player). Anyway he came on and played from 10PM to 10:10PM.. not a typo, that's ten minutes and promptly after that Low Key handed off the mic to someone who said he was going to be our MC for the remainder of the evening, his name is “Killa BH” of “Is it the Shoes?” fame.. Joe Budden walked onto the stage at about 10:20, maybe a tad after, and jumped right into things with a song called “Real Estate” followed by a TEASE of a song called “Walk With Me” off his only major label release. What I mean by tease, is that the beat was played, everyone got excited and then as soon as it was time for the lyrics to kick it they flipped to another song immediately. There were a lot of times tonight I felt as if I was listening to HOT97 or something the way a beat would be teased only to not hear the song. How is that gratifying at all? And throughout the night the same “time killing” non sense would go down as it did at SOB's a few weeks ago. We have fans being invited up on stage to see if they can rap the verses from a random Joe Budden song they throw on. First fan killed it on a song called “Calm Down”, completely nailed it. He won himself a free “Joe Budden related” tattoo from Joe's personal tattoo artist. But that sucks, because that's one of my favorites and another from that first(only) record that we're now obviously not going to experience for real tonight. And not to say there weren't full songs played(or almost full), because there were like: “Downfall”, “Side Tracked”, “Black Cloud” and inbetween there his biggest hit to date “Pump it up” was played about mid way through the set.

Am I missing something here? Think about this for a second, the artist I'm here to see has ONE album that you can buy in a store-the rest of his work has come on mixtapes. I mean, Pump it Up is not one of my favorites at all, but it's his highest charting single, I would think that you save that song for close to the end, no? I know artists don't like to be defined by one song, or one album of their career-but with such scarce depth of songs to reach too,don't you think you should spend, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes of this set and run though some of that for us really quick? Maybe play “Stand Up Nucca”, “Calm Down” or even “10 Minutes”-just to bring the night full circle you know. Promote all the new material too, but damn man I'd kill for a classic right now as I hear you accapella your verse from “Microphone” or a piece of “Never Sober Up”.. And as the night moves on, I keep hearing Joe say how “We're pressed for time here tonight”... WHAT? It's Friday night in New York City at a real deal concert venue and we're already hinting about an early exit? At least add some commentary to that like “the VENUE is giving us a ceiling on time” or something. Especially when I've seen plenty of bands like Mudhoney and the Meat Puppets play into the 1AM hour and we're dropping curfew hints at 11:23? This is making me feel like Esther Baxter isn't the only one with the “So what? attitude/coming off arrogant” to quote a line from “Ordinary Love Shit Part 3”, which was actually one of tonight's highlights.

Coming up on midnight closing this set down, Emanny was brought out to do a song called “Dreamers” as me and Chach decided it was time to see if we can catch that 12:30 ferry(which we didn't) and got the hell out of there. So after being interrogated over Twitter and in not so many words being dared not to be blown away by this show-I walk away unblown, and my back is freaking killing me. I mean I've been to over 50 concerts, if any artists I'm going to see need tips on how to make a set list out or something, just send me over an email I'm always here to help. Had more fun at SOB's than I did at this show-more intimate, more interesting, more energized...They say don't knock it til you try it, well....Knock Knock.