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Monday, October 24, 2011

Weird Al Yankovic Rocks the Beacon Theater 10/23/11

If the purchase of these tickets didn't give way the fact that aside from music played at high volume with guitars I'm an avid fan of comedy, well there it is. And Music, Comedy AND seats? How could the 57th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series land us anywhere but the Beacon Theater tonight to witness Weird Al Yankovic on the Apocalypse tour? How can you pass up a night of parodied hits? Wouldn't be able to live with myself starring at that Amish Paradise CD that sits on my shelf.. Doors are at 6pm and the show is at 7pm. I was sent an email from "Madison Square Garden Events" (MSG owns the Beacon) with the 'show info'. Whenever I look up set times online they're never right- but since they specifically sent me this email alerting me that there's no opening act and the show starts at 7, I'll try my hand at slipping out of work early(if not for any reason but to hang Meat Puppets “Lollipop” posters up in Manhattan and on the ferry before I get in... This should be fun times- I never been to the Beacon before- let's pop this venues cherry...

So walking in at 6, I was greeted at least three times on my way in. "Hello sir, Welcome to the Beacon". Usually it's like 'sir let's pat you down then talk'- I didn't even get searched, and I got this big roll of scotch tape hanging out of my pocket. Anyway, so I stood by the door to my seat (Loge seating), and even tho I'm inside- the "house " doors don't open til 6:30..

This place is vintage, much like"Town Hall" except bigger ..Got my eye on that Jack Daniels behind the bar before I head 'in'.

7:03 I'm making some observations here: No. 1 This place is half empty I really hope it fills out. And No.2 it's 7: 03 and the lights aren't even flickering on and off indicating that the show is started. If we're going on after 7, don't send me an email that says to be in my seat by 7 is all I'm saying. But gazing around,
I have to say this place is second to only Radio City Music Hall in classiness-I'm usually at dives like the Mercury Lounge or Gramercy.. I feel under dressed here (besides the kid outside with his parent wearing the "That's what she said" shirt on.

I got the shoulder tap during "Polka Face", the first song of the night. You have got to be freaking kidding me. I've seen video on YouTube from every Weird Al show, last I checked that was a choice made by the performer; and I didn't see any signs.

The evening went on.. With the various costume changes, I knew that the big video screen up there would be put to good use. With every wardrobe change brought us another humorous video, whether it was an old snippet from MTV with Weird Al "interviewing" the likes of Eminem, Jessica Simpson, Keith Richards, Celine Dion, etc. Or clips from old TV shows and movies where he's referenced or appeared (which was way more than I expected). Also a mock trailer for a bio pic titled “Weird”, in which I saw “Funny Or Die” in the credits-this guy gets around.

What's not comedy is the "Loge" section (under the balcony but a level up from the floor) being half empty. Not the first time my fellow New Yorkers have disappointed me.

Later on, a suited up Weird Al is rocking out to "Party in the CIA", then "CNR", a parody 'in the style' of the White Stripes, not a song specifically. It's hilarious, and about Match Game resident panelist Charles Nelson Reilly. I honestly found myself laughing out loud a number of times tonight.. "Canadian Idiot"? Now that's comedy. I seriously would've tweeted out an “LOL” like a 5 year old if my phone wasn't dying by that time..

At some points the videos would set up the songs, like from the Simpsons when Homer (portrayed as a Kurt Cobian-like character in this specific episode) says "he who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life". That's when I took another stab at recording, with "Smells like Nirvana". It was early at this point, figured I had a few more warning taps before this staffer starting getting serious. So I was able to get it. I mean what's this guy gonna do, throw me out?

I'm not a fan of mashing a bunch of songs into one, which is the only "on stage" occurrence tonight I was disappointed with. We went from an 'Eye of the Tiger' parody called “Theme From Rocky XIII{Rye or the Kaiser}parody right into "Spam"(REM-Stand) into "My Bologna"(The Knack-My Sharona) into"Spiderman"(Billy Joel-Piano Man) into "Lasagna"-probably missing one or two there that I didn't catch, but each of those songs lasted no more than a verse and a chorus.

Then another run backstage and some new gear-this time a tight red leather jacket for "Eat It"(Micheal Jackson-Beat It) then the lights go down again and some more video is shown, leading us into the title track from the only Weird Al Yankovic record I have- Amish Paradise(Coolio-Gangsters Paradise, coincidentally I also have the Coolio album that song is on). With the music video in the background, and the crowd going wild- I had to make another attempt at recording..

Then after another round of the lights going down, the band came out to perform "Craigslist" (Doors Parody).. I gotta say Weird Al was in"channel" mode up there doing his Jim Morrison , with the jerky movements and looking like he's sobbing into the microphone. Then Al runs off stage and comes back out in a peacock outfit(with long wings and everything) as they played "Perform this Way"(Lady Gaga-Born This Way).. A song later he introduced the band, who jammed out for like 2 mins after Al introduced them.. Said goodnight- it was about 9..

Lights are off, crowd is chanting "We want more! We want more!".. I've seen chants for encores before but I think this is the first time everyone in a venue agreed to a common phrase..usually it's just walls of noise til they come out. Encore? Weird Al? I'm not too sure about that one..

And I wasn't- because they did come out for a few more. Here comes the Segway! We're getting "White N' Nerdy" up in here, and it's awesome( if I said I tried to tape it and got tapped on the shoulder again by that same guy would I be getting repetitive? Buddy, what don't you get? You should Google search "Social Media" you waste of life.. I don't get why these guys just can't look the other way-people are trying to run (and contribute to) websites here!). Then he changed into a fat suit for "Fat"(Micheal Jackson-Bad) before it became Star Wars time, ending the night with "Yoda" at 9:18..

I left this show a little more fulfilled then I thought I would. But I needed answers, on my way out the door, so I found the staff guy who kept tapping me telling me to stop taking video. I wasn't an asshole about it(like I would normally be), I just said “hey man I didn't see any signs and I Weird Al was posing for the cameras up front so what's the deal? Is it a venue policy or something like that-I know you don't make the rules I'm not trying to harp on you or anything”. His reply was simple as we walked, “No not at all its not a policy, but you know it's kinda tacky sitting there taking video” and just as my head is about to explode I realize he's not walking WITH me he's walking me to the door, and before I could reply he nudged me out the door and headed back inside.

Sorry but can I rant in caps for a second? WHAT?!?!? It's NOT a venue policy and it's OKAYED by the artist but I was tapped on the shoulder based on the PERSONAL OPINIONS of an employee of the Beacon Theater? YOU THOUGHT IT WAS TACKY???? IF I WASN'T SO AFRAID OF POLICE AND GETTING ARRESTED, YOUR TEETH WOULD'VE BEEN DROPPING TO THE FLOOR LIKE TIC-TACKEYS. You schmuck. Look, I understand this concert video recording stuff is borderline and everything, with the changing media times.. but if your boss gave you no instructions to stop people from recording-then why don't you just let me do my job here. I'm running out of words, the video saves me endless paragraphs...

Anyway, I usually don't rant at the end, my bad. But besides that moron who worked there, the rest of the night was far better times then I've had in a while. Weird Al Yankovic has combined two of my three favorite things: Music and Comedy. And obviously by the decades of putting out albums, I'm not the only one who thinks he's awesomeness in a can.

Hey do any of you have Halloween plans? How bout you come out to Hammerstein Ballroom to see the epicness that is Ween with Jay Porks? Oh wait, it's sold out. Shucks. Well, you can ride shotgun with me reading that review hours after the show. An Evening With Ween.. get the humus ready.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lemonheads @ Bowery Ballroom 10/10/11

There is a HUGE side bar to tonights 56th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series taking place in the Bowery, actually at the Bowery Ballroom to be precise . It's the second of a back to back stint here for the Lemonheads, who are touring performing “It's a Shame About Ray”. The aforementioned side bar being that of Evan Dando. In the past week or two since this tour kicked off it's been nothing but terrible reviews. Ranging from a show at the Mercy Lounge(where my buddies the Meat Puppets played a few nights prior) in Nashville , TN all the way up to the Twitter-verse going nuts with #Lemonheads hash-tagged comments reading of people walking out on last nights set at the Bowery Ballroom, with the band not coming on til “way after 11PM” and “they were getting booed”. Wow.. This could be interesting. I mean, it's not like I've read or seen one positive thing about this current “It's a Shame About Ray” tour. Of course that only really gives me two angles to take. I could be the author of the first positive words about the Lemonheads this year, or I could climb aboard that bandwagon of disappointed people wondering what kinda drugs is Evan Dando on these days.. The performance will dictate this of course, but I do plan on showing up early to grab some first come first serve seats sometimes offered at this venue upstairs (like where I sat for Mudhoney last year.), so there WILL be video of whatever fate the band chooses for themselves tonight. I'll have beer in hand cocked to chuck at Dando if he behaves like the complete fool I've been reading about. Let's get this party started....

What better to do on this Columbus Day 2011 then celebrate Christopher Columbus( who came to America and turned the Native Americans into slaves, claiming he discovered the land) then head to the "Sold Out" Bowery Ballroom to as I continue to inadvertently live up to my Mr.90's mantra?

I got out of a cab at 7PM, I'm the only one here besides the dude at the door who's only job is to tell people "doors are at 8PM". Sweet, I was hungry anyway. Grabbed a slice a few blocks away (although I Tweeted I was heading for Chinese, since the Bowery is basically Chinatown. There's nothing over there food wise). Got back there around 7:20- Met some cool peeps on line heading in, one dude who was there from last night. He said it was terrible: "Dando couldn't put two words together". There was a couple there who were cool too who just listened to to album on the way over (all 29 minutes of it) and the other chick who was at the Dando & Juliana Hatfield shows earlier this year(If they're reading I'm trying to shout you guys out but I've never been to good with names!) . So the let us in a little before 8 but these are just the door to the downstairs bar. At 8:20 the finally let us into the main floor where we raced upstairs to snag seats at a table with the rest of the posse up there with us. Grabbed a table with my buddy who was here last night, love comparing notes. Sat next to two women from Melbourne. One of the two women said she saw Dando on some street one time and asked if he wanted a ride and he accepted due to the fact he spent all his money on booze. I am so freaking ready.

At 8:43 the 1st opener 'New York Rivals' came on. The traditional 4 piece with the lead singer

doubling on guitar. The lead singer dude says that they've "Only been a band 6 weeks" and " 2 months ago I was on the couch watching Netflix" . They weren't bad for a band not so seasoned. About three songs in they had me in head nod mode and I have never even heard of these guys.. I've seen a lot worse openers (maybe I'm about to see a worse one follow them!) 9:13 was their ceiling, as they headed off to make room for Shining Twins

They're setting up this big drum set up where the mic stand for the lead vocalist is. I turn to my bud and I'm like "what the F#%k is going on here??). He says to me, "I don't want to ruin it for you" with this grin on his face. Emphasis on 'ruin'.

The Shining Twins hit the stage at 9:35. Apparently we have ourselves a stand up drummer( a chick, dueling as lead vocalist with the bass player), Odd... I'll keep an open mind. Besides, two out of the three in this band are chicks. ..The girl playing bass said it was hot on stage as they were tuning, so OF COURSE I shouted out(didn't even shout,but said loudly) "so take off your shirt then!".. She was like "did someone really just say that? Even in new York?" in this obnoxious sort of tone, like as if that's something sacrilegious to say at a concert. I think "take your shirt off" is second to "Freebird" in consistent things shouted at concerts. If you don't want me to say sh!t like that then don't set me up so wonderfully(and don't be moderately attractive).. After a few songs into their set I'm trying to nail down who they sound like, then it hit me like a Anti-Pleasure Dissertation : they sound like a really bad version of the band Bikini Kill. The way the girls had the harmonies going. Losing alot without the drummer being at a natural kit. But then I see the guitar player is left handed and playing an upside-down Fender Jaguar(think it was a Jag) a la Kurt Cobain, that was the topping on this sh!tty cake for me. This whole act had such a poser type feel to it of that's possible.. They went off at 9:53PM

Now the wait begins, the countdown til what could be the most epic of fails. We chatted with the women from Melbourne for a while, trading concert war stories.

10:45ish, here come the Lemonheads! They came out and blasted into "Rockin Stroll". From the first chord, first verse you can tell things seem to have fallen in line . There was no fumbling around on stage before starting, no looks of confusion on the face of Dando. My bud who's here from last night turned quickly after the song and said "Like night and day!", commenting on Dando's lucidness, and ability of the band to play the music compared to the previous night(and all other nights of this tour).

Last night they didn't perform the entirety of "It's a Shame About Ray", even tho that's what the bill said. That's what was so different about this-I didn't have any expectations for good until they began doing the songs in order off the album with no glitches . Confetti was awesome, and after the first chord of "It's a Shame about Ray" Dando stops like he messed up or something, and then says "Nah, I'm kidding!"

and they rocked that sh!t out . That's whenI knew they weren't going to have one of those shows I've been reading about. I mean, even tho Dando's sentences didn't make a whole lot of sense, it at least looked as if HE knew what he was talking about. He was conversing with fans, between songs and between amp checks..

They played the whole album before the band left the stage leaving just Evan and an acoustic guitar to play solo. He never left the stage through the duration of the night, he played what was basically an entire acoustic set after finishing the album . If I had one complaint about the album

portion of the show, it would have to be inviting a fan up on stage to sing the lyrics to "Mrs. Robinson". What's up with that? Her voice isn't really projecting through the mic, it's almost like an instrumental.. When Dando asked if someone in the crowd could sing it, we were shouting from balcony "how bout YOU sing it Evan??!?" ... He didn't go near the mic for that one.

After the acoustic goings on the band came back on stage and they jumped into a little audience request portion of the evening. We're passing Midnight and these guys look like they could go all night. We were screaming "If I could talk I'd tell you!!!" and Dando gave us a look and a nod but never ended up playing it. "Big Gay Heart" was awesome, I Heart that song.

Counting all these videos I'm uploading, we may have gotten to 30 songs here tonight-seriously. Ended the night with "Into Your Arms" at 12:22AM and sent a sold out crowd home extremely satisfied. Total curve ball from what I went in there expecting. Bravo Mr. Dando, hats off to you for keeping it together the night I came into the building. All the folks at Concert Confessions and the 7 people who visit The Jay Porks Experience site will be very appreciative. Great show... I mean, besides The Shining Twins.. whose bassist can't take a joke..

If you made it to the end of this, you're awesome and I hope you enjoyed, I'll surely be back soon with tales of epic experiences as next up October 23rd is Weird Al Yankovic of all people, at the Beacon Theater of all places.. That could be something very epic indeed. Catch ya then! Late

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Elvis Costello & The Imposters 10/1/11 United Palace Theater

Welcome friends to the 55th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight we're in for a treat, as we have Elvis Costello and The Imposters on the “Revolver” tour United Palace theater is the place to be(at what I THOUGHT was) 125th and Broadway. United Palace is a seated venue, and just like with Charlie Sheen at Radio City back in April, I snagged tickets in row A in whatever section I'm in. So again, unless the alphabet has changed, I should snag some pretty good shots and hopefully some video. I figure since Harlem, they're looking for guns not cameras. Who knows. And guess what? I got the Blazer with me, got that “pseudo journalist” look going tonight. And as for the “Revolver” tour; they are not playing the Bealtes. “Revolver” makes Revolving wheel placed on stage in which songs are listed in each slot, and whatever it lands on they play. Sweet for numerous reasons, but for one I'm walking outta here knowing the set list tonight that's for one, and I wont have to rant about how dude didn't play the songs I wanted to hear-it's a wheel. Random. Fun; Let's roll

The Village voice ad I read about this show said this place was at Broadway and 125th street, which would be the furthest uptown I have ever been to hit a show. Harlem was the neighborhood I THOUGHT I was going to... until I googled this place minutes before leaving my house, it's actually 175th street and Broadway. I'm no math wiz, but that's 50 blocks off where I thought I was going. I wouldn't have even bought the ticket had I know I'd be in Washington Heights near midnight waiting for a train in fear of my life. Not that I'm pissed, but I know I'm crazy and all but the ad in that paper said 125th-I hope I can find it in my room somewhere to prove it.

On to the show which starts at 8, running late after re-figuring my route there, I walked in at 8:32 right in the midst of "Watching the Detectives". Dammit! I mean at least I got some of it but I love that song!. So I tapped dude to my left and told me all I missed was "Alison"(another 'Dammit!' moment).. but the first thing I'm eying this evening is the wheel with all the songs on it, looking for my favorites. “Veronica” my all time Elvis Costello favorite song hands down, is not even on the wheel. Shucks...

Moving along to the circus-like atmosphere....This place is like a Rock N' Roll carnival from outer space...we have dancers, a big flashing wheel and a guy in a top hat(Mr. Costello of course).. The theater was like a cathedral too(they actually may still use it for religious services on required days but I'm not looking it up), been up since the 1930's, it's got that Radio City/Town Hall type of "old style movie theater" set up. Very snazzy. And again, Row 'A' , so a place to lean my arms while taking video-which I was steadily rocking all night taking. So thank you United Palace for not hiring event staff who take their jobs too seriously.

"Everyday I write the book" was the first full one I got, after I sat back a minute and enjoyed the songs of my childhood. Well not MY childhood really, but my Dad driving me to school in 1st grade all I was raised on was Elvis Costello (til he came home one day with this CD that had a naked baby on it).

"Waiting for the End of the World, "New Laced Sleeves", "Monkey to Man",-Classics. And it's all good times here; didn't think I'd be having this much fun.. and random fans(maybe contest winners) are being brought up to stage to spin the wheel to pick the next few songs.

Hey there's someone who looks sorta familiar.. Oh, that's Mary Louise Parker from the Showtime hit 'Weeds'. She's on stage to spin the wheel. The crowd of course goes bananas- and she gets in the birdcage thing set up on stage where all the hot chicks(I guess she's a hot too) of the evening are dancing, and she jammed out. It was awesome, and one of the few early parts of the evening the crowd was on their feet.

Seemed like it went so fast when 10 o clock rolled around and he said goodnight, right after "Chelsea" and "Pump it up" (which went straight into “Heart of the City”).. but they came back out with like a 40 minute encore.. Awesome lost tune for me “Joanna” was in there, "Radio Radio" and then just to give the Reverend Justito a boner of his own-We got into some Prince with "Purple Rain", and it's one of the many I recorded(Here's hoping for a 'Lunchtime Jam of the Day' this week), "(What's so funny) bout peace love and understanding".. was in there towards the end they may have squeezed one in there after that, but at 10:45 we were done kicking out the jams, and I felt extremely fulfilled.

Below I have a list of the songs I was trying to type into my iPod touch while holding the camera still so people don't comment on my videos “get a tripod!” (which was in my pocket by the way). I missed a few song names that while when uploaded should be fixed within a matter of hours. So here's most of the setlist:

|-Alison-Watching the Detectives-The Judgment-Everyday I write the book-Cash-Monkey to Man-Waiting for the End of the World-You Little Fool-New Laced Sleeves-Time-Chelsea-Pump It Up-Heart of the City-Joanna-Radio Radio-Purple Rain-(What's so funny)Bout Peace Love and Understanding.|

What a fun night.. I mean, besides risking my life at the 168th Street train station near midnight in Washington Heights. I kid around a little with the risking of life, but it is a pretty reckless part of the city and all my friends who are a lot tougher than me said were all in “be careful” mode. But totally the opposite inside the doors of the glorious United Palace-I mean, it's a trek and all-but that's a venue I'd take the trek for if another artist that suited my fancy was there.

But in the meantime, they'll be a lot of Jay Porks here in the coming weeks as Oct 10th we get The Lemonheads at Bowery Ballroom “Performing 'It's a Shame About Ray'”.. I plan on showing up ridiculously earlier so I can grab those first come-first serve seats on the balcony, capturing video circa my Mudhoney vids from last year. Anyway, thanks for tuning in, and you can read me most likely next Tuesday morning with my Lemonheads Experience. Til then, LATE

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Willie Nelson Northern Quest Casino & Resort 7/31/11

The 54th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series is an interesting one, considering it's the one I didn't write personally(well, besides this little opening blurb). The review is up at Concert Confessions, but you might want to read the previous post here about the Gorge Amphitheater so you're not lost. This is the second half of my excursion to the great state of Washington this summer....

For those of you wondering why I'm posting this here even tho it's been up for months already, is because I liked the picture of the field at the Gorge to be my little opening shot when people came to the website with such a gap between shows. And for continuity purposes. So below will be the link to yet another Jay Porks Experience, the Mr. Sparkly edition!

exclusively at