1/31/09: Robbers on High Street w/Jukebox the Ghost @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (9/100)

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Day #9 of consecutive music and for some reason, I’m feeling a bit down. I think it’s the realization that it’s going to be a long, lonesome journey much of the time. Not unlike being on tour in the city I live in, except without any band mates. I have been lucky and had a lot of friends join me in my first week, but I think as the project goes on, those will be fewer and further between.

But, I must press on. So I get out to Williamsburg around 9:30 and grab my favorite slice at Anna Maria’s on 7th & Bedford. Every one has their favorite slice in NY, this one is most definitely mine. My friend Adam described it best a few years ago, “This place could charge for the smell.” Indeed.

I inhale the slice on the walk down to the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I’ve been to a few shows here and it’s beginning to grow on me more each time. But I have to admit, I still kind of miss the old venue, North Six - the bleachers, the horseshoe bar, the stage Jack Black dove off of in the beginning of School of Rock…memories.

Tonight’s show is a record release party for a compilation of covers called Guilt by Association Vol. 2. There’s four bands on the bill, and I get there when the second band Takka Takka is finishing up. I wouldn’t have minded seeing them, but it’smy 9th straight day of music, and really not interested in three full sets tonight. I head in, grab a beer and get ready for Jukebox the Ghost. A band I know exactly nothing about.

Turns out I was in for a treat. Jukebox is a fun, 3-piece piano-rock band. Think one part Ben Folds, one part lounge act who plays to the crowd, cracks jokes, and generally doesn’t take themselves too seriously. During their set, two women announce it’s their birthday. So they hop up on stage, dance, shake maracas, invite their guy friends up, too – and there’s basically a birthday party on stage. Good times. 

They finish up their set, and then surprisingly much of the place clears out. I guess not everyone’s there to see Robbers on High Street. Fast forward about 20 minutes, and Robbers launch into their first song. Now, I have to admit, I’m not a massive fan of theirs. I have their Grand Animals record, which is cool. I just haven’t listened to it a ton. And I know I saw them at CMJ one year with Cold War Kids, Dr. Dog, Elvis Perkins, Tapes ‘n Tapes, et al. But, anyhow. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m not sure what to expect. 

But here’s what I find out: Robbers are pretty great. They remind me a lot of Supergrass (circa late ’90s) mixed with Soul and R&B. Which makes total sense considering the song they contributed to the GBA compilation, New Edition’s “Cool It Now.”

The already half-empty Music Hall starts thinning out more and more as the night winds down. But I stick around for the encore. And the Robbers don’t seem to notice as they seem to be relaxed and enjoying themselves. Or maybe that’s because of the box of Tecate near the drum riser that they keep reaching into. Either way, they sound great, and put a nice stamp on what started out to be a lonely, dreary day #9 for me.

Thanks guys.

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One Response to “1/31/09: Robbers on High Street w/Jukebox the Ghost @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (9/100)”

  1. ahhh… i’ll join you on any show you like! i am bummed i missed the wizard rock, if anything equally disturbing comes up, let me know? also – my cousin is playing at the national underground every saturday, so you can’t escape that one…

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