Posts tagged ‘Right On Dynamite’

5/2/09: 100 Bands in 100 Days Final Show with Takka Takka, Anamanaguchi & Right on Dynamite @ Fontana’s (100/100)–PART 2

May 3rd, 2009

photo by Mike Pollock

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Go back to Part 1

The 100th show: Part 2

Showtime

Friends started showing up, and then just kept coming and coming all night long. First, it was Brent and Tim. Then John and Kara. Then Lance. Then Scott, Josh, Dave, Dan. Then Thomas…and so on and so forth. The next thing I knew, the place was packed, the open bar was in full effect, and we were just 30 minutes away from the music. I was running around like headless chicken and getting dizzy from bouncing from one person to the next. But it was awesome that everyone was as excited as I was.

Al and Francis took the stage just before 9:30 to introduce me. Then I thanked them for throwing the party and everyone for coming, and then introduced the first band of the night: Right on Dynamite.

They took the stage and fucking rocked the house. It was awesome. People were dancing, jumping around, having a great time and I was just loving it. I saw ROD on day 8 of the project, and they sounded just as good, if not better this time around. They were super excited to be playing tonight, and you could feel it. Toward the end of their set they announced that they had a few songs left, and then one “special song” after. That “special song” was the one I was going to perform with them: “I’m so tired,” by The Beatles. The song that best sums up what it feels like to see 100 consecutive days of live music.

And there were the butterflies again. Man, I was nervous. I thought I would forget the chords, and the words, and look out into the crowd and just freeze up. All those normal stage fright things. But once I stepped on stage and the crowd went nuts, none of that happened. Jon clicked it off, I played the opening lick and then the first words of the song came right out:

I’m so tired. I haven’t slept a wink.

I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink

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photos by Mike Pollock of 50showsat50.blogspot.com

It was the longest 2-minute song I’ve ever played. And the most fun. Thankfully Dan and Nick helped me out on vocals. Even though I had the lyrics taped to mic stand, I still stumbled over a few words here and there. But whatever. I was doing it, and it was awesome.

We finished the song. The crowd went wild. And my rock star moment was complete. But not my time on the stage. I had some awards to give out. A few weeks before the final show, I decided I wanted to honor those people who’ve played important roles in the project. I made up little gold and platinum records with 100 Bands in 100 Days artwork, and a plaque.

Here are the awards I gave:

The Farthest Distance Traveled Award, to Brent Boswell
The Most Shows Attended Award, to Jeremy Egner
The Guy Behind the Guy Behind the Guy Award, to Francis Garcia
The Badass Motherfucker Who Went out of his way to Make Sure This Project Was the Best It Could Be Award, to Al Risi

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Then I introduced the next band: Anamanaguchi. They’re a great 4-piece instrumental band that routes their instruments through an old Nintendo. Yes! Gamer rock! I loved it and so did everyone else. The crowd was really digging them, which was great. You just never know with an instrumental band. But they’re so high energy and fun and original that it’s hard not to love them.

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As Anamanaguchi continued to crush it on stage, I saw some of the guys from Takka Takka and thanked them for playing the show. They returned the sentiment and were happy to be asked. Anamanaguchi finished up their set, and then suddenly the show was almost over. How did that happen?

I got up on stage again between sets and thanked the band, reminded everyone to stick around for the third and final band, Takka Takka. Then, I bopped around the party, hoping to talk with some friends I hadn’t had a chance to say more than two words to all night. The best thing about being the guest of honor is having all your friends turn up for your party. The hardest part is not being able to spend a long time with any of them.

After a pretty quick set up Takka Takka was ready to go. I first heard of this band when they played at SummerStage with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Architecture in Helsinki a few years ago. I missed their set that night so I was looking forward to seeing them tonight. And I was excited for the finale. The last and final band. The final piece of the puzzle. After Takka Takka, the 100 days would be complete. I have to admit, I was a bit sad to see it all come to an end. As difficult as it was, and as long as the 100 days felt, I was going to miss it for sure. But first, Takka Takka was going to bring it all home.

As they started playing, it hit me once again that this was actually happening. That all the people in the room were there because of me. That the band on stage, and the two bands that stood there before them were there because of an idea I had. All the cameras, lighting, the director, DPs, the sound guy, the open bar, and all the planning – everything was because of this project. That is a fucking humbling feeling, to say the least.

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Takka Takka played an awesome set, finishing out the night, and the project, in a great way. They are a fun, easy going rock band with a sound as unique as their name. The guys in the band were so nice, and seemed really happy to be there. Good times all around.

After the set, I took the mic one last time to thank all the bands and everyone left standing for being a part of this monumental night in this project and my life. And, apparently, I was cursing like a drunken sailor. Hey, I’ve always said I’m a writer, not a speaker.

And that was it. The 100 days was complete. The binge gigging was over. I did it. And it was time to go home.

What will I do next? Will there be another 100 days project? Will I go through live music withdrawl? Will I be able to go home and sit around and watch TV without getting bored out of my mind? When will the documentary of this event be available to see? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions right now. But I’m looking forward to having the time to figure them out.

All I can say is, stay tuned. You haven’t heard the last of me.

See more photos from the Final Show

5/2/09: 100 Bands in 100 Days Final Show with Takka Takka, Anamanaguchi & Right on Dynamite @ Fontana’s (100/100)–PART 1

May 3rd, 2009

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The 100th show: Part 1

Wow. I have no idea what to say about this party. What an amazing, amazing night.

I will start off by saying thanks to Al Risi from ARMM and Francis Garcia from Shout It Out Loud Music for throwing me such a kick ass party. Thanks to Right on Dynamite, Anamanaguchi and Takka Takka for rocking the house all night. Thanks to Bruce Ashley of Company X and his film crew for documenting every last second. Thanks to Sunshine for flying in from London, Brent for flying in from San Fran, John for flying in from Minnesota, Tim for driving down from Massachusetts, and everyone else in NY who came to Fontana’s last night to help celebrate the culmination of 100 consecutive days of live music with me.

This was the coolest party I’ve ever been to and been a part of. Here’s how it all went down. And just so you know, this is going to be a long post, so get comfortable.

Pre-show madness

I got a call around 4pm from John, one of the DPs from Company X who was filming the night. He was outside my apartment, waiting to jump in a cab with me to film an interview on the way to the venue. I was headed there early for Right on Dynamite’s sound check, and to practice a song I was going to perform with them after their set. The other two bands were coming in from out of town, so they wouldn’t be able to sound check this early.

I stepped out of my apartment, and John already had the camera going. We hopped in a cab, did a quick interview on the ride over, then he jumped out of the cab at Fontana’s. When I went inside, Al was already there, and John did a short interview with him as well. I did sit around for few minutes just waiting – the calm before the storm, if you will. Then Right on Dynamite showed up and it was on.

We headed downstairs where Bruce and his crew had been setting up all day. That’s when I realized how real tonight was going to be. I mean, there were multiple cameras set up, including one a fucking dolly in front of the stage! They brought their own lighting for the stage, to spotlight the bands, etc. It was out of control, in an awesome way. They even had like 3 or 4 Flip cameras on tripods. Unbelievable.

I did a little setting up of my own by hanging some pictures my friend Alan shot for me of the more tangible items I’d collected along the way: wristbands, ticket stubs, flyers, my little written record opened up to where Les Paul signed it, my nasty ass earplugs, camera, and so on. I even had a bunch of commemorative posters made up for the night and set them up for sale, too.

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Right on Dynamite started their sound check and that was one more reminder of how real tonight was. And then I got nervous, too. Earlier in the week, my friend Brent suggested that I play a song during the party. He suggested “I’m so tired” by the Beatles. I don’t know if he imagined I’d take him so serious, but I did. After he said it, I immediately IM’d Al and had him ask the band. They were totally into it, practiced the song at rehearsal all week, while I did a little practicing at home. And tonight, I was going to do it in front of everyone at the party.

What am I nuts? I’m a guitar player, not a singer. But the song was so fitting that I just had to do it. Fuck it, right? After ROD sound checked, it was my time to get up on stage and run through the song with them. It went pretty well actually, but I was still nervous as hell about playing it tonight.

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Calm before the storm

By 6:30 the venue was set up, ROD had finished with sound check and now I finally got a moment to sit and relax and take a few deep breaths before everyone started to arrive. We actually had to clear out of the room by 6:30pm since there was a band who actually had a gig that night at Fontana’s, who I’m sure were saying “WTF?” when they saw all the film equipment, etc.

Oh, wait. I forgot. I didn’t get to relax yet. I still had to do an interview. I thought it would be some hand held interview like Al did earlier, boy was I wrong. This shit was really official. They had an area set aside that was pre-lit with two cameras. I sat down and we did about a 30 minute interview. Itwas a lot of fun to be able to reflect on the project just before celebrating the end of it.

Ok, so after that I actually did get to relax a bit. Al had run home to change and print out the guest list, etc. Francis took off for a bit too, I think. And it was finally just Sunshine and me, relaxing in a booth upstairs having a drink. But not for long…

Continue to Part 2

1/30/09: Right On Dynamite @ Pianos (8/100)

January 31st, 2009

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My friend Al emailed me earlier in the week about some shows he was going to check out. This being the first of two. He said his cousin plays in this band Right On Dynamite, who just got off tour with Frightened Rabbit. I checked out their myspace page and it sounded good to me. Let’s do it. 

We hit up Motor City, a dingy dive bar on the LES, before the show. On my walk over, I text my buddy Charlie who used to live across the street. Here’s how that went down:

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Unfortunately, I went before I left my apartment. Sorry Chuck. 

Al and I grabbed a drink, and then headed over to Pianos to catch the show. We catch the end of the band before them (Shit, I can’t remember their name. Someone let me know, cuz I’d like to see them some time). Al introduces me to the band before they hit the stage. Nice guys, nice vibe in the room. Fun, relaxed. 

Right On Dynamite hit the stage: Daniel on guitar/vox, Nicholas on bass/vox and Jon on drums. Their music is poppy, lo-fi and somewhat unpolished (at least, live) with slightly overdriven, bright guitar. Fun and simple vocal hooks and basslines. Solid, simple drums. Basically, the formula that Built to Spill made a career out of. And believe me, the similarities between these two bands don’t end there.

So I’m nodding along, digging the vibe, and so is the crowd. Then after a song or two, Nicholas calls me out! I guess Al must’ve told him about the project, and he wanted to tell the crowd (and the rest of the band). He says, “I want to talk about Al’s friend Nick over there. (pointing me out) He’s going to see 100 bands in 100 nights, and we’re band number eight. Really cool idea.” Daniel, says “Wow. I love the number eight. We are the octopus.”

Indeed they are. An octopus of  musical good times, like this guy. Right on, Right On Dynamite. I had a blast. Thanks for making eight, great.

Man that was a corny way to end.