Posts tagged ‘The Answer’

4/21/09: Virgin Forest @ Cake Shop (89/100)

April 21st, 2009

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Damnit, I’m tired. Really tired. I’ve been on my feet shooting TV commercials all day. Not the kind of shoot you see on Madmen(too bad) or Trust Me (thank god). It’s run and gun. Lots of back and forth, moving from one shot to the next, etc. Basically not a lot of time to relax for 10 hours. So, being up at 7am + shooting till 6pm + a 2 1/2 hour drive back to NY + doing work for a couple hours at home + a band @ Cake Shop = fucking tired. Oh right, and add in 89 straight days of live music to that, too. Luckily, I got one of these bad boys on the shoot to come home to.

Many people ask me how I decide on which band to see, if I have any specific criteria. I can’t remember what I’ve mentioned here before, but it’s pretty simple. I check the better venues (Bowery, Mercury, LPR, Music Hall) then Timeout NY, if I don’t see anything worth seeing, I check other/smaller venues (Pianos, Cake Shop, Living Room, Fontana’s). If I don’t recognize anything, I just start picking bands from these venues and check out songs on their myspace pages. This is how I’ve stumbled upon some good bands: The O’s, The Answer, The Mess Around, Blonde Acid Cult, Lights, and tonight, Virgin Forest.

I have to say, as random as this selection may seem, this was a really good band. And, it was at 11pm on a Tuesday night and there were only probably 20-25 people there, they were still better better than some more well known bands I’ve seen so far, like Annuals, Maps & Atlases and The Bird and the Bee, for example. Who were fine, I guess. It’s just that this band had something none of these bands had. Problem is, I can’t totally put my finger on it.

They didn’t put on much of a “show,” I mean the bass player and singer/guitar player sat down the whole time. The set was pretty short, and so were the songs. But it just felt good being around their music.

My initial reaction was they sounded like 70s AM radio. It was really warm, and comforting, and familiar. But not in a badly derivative way, although they did seem to be pulling from some major influences, I thought: Van Morrison, Willie Nelson. They even covered a Leonard Cohen song, and reminded me a bit of some No Depression bands I grew up with. More references escape me at the moment, but I guess the point is this: maybe they sounded so good because they sounded familiar.

Again, not in a bad way. I really, really liked it. And could’ve sat there for another half hour, at least. But instead, they wrapped things up around 11:30p.

Before the show, I was worried that this selection was sort of phoning it in, on the 89th day. But not after. I stopped up to the stage after the show and talked to the guitar player and told him of my project. He said, “I think I’ve heard about you. Or someone doing something similar.” I don’t know if there is someone else doing something similar in NY. If so, show your face, nemesis. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure he meant me. I told him it was day #89, he thanked me, I gave him $5, took one of their 45s they had for sale, and jumped in a cab.

Holy shit.

Tomorrow is day 90. The last 10 days. Let the countdown begin.

2/3/09: The Answer @ Mercury Lounge (12/100)

February 4th, 2009

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This was a fucking rock show. Pure, unadulterated, unabated, rock. Like Led Zepplin having a threesome with the Black Crowes and The Darkness. It was an MSG show at the Mercury Lounge. I mean, a security guy walked them to the stage with a flashlight! The guitar player had 4 guitars (3 of them Les Pauls) that a guitar tech tuned after every song. And after the band walked on stage and began the first song, the singer held back — waiting for his cue to run up, grab the mic and rock his balls off. 

Tonight, all I was looking forward to was an early show. A 7pm door time meant an 8pm set time, which meant 9:30pm couch time…for the first time in 12 days. But tonight, couch time was going to be with a laptop open, and a deadline to crank on. No hopes of freeing up space on my DVR tonight. Which blows since I still haven’t watched Lost from last week, so…don’t…say…anything. But whatever, I was able to get my show in. And to use my new fancy earplugs (thanks Mike) and camera again.

Work/Life balance = in tact, for tonight. 

I have the The Answer to thank for half of that. The awesome half. I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest. They sounded like a cock rock, riff-heavy band in the 20 seconds I listened to their myspace page. But It took exactly 15 seconds for me to forget everything, and remember that I was raised on a fair dose of G ‘n R, Metallica, Black Crowes, Led Zep, AC/DC, and so on. 

And this reminded me that I liked this shit. That, in the words of Marisa Tomei’s mostly-topless character in The Wrestler, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a good time.  Not every band has to be some precious, over-thought little Indie Rock collective. Don’t get me wrong, I love that shit. But this was a nice reminder that I like this, too. 

A 70s-era rock band from Belfast was playing to a packed room at the early show at Mercury Lounge on a Tuesday? What?

The singer looked like, acted like, and sang like Robert Plant meets Chris Robinson. He sweat thru his shirt about 2 songs in and even jumped into the crowd at one point, followed by the guitar player? Huh?

This is wasn’t supposed to happen. Oh, but it happened. Just like this happened

In the words of The Answer’s lead singer after I told him I was on day #12 of my project, “Then twelve is a great day.”