Monday, January 31, 2005

New York Cares

Okay, cool story time: Last week, Thursday, I had the morning off cause my boss was doing an airport run. I'm relaxing online for the first time in a while, reading some random things that I wouldn't normally have time for. That morning, I'd gotten an email/newsletter from Matador Records that mentioned something about an Interpol show in NY. I checked it out at their site: A second night added at Radio City Music Hall, at exactly the same time I'll be in NY in early March. I've been saying, ever since I found out I'm going to be in New York City, I need to see a show while I'm there. I am starving for live music right now. Lost in the fucking desert without a canteen. I even went online looking to find shows in the area when I'm there but with no luck. Now, finally, a lead. Better yet: Tickets for the second show were not even on sale yet. They were coming to that morning, at exactly 10 am. I had a brief flashback to waking up early on Saturday mornings to be on line, hit Refresh a lot, and get tickets to see Radiohead or TOOL. This time, though, I was awake and ready to go long before 10.

There was the added stress of my boss calling at any time to tell me to come to work. I had a kind of loose timetable of 10:30, but, she could call me at any time and tell me to come and then what? Lose my virtual spot on line? Miss seeing one of the best bands of this century? Miss seeing a freakin' indie rock show at Radio City Music Hall (attention: The Revolution is here) and regret it my entire life. No! I will not! I saw Interpol around this time last year, at The Warfield in San Francisco, and it was an unmistakbly glorious experience. I went with two friends, lost them in the near-the-stage chaos, didn't matter. I was so lost in the music, I said, later, "I really don't know what songs they were playing. I was just so into the consistency, the overall sound of them playing live." Although I do vaguely remember two songs that stood out because they were not from their first album and because of the general feeling of Interpol music, was hard to discern their qualities. Now, though, I know them as "Narc" and "Length of Love" from the new album, Antics.

And, oh, how I love the new album. I know it's corners and mood so well, I could listen to the album at a miniscule volume and still sing-a-long. The words are etched in my skin (again, from the many, many, listens). I'm timeless like a broken watch.. The trouble is, you're in love with someone else, it should be me!.. combat, salicious, removal... We spies, YEAH, we slow hands!

Okay, sorry, back to the story now. Obviously, there's a happy ending. I'm not going to depress you with your morning coffee or mid-afternoon blog break. I got tickets. Well, ticket. Just one. It will be a solo experience, although I will be in my hometown so who knows I could run into it? Best part: I was there so early to get tickets, and I spent so much, I got CENTER! Orchestra seating. Or standing. Or dancing my fucking indie rock groovin' ass off.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

I Guess It's Not So Bad On The Flip-Side

After work today, I had some time to kill before my ride showed up. I told my boss I'll be on that bench reading (David Mitchell's epic Cloud Atlas) for about a half hour. She said, "Why don't you check out the music store down the block?" "The what, with the what what?" my face probably said.

So I walked like two minutes and saw the age-old indicators of music stores: huge-ass posters. The faint smell of incense and coolness suddenly filled my drab little world. My mouth started to water. Understand: I've been looking for a cool music store since I moved down. For two wonderful years in San Francisco, I lived a five minutes walk from the best music store in the world (No joke.) For me, music is as important as food. It feeds my soul and my words (I say as I nod my head to Belle and Sebastian's brilliant "Your Cover's Blown"). And I can't bring myself to shop in fast-food music stores or those awful music add-on's at big-ass book stores like Borders, they're so impersonal and their selection is just wrong. You can imagine how my world suddenly seemed brighter, better, and populated by cool.

Inside the store, the walls were black. Cheap stalls house a smattering of titles, a meager selection by any perspective. But stabs of hope suddenly appeared as I saw the genre titles: Punk/Metal (my old music), Industrial/Goth (a seemingly popular selection - with a bunch of crazy-haired and pierced shoppers) and then, Pop/Indie. A great sigh of relief overcame me. As if I finally found somewhere near what I would consider Home. Bands with names I recognized and love pop out at me. I wanted to grab those blocks of black letters and give them a hug. I almost did. And then I remembered my favorite album of the year (The Arcade Fire's Funeral) and how much I wanted to buy it and even went looking for it at every one of those sacrilegious bookstores in the ritzy area my mom lives (that's how much I wanted it) but couldn't find it. Could this place carry it? It's a Canadian title and I don't even know if they had a US distributor and so they probably di... They had it! It was so cute in it's little slim packaging and huge foreign-item plastic. I snatched up the one copy just in case the other two people in the store wanted it and then carried it around while browsing.

I could have stayed an hour at this place. Sure, it was tiny compared to Amoeba. And it seems to be aiming more towards the Punk/Ska/Metal crowd, but it's a Cool Store. And it happens to be the first Cool Store I've found since moving here. The fact that I found it now that I have a little dinero in my bank account is not coincidence but fate. True and pure fate.

The rest of the store has T-shirts and incense and all kinds of Cool Gear for sale. Nice electronica section too. Listening stations and a Staff Recommends stack. All the things necessary for wasting long periods of time in one of my favorite pastimes since I was a teenager: Music shopping!

I'm not saying I like Florida yet. Far, far, from it. But this is a good first step. I've tried to be civil and recognize that there are all kinds of ways to live in all kinds of different places, but being the person I am, there are some things I need to be comfortable in a place. This tiny little store has brought a piece of that puzzle together. And made me immensely happy.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I know.

I've been neglecting this blog for awhile now and I'm sorry. To my two loyal readers, I sincerely apologize. I wish I had more interesting things to write, more fascinating adventures to report, or even a concert review to whittle away some time. But, I don't. My life has been pretty chill, my relationship is good, I even got a j-o-b.

I work for these guys. They represent a number of artists based in Israel, and the world famous David Schluss who works in-office. They sell art to galleries. And some really incredible art. Check out Schluss and Shemi, for sure. Some of their more recent work - which isn't on that website but will be on a new one - is very very good. It's a cool working environment and I'm asked to do a lot of different stuff, which makes the job interesting: from heavy lifting, to color correction, to babysitting. (Seriously.)

I've got a new story coming out in a certain awesome online mag in the near future (will keep you posted). Mostly, I've been busy reading and attempting to write stories. It's been a rough transition, moving from a small city (that felt like a big town) to a huge suburban city that feels like a tiny town. I think it's affected my brain more than I'd like to admit. My thought processes have changed, slowed down, relaxed, maybe. As such, words - once my good friends - feel like long lost acquaintances now. I try to touch them and they seem to slither away. I've written a handful of good stories since moving to Florida (over half a year now, feels like a couple weeks) but I feel dissatisfied. My extra-dull, unemployed, San Francisco-lifestyle was very conducive for writing. I spent most of my days staring off into space and thinking about writing. Nowadays, I'm occupied with more normal things. And I wonder how all the other writers out there with tons of stories and books do it. How do you balance it all? (I'm not being hypothetical. Seriously, how??)

In the meantime, though, I'll try to come here more often and stretch the writing muscles. Now that I've got a job, one of my first priorities is a comfortable computer chair. Who knows what could happen after that ?