Evan Kessler Dot Com

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Archive for July, 2004


Posted by evankessler on July 15, 2004

Two concerts in one day. Quite a Wednesday. This afternoon I went down to Borders in the Time Warner center to catch Ben Folds concert sponsored by I Love The 90’s. Mike Haigh, Jennie Friedlich, Vicky Ruggiero, Ruthie Fisher, Adam Starling and Mike Scher rounded out the concert crew. When we got there the crowd was much bigger than I think any of us had expected. We could barely see anything on the stage. When the show started we worked our way to the side of the stage so we could see better. Our sightline was a little better as there was a cameraman in front of us most of the time. Ben’s performance was pretty good if brief. He probably played 45 minutes or so. Not really that reviewable of a show seeing as the sound was bad and the view wasn’t that great so I’ll skip to the later event.

Stuyvesant High School: Home to the Impromptu Old 97’s Show

The Old 97’s at Stuyvesant High School downtown near the financial district was probably the best free show I’ve ever seen. This was quite the experience to see one of your favorite bands in a high school auditorium. Rhett Miller, Ken Bethea, Murray Hammond and Phillip Peeples kept the crowd rocking for about an hour and a half as they ripped through 21 songs that spanned their entire catalog, from 1994’s Hitchhike to Rome, to the yet to be released Drag It Up (July 28th). The band gave the audience plenty of reason to tap their feet as they opened with the rollicking “Rollerskate Skinny” and after slowing it down with “Lonely Holiday” the 97’s regained their good times bar band swagger with “Barrier Reef”, a personal favorite that contains several of my favorite Rhett Miller-isms. Amongst them, “So we tripped the lights fantastic, we was both made of elastic. I went through the motions with her. Her on top and me on liquor.” I think if I had to do a list of Top 10 clever lines Rhett Miller would have five of them and Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide would have the other five. Rhett took a rest on vocals and gave Murray the chance to sing lead on the new track “Smokers” but Rhett returned for another new track “New Kid”. After the two new tracks the band ripped through some old favorites. At one point Miller mused that he was pleased to be the opening band at the high school talent show. It was a dead on description of what the atmosphere felt like but we were all extremely pleased to not have to cheer for our friends crappy jam band or jazz-funk fusion group.
During “Designs on You” Miller went through half of the song playing with two broken strings on his guitar and lead guitarist Ken Bethea broke one of his strings and finished up on “Weightless” several songs later. Bethea even got to sing lead on “Coahuila” which he handles the lead vocal duties for on the upcoming release, his only lead vocal attempt in the band’s 11- year history. The set closed out on an extremely high note with their high octane Rockabilly tinged classic “Timebomb” off of 1997’s seminal “Too Far To Care” album. For the encore, the band muscled its way through renditions of fan favorites “If My Heart Was A Car”, “Victoria” and “Four Leaf Clover”.

The band’s energy radiated throughout the auditorium the entire show there was nary a dull moment. The crowd responded to the new tracks almost as enthusiastically as they did to their old favorites.

Overall, it was an excellent show made all the more satisfying by the unique venue and intimacy of the show. I had no problem seeing or hearing anything all show. It was priceless but ironically free.

Old 97’s Set List if anyone cares:
(* denotes new song)
Rollerskate Skinny
Lonely Holiday
Barrier Reef
Smokers *
New Kid *
Designs On You
The Streets of Where I’m From
W. Tx Teardrops
Bird In A Cage
Wish The Worst
The Devil’s Pay
Friends Forever *
Coahuila *
Can’t Get A Line
Big Brown Eyes

If My Heart Was A Car
Four-Leaf Clover

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I Love The 90’s: On The Air

Posted by evankessler on July 14, 2004

I hope everyone’s been watching and enjoying I Love The 90’s. I know I have. I just want to give a shout out to all of the hard working Producers, Segment Producers, AP’s and PA’s on the series. Last night, 92 and 93 were on and they were hilarious. I was the AP on 92 and 98 and also appeared at a urinal in the kris kross package. Stay tuned all week for the rest of the series You don’t need to go out this week, do you? Especially if you’re a Nielsen household.

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A Ghost Is Heard

Posted by evankessler on July 8, 2004

Well, another fine showing by Kristin Ertel in the fun department. Tonight we went to a record release listening party for Wilco’s new album “A Ghost Is Born” even though it was released two weeks ago. It made no sense. It didn’t matter though, Bass was free and we partook. Sidenote for Kristin, as I’m writing this “God Only Knows” is playing on my stereo, and not on purpose (see message board argument which also included an email argument). So, anyway, on first listen of the Wilco album when I first got it a couple of weeks ago I thought it was okay. Tonight I realized it needs to be listened to really loud so that it is the atmosphere of the room you are in. It’s much better in that environment. So, as a result I feel much better about this record and I have a brand new Wilco t-shirt. Great conversation, great company, good beer (it was a little warm) equals great night. You don’t always need to do something crazy to enjoy yourself. The best things are often the simplest. Looking back at that statement, I may be Buddha. Try this on for size. Everythingness is nothingness. Anyway, I may be heading out again. Arby called just as I was getting pizza and may want to meet up for some drinks. Village Idiot anyone? Old habits die hard. Oh and by the way, Kristin your name is spelled correctly in Friday’s entry. I know I could easily have fixed it but I didn’t have to.

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7/05/04 Guerrilla Interview Subject: Jason G (a.k.a Poingly)

Posted by evankessler on July 6, 2004

Poingly shows off his untalent in Avril Lavigne regalia
but with the wrong color hair.

Just who is Jason G and why does he warrant a guerrilla interview? Well, I can’t really answer the latter question but I can tell you who he is. Jason G. works for CMJ and before that he did other things. I know him from college where we spent much time in the University Union office. He spent some time as the director of free form college radio station WERW at Syracuse University. At night this mild mannered manboy becomes untalented musician/performance artist and general trainwreck, Poingly. He dresses up like Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, or Karen O and writhes on the floor screaming and forces people to pull on the strings of those childrens toys that tell you what sounds animals make (i.e. “a cow goes moo.”). He tongue kisses women and men and hands out “I fucked Poingly” buttons. Quite the marketing tool if you ask me. Overall, he’s a swell guy. So without further ado, the next installment of the http://www.evankessler.com Guerrilla interview.

Evan K: Hello

Jason G: Hey

EK: What would you say makes you so versatile?

JG:I would say I’m probably not all that versatile, I just fool people into thinking I am by doing several variations on one theme.

EK: What theme is that?

JG: Being annoying. There are many ways to be annoying.

EK: Would you say you’ve mastered a majority of them?

JG: If I was to be honest and humble, then I’d say, no…but it’s more annoying to be an arrogant asshole, so yes, I know more about being an annoying jerk than anybody.

EK:Wow, you are an arrogant asshole!

JG: I try. I have good inspiration, like George Bush.

EK: You amaze me with your arrogant assholeness.

JG: Thank you

EK: If pigs were able to fly, what would people replace “when pigs fly” with to say that something would never happen?

JG: Probably something vulgar, like “yeah, when my shit flies out of my ass and into your mouth,” or something like that.

EK: And on top of that, if pigs were flying, do you think everything that someone said would happen “when pigs fly” would simultaneously occur?

EK: I see you’re thinking about this one.

JG: No, people don’t stick to their convictions anymore. Not to mention all the dead people who have said it that are now incapable of doing many things they claimed they would do…but their zombies might do those things. Zombies are good about things like that.

EK: Ok, you’ve made me lose interest.

JG: I think that answer was worth the wait.

EK: Spell Forgery

JG: ummm…Forgery

EK: But with hyphens in between the letters. That way it looks like you’re spelling it.


JG: Oh, shit look what you made me do. I’m a moron!

EK: Wow, we’ve just learned a lot about Jason Glastetter.

JG: I’m sorry. You have the wrong number.

EK: Well, but I got the right person.

JG: No, Jason is not here right now

EK: Sounds great.

EK: What kind of an impact do you see Poingly making in the next 3 to 5 minutes?

JG: I see myself breaking something, maybe my microphone stand.

EK: Out of rage or boredom?

JG: Both.

EK: What Poingly song do you expect to be your first #1 single?

JG: Probably a song I haven’t written yet.

EK: That’s a shame. Maybe you should get to writing some more songs, you’ll have more #1 singles

JG: Or the one I’m working on for Britney Spears, but that’s a secret project I can’t talk about.

EK: Would you consider yourself talented?

JG: No

EK: Good, that’s the answer I was fishing for.

EK: How do you feel about Evan Kessler?

JG: He should put out more. Other than that, I have no complaints.

EK: Your complaint is duly noted.

EK: How has EvanKessler.com changed your life?

JG: It keeps me informed regularly of Evan Kessler activities; you really can’t beat that.

EK: Why weren’t you at Evan Kessler’s 4th of July Barbecue?

JG: I was popping pills in an alley behind a Wal*Mart in New Haven.

EK: That’s no excuse.

JG: True, it doesn’t answer why, it only answers where
and what.

EK: An acceptable excuse would’ve been. “I didn’t want to go because I’m an arrogant asshole.”

JG: Ok, yeah, roll with that one, I like it.

EK: And on that note, thank you for participating in the http://www.evankessler.com guerrilla interview, where the unsuspecting start suspecting early on in the conversation that they are in fact being interviewed.

EK: You are awfully uninteresting and hella arrogant.

JG: Thank you, you’re welcome.


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Admitting Defeat

Posted by evankessler on July 3, 2004

Yes, I know, it’s only 10:40 pm and it’s a Friday night. Maybe I shouldn’t admit defeat so early on a weekend evening, but I’m okay with it if you are. After all, there’s one extra day this weekend and my July 2nd has been wonderful so far so why spoil it. Well to be perfectly honest my day opened on the sourest of notes as I found out that my Ipod battery had died. I was completely devastated and felt utterly helpless. While that helplessness seemed to linger through part of my day there were more positives than negatives as the day went on.

First off I went to Blockheads Burritos for lunch with the rest of team 92/98 and we even partook in some alcoholic enjoyment in margerita form. Our producer, Marie, is leaving for Europe on Monday so it was somewhat of a last hurrah for the team before we officially start on I Love the 90’s part deux without any of part one to worry about. Marie hooked us all up with DVD copies of The Big Lebowski from our 1998 show, which is one of my favorite pieces in our show. I’m not just saying that because that’s my piece. The footage from the movie is just so funny that it really just makes the piece. Other standouts from our years in my mind are Ross Perot , Woody Allen and Soon Yi in 1992 and Bill Clinton and John Glenn in 1998.
Besides that today was great because it kicked off the start to a long weekend and what’s not great about that. Kristin Ertel and I started the weekend by drinking on the roof of my apartment. The beer and the convesation was flowing as the hot sun beat down on us and Fountains of Wayne blasted from the stereo. It was quite the time. I enjoyed myself immensely and I hope she had a good time too. I think the roof is the place to be in the Summer of 2004. It’s a shame it took us til July to figure that out. Afterwards I walked Kristin to the subway and I joined Rich Mai and company for drinks at a Mexican Place on 14th between 7th and 8th. Good times, good people, good margheritas, even though I’m no expert. I mostly just BS’d with Jasky, Andy, Andrea, and Kayvalyn but I think a good time was had by all. Sometimes I think it seems these entries are lacking detail but when you’re drunk and all you can remember is just hanging out and bullshitting and enjoy the company around, well, sometimes that’s all that matters. At around 9:30, I started to realize how drunk I was and took a walk home. And that’s where I am now, just hanging out almost ready to pass out, unless ofcourse the phone were to ring with an offer I couldn’t refuse. I guess that’s sort of a weak tribute to Marlon Brando considering he died today at the age of 80. I’ve never been one for dwelling on the past though and I’m not much in the way of an obituary writer, so that’s all I’m going to give you.

Alright, tomorrow afternoon I’m off to a slip n’slide barbecue in Rockland at Joe Dworkin’s. If you don’t here from me until July 5th, have a good weekend. Now I’m off to watch my South Park season 4 dvd.

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Foiled Guerrilla Interview

Posted by evankessler on July 2, 2004

I was waiting for a tape to be ready to bring to our mixing session for I Love 1992 around 5:59 this evening. I thought the tape might take awhile so I decided that while I had a little time I would conduct a guerrilla interview with my friend Jason Haitkin. Unfortunately for me I got a phone call about 4 minutes later notifying me that the tape I was awaiting was ready and that I’d have to cut the interview short, rendering this attempt at an interview an utter failure. As a result I will not post it on the interview section as it is incomplete and never really reaches a high point. I don’t blame this on Mr. Haitkin. I blame it on my own poor planning. If you’re wondering who Jason is. Here’s a little background. Jason works for the Fuse network. We interned at VH1 together and sat across from each other as PA’s. He’s always brutally honest and figured he’d be a really funny interview but alas my shoddy planning skills killed it. Here is the interview up until that point where it collapsed. There will be another guerrilla interview up shortly. But I’m not going to tell you when, that’s just what you’d be expecting.

Jason Haitkin shows off his favorite finger.

Evan Kessler: So when did you first realize it was 5:59 on Thursday

Jason Haitkin:
in one minute from now according to my computer

Evan Kessler:
and how did that make you feel?

Jason Haitkin:
like you’re talking to me from the future

Evan Kessler:
And as a representative from the future is there anything you’d like to ask me?

Jason Haitkin:
Yes, I can’t get my flux capacitor to work, what am I doing wrong?

Evan Kessler:
You’re not in a Delorean doing 88mph

Jason Haitkin:

Jason Haitkin:
I see

Jason Haitkin:
Is this one of those guerilla interviews for your website?

Evan Kessler:
it could be

Jason Haitkin:

Evan Kessler:
but seeing as I am about to leave work it could be an abbreviated one

Jason Haitkin:
I see

Jason Haitkin:
Well then shouldn’t you be doing work related things before you leave?

Evan Kessler:

Jason Haitkin:

Evan Kessler:
it would be too abbreviated though to put on the website, maybe I’ll get you later

Evan Kessler:
it started off promising

Jason Haitkin:
alrighty then

Evan Kessler:
foiled again

Evan Kessler:
maybe I’ll have a not-so guerrilla interview later

Jason Haitkin:
If it wasn’t for that meddling work ethic of yours

Evan Kessler:
indeed, but I figured 5:58 was a good time to catch you off guard

Jason Haitkin:
Especially since you said it was 5:59 and claimed to be from the future

Evan Kessler:
anyway, i have to go. Note to self, whenever doing a guerrilla interview, make sure to have time to do the interview
Jason Haitkin: right
Jason Haitkin: till next time

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