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Archive for September, 2004

The Decemberists

Posted by evankessler on September 28, 2004

Tonight I met up with Kristin Ertel and Bill Ehninger for a little Rock and Roll action at Webster Hall via the Decemberists. Well, first Kristin and I met up and had a couple of drinks at Nevada Smith’s and Bill met us and we headed in. On the way in I ran into Syracuse Alum, Tom Hoban, now of the TVLand faction. It was a nice but brief reunion. We headed inside around 10:15. Unfortunately, we had lost track of the time and missed the opener Lou Barlow, which I am a little sore about but I’m already over.

At around 10:30 the Decemberists took to the stage and unleashed their Nerdy, Bouncy, Sea Shanty Pop on the crowd of suspecting fans. It was immediately met with cheers and happiness amongst a sea of bobbing heads. Kristin started singing along and during “Billy Liar” the third song of the set was chided by a fellow concert goer who said, “I’m here to see them not you.” Ouch. Nonetheless, Kristin admirably kept the peace although Bill wanted to strike a blow in defense. Not to say Bill’s intentions were less than admirable it just would’ve been too much to deal with that early in the night. My head was bouncing up and down all night to the Decemberists pop precision. There was nary a bad song as even the new material kept it upbeat for the seemingly pleased audience. You could tell that most of the people at the show really wanted to show their sheer exuberance for the bands material. As I looked around I saw plenty of people smiling and singing along to each accordion laden shanty. I think its obvious at this point that I’m practicing my writing skills. Nonetheless it was an excellent show.

Afterwards, Kristin and Bill went on about their early brush with bitchiness a la the girl who more or less told Kristin to be quiet. Well, let’s face it she told her to shut up in a pretty direct manner. No matter, we didn’t let it deter us from enjoying a pretty great show. I think Webster Hall has managed to position itself in between Bowery Ballroom and Irving Plaza in the Pantheon of great NYC concert venues in the past two weeks between the Modest Mouse show, and the Decemberists show.

Also, on my way home I made up a catchy chorus to what might be a good indie rock song. I’m a little hesitant to share it with anyone tonight so I put it in my written journal (gurnel) but if I ever release an album with my indie rock act Evan Kessler and His Only Two Friends, you may just be lucky enough to hear it much to your ears’ delight.

Also just a sidenote; I think I’m starting to realize just how selfish and self centered I am. Every day I sort of pick up little signals and I think I’ve been meaning to write about it for awhile but never get around to it. I guess this website is evidence enough, but I think there’s more where that came from. I’m hoping to explore it further in the future but for now, mere recognition will have to do. I mean I’m pretty sure I’m selfish and self-centered but not to the point of being a total douche, which, I think should be a relief.

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Being A Bad Jew

Posted by evankessler on September 27, 2004

Well it was Yom Kippur this weekend, otherwise known as the Jewish day of atonement and what did I do instead of fasting from Friday sundown to Saturday Sundown? I drank. Oh, and I ate. I got off of work around 6:30 on Friday and I decided it would be a game time decision whether or not I would follow the laws of Judaism or go to my friend Maureen Hoban’s Birthday party. I chose the latter. It’s not often that you go to one of your best friend’s birthday party. Besides, I can be forgiven of my sins, particularly this one, when I fast next year. . I spent the night at Maureen’s birthday at Ace Bar being chided for my shunning of religious tradition. I only stayed out til around midnight because I was exhausted from the terribly long week of work and I had to take the train home the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up and checked the train schedule and got out my best clothes, well sort of, for my trip home where I was to attend the Yiskor service in the Rockland Community College Auditorium. It’s remarkable how much my mom makes a fuss over what I am wearing and how my outfit is put together for about an hour at temple. We don’t even stay the whole service and I have to be perfectly attired for our hour and a half of passive worship. After temple we headed home and had a perfect Jewish meal of Matzo ball soup and Chinese Chicken Salad. After we hurried through dessert my mom dropped me off just in time for the 9:14 train back to the city.

I didn’t have any big plans for Saturday but a week and a half ago I ran into a girl I knew through a mutual friend who lives around the corner from me and she told me she was having a party on Saturday. I went to her party around 11:15 and stayed for about an hour and 15 minutes. I’m surprised I made it that long. I didn’t know anyone at the party and had 2 conversations. Most of the people who were there were not my type of people. I do appreciate the party invite though. Afterwards, I headed down to Tom and Jerry’s on Elizabeth St. and had a couple of beers with Arby and his friend Marie and her friends. It was Marie’s birthday. I had a couple of beers in celebration and headed home around 2 or maybe a little later.

This morning came and it was nothing but football and food. Sean Maddison and I ate wings, watched the Giants beat the Browns, watched some of the shootout that was the Green Bay- Indy game. After half time I had beers with Arby and Vinny at Reservoir while watching more football. When that game ended I came back home and ordered a pizza with Sean while watching the Oakland vs. TB Sunday night game. I feel like I was eating to gain weight for a movie role or something. That being said, all of that food has made me tired. I need some sleep. Tomorrow is another week.

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Old 97’s

Posted by evankessler on September 24, 2004

I don’t really have much to say other than any concert that starts with “Barrier Reef” and ends with “Timebomb” off of Too Far To Care, is absolutely perfect by me. I saw the Old 97’s tonight for the third time since January and the third time in my lifetime but it was extremely memorable. I think my favorite moments were when anything from “Too Far to Care” was performed but for the most part it was an exceptional show. From all of the songs on Satellite Rides, Drag It Up, Fight Songs, and Too Far To Care, there could not be a more perfect concert. They even did a cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”. Rhett Miller and company do an excellent job of keeping the energy at a constant high during their performances. In my third time seeing the 97’s I felt equally as energized as the first time I saw them. I would love to be objective and tell you about flaws within the set but I just can’t find any; This band is extremely solid. Even Miller’s solo material “Come Around” and “Four Eyed Girl” were met with equal enthusiasm as other 97’s favorites. The band has an uncanny knack for keeping people tuned in and turned on to its sound. Nothing but bouncy country twang mixed with an ideal measure of pop perfection.

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Posted by evankessler on September 23, 2004

I wasn’t planning on doing anything tonight when I was offered a ticket of a free screening for the movie “Kinsey” at the Kips Bay Loews Theatre. I didn’t have a clue what the movie was about so I watched the trailer before I left. According to the trailer the movie was about Alfred Kinsey, who pioneered the study of human sexuality. Sounds simple enough. Let me first say that I can’t see this film getting below an NC-17 rating. Yes there is sex in the film. No, it is not sexy or romantic. For the most part I found the sex scenes to be strange, not necessarily uncomfortable but very clinical. There was plenty of penis and vagina discussion amongst other anatomical references, not to mention visuals. At some points it felt almost documentary like. One of the funniest moments came early in the film as a class watched a sex ed film probably dating from the early 1930’s or 40’s. It’s interesting to see society’s view of sexuality change, much of it in part to this one person’s work.

As the film wore on Kinsey’s own sexuality was explored as well as was the sexual secrets of the entire country if not the world. Some of the sexual contact seemed as poorly foreshadowed as that of a Porn film from today. I’m not sure if that was the intention but you could see what was about to happen. For instance, two men with their shirts off doing yard work was an obvious clue to a later homosexual encounter and a woman asking a man if he wanted a piece of pie later in the film tipped you off to their ensuing tryst. They even had film of some of the sexual studies conducted by the doctor which in its black and white format seemed to almost resemble a snuff film, minus the murder of course.

Overall, it was a really interesting movie in that I felt like I was learning more than being entertained. I guess that’s what biographical films are for. I’m still not sure whether or not I like the film. I think it was very effective in getting it’s point across as to the effect this one person had on the way we as a society view sex. I feel like I just wrote a book report.
That being said, I’d like to thank Jess Smith for inviting me, even though she couldn’t make it, and Erin McCaffrey for the ticket even though she couldn’t make it, and Orly, Samantha, and Katie for a splendid evening of watching an interesting film.

Ok, I’m going to let the Theraflu kick in and I’ll go off to dreamland in the hopes that my cold will be gone in time for me to get rowdy for the Old 97’s show which I will be taking in with Arby

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Happy Jewish New Year

Posted by evankessler on September 17, 2004

I’m so excited that today is over. I need to sleep off all of the self inflicted aching that was a result of last night’s hard partying ways. I spent most of the day at work in a complete haze but I was surprisingly overproductive. I ordered footage we needed for our show and looked through interview transcripts. Being busy always makes the day go faster but being hungover makes it drag so they both sort of cancelled each other out. At lunch today surfing the web and was on the smoking gun website looking at the mug shots. I was reading the arrest thing for that wrestling guy Brock Lesnar and he was listed as the champion of World Wrestling Entertainment. I began wonder, can you really be the Champion of something called “Entertainment”. He is the champion of scripted bodyslamming. I think if you were the champion of entertainment you’d have some sort of acting award like an emmy, not just a belt that people gave to you because you hit some guy in the head with a chair while the ref wasn’t looking because he was being distracted by another wrestler who came into the ring and started punching your opponent’s manager in the face allowing you to render your opponent unconscious with the aforementioned foreign object and dispose of said object just in time so the ref could catch you pinning your nemesis assuming it was all done legally within the confines of the rules.

Brock Lesnar,”Champion”

Anyway, so my point is, the term, “Champion of World Wrestling Entertainment” sounds silly.
Ok, I’m going to sleep. I’m leaving work early on Friday (today/tomorrow) to have some dinner in Rockland for Rosh Hashanah but I’ll be back home by 11 or so hopefully.

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Book Club

Posted by evankessler on September 15, 2004

Tonight I met with the book club that I joined with before the summer. I’m not really sure what month it formed but that’s irrelevant. We’re already 4 books deep, so that’s good, even though I’ve only read three of them. Originally when I joined I only knew four of the members and I actually skipped the last meeting so I thought I’d be a little out of the loop but it ended up being a really good time. Deb Spokony and I went to the meeting together as we both live in the West Village and we went up towards the Upper East Side or as I like to call it “My least favorite area of the city”, where Samantha Martin was to be this evenings host. These book club meetings never really focus on the book we read that much. For the most part we only spend 10 minutes discussing our thoughts on the book we just read. In this case, the book was The Cheese Monkeys, a tale of art school in the 1950’s. Overall I thought the book was really entertaining. The only area I was really disappointed with was the character development. The author spent virtually zero time telling us anything about the characters.

That was pretty much the extent of all the commenting made on the book. Most of the night Jess, Dannovan, Deb, Samantha, Tom(?), Lauren and I spoke on a range of topics most of which were not the least bit concerned with literature. Topics ranged from toilet paper and snot, all the way to politics. It was a diverse night to say the least. For some reason every time Jess Smith spoke, the room went quiet afterwards. Deb also tended to pepper the conversation with stories of dying animals and handicapped children, which really brought the mood down momentarily, but sort of in a funny way.

Orly Sigal showed up late just around the time we were all ready to leave and the get together seemed to stretch out for another 30-40 minutes from that point. Maybe less. I lost track of the time. I’m writing this pretty much after getting home. For the next book we’ve decided to read an as yet undetermined classic. Right now, we’re thinking Hemingway but we’re open to suggestions.

Also, tomorrow night, secret modest mouse show that I got tickets for today. Sweet!

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Posted by evankessler on September 9, 2004

I’ve been brainstorming the last couple of days about how I can possibly improve the internet juggernaut that is http://www.evankessler.com and I haven’t come up with much. Sure, I have had a few suggestions here and there to improve the design and add more pictures, but these will probably occur in good time. However, those things are simple and offer no real insight to anything about my being. I thought the store was enough. One person suggested to type a diary of what I eat each day but that would get boring extremely quickly as most days I repeat my meal choices from the previous day. Well, not all the time but I don’t think it would be much fun.

I also thought it might be fun to actually join a dating service such as yahoo personals or match.com and try to go on a few dates and offer up my experiences, which actually strikes me as a fun idea, not for a serious relationship but just because it would be interesting and they’d probably be funny experiences to write about. That being said I made profiles for those two aforementioned websites but in order to actually talk to the people you want, you have to pay the sites money (not that this should have been a revelation.) I’m pretty against this although I am thinking of utilizing the cheapest plan if I decide to see this idea through to fruition. I even got an “Icebreaker” (which means someone liked your profile)back from yahoo, but you can only respond back from an icebreaker with another icebreaker that says something similar like “I like your profile too”. No real information is ever exchanged so putting a profile up without the intent to pay is useless. You can’t even exchange email addresses. Also, the idea itself is a little too time consuming for my taste I think, not that I’m terribly busy. I’d have to email people and then actually go on the dates and spend money. Oh well, so much for that idea. Does anyone have any other ideas? I’m open to any website improvement suggestions not having to do with design. If not, I’m sure I’ll come up with something soon and keep checking the blog.

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Last Night’s Dream

Posted by evankessler on September 3, 2004

Has anyone ever seen a mouse playing a harmonica? I’m just trying to figure out whether or not the visual from the dream I had last night is feasible.

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Big Money

Posted by evankessler on September 3, 2004

I won $12 on a scratch off bingo card today. My luck is finally changing. Do I get bumped up into a higher tax bracket? Do I have to report those earnings? Drinks are on me this weekend.

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