Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Neko and The Witty Banter

Posted by evankessler on April 10, 2006

“She’s real fine my 409.” What am I talking about? It’s April 9th so I’m just quoting the Beach Boys and while they weren’t referring to April 9th it was the first thing I thought of when I typed the date out. Moving right along, to the weekend recap. Well first thing’s first I had a minor league hangover when I first awoke early Friday morning after Thursday’s festivities. I probably should have had more to eat before going out drinking the previous night and even though I had barbecue afterwards, I was still feeling slightly nauseous and brain dead at 8am in the morning. At around 9:20am I got a call to temp at a Synagogue on the Upper East Side from 11 to 3. It was quite odd and I was extremely reluctant to work it since the pay wasn’t that great, but really what temp job has the benefit of great pay?

I arrived at the Synagogue at 10:45 am via a maze of unnecessary subway transfers. My brief tenure as receptionist was generally uneventful. Phones were answered and envelopes were stuffed, my elder Jewish woman supervisor nagged as elder Jewish women are wont to do. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how or why most of the older Jewish women I’ve met seem to work so hard to validate the stereotype of the Jewish mother. This woman, though very nice, checked every 2 minutes to make sure that I was stuffing envelopes correctly as if there were some hidden mystery behind folding paper and sliding it inside an 4 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch enclosure. Well at least I was occupied for the afternoon.

Upon arriving home after 3pm I just wasted away in preparation for my Friday evening activity and when the Mets-Marlins game came on I was transfixed for a few minutes before I had to depart. I met Marie L and Zak at Webster Hall at about 8:40pm to go see Neko Case. The only problem was that Zak and Marie had tickets but I did not. I asked the bouncer if they had released any tickets day of show but I was met with a stone-faced “sold out” reply. As I expressed my chagrin over the seeming lack of ticket buying possibilities to my fellow concert going friends I heard the bouncer utter the words “that guy over there”. I turned around to see him pointing at me. I was saved, but not in a biblical sense. Finding a Neko Case ticket was not going to get me to heaven unless it was musical heaven (wow that was awful). I gladly paid the friendly concertgoer for his ticket and introduced myself. His name was Kevin and he was on the list but he had bought 2 tickets and only had one friend with him. Shortly after entering the venue I thanked Kevin and we parted ways as I joined Marie and Zak in establishing a location that would give us a clear view of the stage. Neko stepped on stage promptly at 9pm. At first we thought it was the opener the High Dials but apparently we missed them. Just before the show started I turned around to see Janet Turley and her friend behind us. It was quite the coincidence since it was Janet’s birthday and I was supposed to go to her birthday party the next day. Janet went upstairs with her friend to watch the show and I turned around and reestablished my position. I had a crystal clear view of the stage and the sound was fantastic as well. Neko has such a strong beautiful voice and every note sounded pitch perfect. The first two or three songs my attention was focused on the stage until the 2 or 3 girls behind me started to engage in the most uninteresting of small talk at a louder than acceptable decibel level. I shot them some death glares but they continued their obnoxious banter. I even made an ally in the girl next to me who was also annoyed by the persistence of their conversation. Two songs later they were still talking and the force field protecting the personal space of myself Zak, and Marie had collapsed. It was time to make a lateral move.

Normally , I hate when people move around a lot at shows but this was necessary. I think we may have pissed some people off as we slipped through the crowd. As we descended upon our final standing place I thought I saw my friend Maureen’s brother Stephen and did a little slo-mo drive by wave but it was sort of half assed since I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way, so they didn’t see me. Also, I have seen his doppelganger before but I was pretty sure that he was standing next to his girlfriend Katie. When we finally arrived in our new spot we were rewarded with a clear view for the remainder of the show, and what a show it was. Neko was in fine form and really performed an outstanding set. My personal highlights were the songs, “Deep Red Bells”, “Set Out Running”, her cover of Bob Dylan’s “Bucket’s of Rain”, and her new song “John Saw That Number”. Perhaps the best moments of the show weren’t even the songs. I was endlessly amused by the on stage witty banter. It was probably some of the best between song interaction I’d witnessed at any show. The topics ranged from T.J. Hooker, Adrian Zmed, Chippendales Dancers, Eggs, Cocaine, and other far fetched topics. The banter to was enjoyable to the point where you wanted to hang out with Neko and company after the show to continue the conversations but alas the show had to end sometime and we had to be on our way. There was one more surprise in store before the show ended though. Neko and the band had jokingly launched into Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” despite not knowing the verse at all. After an improvised verse and chorus or two, they stopped to see if anyone in the audience knew the actual lyrics. I didn’t see any hands but apparently there was one person who raised one and he went up on stage. Halfway through the brave soul’s first verse I recognized that brave soul as Kevin or he who sold me his extra ticket. Pretty funny stuff. When the show ended Katie and Stephen came over and said hello and after a brief conversation went our separate ways. I wanted to talk longer but I had to go to the bathroom.

When I left the venue I saw Janet and Friends across the street as well as Marie and Zak nearby. I wanted everyone to get drinks together but Marie and Zak split off to get a drink together and I joined Janet so that I could celebrate her official birthday. First we tried to go to Black and White Bar but her friend Marta didn’t have her driver’s license or passport with her so we ended up making our way to Holiday Cocktail Lounge for cheap beers and pleasant conversation. At Holiday, I ran into Lucy Lesser a former VH1 colleague, who was hanging out with her friend Missy who just happens to be a bartender at my favorite karaoke establishment Planet Rose. I temporarily tried to rescue them from a conversation they were not enjoying with 2 strange bar patrons but to no avail so I rejoined Janet and friends. When Holiday close at around 12:20am we walked down to Local 138 for one more beer. It was kind of a long way to walk for just one beer but I suppose walking is good for you and beer is bad for you so they just cancel each other out. I’m not sure what time we left the bar but I said goodbye and happy birthday to Janet and her friends. I was sure I would see them Saturday but I suppose the first part this sentence served to foreshadow that I would not.

Saturday morning the rains came. There was not really any reason to go outside unless you felt like getting wet. I only went outside to get some food. Unfortunately for me the Met game was rained out so my baseball watching plans were spoiled. I ended up watching Soapdish, which I find to be a wholly enjoyable movie, on HB019. The rest of the afternoon was spent tracking my fantasy baseball team stats using the Yahoo Statracker ™ that I think is only available for free for the first week or two of the season. The Stattracker ™ basically tells you who is at bat and updates your fantasy stats live as the games happen. I’m thankful that the Stattracker ™ is not available year round because I would never leave my house. The MLB extra innings package was also running a free preview over the weekend so I could see all of the games for free but for some reason I was more hypnotized by the little box in the corner of my computer. Ah technology.

When the evening came I had a choice of three separate events (I’m so popular). Event one was Janet’s birthday celebration out in Williamsburg,, event two was Betsy’s friend Megan’s birthday at Bar on A, and event three was Suli’s friend Catherine’s Birthday at an apartment on E. 11th street. I chose event three. Or, to be more accurate I chose event three with the intention of making it to events one and two at some point in the evening. It didn’t work that way. I arrived at Catherine’s birthday party on E.11th at 9pm and didn’t leave until 3 something I think. I was honestly expecting some big crazy party but it was actually pretty small and I was a little apprehensive at first since I’ve only met Catherine once before at a Cold Hands Collective show and it was a brief meeting at that but I think it’s safe to say we both made a positive impression at each other, or at least positive enough to become myspacesters. Also at the party were my good friends Joe and Suli, as well as Catherine’s friend Jody who was hosting the shindig and who I’d met on the same night I met Catherine. I met many other folks as well throughout the course of the night though my mind is a little foggy. There was a Rebecca who I spoke with at length as well as two Swedish girls, two other Rockland guys and a couple of punk looking people who were cool. There were more people I spoke with but I don’t really feel like listing any more names or putting people into groups even though I tend to do that frequently. It seemed like a small but diverse gathering of cool people, so it gets thumbs up from me.

When I awoke this morning at 10:30am I was fully clothed on my couch and there was an empty little plastic container of Swedish fish from the bodega down the street. The rest of the day was uneventful. I watched the Mets win and followed the Yahoo StatTracker ™ some more. I can’t wait til that thing stops working. I also went on a bit of a walk to K-Mart to buy underwear just like Raymond Babbitt only I don’t go to the K-Mart in Cincinnati. I also won’t let crazy Tom Cruise tell me that K-Mart sucks. It is all part of a retroactive Scientology plot to destroy K-Mart. You’ll see. I also got a Frosty ™ from Wendy’s ™ so I could enjoy a cold Ice Cream-like beverage or non-beverage on my walk. Tonight was all about Sopranos and Big Love, though I’m not sure why I’m still watching the latter. It ‘s probably because I’m too lazy to change the channel because I definitely do not care about what’s going on in the show. Alright, I suppose this post has gone on long enough. Tomorrow is another day and 24 is on. That’s all I need.


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