Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

The Sound of Sirens

Posted by evankessler on July 21, 2009

Hello EvanKessler.com readers, my old friends.  I’ve come to blog for you again.  Because a weekend slowly fading from the sands of time is still fresh in the back of my memory, I thought it was high time I brought it back to life in all of it’s fruitless glory.  I’ll beging where I usually begin, that elusive friday evening that we work all week to get to only to see it fade away so often in a drunken haze, the blink of an eye or the twitch of an involuntary muscle fiber.

This past weekend began like so many others, with  the celebration of the anniversary of a friend’s emergence from the womb.  There were more than two lives to commemorate on this evening and so it was undoubtedly going to be unsatisfying on some level.  I find those evenings with more than one event that seems of an obligatory nature to always leave something to be desired.  I always feel as though I missed something by leaving the other and that the 2nd event is joined at a point in progress where you’ve ultimately missed the momentum. Such is the story of my Friday evening.

I arrived at Musical Box on Avenue B between 13th and 14th street shortly after 7pm.  I had called Suli 15 minutes prior to my arrival to see if he was at the bar in which he would be celebrating his birthday.  Despite his email that had notified us to show up at 7pm he would not be on time.  Perhaps, this was wise as the bar would not open for another half hour, much to the chagrin of myself and the other two revellers who, like me, were not really in the mindset to appear fashionably late.  Jason S, Jes P and I stood outside future party central making pleasant conversation and peppering the same lewd joke whenever a passerby was close enough to possibly be eavesdropping.  I don’t quite remember what we were saying, but I think the general content involved “inserting penises” somewhere.

About five minutes prior to the doors opening, the belated birthday boy arrived on the scene.  After ordering up a round of drinks, rather than enjoy the spaciousness of the empty bar, we made ourselves cozy in the back left corner at a couch that had been reserved for the specific purpose of accommodating our company.    It felt a little odd having all of that free roaming space behind us, but we liked it just fine.

JSarah Shows Her Appreciation for Birthday Boy #1

JSarah Shows Her Appreciation for Birthday Boy #1

The crowd grew rather quickly, Ajay, Morwin, Kishore, Nicole P, Kayvalyn, Andrea, Joe D, JSarah, Erika G, Rich, Enisha, and really too many people to name.  It was a good mix of New York City, Rockland County, and parts unknown.  The conversation was flowing just as smoothly as a tap dispensing Guinness.  I made my way between several groups of people and was genuinely enjoying myself.  However, I could not stop looking at my watch.  I had told my friend Jenny back in Brooklyn that I would be at the party she was throwing  by 10 so that they could present Matt with the birthday cake.

So, despite having an enjoyable time at Musical Box, I said my goodbyes, and regrettably left early, ultimately missing out on the appearance on my friend Matt C who was up from DC for his own birthday.  The rain was pouring and I thought it might be tough to find a cab in the East Village because of it, but I had no trouble as the first yellow minivan I waved down promptly stopped in front of me.

I entered to find the 2Pac song “California Love” turned up to 11.  Thankfully, the driver saw fit to turn it down so that I could tell him where I was going.  The second he got the information though, it was back to busting eardrums.  It didn’t bother me that much originally as it is an enjoyably nostalgic tune.  The nostalgia did not stop there though as right after the song ended he played the same song again and at a similar level. Apparently he was fond for the events of 3 minutes before.   My first thought on the second “California Love” go around was that of identification.  I’ve played the same song twice in a row before because I liked.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the next three times he played the song.  All the way to Matt and Jenny’s house it was “California Love.”  Five straight times of the same song.  I thought I was being punked or in some weird twilight zone vignette. It was as if I wasn’t even in the car. This guy could not get enough of this song, but I could. I thought it was the more incredible cab rides I’d ever been privy to; just wholly unusual.

I was more than happy to escape into the receding dampness of the night.  I had the driver drop me off a full two blocks before the apartment, mostly because it was the only point I might get in a word edgewise before the next (or same) song started again.  I also thought I might find an open beer store, but to no avail.  I entered Matt and Jenny’s empty-handed, which felt somewhat shameful.  I hate showing up to a party without bringing anything.  That’s just wrong.  There was nothing I could do at that point though and I really had to pee anyway.  So, this one time, they’d have to let me off easy.

The crowd at Matt’s was fewer than I had expected.  Matt and Jenny always had pretty decent throngs of friends at their get togethers, but I guess the rain had cause many to balk at the proposal of a good time.  Pesky water.  In any case, the faces surronding me were familiar ones.  Zak, Emma, Marie, Abbi, Felecia, John, Robert, Matt’s bandmate Rich, and maybe someone I’m leaving out.

The party itself was very mellow, which was kind of a downer from the very lively scene I had been apart of prior.  I wasn’t unhappy to be there by any means, but it was a complete 180 from where I had been.  It sort of made me wished I had stayed where I was, but I was still glad to be celebrating Matt’s birthday with friends as well.  Sometimes fun and friendship can be a double-edged sword.

Soon after my arrival the cake was brought out.  It was similar to the one Jenny created for Marie’s birthday, except for the fact that it had not been fashioned into a volcano.  It was however, rich and delicious.

Matt Attempts To Put Out The Candles Blowdart Style

Matt Attempts To Put Out The Candles Blowdart Style

Post-cake the rest of the evening was spent blabbing in the backyard, feeling the stickyness of humidity and sprinkle of mist dance around our exposed skin.  Zak, Emma, Marie, and Abbi seemed to exit on the early side and the evening ended with some more light chatter from the host couple, Felecia, John, and Robert.  Everyone else eventually made their exit via car service and I walked home at what seemed like a reasonable hour seeing as the sky had cleared up considerably and it was strolling weather.

Saturday’s plan was a little bit iffy.  I had been planning on attending the Siren Festival on Coney Island not out of fondness for any of the acts, but more so out of my desire to relive the majesty of July 4th weekend.  Sure it was a markedly different event, but you can never go wrong with Nathan’s Famous, the boardwalk, and some quality music.

Out of all of the people I knew, I was probably the first to arrive.  My original plan was to get there by 1pm to see the Tiny Masters of Today, a band consisting of a 13 and 15 year old pair of siblings.  I had my interest piqued when I checked out their website.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get out of my apartment til close to 1pm forcing that plan immediately out the window.

By the time I arrived, The Blue Van was playing on the Stillwell Stage, but more important than that, there was no line at Nathan’s!  In past years at the Siren Festival I had usually experience up to half-hour waits at the Hot Dog haven.  Rather than wait around, it was go time.  I got myself a cheesedog and some fries in  a snap and wandered around the booths for a bit while the poor sound quality emanating from the 2nd stage aided in the background noise department.

After sampling some Coke Zero and Fuzion to help wash down my meal, I headed over to the Main stage where Mikachu & The Shapes were starting up.  There I ran into Jes P, her friends who were visiting, and Jason S. After standing around and watching Micachu for a few minutes, Jason and I more or less decided that they were not our thing.  We wandered back to the other stage and caught a little bit of Bear Hands’ set.

It was like a game of music festival badminton with Jason and I as shuttlecocks.  We’d sit for a few songs at the  Stillwell Stage and then get knocked back to the main stage.  After tiring of Bear Hands’ we moved back to main stage to catch Japandroid for a good bit before deciding to get a feel for The Oh Sees.  Unfortunately, by the time we got to the Stillwell stage for that, the band had finished.  Apparently they had only played a twenty minute set.

Frightened Rabbit at Siren Festival

Frightened Rabbit at Siren Festival

We had set a dizzying pace for ourselves in the early going, but that was calmed down after our disappointing last foray to Stillwell.  We caught up with Suli, Jes, Andrea, Andrea’s neighbor Jennifer, Rich, and Ajay (dressed ridiculously in a suit in 85 degree weather) to catch the Frightened Rabbit set, which was pretty decent.  When that part of the afternoon came to a close it was back to Nathan’s for the other’s to get their grub on.

Jes and Ajay: Two Faces in the Coney Island Crowd

Jes and Ajay: Two Faces in the Coney Island Crowd

During our time at Nathan’s, Andrea tried to relay the story of a great local Rochester commercial that apparently brought about the maximum level of unintentional comedy with it’s sung “tighten up” slogan.  We all looked at her like she was crazy, but eventually took it to be our own slogan for the afternoon.

We didn’t move from our perch at Nathan’s more or less until a little after 6pm when the Raveonettes were playing at the mainstage.  By the time we made it up there though the crowd was pretty backed up and the sound was not really concert quality where we were standing.  Several of our crew went to go on The Cyclone and a few of us waited it out. The Cyclone was kind of making me nervous all day.  While the bands were playing I kept noticing the rickety wooden nature of the structure every time the cars went over each track and seemed to shake the foundation a bit.  I was not getting on that thing. I’m not paying $8 for historic whiplash.

Beware The Cyclone

Beware The Cyclone

Once the Cyclone riders returned, we all made our way to our section of Brooklyn.  I rode the subway alone back to Park Slope having not ridden a bike.  We had made plans to meet up and hang out at Kishore’s after we regained our composure after a day roasting in the sun.  We were even going to barbecue.  I made my way over to Kishore’s having bought some sausage, chips, and beer; ready to grill.  When I got there I found out that everyone had bailed.  Oh well, Kishore, Patty, and I enjoyed the sausage, chips and beer, though we didn’t stay out too late.

Sunday was low key.    My ankle was bothering me a little bit from all of the pressure I had exerted on it by standing around and/or walking all day.  I’m so fragile.  I basically spent my final day of the weekend sweating and reading on the stoop.  Not the worst low note to bring things to a close.

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