Tag Archives: Yo La Tengo

I Can See In Color

A beautiful summer day, a Thursday at that. Last night didn’t work out as planned but it was still an enjoyable night. Bill and I did not have the birthday dinner like we anticipated. He wound up staying in the city since there was a car fire and every bus that was leaving the terminal sat idling for quite a while. He decided to get off the bus and go back to the office.

He had taken off of work today and decided to set things up for his replacement. I came home and had a sandwich before heading up to Maxwells. It was certainly a mellow evening. No rushing through dinner to make the show. I walked up to Maxwells where my brother Frank was already inside.

I bought the tickets at the beginning of June, opting for the ‘Will Call’ service and Frank was able to get in as my plus one. I walked in and saw Pat Irwin from the Raybeats as I stood at the bar and ordered a pint of Guinness. I met up with a former Maxwells habitué, Alirio. We never really talked back in the day but thanks to Facebook a line of communication had opened.

As we stood there talking, this attractive woman comes up to me yelling that I hadn’t changed at all. It was Patti Quinn, another mainstay from back in the day. She had already talked to Alirio and focused all her attention on me which was flattering. She was there with her nephew Liam who just got back from Taipei, as well as her 2 children.

I don’t think she expected to see so many old faces and I don’t think she knew what was going on in the back. We talked for a few minutes before I headed into the back room. I found my brother Frank thanks to Stan Demeski from the Feelies. Stan was there with his lovely wife Janice and Frank was standing next to them, next to the soundboard which is where we always used to stand years ago.

The Schramms were playing and they were enjoyable. After that came the Raybeats, who I really wanted to see the most. The Raybeats were the band that Danny Amis was in a long time ago. Danny had bone cancer, which is in remission thanks to stem cell therapy. Still he has enormous medical bills which is what these benefits around the country as well as Mexico are all about.

After Danny left the Raybeats, he formed a band called Los Straightjackets in which all the band members wear wrestling masks. They’re big in Mexico too. The Raybeats were phenomenal. I love the Raybeats. Last night they had Steve Almaas on bass guitar. Alirio pointed that out and I didn’t hear what Alirio has said at first, but I did notice the Dan Electro bass he was playing. I had seen Steve Almaas several times years ago when he was in Beat Rodeo.

When the Bongos were a 3 piece, and thinking about adding another guitar, it was down to Steve Almaas and Jim Mastro. Jim got the gig and Steve did his own thing. And Jim Mastro was enjoying the show last night as well. So many people from the past & present, including Chaz Charas, whom it is always good to see.

Adele Bertei came on stage and sang Shakin’ All Over with the Raybeats and once again it was over way too soon. Then came the Individuals who put on a good set, all the original members made the show. Then came Yo La Tengo who did a very good set and finished with Jody Harris from the Raybeats on a fantastic feedback drenched finale.

It was all over around midnight I think, and I’m not sure since by the end I wound up having about half dozen pints of the black beer. Oh yes, I am paying for it today, but happily doing so. As tired as I was beforehand, seeing the Raybeats made me believe in the rejuvenating power of rock & roll.

So now I am home after running some errands. Heading into the city to see The Motherfucker with the Hat on Broadway. It stars Bobby Cannavale, Annabella Sciorra and Chris Rock. Bill and I are both quite excited to see it. I am meeting him around 6:15 at John’s Pizza in midtown for dinner before the show.

It’s been a very good and exciting 24 hours.

The Raybeats (with Gail Ann Dorsey) backing Adele Bertei at Joe’s Pub 2010

Pat Irwin, Steve Almaas, Don Christensen and Jody Harris


Yo La Tengo

Wet Job

Last night was quiet. No Juan showing up. Apparently he was sick. Bill came home and he was sick. He had a nasty cold. Quite miserable. I was glad to help him with his coat and hat and back pack. He settled down and then was off to bed where he didn’t sleep comfortably.

A stuffed up nose and an apnea mask do not make for a good night’s sleep. I didn’t stay awake much later than that and soon settled in for an uncomfortable sleep myself. Many crazy dreams which I wrote about for your annoyance or amusement.

The first dream I wrote about concerned my mother and my brother Brian attending a function that involved President Barack Obama. In the dream there were a few dozen Americans all picked to attend an event in New York City.

Buses were called for and my mother, brother and I were assigned to Michelle Obama’s cousin. We sat with her through the event and found her to be most pleasant and very pretty.

That was one of the later dreams before Bill kissed me goodbye for the day and after I woke up for some water and aspirin since I had a terrible dehydrated headache that wouldn’t go away.

After Bill split I fell asleep where I dreamed I was working at the now closed Virgin Megastore in Times Square. Martin Kelly showed up with some cash for the box as we were about to sell tickets for The Cure which were going on sale for $185.00 a pop.

I checked the voice mail and heard a message of Ann Boyles listening to a voice mail of her husband Pat Paterson. Then I was behind the customer service desk when up comes the late German artist Joseph Bueys. He was surprised that I recognized him.

He was carrying a large stuffed banana and asked me if the book he was buying would be allowed on his flight back to Germany. It was a book about Animal House and he remarked that German television could probably learn a few things from the book.

Then I tossed and turned and found myself in a different dream, a different part of Manhattan.

It seemed I was a back up dancer for Wham, George Michael’s former band. How that happened I don’t know but I do know I was not that good a dancer and spent most of my time offstage chatting with other stage personnel.

I eventually walked off stage and went to the lobby which turned out to be the Knitting Factory which moved to 52nd Street and Third Avenue. Jane Scarpantoni was there singing along to Scritti Politti’s Cupid & Psyche ’85 while sitting next to Rand.

I then woke up and had some more water to rehydrate myself. I didn’t have that busy a day and wandered around Hoboken again, taking my time to walk around various lakes of slush that appeared at various corners.

I saw Todd from McSwells and said hello to him. He said something in return but I couldn’t say what it was he was saying. Maybe I’m banned from McSwells, maybe he wished me some Happy Holidays.

I also saw Ira from Yo La Tengo and chatted with him on the street. I commended him on the song Quiet Hours from the Dark Was The Night compilation. He gave me the lowdown on that, telling me it was originally from Snapper, a guy from New Zealand.

Yo La Tengo just returned from a tour of Asia which went well. I also told him I enjoyed Adventureland and that Yo La Tengo’s music was fitting, especially since the male lead, Jesse Eisenberg looked like Ira Kaplan from back in the day. He giggled and then we parted way, each of us wishing a very happy holiday to the other.

I would like to thank Andy Savva for sending me the mp3 of Fingerprintz ‘Wet Job’ last night. He’s a Prince that Andy, cheers to him!

I played the track several times last night and walked around Hoboken with it on repeat on my iPod. Nothing like a song about espionage and murder sung in a Scottish burr to make a walk enjoyable.

Raised Eyebrows

Well it was a fun time last night. I left here after posting and I hardly ever go out, much less on a Monday night. I walked up Washington Street towards McSwells enjoying the evening and listening to Girl Talk. I downloaded one continuous track so if I want to get to a certain mix, I have to remember the time in the track and shuffle the cursor to the proper point. I got to McSwells a little after 8:00.

Saw Rob Norris and Frank Giannini having dinner with 2 friends of theirs. They waved to me through the window as I walked and I stopped by their table and said hello. No sign of brother Frank who’s almost always late. Looking for parking could be a chore so his being tardy was easily forgiven. I got myself a Stella Artois and sat in the lounge area where the big stupid kettles used to be. People were meeting up with friends and family, I sat there eagle eyed for Frank.

As I stepped out for a smoke, I ran into Ira Kaplan in the restaurant, who mentioned my letter in Mojo Magazine from a month or so ago. It seems he was on tour and reading the magazine and laughed when he saw my letter from Hoboken. We chatted for a few minutes, then he went to catch up with other people I headed outside. Andy Peters, former sound man at McSwells back in the day followed me out.

Andy is such a sweetheart. He always was. We caught up on what we were each doing. He took my picture, so I took his. Andy is married, lives in Phoenix and just became a dad 3 weeks ago. His wife, who is so understanding, let him come back east to do the sound at McSwells as well as the big Battery Park show.

Andy has always been a nice guy, back in 1991 he would offer to drive me back to Lodi when I was living with my father for those three agonizing months. He didn’t live anywhere near Lodi. He just couldn’t stand to see me ride into the city to get a bus out of the city. I’ll never forget that.

Jim DeRogatis was there. He writes about music for the Chicago Sun Times. He was with his wife. Jim Testa of Jersey Beat was there and so was Mike Carlucci, formerly of Winter Hours. Mike used to be my guitar teacher, so if any one should be blamed for my guitar playing, talk to him.

Frank showed up and we were chatting in a corner when all of a sudden I was accosted by Meghan Taylor Mastro, still the funniest woman alive.

I love her so much as most everyone who comes in contact with her does. Her husband, my pal, Jim Mastro was there of course. Richard Barone too. It seemed every time I would turn around, another face from the past was there in my line of vision.

I said hello to Brenda and Stan from the Feelies who were both warm and happy to see me. Frank was doing well, holding his own and mingling with various people, no need for me to hover in case he gets stuck on something. It’s the worrier in me I guess. Just keeping an eye on him.

I talked to Georgia Hubley, drummer for Yo La Tengo and also Ira’s wife. I congratulated them for being part of Girl Talk’s latest. They heard about it, but haven’t heard it. Ira mentioned he talked to his publisher about any infringement but it seems Greg Gillis knows the ins and outs of free use and copyrights.

I told Ira and Georgia not to sweat it, they now have street cred. We had a good chuckle about that and I reassured him that he might not get songwriting credit per se, but the fact that Yo La Tengo was mentioned in the 4 star Rolling Stone review should be credit enough. Plus now the kids might know who Yo La Tengo is.

The Feelies soon came on, Frank was in the crowd, Meghan, Jim and myself hung near the back. I saw Bob Lawton who I hadn’t seen in ages, just waved to each other as he walked by. Barre Duryea was road manager for the Feelies and he too mentioned my letter in Mojo. It wasn’t too crowded as it was an invitation only show.

I found myself standing next to an older woman who turned out to be Brenda’s mother. She was very proud of her daughter playing bass and mentioned that it seems the Feelies might have some more life in them yet. I told her she had every reason to be proud of Brenda and that the Feelies got better when she joined. Alice Genese was there as well and she always looks good and it’s always good to see her. Scott Harbison too, not drinking even.

I was being snarky throughout the show, telling Meghan that the Feelies were masters of the slow fade out as they slowly faded out. It was a good show and a really fun time. Jim and Meghan and Frank and myself left at the same time, walking down Washington Street parting ways at Eighth, me walking Frank to his car and directing him out of a tight parking spot.

It was so good that I’m going to check them out on the Fourth of July with Sonic Youth.

The Feelies then

From left, Anton Fier, Bill Million, Glenn Mercer and Keith DeNunzio

The Feelies now (from the NY Times)

From left, Dave Weckerman, Brenda Sauter, Stan Demeski, Glenn Mercer and Bill Million.

Andy Peters, sound man extraordinaire

Meghan and Jim

Me and Meghan

Mercer and Million

Away by Albert Rossington

Raised Eyebrows by goggles2

Paint it Black by Albert Rossington

Excellent article in the New York Times today, cut n’ paste:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/arts/music/01feel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin