Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rock Shows of Note LXXXVII

After eating what might be the best hot dogs I've ever had at Sparky's in Williamsburg, and a quick coffee at a place that wasn't Verb, which was closed, Jen and I made our way to Northsix for the early They Might Be Giants New Year's show.

The line to get in was already in full effect, so we trucked to the back of the queue and braved the mystery drips from the buildings as we progressed to the door. The security guy was really nervous about my paper coffee cup. "You're going to have to throw that away, man. So finish it." "I'm done. I just want to throw it away." "OK, man, but you're going to have to throw it away."

This show, like the late show, had sold out, but we ensconced ourselves on the bar side of the bleachers and clung to the wall for most of the show. It was pretty crowded, and the staff kept trying to move people forward and to the right. Boston-based Gravel Pit front man Jedediah Parish opened, performing a solo set despite being sick with the flu. Regardless, he did very well, opening with a song about how he didn't need a band -- while still celebrating some notable musical groups, including one including Maynard Ferguson, Clifford Brown, and Harold Land. He rhymed the latter player's name with "band," believe it or not. Jed drank a lot of water, losing track of which bottles were his and taking some audience members's along with his own. "Thank you for the water."

Finally, They Might Be Giants. This was my first time seeing them play, much less play in Brooklyn, so it was quite a treat. They griped about their new digital monitor system, criticized the current administration, and celebrated Brooklyn in their own special way. "Birdhouse in Your Soul," "Why Does the Sun Shine?" and "Alphabet of Nations" were special treats. A Williamsburg native narrated their set of songs from Venue Songs, which stretched overly long and proved somewhat anticlimactic, as the set ended with a nice closer -- but they still had more time to play.

Jen had developed a headache and left to escape the loud and check out Molly Crabapple's New Year's party. I lingered slightly longer and left when they broke into the Malcolm in the Middle theme song. A quick and not-too-cold walk home, and I'm perched on the futon gearing up for New Year's with Dick Clark. I really missed him last year, and this year's broadcast introduction was more of a torch passing to Ryan Seacrest than I expected.

Special thanks to Jen, who joined me as a last minute stunt date of sorts. I'd bought two tickets ages ago, hoping to get a bunch of friends to go as a group, and everyone either had pre-existing plans or was out of town. We'd never met before, so things were a little awkward -- but fun nonetheless. Happy new year, Jen!

Update: Jen shares a brief story about new year's, too.

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