Sunday, August 29, 2004

Best Reason Not to Have Come Over to My Apartment

MTV VMAs 2004 Holy crap what crap. Not even worth turning the TV on for. If we go back in time a year, the most awesome thing I had done in New York was checking out the red carpet for the 2003 VMAs and then running over to Leslie's to catch the broadcast. It was a regular trip to the Celebrity Zoo followed by pure pop entertainment. But this year? This Miami nonsense? Nonsense! No host, a bunch of lousy bands, continuous sound problems, and (ugh) so much love for Outkast. But now that Outkast has won the VMAs maybe we can move on and forget about Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (if you've visited before maybe you'll remember that I don't dig Outkast one bit and this damages my ability to go out into society.) Oh, and especially bad? They spend the evening hyping the special guest who'd be joining Alicia Keyes and you know who it turns out to be? Stevie Wonder. Yeah, pretty cool. Except he was the surprise guest a few years ago when Will Smith performed "Wild Wild West." You don't have to tell me, I'm too old for this stuff. Token apologies to those who did come over to watch, at least the company was great, not to mention the cheese. Maybe the worst? Not even Kanye was good! (There must've been some problem with monitors because across the board people were singing completely out of tune.)

On the Other Hand Here's a pretty good reason to come over to my apartment. I've discovered that Elvis Costello lives in the same building as me. Yeah, really. I saw him twice on Friday, one of those times he was with a blonde woman who I didn't even think to recognize as his wife, Diana Krall. New York City apartment buildings are funny in that they can contain roomy little studios for law students like myself along with accomodations for fellows like Mr. Costello.

When will my computer be fixed? If my PC were returned from the dead, I could show you the pictures I took of Jay-Z's new Tribeca home. Or pictures of my zany trip to Ikea, had I taken any.

Best End of the Summer El Verano esta muerto, there's really no denying it. But at least I officially killed the summer by devouring some really great and absurdly affordable sushi with the PR Department. Raw fish, I would've never guessed I'd love you so much. West Side Sushi, I shall return. (Take it as a threat or a promise)

Do You Know What's Awesome? Thisis awesome. When I get the time I'm scouring the whole site--but, for now, it's already clear that Cat Town is better than Homestar. "She is stylish and I think she is also a reporter."

I'm sorry for posting so much non-content tonight. I'll write something smart as soon as I've got something not-dumb to say.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Best Short Short Story by Me About My Day

"Have a nice day" the girl behind the counter said. Have a nice day? I had just bought a grape soda and was going to go drink it in the park, of course I was going to have a nice day.

That night I ate with Mike the Model and Lisa from High School in the East Village and they discovered they'd been living parallel lives. On my way home from dinner I saw Q-Tip parking his G500 at the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Street. If I'm not being surprised by how tiny a celebrity is, I'm being surprised by how fat they've gotten.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Best Example of Me Making a Bad Decision

Last night I was at the park with numerous friends, including the famous Young Sisters (Patricia, Laura, Stephanie [and their friend Leslie who is visiting]). We got hungry, I decided to buy some food from the Columbus Circle Whole Foods to take home. They decided I was lame and headed to Cafe Habana. This is the email I got from Patricia this morning to show me what I get for my lameness:

"..after Whole Foods we try the cuban place again, didn't mind waiting. stephanie and laura use the restroom, pass all booths. wait outside again. stephanie stands near window, dazed, listening to headphones, exclaims, "look!" we peer in the window. mary-kate, ashley, boyfriend. get seated two booths away. laura gets a picture with them, they look over at our booth. waitress asks us to move to another booth ... closer to them. people in between leave, we have clear view. we are fans. and the food was excellent."

It's not like I belong to any sort of Mary-Kate and Ashley fanclub, but I'm hearing a lot of "You go to NYU, have you seen the Olsen twins?" these days. Now I can say, "No, I haven't seen them, but I did turn down an opportunity to have dinner with them." It's more or less true.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Best of All Rock Festivals

Because his wife is awesome, my homeboy Shane got to come up from DC last weekend (when I say "last weekend" I'm talking the weekend that started with Friday August the 13) to go to the "Little Steven's International Underground Garage Festival" (a.k.a. "Underground Garage" from here on out) with me. The concept behind the Underground Garage was/is mindblowing: over 40 rock bands from throughout the 50 year history of rock n roll, all dedicated to the raw and primal sound that is "garage" (or, speaking more specifically and archetypically: garage should be the sound and intensity of the Hamburg-era Beatles). On its face, not much more needs to be said about this festival to explain why Shane and I needed to go to it, but here's some more historical information: I met Shane when I was a freshman at BYU (back in 1995) when I began stalking a local band called Thee Martinis for whom he drummed under the guise of "Wiggles Martini." Somehow Shane took me to be a cool enough guy to hang out with him and he educated me in the history of the finest 60's rock n roll and it's most loyal modern imitators--the lineup of the Underground Garage contained at least a dozen bands which Shane and I were nuts for back in 1996, so the event, aside from being awesome, was infused with a certain rock n roll nostalgia.

I would tell you every last thing Shane and I did over the course of the weekend, but that'd be lame of me. Yes, we ate crazy Indian. Yes, we ate crazy Thai. Yes, we even ate crazy Mexican. But I'm just going to tell you about every band that I saw at the Underground Garage, if that's all right.

(Shane and I arrived at the Underground Garage [the festival was held on Randalls Island, FYI] at around 2, three hours after it started. I think this means we missed around 20 bands. It should be said that there were annoying MCs between sets, that a dozen go-go dancers were just about always on stage, that the entire thing was being filmed with very expensive looking cameras, and that there was a video screen above the stage that usually was used to show trailers for and scenes from 50's and 60's sci-fi and horror movies. From this point on, you're just getting a list of bands and my impressions)

The Charms The first of only three girl-fronted acts that I caught. Not the best band of the day.

The Lyres The second band of the day for me and the first of which I had 1996 memories. It should be said now that these bands from early in the day each played 2 or 3 song sets, but the Lyres seemed to just play one long song.

The Stems According to my notes I saw a band called "The Stems" -- I don't remember them at all. But I do remember that they were followed by "Eek the Geek", a Coney Island Sideshow Act.

The Woggles Another band I "knew" coming into the event. But I didn't realize they were so old.

The Chocolate Watchband A "pivotal" (it seems so silly to say such a thing) 60's psychedelic garage band and someone that the crowd was excited to see. Plenty of maracas and tambourines and the first great sing-along song of the day, "Don't Need Your Lovin' No More."

The Shazam A good modern act, but they only just barely fit the bill.

The Electric Prunes The oldest looking band of the day and a big hit with the older looking members of the audience (a.k.a. everyone who was at the festival not just to see the Strokes) many were floored by "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" which was often brought up as one of the day's finest performances by the MCs later on that night.

The Fuzztones New York "legends" (the term is used loosely right now because I'm going to have to use it to describe real legends like the Dictators and New York Dolls later on) and first real rockstars of the day.

The Creation The Creation provided the crowd with the first great rock-out moment with their second number, "Making Time" (a.k.a. "that song from Rushmore"). Feedback bliss, totally awesome.

Chesterfield Kings No, forget the Fuzztones, these guys were the first real real rockstars of the day. Also, Bruce Springsteen came out to introduce them. No joke. Now I have actual interest in and respect for the Boss.

The Mooney Suzuki They dress psychedelic now, so I nearly didn't recognize the guys and I think they have a new drummer. Anyway, it was a surprise that this fairly popular current band didn't play later on in the day, but their three songs were hot and they were introduced by Mr. Gong Show/CIA Assassin Chuck Berris. There were all sorts of odd intros throughout the day. It should be said that the Mooney Suzuki are to garage what the Darkness are to rawk, but that's no reason to hate on anyone.

The Paybacks Second girl band of the day. A Detroit presence.

The Pete Best Band You have to wonder what it's like to be Pete Best. Well, at least he has a so-so band that he's in now, living off the fact that he wasn't in the Beatles when they were successful. So, a lack of success breeds "success" and everyone gets on with their lives.

The 45's All I have written in my notes about them is "good", so I suppose they were good. Yet not memorable.

D4 I knew D4 was hot, but I didn't know they were this hot. One of the surprise high-points of the day was their cover of Guitar Wolf's Planet of the Wolves track "Invader Ace." Intense, awesome.

The Romantics Mod old men. Don't know if I really wanted or needed to hear "What I Like About You", but I heard it, and there's nothing I can do about that.

At this point, sets started to get longer and my Rock N Roll stamina decreased steadily as the Rock N Roll awesomeness of the event increased steadily.

The Dictators Big Pussy from the Sopranos introduced these (here we go again) New York Legends. One of the liveliest sets of the day, very good work--good intensity, high intensity. Mr. Dick Manitoba is a force of nature, the Andrew WK of the 70s, a real 100 push-ups a day sort of guy. The Dictators have been described as the missing link between the New York Dolls and NYC Punk, and that's a great description.

Nancy Sinatra Okay, so when I first saw that Nancy Sinatra was on the Underground Garage lineup I was like, "OK, cool, she'll play "These Boots are Made for Walking" and then get off the stage. I can deal with that. Well, that's not what happened. Ms. Sinatra seemed to think she was on a world tour and that we were all dying to hear a handful of songs from her new record, but really, we weren't. Still, she finished up with "These Boots", backed up by about 60 (no joke) Go-Go Dancers. Almost redeemed her.

Big Star This is what my notes say: "I'm tired. 5:50. 70's show theme. I'm not feeling it." That about sums it up.

Bo Diddley The big bad black Grandad I never had, Mr. Diddley was awesome. One of the very best acts of the day, the entire audience hung on his every word and guitar lick. He dropped four of his greatest hits (Bo Diddley, I'm a Man, Crackin' Up, and Hey Bo Diddley) and left the crowd hungry, no, starving for more. I must admit I had my fingers crossed for "Who Do You Love", but I'll take what I can get. That song is as hardcore as they come. "I use a cobra snake for a neck-tie/I got a brand new house on the roadside/ Made from rattlesnake hide" -- dude doesn't mess around.

The Raveonettes These Danes could've dropped one of the night's best sets on us, but fears of the arrival of Hurricane Charley cut their set very short--just two songs, thanks a lot, Nancy Sinatra.

The Pretty Things One of them said, "I never used to worry about Charlie showing up." That was awesome. Can't really say the same about their set.

The New York Dolls For the record, probably the band Shane was most excited to see, if I'm allowed to make such a statement. Now, it's all fine and good that many fathers will raise their children on the Beatles or the Rolling Stones (or the Beach Boys, if your dad is Randy Barnes), but if fathers really want their kids to grow up loving rock n roll, then they should be playing junior the New York Dolls nonstop. To borrow from the vernacular, the Dolls' set put a hole in it. The night very easily could have ended with them and no one would have had any reason to complain. Spectacular set, and their rendition of "Pills" did Bo Diddley right. Pretty great to hear "Trash" live, too--sure, not a surprise, but perfect, right on down to the "how do you call your lover, boy?"

The Strokes Ok, so now I've seen the Strokes live. When they were done, all the teenagers disappeared from the audience.

Iggy and the Stooges I was ready for this set to go either way. Coming up to the Underground Garage, I had never felt any need or desire to see Iggy Pop live. What could the old man have to show me? If I had only known! At 57, Iggy Pop's body is nothing but skin and muscle and he ran onto the stage with an energy and intensity a man less than half his age would be jealous of before the last MC even finished introducing him. Watching Mr. Pop, I immediately realized that something had been missing from the festival: the essential sense of danger and troublemaking that should be inherent in all rock, I mean, this is rebel music, isn’t it? The reckless abandon with which Mr. Pop threw himself about stage and from the speaker stacks was astonishing, his performance seemed to be set on obliterating the stage—of course, he got a little help in that department when he encouraged the audience to storm the stage. Watching him and the Stooges, it was clear to me that Iggy was a neglected rock and roll king and a force of nature that could take all comers. A street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm, indeed.

And that, my dear readers, is the short-version of my experience at the Underground Garage Festival. I can't properly describe how satisfying the event was, how (and I'm trying not to be stupid here) impressed I was with myself for having such fine taste in rock and roll. You and your lame friends can sit around all day talking about what Eddie Vedder means to you if you must, me, I'll be blowing my ears out with this stuff. I hope and pray that the Underground Garage returns next summer and that Mr. Little Steven thinks to invite Billy Childish.

And you thought I was just going to post links to other sites for the rest of Steady Mobbin's life, didn't you?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Best Return from the Dead

I was just taking a break from the madness of the week before school starts (trust me, this week is mad, nothing but job interviews and related functions) by putting the numbers of my nearest and dearest into my new cell phone when I thought: "Why am I taking a break from the madness of the week before school starts by putting numbers into my new phone when I could be resurrecting Steady Mobbin'?" (Especially since I just discovered that I DO have internet in my apartment.)

And so here we are, I am back to the bloggin' and hope to keep it as obsessively well-groomed and updated this school year as I did through the summer. But here's some stuff you needs to know:

1) My PC laptop, which I hate, is currently dead. Steady Mobbin' now lives on my PowerBook (which I love), but Blogger software for the Mac seriously lacks, so expect my posts for the next while to be significantly less pretty.

2) My PC laptop, which I hate, and is currently dead also contained many baby blogspot posts waiting to be released to the world. Those posts are now dead. Those ideas will probably never see the light of the computer screen. So, if you were hoping to read about when Jared Clark or Dan Lemmon came to New York, or were expecting a thorough account of my SLC adventure, sorry, doesn't look like it's going to happen.

3) There doesn't seem to be an easy way to get photos onto my blog when I'm on my Mac, so that means there won't be pictures for a while--I suppose this is a footnote to item 1, really.

And there, as I said, we are. Steady Mobbin' is back. It's legs may be shakey, it's heart may be broken, it's very soul may be wretched, and it's face certainly might not be as pretty, but all that is better than nothing.

Things You Can Expect to Read About Very Soon:

1) A startling discovery of pre-20th century cleverness.
2) A meticulous assessment of the total madness of the International Underground Garage Rock Festival.

Things You May Be Able to Read About Very Soon:

1) The story of moving into my new apartment and social functions held therein since then.
2) Lisa from High School's efforts to help me get over my fear of nightlife.
3) The Steady Mobbin' Summer Round Up

Things You Can Read About Right Now:

1) Since my apartment internet access doesn't hide out behind a firewall like my old NYU place, I've discovered I'm free to, uhm, borrow music again and today I downloaded the new Interpol album (Antics). The word? So great. Perhaps better than Turn on the Bright Lights, but I've only listened to it once so far. Up to this point it seems that the standout tracks are those with one name ("Evil", "Narc", and the brilliant "C'mere") but who knows what further listens will hold? (It did take me a half-dozen visits to "Turn on the Bright Lights" before I realized it was among the best records one can listen to, especially at night--no, only at night.)

2) In Sports, what hubris to think Michael Phelps could win 8 golds. This isn't the 70s, other countries have swimming pools now. The Word on Olympic Swimming right now from me? Needs more world records. But that 100 breast race last night was something else. Looking at times, if I were from Nepal, I could've gone to the Olympics. Blah, blah, blah.

3) Celebrities still infest New York City, but apparently only east of Broadway. Recent sightings: Harmony Korine walking down 4th Street (I guess that's a loose definition of celebrity there), Al Sharpton riding by in his limousine near Bowery (License Plate: Alpine71), and Nicole Richie shopping at Clientele on Lafayette (doesn't beat the time I saw Robin Williams dressed as "cool dad" with his son there).

4) Remember when, in the first paragraph, I was talking about my "new phone"? That's because I have a new phone and a new number (A 917, at last. That 801 was getting tiresome). My old number still has a few weeks of life left, but if we talk, we should talk, so that you can get my new number . . . or maybe I'll just send out one of those mass "I've got a new number" emails and post it on Friendster, too. Friendster, is that still around?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Best News I've Been Waiting for All Year

The Pixies will be playing New York City December 12th and 13th. I imagine these dates fall right in the middle of finals. So I'll have to go see them in Mexico City on October 22nd, or catch one of the FOUR dates they're playing in Chicago. What's the deal with that? The Aragon and the Hammerstein are roughly the same size. Hmmm.

Of course, I read about this at Pitchfork, and today's NY Times has an article on the Pixies and their New York visit that I haven't read yet.

More content today? It's possible.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Uncertain Immediate Future of Steady Mobbin'

I've made announcements like this one before, and typically they have preceded veritable deluges of content, but this time I might be serious. It appears we may be entering a season of briggie dot blogspot drought because I am currently caught up in changing apartments, and after I'm finally moved in, my internet access situation may be a little spotty for a while. But I will return. I will return with love and content for all.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Best Reason to Keep Paying for Basic Cable

Two more seasons of Chappelle's Show. Insert token Chappelle quote here.

Brief Utah Report pt. II: I have dined on fine salmon in Logan with the Berthrong family and made as many Provo visits as I could in one night (meaning as many visits to people in Provo as I could, not as many visits to Provo as I could). Now that it's my last day, I'm just going to read. Because this is a vacation. And then I'm going to spend the night flying to New York, probably watching Superfriends for most of the trip, because one thing I don't know about is how to sleep on planes.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Best Post on Someone Else's Blog that I Haven't Completely Read Yet

I'm a marginal Donnie Darko devotee--I've only seen it once, I watched it in two sittings, but it was pretty good stuff, if I remember correctly. And I just remembered a Donnie Darko party that I didn't make it out to. So I suppose I've almost seen Donnie Darko twice. Anyway, over at Ultragrrrl, there's a great looking post about all the music in the film and how it relates to the rest of the film--I think. I've only looked the post over briefly (I am on vacation, afterall), but it looks good. So, if you're looking for internet satisfaction, I recommend you read the post and then look through the rest of what Sarah has written. Perhaps you will find that I'm not so original afterall.

Brief Utah Report: My flight from JFK took off an hour late. I flew Jet Blue, which gets DirectTV at every seat, so you know what that means--five straight hours of the Superfriends for me. So far this visit has been an exercise in coincidence--lots of non-Utahns happen to be here along with me. I've practically seen more east-coast friends out here (The PR Department, the Angel of Christopher Street, Keri Who Has No Internet Name) than Utah folk (Andrew, Marsha, Emily, Heather.) I won a savage game of checkers tonight. Deseret never sleeps, yo.