Around 4:30 PM today I got the best email ever–and email informing me that Michael Pitt‘s band Pagoda would be playing with Aloke at Pianos for the first 4 Wednesdays in June–starting today. Who knew that Michael Pitt even had a band?!?! I quickly dashed off frantic emails to anyone I thought would be remotely interested in seeing Pitt (best known for his roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, “Dawson’s Creek,” and the upcoming Gus Van Sant movie more than loosely based on the life of Kurt Cobain—Last Days) take on the dubious title of actor-slash-rock star. The prospect of being treated to a delightfully stomach-turning performance (remember Keanu Reeves in Dogstar or Russell Crowe in 30 Odd Foot of Grunts?) was an opportunity I just couldn’t refuse.
Surprisingly enough, Pagoda wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting them to be. In fact, they were actually kinda good–for a rip-off Nirvana band. Pitt was at his best when he was letting loose and passionately screaming whatever he was saying into the microphone. There were some good riffs going on, and the songs were listenable. Actually, better than just “listenable.” Some of them might have been a bit good. Being at that show was like being time warped into the early 90s in Seattle. There were people banging their heads in the front of the crowd and the bassist looked like he hadn’t changed clothes since 1992 as he wore his sleeveless tshirt and let his long blond hair flick around. Pitt sported a hole-y dark colored tee with ripped black jeans and a sea foam green Fender guitar. The drummer, apparently a dude named Ryan, had loads of friends in the audience (indicated to me by their screaming of “Ryan! Ryan!”). It was all kinds of awesome on many different levels of both good and bad taste. But perhaps I’m just being blindsided by the fact that I absolutely adore everything that Michael Pitt touches for some unexplained reason. To me, Michael Pitt is to acting as Ryan Adams is to music. I suppose if Ryan Adams decided to professionally act, I’d feel the same way about it as I do about Michael Pitt’s musical career: I love it even if it isn’t the best.
Much to the chagrin of Kiran, there were no Ryan Gossling sightings, nor were there any Asia Argento, Lukas Haas, Gus Van Sant, John Cameron Mitchell, JT Leroy spottings either. If they were there, I wasn’t clever enough to spot them. I did however remember seeing a skinny girl much like the one in this picture up front dancing her heart out.
You can find some Michael Pitt solo/Pagoda MP3s by following the links in this thread.
Remember–you have THREE MORE WEDNESDAYS TO STALK MICHAEL PITT ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE. See you there.