Anna Calvi @ Bowery Ballroom – 5/25/11

With the death of LCD Soundsystem and the re-emergence of The Strokes, of late I’ve been reconnecting/running into a lot of folks from what I like to call “the good ol’ days” — people who I met through going to shows, and being in that whole scene, during the early 2000s. For those of you who are younger, you’re not going to understand this, so let me say this very plainly — when you get old, you don’t go out to parties/concerts as much, so you don’t see people randomly all that often.

In any case, I’ve noticed that a lot of these old time friends have all been mentioning to me that they love that I still have my blog, which strikes me as extremely funny. Because telling me that it’s soooo amazing that I still do my blog is basically the internet equivalent of congratulating me on walking down a flight of stairs or being able to chew solid foods (I can still do both of those things — kinda). So yeah, you definitely realize you’ve been in the game for a long time when several folks start giving you props for doing something you don’t even really consciously think about. Don’t get me wrong, I love every person who tells me that, but it’s definitely a bellweather of my continued descent into the abyss of Old.

So as some feeble attempt to somehow rid myself of that mothball-y, musky “old people smell” I’m sure I reek of at this point, I gathered up all my strength to hobble over to the Bowery Ballroom alongside fellow old timer, Melody Nelson, to check out the hot new UK rock goddess import, Anna Calvi.

Maybe The Rapture was a couple days late?

Sitting downstairs until Anna Calvi’s 11PM set time, we reminisced about how during CMJ 2002 I fell asleep on the very black leather couch upon which we were perched, waiting for the late late show by The Walkmen. As I looked around at the crowd, it was a weird mix of lithe Lissy Trullie-type hipsters, bridge and tunnel-y people, and slightly older people of obviously discerning taste. (All the trendy kids must’ve been at the Friendly Fires show at Webster Hall.) The highest ranking celeb of the night was Mr. David Byrne, who was there with daughter Malu Abeni and some of her friends.

When the time came to head upstairs, for some reason it was impossibly hot and sweaty, despite the fact that the venue was not fully packed. But as soon as the lights went down, and the fog machine kicked in, all was forgotten and I was transported into the glamorous, dramatic, and enchanting world of Anna Calvi.
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I Will Never Be Able to Hear Again


I totally love The Kills. They’re amazing. Go buy everything they sell. You’ll be a happier person. Alison is this CK One-looking creature and it’s fabulous.


The most surreal moment was when the little person was grinding with a really tall drunk girl during the Dirtbombs. And then Tom crowd surfed and Ben Swank poured beer down his pants and then they started fighting… as did Johnny Walker and blond dude from the Datsuns. I guess around 2a.m. things always start to get a little out of hand.

I want to give a shout out to all my peeps, and a special HOolla to Richard!


Whirlwind Heat @ CBGB’s Downstairs

Whirlwind Heat @ CBGB’s Downstairs was great! I missed them when they opened for the White Stripes in April, so it was long overdue. Wearing black and white Twiggy t-shirts, black pants, and white shoes, they were totally stylin’. Lead singer David Swanson is basically out of control, screaming into the mic, rolling on the floor, jumping couches and tying bassist Steve Damstra’s shoelaces together mid-song. “Decal on My Sticker” is better live than it is recorded! That bass line! Phew!

The crowd was sprinkled with people you might’ve recognized. (The first thought running through my head outside CB’s was, “Hahahah. Right now there are 10, 000 NME-reading British kids who’d crap their pants.”) You figure out on your own who may or may not have been there. I mean really, where WERE you anyway? You should’ve come. We missed you. I tried calling you, but you weren’t picking up your phone. Were you still at Beck?

Bringing the show to a grand finale was The Soledad Brothers. No less than fantastic of course. Johnny Walker was all about running his guitar along the metal posts to produce radical noise. And radical noise is what it’s all about, right? How about radical noise with a blue plastic-handled comb? What about radical noise produced by hump-like (yeah, I just used the word (?) hump-like. Deal.) motions? As Hoggboy would say, “yeah man!” (except I say it without that British accent thing).

I also saw The Agenda and that other band whose name I’ll look up later.

Dude- my eyes are fucking burning and I’m really tired. I’m gonna feel/look like S-H-I-T tonight… but I’m still BEN SWANK AND LOVIN’ IT!