January 25, 2013
Chris Cohen Group
Le Poisson Rouge
January 23, 8:30
Ducktails. Uttering the name to another person was enough to make me feel as if I should offer an immediate explanation. Something with a defensive tone like “I don’t know why the hell a band would name themselves that but they’re great. Stop looking at me with those kind of eyes!” See, I understand there’s going to be a strong cartoon association and worse yet, that one percent prick Scrooge McDuck and his infamous Money Pit might enter the mind but I’ll tell ya… I forgot all about Huey, Duey and Louie and even Launchpad McQuack once Ducktails really start to lock into a groove. (I know the Launchpad reference is a stretch but the diehards know what I’m sayin’.)
First act is Future Shuttle. Chill out time with these girls playing slow atmospheric synth sounds that bring me back to floating in the Gulf of Mexico at midnight. The two-piece band consisting of Jessa Farkas and Camilla Padgitt-Coles has expanded in an explosion of washed out reverb. It’s four people tonight and they did their own thing. Heady and rock steady.
Anyways, there was funk to spare with the next two groups, which was bittersweet because I’d decided to take this one in another… let’s call it “New Serious” direction and go stag. No distractions. Total concentration. To add fuel to this fucked up fire I’d also decided to stay sober so my shoulders were amphetamine tense as the Chris Cohen Group began rocking out and the dude next to me with the baby blue oxford began spilling whiskey.
Chris Cohen Group. Another deceiving moniker. Sounds like the name of a band started by accountants that like to smoke “joints” on Friday night and fuck around with Fender Squires in the man cave but I assure you, these guys are probably horrible at math. Chris Cohen (Drums, conductor) has also added a live band lately so I recognize the theme here. Their sound was like if Television had Mike Watt on bass and they all had controllable instrument epilepsy. I’m sure that description tells you all you need to know. No? Well fine. The drummer sings, the guitarist randomly attacks his strings with a mini mag-lite and the bass player just lays it down no matter how hot the Asian girl is in front of him is. Satisfied? I loved em.
I began to loosen up a little as I wandered up the stairs to the platform in the corner of the room where I had a bird’s eye view of the circular stage in the middle of this awesome venue. I was watching the people talk and the couples smile as a huddled group beneath me vaporized weed. As I was “taking it all in” the moment gave me a subtle warm comfort and I smiled as Ducktails began to set up.
Ducktails (I’m even having trouble writing it so much) is the solo project of Matthew Mondanile from Real Estate and tonight he’s joined by his band mate Martin Courtney and Jersey’s “Big Troubles.” This happening marks the release of their new record The Flower Lane and it’s rumored they’re gonna play it start to finish. I figure the rumor must be at least half true because Pitchfork has released a gang of roaming cameramen who look very hungry to “cover” the show. I try to get in a couple of shots but give up once I realize they don’t like it when people shake nervously in front of the talent. Live and learn. After what seemed like 10 minutes of obsessive requests from Mondanile for “more vocals” in his monitor, “less floor tom” in the one over there, and “more didgeridoo” in his headphones they start playing and it’s immediately apparent that I did myself a great disservice by trying to be professional and coming alone. All around me people are either standing perfectly still or dancing without concern to “Killin’ the Vibe” in bundles of three and five. Fuck! After 20 or so minutes of torrid distraction I shrug my shoulders, stuff my jacket into the nearest crevice, and try to dance this cold Wednesday off me forever with the closest group that shows some promise. As they ride the bridge into the chorus of “Letter of Intent” I imagine the ghost of Tom Verlaine dancing by my side, complimenting my style and I feel inspired. “He’s not even dead” I remember thinking but by that time the opening organ chords of “The Flower Lane” are wafting off stage so I go with it and goddamn, Verlaine’s got moves. Towards the end of the show the smell of ganja has been replaced with Vodka Red Bulls and that voice starts to whisper. I wait until the last noise escapes the speakers and quickly say goodbye to the girl with the crossbones on her sweater. “Where are you going?” she yells way too loud. “Work!” I say as I tap my watch. “Wall St!”
I sensed her looking at me in a very ugly way as I grabbed my jacket and headed door wards. No mind for the club next door, not tonight. No rest for the wicked.
It’s cold on Bleeker as I walk towards Washington Square Park. “Weed, Coke, Molly. Try before you buy” a shadow walking next to me mumbles and I look left half expecting to see Tom Verlaine but… it’s just a drug dealer. Ignoring him I decide to skip the park and head towards the 6 train. “The New Serious” I scoff. I feel that weird warm feeling again and it sorta makes me smile. No sleep ‘till Brooklyn.
Goodnight and God bless.
2:56 AM 1-24-13
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