Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend In Review And Stuff

It was an action-packed weekend this weekend, full of all sorts of rocking and rolling and general asskicking and whatnot. The mayhem started on Saturday when- for the second time in the past year- I played an S&M-like sex fiend on a television pilot (That is not me in the photo above. I just put that there for dramatic effect). I’m not sure exactly what it is about me that makes people think I’d be good at playing a crazy sex fiend, but it is nice to get out of the house for a few hours and be around one of those showbiz snack tables with all the candy and cookies and stuff, so I’m happy to have the work.

The good times continued on Saturday night when my friend Will took me to see Neil Young at the United Palace Theater up there on 175th Street and Broadway. Before the show, we ate the fuck out of some sushi at Sasabune on the “anything goes” Upper East Side. The sushi as Sasabune is omakase style, which means that the chef gives you whatever he feels like and you tell him to stop once your stomach is about to explode. Sasabune is the best sushi I have ever had in New York except for the California roll at D’Agostino’s. Just kidding. That was a hilarious sushi joke I just made. Seriously though, Sasabune is really great. They don’t need my help putting asses in the seats though- I just mention it here in case you feel like going to eat the fuck out of some sushi and want to do it the Dave-way.

After we finished eating the fuck out of some sushi, my friend Will and I headed uptown for the Neil Young concert. The United Palace Theater is a really ornate old theater where everything is covered in gold. It’s the kind of place where you can’t help but put out a little extra effort not to pee on the floor in the men’s room because you think the ghosts of showbiz past might come down and smack you for messing up the place. It’s really classy-like and was the perfect spot to see someone like Neil Young rifle through his drawer of hits, which is exactly what he did.

For the first half of the show, Neil played solo on guitar, harmonica, and piano. Then- after a twenty minute intermission- Neil came out and rocked out with his band. Throughout the show, a guy was working on paintings about Neil’s songs and would come out and put a different one on an easel at the foot of the stage at the beginning of each song. It was cool shit. Our seats were really good too, so we could see and hear everything just right. Since I am into rocking and rolling myself, it was fun to check out all of Neil’s guitar gear. It’s quite a setup and sounds great (That’s Neil’s famous Les Paul, “Old Black,” above). I found an interesting interview with Neil’s guitar tech, Larry Cragg, here. Larry was at the show on Saturday and was scrambling around on stage like Neil was gonna beat him wiith a stick after the show if he didn’t get everything sorted out just right. It was fun to watch.

Neil and his band were great on Saturday, but the crowd- mostly folks in their 40’s and 50’s it seemed- were highly annoying. They all seemed like they didn’t get out much and didn’t really know how to deal with being in a crowd. In the lobby and bar areas, fat men in Dockers and women in mom jeans pushed and shoved their way around with a bizarre sense of entitlement. Before the show, an announcement was made that Neil Young would like the audience to refrain from shouting out song titles during the show. Folks did it all night anyway, of course. Even worse were the drunken old dickheads trying to yell out something clever during the silence in between songs seemingly in hopes that Neil would acknowledge them in some way. “Dude, Neil totally gets me!,” the old dickhead will say to friends on the drive back to Jersey after the show. “I bet we’d be great friends if I ever got the chance to hang with him. What kind of weed do you think he smokes? I bet Neil totally has the best weed. You know he has the best weed! I would love to smoke weed with Neil and just, you know, talk about shit. Neil would be thrilled to hang with a guy who totally get hims like I do.” Then the old dickhead in Dockers will head to Guitar Center in the morning and drop $10,000 on a brand new guitar that was made to look like its been played on the road for the last 30 years.

The most annoying old douche of all on Saturday was the guy a couple rows behind me who kept yelling out to Neil “Never sell out, baby! Never sell out!” At 62 years old, I’m sure Neil was grateful for the advice. “In between songs, I told Neil to never sell out!,” the old douche will tell his co-workers at State Farm on Monday morning. “It was awesome!” Despite all my complaining in these last couple paragraphs, I really enjoyed the show though.

Last night, the good times continued at Joe’s Pub where my friend Lucy Wainwright Roche had a big sold-out show celebrating her 26th birthday. I played bass with Lucy and played the comedic comedy video below. Also bringing the heat on Lucy’s B-day show was her father Loudown Wainwright, Martha Plimpton, David Rakoff, Lucy’s cousin Sam McTavey, and Lucy’s aunt Sloan Wainwright. A highlight for me was when Lucy, drummerman Joel Frost, and I all got to play “When I’m At Your House” along with Loudon Wainwright. The drawing above is by Michael Arthur, the official Joe’s Pub artist. He does an entire ink drawing while watching whatever show is going on. Cool shit. And I think he really got my hair right.

After the Joe’s Pub show, we all headed over the M&R Bar on the Bowery and drank stuff and ate birthday cake for a while. Good times, good times. I hope we do it again next year.

Dave Hill


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