Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Get on the Party Bus

At least on the subway line that I take, the public transportation bag-checking has eased over the past few days. I suppose that, confident I would not blow up a train if the inspecting officers hadn't found a bomb in my bag thus far, the NYPD deemed it safe for me and the population of New York as a whole to return to their formerly unmonitored ways. A calm settled over us all. Crossword puzzles and copies of the Wall Street Journal emerged once again from briefcases formerly stowed at the office. The diaperbags full of Cheerios returned, once again silencing the toddlers woken when suits jostled their strollers. We were once again at a collective yellow alert, despite claims that we should all be on orange, maybe even red, and inspecting our fellow passengers for protruding wires.

And while it is true that I much prefer less tense atmosphere, I would gladly fork over my bags for any necessary rifling and pillaging if it means I will never again have to sit next to a man brandishing a hacksaw.

This was yesterday. The man was asleep. If I were in a psychological thriller, this would mean that I was still in grave danger, but also that I had a chance to 1. pry the microfilm out of his pocket without waking him up, and 2. get a headstart when his eyes flew open in an extreme closeup. As it turns out, in reality when you take the only remaining seat on a Metro-North train and discover that the man against the window is cuddling a hacksaw, it means you will sit in silence on both the literal and figurative edge of your seat for forty-eight minutes in wonderment that he can grasp such a sharp and toothy weapon so fervently while he is unconscious. This is in addition to the considerable (yet different) wonderment that your own H&M purse filled with library books requires continual police monitoring, but a man can canoodle with a hacksaw unhindered by his fellow passengers, or the conductors, or the police, or the armed military personnel who, for Christ's sake, should at the very least bust out the rubber bullets.

Deadly weapon! Public transportation! Isn't this what you have been training for? Put down your frappucino and protect my freedom!

I did get to work with all my digits still attached to their corresponding appendages, which was, as it always is, a nice way to begin your day. Besides, I was invited to a record release party last night and who wants to show up all stumpy?

After a dinner of Roosevelt Island's famed sesame chicken and ladybug (to be fair, I didn't find an entire ladybug. Just one, delectable, spotted wing.), Kai, Antoine and I headed down to the Mercury Lounge to see Rahim, the members of which I suppose I am connected to by third or fourth degree, which is apparently enough to get you a chair (albeit an uneven one) in their dressing room. Being in the basement of a lounge on the Lower East Side, sandwiched between cases of Red Stripe and indie kids in their pre-show clothes brought on flashbacks to my former venue of employment, the 'sco, with a vengeance. One of my favorite parts of working at a concert hall was greeting the bands as they rolled off their bus (or, depending on the band, minivan) wearing sweatpants and watching them emerge from the dressing room an hour later in layered tights and fake eyelashes and new hair.

Rahim and the Navies were scheduled to end the night and both bands ended up being great. The two bands that started the evening, however, were something else entirely. The night was scheduled as a dual record release party for Rahim as well as the J-Henry Band, who played first. To say the band sounded like a Budweiser commercial would be futile, because the lead singer (J-Henry himself? Who knows. It's a crazy world.) mentioned three or so times that he wanted to get his songs into a beer commercial. Their set was forty-five minutes of uninterrupted nostalgia for a southern life the band has never lead. They might've succeeded in convincing the audience that they really were good old boys pining for the South had they, firstly, not brought their entire audience with them on a full-size "party bus," and, secondly, hidden the fact that the "party bus" came from New Jersey. It wasn't a total loss, though. One of their fans looked strikingly like Captain Lou Albano. That's something. Also, Kai had several Bacardi and Cokes on the band's tab. That's something, too.

After J-Henry and his "J-Girls" and his J-Drummer and J-Keyboard Player left the stage, his J-Drunk J-sister-in-law rounded up the J-riders on the J-party bus, gathered the rest of the J-baked ziti someone had brought for their party, and they all returned to the land from whence they came. A British band whose name I don't think I ever knew took the stage, wore some eyeshadow, and played some dirgy broodrock. This gave me ample time to take a walk and make a phone call, so I suppose that there is something, too.

The second half of the show was excellent. Rahim is a solid band with some crazy percussion schtick that involves the drummer, his set, an extra floor tom, and collaborative drumming with the bassist. They are fond of the hand clap, and I support this. Additionally, one of their songs features a solo for plastic whistle--I belive this is the one you can download on their site. The band who played before them, the Navies, were also good and had a really refreshing amount of backbone to their style. It was comforting to see that three guys with floppy hair in girl pants can occasionally play like the eighth-grade Rage Against the Machine fans we all know they once were.

The night was fun, and I crashed on Kai's couch before returning to work this morning. Despite the fact that I took a shower, I still kind of smell like smoke and other people's sweat and beer that I didn't even drink, but rather sat in. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad my office's bathroom overflowed all night. The distinctly urine-y aroma nicely covers my own party funk, and even if this means I'll be hurdling a puddle of potential biohazard all day, I'll take it. It's all about the small miracles, that's what I always say.

And, y'know, when god gives you lemons, or lemonade, or whatever, it might just be a metaphor for pee.


Anonymous i know the man in white said...

how in the name of all that is failed british musical attempts to recapture the all conquering glory of the beatles rolling stones et al can you not know the name of the queens truest greatest pride the great the illustrious the crimea. true there is not a damn thing any of there songs have to do with the crimean pennisula the war that was fought there or or 19th century geopolitics as a whole but that is no excuse to not know there name cowboy

8:07 PM  
Anonymous brad said...

party bus? i'd rather get on the vengabus. it's coming, you know. new york to san francisco. it's an inter-city disco.

11:26 AM  

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