I said God Damn.
I’ve had an interesting week as far as live music goes. On Saturday 9, October 2004 I saw three iconic figures of their respective genres (I don’t mean to spout fandom, but to some extent it is true, so Take it with a grain of salt). I saw Morrissey at radio city music hall, Sheer Terror at CBGB’s and Sonny Vincent at the Continental. The only thing that could have made my night any more rock ‘n roll was if I had woken up the next morning with a spike in my arm and a cutie in fishnets by my side. While the latter did occur, I’ll refrain from deviating from the task at handle
Once upon a time, many moons ago I went to Radio City Music Hall. Since the time of that now misty, water-colored memory, nada. Until now. I sat in the orchestra pit. Upon sitting down I was greeted by a cute little girl gushing with anticipation, on the brink of tears, “Oh my god aren’t these the greatest seats.” She said to me. I was taken aback by her friendliness. I suppressed my instinctive scowl and agreed. “Well they sure as hell charged enough for them” was what I thought, but didn’t say; I was playing nice with other children like my mommy used to tell me everyday before school. I focused on my rear-end to see if I could gauge what effect the absence of eighty-dollars had on my posture. Oops, there go the lights, now the curtains. Look at that! Morrissey spelled out in 12-foot tall letters, outlined with light-bulbs.
Then came out the strong chinned, coifed haired, crooner. The applause, the cheers, the shouts of “Take me, I’m yours” (I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea). He had all the pomp and arrogance that he is legendary for. But bless the bastard I dig his older tunes/lyrics and his new ones aren't so bad. He was wearing a crimson velvet blazer and dress-pants made of very finest materials, I’m sure. When the blazer came off, a few songs into the set, it revealed a teal shirt which was already showing the tell-tale Rorschach blotches of perspiration.
Paul Bearer of Sheer Terror is probably just as famous for his mouth as Morrissey. And you know what, when I stop and think about it they kind of sing about the similar things, except they do it from extreme ends of the spectrum of love loss. CB's was packed and to tell you the truth, I didn't actually see the band. I was by the bar having a beer with some old friends. But I was physically present and heard every rant. The highlight of Paul’s scathing commentary came when he lashed out at Victory Records for what he felt was their bandwagoning to support the band now. Apparently they weren’t all that helpful back in the dizz-ay. But I don’t know all the details.
It was fun wandering around with Sheer Terror as the sound track to that night. Dodging flailing body parts, hanging out with my peoples, while they played their classic tunes put the F. U. back in fun. And from most accounts there were no fights. I found this harder to believe then that Sheer Terror had reunited for a show. This is not to say that there weren’t any injuries though. There was at least one guy tending to his bloody nose. But considering the band and place, a bloody nose is the equivalent of a stubbed toe.
It is safe to say that that was eventful weekend. I can’t remember the last time I was so eager to see so many bands back to back. Sometimes the planets align and things just seem ducky.
Say it ain’t so, Sweetwater as we know it, gone? (Yeah, I know, but I just found this out!). I’m a long ways off from Williamsburg, so I never made much of an effort to ingratiate myself into the graces of the sister scene that is Williamsburg. But for those in the know, Brooklyn has always, ALWAYS had its spots. I’m talking before the tremendous overpopulation and rent hike-ups of the LES spilled its transplants and scenesters into the surrounding Burroughs. Sweetwater was one such place, if not the crown-jewel of that area. Surrounded by dilapidated warehouses, all night bodegas and some residential homes just out of earshot, it was the perfect place to hit up after a show because everybody and their grandmother would be there. There is also another huge reason why I loved that place, the Jukebox.
I can’t think of one single other jukebox in any bar in the tri-state area that had such an awesome song selection. If you managed to put a pool table in my bedroom, a bar with Huckleberry tending it and Ralphie doing the door you’d understand just how at home I felt there.
Ah! The memories of juvenile binging, freely mixing liquor, beer, and ..uh..stuff, proclaiming my love to which ever girl crossed my drunken path from behind glazy eyes and through garbled words. “I Glouv Jou!.” she would walk away (I can’t exactly remember in what mood), getting into the oddest conversations about three-legged guard dogs doing handstands, watching people pass out on the pool table and insisting on continuing the game with whichever pockets weren’t obstructed; “Bankshot off the dumbass’s left ear!” Think of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or the cantina scene in Star Wars.
Now that Sweetwater has changed management and is now a posh, trendy lounge, it might as well be dead to me. Unfortunate, I know. But there are new places sprouting all the time. I’ll probably manage to drag myself to a few of them. Let me not drone on. R. I. P. Sweetwater. Now let me get back to trying to find out where that jukebox went to.
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