Tag Archives: NYC

Goodbye Blue Monday (Brooklyn, New York)

By Steve Trimboli

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Thought and Memory on our sidewalk, MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK 2010


this past monday afternoon had a three-hour open window in my day and if you know me, you know exactly what i did with that time.
hint-hint.

i’ve been engulfed in the gulf. i can’t stop watching ongoing developments just as i couldn’t stop watching those jets fly into those buildings back then.
i call it “trainwreck mystification.”

the week it happened, sixty-five-plus days ago, i told a friend that this was going to be bigger than the twin towers because it will play out to be mass murder on a decades-long scale by white guys with a smart logo and thousand-dollar suits who speak our language – sorry scared white guys, it’s a bunch of your own this time and i’m wondering how you’ll justify this horror, but i know you’ll have no problem – and if anyone thinks human loss is more precious than the things around us, think again.
murder (or manslaughter) is a crime, whether driven by political ideology, greed or contempt.
humanity’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds.
that’s at the core of religion, but that’s just an opinion.
i have plenty.
three thousand people died on september 11th and thousands more will have gotten their lives shortened by their selflessness for pitching in and caring about what happened.
there’s a lot of wheezing going on around NYC as a result of that day.
in the gulf, miraculously, only eleven people died on the Deepwater Horizon on april 20th, which was horrible because of the arrogance of that corporation – but the overwhelming promise of long-term tragedy will, over time, eclipse the trade center numbers.
if i owned a farm, i’d bet it.
which brings to mind…. april 20th…. isn’t that hitler’s birthday? you mean there’s no white-trash supremacists out there toasting or trying to secure a link between the black president’s agenda, the führer’s dreams for the schwarzcommanders as spoken of in pynchon’s “gravity’s rainbow“….. (or was that “V”)?
if you let them sit side by side on a shelf in your own mind for thirty-odd years, it becomes one big book.
everything becomes one-big-book.
maybe it’s time to revisit those titles again so i could drop pynchon’s name with focused certainty.
….or would hitler’s birthday cause tea party conservative confusion – whether to bury the president or praise him……

but i digress.
i was somewhere about crime and punishment (or the lack thereof).
i was somewhere, skirting the oily shores of corporate crime, moral hazard and the first meeting i had with that grifting lizard who looks like omar sharif and sounds like eduardo ciannelli, in months and months, who, this day, had in tow the suit of ayn rand, the author of the biggest, longest-running comedy on mars, “atlas shrugged,” the book written by the lizard who made a meal and suit out of ayn rand when she signed the hollywood deal for “the fountainhead,” got a big check and was gobbled up – literally – in 1955.
the lizard who wore ayn rand wrote “atlas shrugged,” in addition to being hilarious on their planet, was taken as gospel by many faithful on earth, spurring a movement that would be co-opted, corrupted, conned, fattened and devoured by the lizards who live life no differently from ginger rogers, who once told me this;
“a girl’s gotta eat.”
that lizard guy (the one who sounds like eduardo ciannelli and looks like omar sharif) told me last year that they’re still getting tremendous mileage (or tonnage….i think it was tonnage) out of “atlas shrugged” and the humans who buy into it.
he then made a point of telling me, “wait till that angelina jolie plays dagny taggart – it’s gonna be a feeding-frenzy in lizard-land, you betcha,”
…..but i’ve drifted way off base.

the point being, humanity means as much to that lizard guy (you know the one i’m talking about) as a can of starkist tuna means to you. speaking of tuna, you might notice a spike in tuna futures soon, what with the big Oops down there.
i wonder if there are tuna futures. i wonder if tuna HAS a future.
probably as much of a future as we have.
p.s. – i don’t think we have a future, or at least, i don’t think humanity deserves one.

if this is your first visit here, it’s all about the food chain.
if you still don’t know what i’m talking about, google “the grifting lizards from mars,” or hit these two links;
hi-dee hi-dee ho addresses more of what i’m talking about, but ken lay; martian lizard is the genesis of this balderdash.
there are mountains of hubbub between then and now.

i’m writing this to be offered in a friend’s blog about “the underground” (whatever that means these days) and by virtue of the fact that goodbye blue monday is remote enough to maintain such underground-ness for five-plus years (more or less).
for us, mainstream could signal failure.
why travel way out here for the same shit you can get at your local pub?
i’d prefer to fail doing something….”other than.”
goodbye blue monday is “other than.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

i won’t write much about this place because i am genetically disposed to automatically having it become a pitch for money, performance gear, kitchen equipment and just as recent as today, a free or really cheap car.
there, i did it.
i also can’t help grinning at the term “underground” because as i write this i am preparing to post it onto an open source information clusterfuck of word and imagery, not that “underground” isn’t valid.
i just tend to think that the whereabouts of osama bin-laden is “underground.”
and subway systems are “underground.”
besides, how “underground” are you once you’ve made it into Vogue Italia? (we made it last october)

i was interviewed by an documentarian a couple of weeks back.
at one point she asked me if i was an original-equipment new yorker;
if i was born and raised here – and when i replied “yes,” my plumage sprouted wondrous colors and rays of light sparkled and glimmered on and around me in the afternoon sun.
“there’s plenty of us,” i said.
i explained that i didn’t ride up the empire state building’s elevator until 1984 when i was thirty (laughing uproariously with a headful of acid) – but i DID have lunch on the 82nd floor of the unfinished, un-windowed twin towers when i worked at 90 west street in 1974 when i was twenty.
do you know what i’m saying?
that was being a new yorker, i guess, back then.
….and as our interview went on, she asked me about my experience with the music and art scene in NYC.
so as not to offer spoiler alerts, i’ll say that i’ve been part of the bar and club scene that stretches from the late 60’s, through disco, punk and whatever else that is or was up to now and because i believed i had/have an artistic bent, i did “art” and continue to do so, though i have no documentation other than the things i’ve done and continue to do.

i never read “on the road”, but i imagine it had to do with being young, indestructible (seemingly, until otherwise proven), eternal (ditto), rebellious (double-ditto), passionate (ditto squared) and maybe self-centered (“pi” times ditto to the third power).
my “road” book was “fear and loathing in las vegas” and more accurately for me, “screaming bloodily down the highway of oblivion,” the title (that i just made up) of my own book that no one wants but is available in fits and starts on my blog and at myspace.com/scrapbar.

……so the conversation with the documentarians went on, centering on why i did what i did in bushwick and my answer was “i just did,” and quickly added that there’s no place where anyone can “begin” anymore.
i took them to the backyard and showed them “the other stage” where we do acoustic, electronic and experimental music and films.

i told them that here at goodbye blue monday there is no 22-year-old numbnut passing judgement on anyone’s musical statement or artistic direction when they ask to perform.
that we simply say “yes.”
….that my only hope is performers show they care by inviting a few friends to support the house.
i understand the limitations of nyc venues. i’m not knocking them.
they can’t do what we do anymore and haven’t been able to in decades. that they have to shuffle bands in and out, get door-counts and charges, and even steal a percentage of people’s merch and more.
new york city can’t afford to be creative unless you’re connected with a group of swells or have dad’s black american express card tattooed to your bank account, and even then the deck is generally stacked by PR and shmoozer’s professionale.
this isn’t an indictment, it’s just the way it is.
the village voice voted us the best place for new music and performance in 2007. six months later i was in their offices, arguing.
i asked them why they didn’t ever list the shows we did here on their calendar – ever – and was told that “editorial” didn’t believe anyone who played here “mattered.”
i explained that i even ADVERTISED with them.
it didn’t matter.
there was a new issue of the voice laying open on a table in front of us and my eyes were drawn to an ad for a show sponsored by “the fillmore at irving plaza (whatever the fuck THAT means) and the village voice.”
there was a list of six musical acts slated for this show. i pointed at the ad and said, “what? i have to have names like these to get a rise out of those douchebags in editorial?”
and the person i was arguing with looked down and said, “well… yes.”
and i pointed at three of these names and stated with strong certainty that these bands all played on my stage over a year ago.
“so what we’re saying here is once it matters to you, it matters. it doesn’t matter that they may have cut their teeth in my stage, you shit!”
i stopped advertising with them.
and that’s what the music scene is in new york city.
last week, three years later, i was informed that village voice editorial has decided to list us in their calendar.
this was followed by a pitch to start advertising with them.
whatever…..
don’t eat the brown acid – it’s really little pebbles of ka-ka.

in 1985, allen ginsberg walked down into a bar i was building at 116 macdougal street and asked me “do you know where you are?” and before i could offer my wiseass reply, he excitedly told me the history of the place, it being the original “village gaslight.”
he told me about dave van ronk and careers started from bob dylan to bill cosby and loads of other stuff.
it excited him to pour his past out and lay it on the same floor i was currently using to spray six-foot flourescent light tubes with day-glo blue krylon paint.
i would later learn that “cafe wha” – across the street – ran an open stage every day with booked acts at night and everyone worked “the hat.”
was this in my mind when i began out here in bushwick?
i don’t think so.
i’m not very good on “plans” and maybe that’s not a good thing, but no one i knew was running their businesses with slide rules and graph paper when i was a kid, though i admit i wasn’t looking.
me and math never got along, anyway.
i told the documentarians that now is more punk than ever, that the gradual dissolution of the recording industry as i knew it was a good thing and that i never lived in a time of such startling creativity.
i also qualified this by saying that it’s just an opinion by “a musically-challenged writer with a short attention-span who did way too much of whatever he could get his hands on for far too long a time.”
that would be me.

i prefer to talk about near and dead-death experiences, my extraordinary friend’s rendezvous with my late, sainted-irish mother whom she never knew till they chatted briefly on the corner of Eternity boulevard and Hallelujah avenue;
….the “gulf-coast oil window” and when it will despoil the beach where me, maxx (my dog), the giant tire i befriended some years ago and those lizard people i keep mentioning meet on an almost weekly basis and where i can get a clean shot at “the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension” where i mingle with the comings and goings of everyone who ever came or went, who matter and anti-matter and who i hold, will hold or ever held in my electronic sputterings near, dear and otherwise to me.

instead of this, i can tell you about our booking policies, backline list and cheese you with goodbye blue monday’s history, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s on the website/blog.

see this thing just below here?

nuclear missiles used to be mounted on these things as they waiting and waited for something to happen.
i live my life waiting for something to happen.
it always does.

Location In Brooklyn

Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11221-3013

(718) 453-6343
www.goodbye-blue-monday.com

Bands Featured

Thought and Memory
www.myspace.com/thoughtandmemorymusic


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New York City, New York

Easter

By David Detroit

So like, I was hanging with my girl in the afternoon who works at Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope, this cheap re-sale shop that has another location in Williamsburg. I get totally hooked up with dirt cheap clothes, that would probably sell for a bunch of bucks at some crazy high end boutique. But Beacon’s has reasonable prices, nothing tends to be over $50 max, and hot girls work there, my girlfriend’s the one and only black girl. Lurking is highly recommended at Beacon’s, much to the girls’ dismay. I’m there on a mission to get a new shirt for a job interview at the School of Visual Arts, to be a manager for the film department’s camera equipment. I find a decent fancy dress shirt, that Karen tells me was originally $600, made by some exotic designer, but I’m getting it for $10. A few of her co-workers vaguely flirt with me, which always brightens my day. Remember that dream sequence in Fellini’s 8 1/2?

Beacons Closet

So anyhow, I meet my buddy Cotty at Washington Commons for a long overdue drink. It happens to be Wacom’s 1 year anniversary,which equals happy hour all night. Depending on the bartender, happy hour is either $3 or $4 for a well drink, and $2 off their beer selection. It’s the type of place that’s good for a chill hang with your bro who you haven’t seen for months, not a crazy freak out party spot, or anything romantic. They tend to have decent rock’n’roll played by the bartenders, who all seem decent thus far. Kinda low lighting, tables, an octagon bar, and an outdoor patio.

Washington Commons


So yeah, since it was really nice weather for the first time in ages, we sat outside, and Cotty ended up convincing me to go see The Smith Westerns at Mercury Lounge later that night. He played them for me on his iPhone, and it kinda reminded me of like freak beat crossed with The Undertones, with a healthy dose of Marc Bolan. And they’re all teenagers, supposedly. So I was into it, younger kids are usually better performers and less pretentious about having fun. We caught up about this and that,  and considered taking a spur of the moment road trip to New Haven at the end of the night with this kid Myles who was hanging out. Cotty wants to go to this pizza place he keeps raving about, and I wanna get some fucking cheap lobster. But they both puss out.

So Cotty really had to take a shit, and insisted on me coming with him to his apartment. But it’s like, dude, I don’t wanna walk all the way to your apartment just to sit on your video game couch and listen to your poop session. So I elected to stay at the bar and have a few more drinks, and hang with Myles, who reminded me of a younger version of myself, and discuss the differences between “Raw Power” and “Rough Power”, both of us being huge Stooges fans. I take a $3 shot of tequila, and head out the door. I ended up running late, and Cotty was kinda peeved. Stumbling along through Prospect Heights, I noticed I was just around the corner to one of the only rad Mexican joints in NYC, Chavellas. I told Cotty I was gonna get a cactus taco before meeting him at the F train, and Cotty forbid me due to tardiness. But being the disobedient type I am, I got one anyways, and they’re so delicious, yet too expensive for me on average. $3.25 for a taco is a bit much, $2 or $2.50 would be perfect. But they are perfect tacos, so whatever. They also make my favorite mole sauce in the city. Go there.

We got to the train, and discussed a bunch of jibber jabber about Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander”. All the while I’m trying to convince my girl to come meet us, but she thinks she’s too bloated to come out, despite the fact that she weighs 110 lbs, 5’6. God damn, does this country make women feel inadequate. I suspect she was all bumming out about it because she asked me how she looked in a dress that was too small for her, and I didn’t lie. But like, I didn’t want her to spend the dough to end up buying an XXS dress that was meant for a fucking teenager. So yeah, she wasn’t gonna come, and didn’t want to spend the money, and I felt this odd sense of guilt.

So we get to the Mercury Lounge, a relatively forgettable venue at Essex and Houston in the LES (Lower East Side), and due to my vague negligence, Smith Westerns is already done with half their set. However, there is a perk to this, and this is a good tip for all you cheapskates out there. If at all possible, if you’re going to see a band, and the only band you’re interested in seeing is the last band, try to show up in the middle of their set, because often times the door guy will just let you in for free, rather than charging you ten bucks for 10 minutes of music. And if the door guy doesn’t let you in, he probably had someone spit on him earlier that night, so don’t bug out. I hate it when people bug out on the door guy. In ten years of going to clubs, I’ve only had one bad time with a door guy.

So yeah, we watch this teenage band for 4 songs. They remind me of GIRLS, and I sort of don’t understand the importance of this whole explosion of sissy rock going on right now, but I don’texactly hate it either. Cotty doesn’t mind missing half the show, because we got in for free. However, he had already paid $10 for the show the night before, at the Market Hotel in Bushwick, but it got busted by cops before they went on, and he didn’t get a refund because the door guy jetted real quick. So in a sense, he already paid for the show, but didn’t have to pay twice. So yeah, they were pretty decent, in a whiny sort of way, and one of the guitarists looked like Cousin It from Addams Family when he drooped his hair down, while playing the guitar. It was kinda charming. They play an encore, and seem genuinely humble. I’m sure they’re up to their ears in pussy.

We didn’t buy any drinks there, and decided to head to Motor City to see one of my facebook friends DJ. I think it’s come to the point where I have friends, and then I have facebook friends, and there’s a big difference. We pass by the LES staple Pianos and Max Fish, both of which I don’t have a hard on for, like some folks. It’s just something that’s before my time, and the decor just reminds me of Urban Outfitters or some shit, so I can’t relax, or pay attention to what people are saying. We get to Motor City (also a bit drastic on the decorations), and it looks kinda dead. My facebook DJ friend can be mega awkward or pretentious (I can’t tell which one it is) when he’s sober. And it’s only 11:30, so I doubt he’s drunk yet, but when he’s drunk, he’s fucking hilarious. So we don’t even go in.

So I decide we should head to Mars Bar. I feel this strange sense of responsibility to try and hang there, since I could generally be categorized as a punk. But like, the place smells so fucking bad, I just can’t hang. This is coming from a dude who grew up living in a dingy basement that flooded every month or two, if that says anything. I like how the place looks, but the smell is overwhelming. Cotty described the smell as a 3 year old jizz sock, that was used perpetually to dry off his balls after jogging for three miles every day. So yeah, just like the last ten times of trying to get a drink there, I end up walking in and walking out. It’s like, why do I wanna spend the $6 or whatever to sit in a smelly bar? The clientele reminds me of a rough Cleveland crowd, which is definitely a plus, compared to the typical East Village yuppie/hipster/whatever the fuck you wanna call these people. White people. But yeah, I guess I’m just too bougie for Mars Bar. It’s a shame, because I really dig that song “That Woman’s Got Me Drinking” by Shane McGowan, that has a music video that takes place in Mars Bar a billion years ago, with Johnny Depp drinking tons of Gin — I’m a youtube addict.

Mars Bar


We head to KGB Bar, at E. 5th St and 2nd Ave. They have these really awesome Russian beers that are a pint, 8% ABV, and fucking killer. I can’t remember the name, but for $6 in the EastVillage, this is kind of like getting two beers for the price of one, and less of a beer belly in the process. KGB Bar has readings there, but I’m too irresponsible to get in with the NYC writing scene going on. Me and Cotty discussed which whiskey is the most reprehensible to order, and we both decide Johnny Walker Black, with Dewars as runner up. I love this bar, again, for hanging with bros during off hours; it’s a blood red bar upstairs that seems to have lots of old timey decor. But the bartender totally cut off one of my favorite Richard Hell songs to play Nirvana’s “In Utero” in its entirety. Me and Cotty discuss Nirvana for the rest of the hour, and end up getting the fuck out of there after some weird lady from Rome tries to pick up on us.

So yeah, me and Cotty part ways, and I stumble over to my default late night snack, Mamoun’s. I don’t get any street cred for Mamoun’s, as it’s perhaps the most widely known falafel joint in NYC. But it’s consistently rad, except on this night, I don’t recognize the cashier, and he’s getting in a bunch of arguments with three customers, because he fucked up all their orders. This guy must be new, and he’s swearing at people and shit. I work in service too, and I’ve dealt with plenty of bullshit. But look, if you fuck up someone’s order, you gotta make it right again. You’re potentially scaring away thousands of dollars on a yearly basis, by losing 10 customers. But he proudly proclaims that he doesn’t care about being rude, and tells people to shut up. I not only get my standard falafel sandwich with hummus, but this time I also get a spinach pie, as advertised on the poster on the counter. The falafel is satisfying as always, but the spinach pie was actually disappointing, in a weird microwavey sort of way. I also recommend the shwarma at Mamouns, it tastes like really good pussy (All my gay buddies should beware). Maybe if you dig the shwarma, it means you’re an in the closet straight guy? Dunno. Girlfriend was sleeping when I got home.

So yeah, not a bad Easter. Thanks, Jesus.

Locations in New York City

Beacon’s Closet
92 5th Ave
Brooklyn, New York
(718) 230-1630
Washington Commons
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
748 Washington Avenue
(between Park Pl & Sterling Pl)
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-3666
Chavellas
732 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238-4607
(718) 622-3100
Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002-1021
(212) 260-4700
Market Hotel
1142 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Motor City
127 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002-3214

(212) 358-1595
Pianos
158 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002

(212) 505-3733
Max Fish
178 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002-1549

(212) 529-3959
Mars Bar
25 E 1st St
(between Extra Pl & 2nd St)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-9842
KGB Bar
85 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003-8904
(212) 505-3360
Mamoun’s Falafel
22 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003-8022
(212) 387-7747

Bands Featured
The Smith Westerns