Thursday, July 27, 2006

Golden Smog @Bowery Ballroom, July 26th

Tonight after some fine dining at the Shake Shack with Wawa, Shana, Indie Twin Dave and Heather -- yummm yummmm! -- headed down to the Bowery Ballroom where we met up with Eddie to catch alt-country's finest supergroup, Golden Smog.

I caught them 2 years ago with Wawa at the very same venue and enjoyed them immensely despite the fact that I didn't know any of their songs aside from a few covers that were played. This go around, I listened to their new album "Another Fine Day" online so I had some better familiarity with the material.

While Wawa and I were stuck in the stairwell waiting to check in with the will call tickets person, the band walked right past us. Gary Louris almost brushed up against me, dare I say it. Once we got onto the floor, and caught the last half of the last song by the opener, I led the group up front. I knew this crowd would give me little resistance. Not your usual packed crowd of young hipsters at the Bowery. Loads of middle-aged folks, including this one dude with the worst combover in front of me. Eddie whispered Tobias of "Arrested Development" fame, but this guy was nowhere near as cool as David Cross. It was like if you ran into your junior high school science teacher at the supermarket during non-school hours. Well, anyway, he seemed to really dig the music, as he swayed back and forth, so that's cool with me!

What I love about Golden Smog is that it's a group of musicians, all accomplished in their own right, but they decided to get together and just have a blast, and it's evident in the way they played on stage. They started off admitting having not rehearsed a whole lot, and it took a little bit for them to get it going, but then it really started happening. Like I said, I did a little homework this time around, so I actually could sing along to some of the new songs. They also played some great covers, including "Starman" by Bowie and "Revolution Blues" by Neil Young.

A few guests jumped in at various songs. Jenny Muldaur (daughter of Maria, apparently!) guested on vocals for a handful of songs. Mike Mills of R.E.M. came onto the stage randomly to steal some beers, but eventually joined in for a song. For the last song, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady sang lead vocals on "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

All in all, an excellent night of great live music. I look forward to seeing Louris, Murphy & Co. again! And next time, Jeff Tweedy better show up! :)

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