Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shameless Plug...

Howdy everyone. Sorry for the shameless plug, but I’m incredibly excited to let you all know that this month I’ve ventured across Relix’s cubical walls to pen the cover story for our sister publication (Global Rhythm) on one of my favorite bands, Antibalas. Be sure to visit one of our websites (,, or to find out how you can order a copy to place on your very own coffee table (or, at least, leave in your significant other’s bathroom!) And, while I’m pimping my typos, be sure to order a copy of this month’s Relix and download my podcast Cold Turkey. Ok, now back to your regularly scheduled MySpace diet of party promotions and musician mug shots
Mikey Greenhaus

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Earplug Alert

2007-02-27-Tonight is a pretty jam, or at least, post-jam packed evening in New York. Tom Hamilton and his present brothers Jim Hamilton and Joe Russo play the Living Room…Sam Champion’s forecast calls for a show right next door at Piano’s and the Slip, err, slip into Hoboken for a set at Maxwell’s….if only Apollo Sunshine was in town to complete the crew….

2007-02-28—Hay, what do you know? Apollo Sunshine at the Annex...

2007-02-29-...and Apollo Sunshine at Southpaw

And, since you are out and about, come see my boys AGP at the Mercury

Here is a tearjerker I wrote on them for

Monday, February 26, 2007

Animal Haus

Above: Bob Marley isn’t dead, he’s just hanging out in the dorms
Above-AEII: The most Jew you’ll find under one roof outside Relix

Despite having graduated college way back in 2003 and having earned a public noise citation for a party I threw my senior year, I didn’t attended my first frat party until this weekend. Skidmore, my alama matter, didn’t support Fraternities, not because we were opposed to mass drinking, but because we were way too lazy to organize any of the ritual stuff which goes along with Greek Life. We did, however, have a number of legacy houses which allowed us to live out our Animal House fantasies without ever uttering the phrase “uggy, uggy uggy, oi, oi, oi.” While the type of students who inhabit these crash pads shifted from semester to semester, each party house’s central attraction remained the same: Stables (badass bonfires), Arabella (bands in the basement), Excelsior (a large lawn), Bloomfield (a packed porch), Alpine (a smelly septic tank), State Street (budding boybands), and Bensonhurst (kid tested, acid approved). We even ghettoized our small athletic community into a suburban commune called Gick (indeed, Skidmore is the only school with both sober and sports awareness floors).

I bunked in one of these houses my senior year and may be the only person to ever live in a party house without really, um, partying (though I was always good a figuring out the potential ratio of kegs to cops). I learned a number of valuable lessons that year and even bribed G. Love to have a cold beverage at party in September 2002 (either the “best” or “sickest” night of my life depending on my level of intoxication) If anyone is really interested in my time at Excelsior I believe there is a court ordered paper on-file at the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

Anyway, my brother Ian has always been a shade preppier than I and pledged AEII at Emory University (the Scarsdale of the south I’m told) a few years ago. Since he’s graduating this spring I decided to visit him one last time and, as luck would have it, stumbled quite literally into my very first frat party. According to my brother the costume party’s theme was “Woodstock,” though I’m pretty sure Northface wasn’t around in 1969.

The evening had everything you’d want from a good, ol’ fashion college kegger (except actual kegs): a freshman puking in a garage can, a beer funnel longer than my apartment wall, and a gen-u-ine collegiate jamband (which adhered to the holy trinity of college-rock covers: DMB, Sublime, and, of course, “All Along the Watchtower.”) The guitarist even used a strand of police caution tape as his strap which may be the most rock-and-roll thing I’ve seen even since Jesse Spano started popping caffeine pills during the third season of Saved by the Bell. In fact, it felt a lot like the parties I attended in college only “Dick in the Box” is the new “Hey Ya” and I’m the new old sketchy guy (“that’s what I love about those college girls, I keep getting older, they stay just as neurotic.”) I even struck up a conversation with a junior named “Jen” who told me I was “old,” but “didn’t look it,” and “that was a good thing.” Nice!

While I’m still opposed to forced socialization outside the workplace, after this weekend I do see some value in Greek Life. Instead of having to round up money from your housemates to throw a party (and, by the way, Zimman you still owe me $100 from that G. Love night), AEII has a designated budget for its group debauchery. Plus, it is a lot easier to bribe all your neighbors to simultaneously skip town when you’re surrounded by surprisingly Jewish looking Greeks. Being a bit older than these kids I felt like I should organize a mass cleanup the following day, but, then again, blogging is much more fun than mopping my brothers’ floor and I’ve always followed Elliot Smith’s advise when it comes to party planning (“a happy day and then you pay”). As Zack Morris said, “I love school, too bad classes get in the way.”

In my day these three letters were pronounced “D M B”

Kenny, Darren, Nick, Eric, and I at Bensonhurst before our parents stopped dressing us


Friday, February 23, 2007

Phish ‘N Fish

In February of 2005 I spent a weekend skiing in Colorado with my two best---and oldest----friends, both of whom are conveniently named Jon. The night before we left I made a $1,000 bet with them that by 2/25/2025 Bill Clinton would be remembered as a better President than George W. Bush. While I certainly don’t have that kind of money, and probably never will, I figure that if I’m wrong, debt will be the least of my problems.

The three of us have gone skiing a number of times since and each year we’ve added a number of our high-school friends to the mix. It is the type of tradition I hope to continue until I’m too old to ski (or, at least, until I lose my previous bet and the ice caps have all melted and we are required to swim in Colorado), but each trip has also reminded me just how far apart we’ve all grown since our days of eating wing-dings in our high-school Cafeteria. I play Phantasy Phish, the Jons play poker; I consider Spaghetti marinara a gourmet meal, they consider it a form of capitol punishment; I see the word through music, they hear it, by and large, as background noise. Yet, without hesitation, I still consider them my closest friends. Which makes me wonder whether we’d still be close if we met on today instead of in seventh grade English class?

Someone once told me that when it comes to relationships, the impact is what matters and the context is what makes it possible. I agree with that statement whole heartedly, but wonder how ten years of growth and definition has, in many ways, resulted in ten years of limitations. From the type of food I eat to the type of music I listen to, the type of crazy girls I chase, to the type of friends I keep, I’ve become pretty set in my ways and am, by and large, proud of the fragile persona I’ve created for myself. But, at the same time, I often wonder what I’m missing or, more accurately, shutting myself off from.

So, this year, I decided to do something different and actually ventured outside my dietary comfort zone. I tried sushi, salmon, and, even, a new food called Ahi (the Headphone Jams of the fish world I wager). While it has nothing on the tuna I favor from the deli down my street, I have to say it wasn’t bad either. In return the Jons listed to a party playlist and found a great new band called “Talking Heads” (I’m working on ‘em slowly but surely). So, today, when I went out to lunch with a co-worker who is about to go “post-Relix,” I decided to try my lunch in a sushi wrap instead of on a roll. I guess all tuna tastes the same, only sprinkled with some different spices.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Freebee Thursdays

In the summer of 1998 I spent five weeks in California making a music video I rarely show and studying for an astronomy test I didn’t pass. Part of some pre-college, post-adolescent study program, I bunked in the UCLA dorms with a fellow 16 year old I can only describe as your typical, level two, suburban prep-school Phishhead (lets just say his name was written on both a pair of patchworks and a Time Square theater). At the time I was about a year deep into my jamband addition and beginning to venture outside the Pharmer’s Almanac to hear new music. Eager to learn about the magical world which existed outside mainstream radio, I let my roommate DJ most of the time and, before we went to bed, he’d often play a live CD by this little band from Colorado, the Samples. Though they don’t always get credit for it, the Samples mark the point in jamband lineage where organic pop veered in its own direction, opening up the door for countless bands, from Dave Matthews Band to Rusted Root, Dispatch to Guster. Something about the group’s sound immediately touched my soul and I soaked up every second of their then new CD, Transmissions from the Sea of Tranquility. For a short while I made a conscious effort to see them when they came to town, but, sometime around my sophomore year of college, I lost touch with the Samples and sound they helped spawn.

But Monday, while I was skiing in Colorado, I randomly saw a sign-hanging in Snowmass Village for a free outdoor show headlined by that little band I learned about one summer almost ten years ago. I dragged one of my high-school buddies back to town that night and, for a few minutes at least, remembered why the Samples are so special. In retrospect their sound is somewhat dated---a snapshot of a generation raised with H.O.R.D.E. tour and hacky-sacks---but, to borrow a recent description I heard of the band Explosions in the Sky, they still offer a “sad, hopeful music” and, for me, represent a time when the word jam could, and should, have replaced pop. I didn’t recognize many of the group’s songs that night or, quite frankly, many of the musicians onstage, but that same sad, hopeful music still made me feel special. I hope they made you feel equally special this sweet Thursday.

Sacred Stones


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shameless Plug

I'm not quite sure how far into 2007 I can look back at 2006 without completely twisting my head off, but here are my top album and singles picks from the Village Voice's annual critics poll. And, for the first time, these typos aren't my fault!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Earplug Alert!

Even if your jaw still hurts from last weekend’s Bisco shows these three fine offerings should get your “untz untz” going

2007-02-23-Future Rock and Friends @ Delanacy

2007-02-24-Lotus @ Bowery Ballroom

2007-02-24-Digital Frontier @ Bowery Poetry Club

and, after watching the Academy Awards Sunday, you should be all set for this star studded set:

2007-02-26-Tibet House Benefit: Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Ben Harper, Phillip Glass and More @ Carnegie Hall

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Freebee Thursdays

For the third, post-Valentines Day installment of Freebee Thursdays I decided to offer a pair of seemingly unrelated mp3s. The only thing that ties these tracks together, actually, is that they are by bands I like but, for whatever reason, don’t love as much as I should (or as much as everyone else seems to). But both tracks have helped me understand why my favorite people call these their favorite bands.

Widespread Panic-"Don't Tell the Band"

Ween "Baby Bitch"

I'd also like to formally apologize to my good friend Jon Peck who was offended by yesterday’s Arcade Fire chiding and say congratulations to the future Jon and Caroline Bahr who got engaged at Tuesday’s show. I’ll buy both Jons a drink at Bonnaroo!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shameless Plug

So, I’m not afraid to admit that I still like Phish. And, by “still like,” I mean “still love” and by “still love” I mean get squeamish in that Pharmer’s Almanac kind of way when somebody or something reminds me of the first time I found “Fee” (summer camp ‘92) or the one time I heard “Harpua” (7/29/03, dude!). I mean, I know nobody ever liked Phish and that 65,000 people just happened to make a wrong turn into Limestone, ME, en route to an Arcade Fire show in Montreal that one August, but I was there for the genuine jamband geek out. In fact, I love Phish so much that while I clearly wish they’d come back, I don’t think they should---at least not know. And if seeing Trey Anastasio speak at the 92nd St. Y last weekend didn’t validate that opinion, I’m not sure what will.

I’m not sure how to describe the evening except that I held my bladder for longer than I have since the summer of 2004. Here is a review/mini-essay I composed for Relix…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Earplug Alert!

2007-02-13-Arcade Fire @ Judith Memorial Church


2007-02-14-Akron/Family @ Club Europa

Besides being my friend Liz’s favorite sandwich shop, Europa is supposed to be a pretty cool club and Akron/Family is supposed to be a pretty cool band. If Valentine’s Day is a social blackout day for you, I recommend this

2007-02-15-17-The Disco Biscuits @ Starland Ballroom, Sayerville, NJ

I was feeling like a high roller after last weekend and all ready to spend $200 for Arcade Fire tickets and $300 to change my plane tickets and then I went to lunch and realized I would basically be spending $300 to hear “Jamillia” and changed by tune (while sticking with my trademark Tuna). So I am not going to make it to Sayerville alas. Besides I have to save for Phish tour 2008 (plus a party I decided I am going to have in early March). But, if you are within striking distance of Sayerville, bounce in this direction (and Brownie, if you are reading this, I'm sorry I've been a bad Bisco tweaker in the last few months---I am not used to you being on the road so much).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Todays Post is Sponsored by the Letter J...

So, if I learned anything from my recent trip to Israel it’s that the letter J is clearly the most religious letter of the alphabet (and I’m not just talking about being Jewish). I mean on the one had you have a good chunk of the big biblical names: Jesus, Joseph, Jacob, Jeremiah, and, lets face it Jon and Jenny (which, statistically speaking, any Jewish profit born in the early-1980s will be named). Then you have all the religious places like Jerusalem, Jericho, and, of course, jam-nation. Add to that a good dose of religious controversy thanks to things like Jihad, Jews for Jesus (which manages to sneak in two Js) and, err, J-Date and the tenth letter of the alphabet has more in common with its favorite commandments than one might expect. So, now, go smoke a J and gel (the J is soft) on that for a while.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Freebie Thursdays

I was slightly disappointed by The Slip's Late Night debut this week (sorry JB, I will make it up to you in Friday's post). I blame it on nerves and, since I have trouble speaking in front of one person let alone several millions, know I couldn't have done any better. Besides, as some message board dweller noted, since when do we judge out favorite band's by their talk show appearances?

I was actually on TV when I was five as part of the on stage audience for some kid's television program which, according to, either never jumped the shark or jumped on day one (Steampipe Alley if anyone remembers that ill-fated, in retrospect slightly scary, television program). I remember crying through the whole thing after the show's host (who, in retrospective, was either really hyperactive or a child molester) picked my friend over me to wear a cat mask, a footnote in my life I am sure some therapist can peg a whole lot of my problems on. Since I prefer blogging over psychology, I decided to dedicate this week's freebie to The Slip and offer this recent podcast which features 2006's best band in a more relaxed setting

Enjoy and purchase Eisenhower

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Shameless Plug

Reunions are the rage (apparently): the Police, Genesis, the Greyboy Allstats, CSNY, even Rage, er, Against the Machine---the possibilities are as endless as a blogspot post. But, lets be honest, we are forgetting one of the biggest possible reunions of all time: Joe Russo and Marco Benevento. I mean its been, like, a month since they last played and almost six weeks since their last New York show. I know Russo is a “rock guy” now and Benenveto is perfecting his jazz chops, but these two need to put aside their differences and play a show as the Duo. Then again, seeing Russo play with Benevento while wearing those new contact lenses might be akin to watching Trey stumble through YEM after his Banana Republic makeover post-hiatus.

Either way, the Duo feature I did for the December/January issue of Relix has been posted online. So check it out and remember the golden days of late-2006.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Earplug Alert

Hundreds of shows, seven days, one week. Here is what looks good

02-06-American Babies Trio @ Living room
The latest incarnation of the post-jam world’s latest supergroup features the Duo’s Joe Russo, Brothers Past’s Tom Hamilton, and Ween’s Dave Dreiwitz (and yes I had to Google search Dreiwitz’s last name to figure out how to spell it)

02-07-Trey Anastasio @ 92nd St Y
Does it say something about the status of Phish nation that I’m equally interested in hearing Trey speak than play? Wait, who am I kidding, that was always the case

02-09-Cryptic Fiber @ Fontana’s
Coachella got Rage, Bonnaroo nabbed the Police, and we reunited Cryptic Fiber. ‘Nuff said

02-10-Brett Dennen featuring members of ALO @ Joe’s Pub
A SoCal supergroup; a sit-in in the making

02-10-The Plug Awards: Stephen Malkmus, Silversun Pickups et all @ Irving Plaza
The indie-world’s answer to the Jammys has all the flair, but none of the flavor of my favorite night of the year. But it does has Stephen Malkmus

02-11-Jonah Smith @ Rockwood Music Hall
Jonah Smith would top each and every of my top ten lists if he didn’t work with me everyday. And, even so, he makes it up there a good chunk of the time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Whatever You Do...

It occurred to me the other day, while flipping through some back entries of this here blog, that I’m pretty hard on myself, especially when it comes to girls. Admittedly, while sealing the deal may indeed be my most visible typo, I have learned a thing or two about female interaction in the last twenty-five years and, especially, in the last twenty-five days. And, as it turns out, the answer to my female problems wasn’t so much at the tip of my fingers, as it was at the tip of my toes.

Yes indeed, I am talking about my new shoes or, more accurately, my new six pairs of shoes. A good six years after I gleefully declared sneakers the bastard children of my wardrobe in the Skidmore News column which preceded the semi-dormant column which inspired his semi-active blog, I’ve come to understand that footwear isn’t so much about comfort as it is style. Clearly most members of female gender figured this out log before Bill Haley fused country and blues to rock-around-the-clock (case-and-point, the high-heel). And, over the last month, I’ve discovered that wearing nice shoes in a room full of nice girls is kind of like speaking sign language among a group of deaf people.

Like shirts and pants, shoes are, apparently, meant to be changed along with outfits, moods, and occasions. Contrary to popular belief, certain colors even clash (just don’t ask me to explain which ones). Since I’d sit around in sweatpants and a Phish T-Shirt if left to my own devices (the maroon one with the bee-hive I purchased New Year’s ’98 seems to go well with my sofa), I decided to defer all wardrobe decisions to a series of unofficial female-stylists (if any girls are reading this, I think I speak for all non-metrosexual men when I say that the clothed foot is the only part of the female body we don’t notice). And, after a month or so of research, here’s what I’ve learned.

1) Sandals
According to my research, (aka my friend Jenny, the shopper formally known as “drunk Jenny”) my old school sandals and my new school, but old school looking Reeves go well with the colors blue, black, or tie-dye and are perfect wet hippie festival like Mountain Jam and All Good, as well as summer trips to Urban Outfitter. Hippie chic indeed!

2) Slippers
Not your father’s parlor shoes these lace-less loafers are perfect for lounging around my backyard, by which I mean any area south of 14th St. and east of six avenue. I like them the best because they remind me of the Velcro sneakers I was allowed to sport until 4th grade (I never mastered the art of tying laces in Kindergarten)

3) Grey Sneakers
Though I purchased this pair of New Balance sneakers to play soccer, my co-workers inform me that they are the best shoes for casual, daily life in my office. Yes, I occupy the only cubical in New York which requires me to dress down for work

4) Black Shoes
I am only allowed to wear my black shoes at formal events like weddings, funerals, and Trey Anastasio’s upcoming appearance at the 92nd St Y. Oh, and I’m told black and brown clash more than a New Yorker at a Widespread Panic concert.

5) Brown Loafers
An updated version of the brown loafers I wore every single day in 2006, I nabbed this shoe while in Israel, a fact I only mention because it means an Israeli woman helped me pick them out. I figured my parents would appreciate that one some level (see, I’m trying)

6) Browner Loafers
These loafers were actually the same color as the above mentioned pair before I attended 12 festivals in one summer. I keep them around because they are perfect for any concert where a tweaker may roll over my feet (pun very much intended).

7) Shitty Shoes
I’m currently searching for pair of “nice shitty shoes,” which I’m told can be both casual and stylish at the same time. I guess I aspire to be shitty chic one day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Doctor, Doctor...

I‘ve been blessed with good health over the past few years and without realizing it, never built up a network of doctors after moving to New York in the fall of 2004. I also just realized that I never officially stopped seeing my pediatrician---I just kind of slowly stopped going----which makes me wonder if there is still some FBI-like folder containing my name, date of birth, and level of ticklishness filed at the Mt. Kisco Medical Center

Anyway, over the course of the past few weeks, a few minor problems (back, foot, back of my foot) have emerged, and this week, I found myself on mini-doctor tour seeing three different specialists over the course of a two day period (no interlocking sets, alas). While not as exciting as, say, seeing a concert in each of New York’s five boroughs (perhaps my true claim to fame) or managing to mangle two dates in a singe evening (consider that a coming attraction for my next blog), seeing three unrelated doctors in the same week has shed some light on the state of the American Medical Association.

First off, I love how society rephrases the simple act of “going to the doctor’s office” to fit life’s various stages. When I got sick in elementary-school I was sent to the nurse’s office (as opposed to the principal’s office), when I got food poisoning at camp I spent time at the infirmary (as opposed to a military-like bunk), and when I fell ill in college I scheduled an appointment with health services (as opposed to food or, err, custodial services). And, now, finally, I am old enough to see a “specialist,” whose specialty seems to be figuring out creative ways to make me feel guilty about siding with the Evil Empire (aka the insurance companies).

Second, with each passing day I’ve come to realize that, as President Lincoln surely said, “alloffices are created equally dysfunctional,” and I’m not sure if its comforting or alarming that my health is being determined by an team of neoteric, coffee-drinking New Yorkers who spend their days surfing MySpace.

Lastly, I’ve decided that you can tell a lot about a doctor by simply sitting in his or her waiting room: the furniture, the wall decorations, and especially the magazines. Thankfully, I’ve yet to find a doctor who subscribes to Relix (indeed, I never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member or more accurately see a doctor who’d want to read what I have to say.)

You can also tell pretty quickly when you are hopelessly out of place as I learned at my first appointment. The first doctor I visited was a nice, accomplished, woman on the Upper East Side (aka Siberia) who was associated with my uncle’s hospital. After weighing the pros-and-cons of seeing a woman doctor, I decided that I’d rather have my mom tell me I was about to die then just about anyone else, and I scheduled an appointment. After sitting in the waiting room for a few minutes, flipping through copies of Redbook and scanning a few fact-packed flyers about menopause, I decided separate but equal is fine when it comes to doctor gender and got the hell out of there before some nurse tricked me into signing up for a pap test.

The second doctor I visited was more up my alley, a balding, 50-something Jewish guy who seems to have majored in podiatry, minored is twenty-something psychology, and failed standup comedy (though he seemed most interested in showing off his skills in the latter category). The meat of my appointment was divided into two acts: the first focusing on my toe, the second on my last name, which he acutely pointed out is more fun when pronounced The Greenhaus Effect (come to think of it he has a lot in common with my fourth grade class). Thankfully, after fifteen minutes of environmental riffing he returned to my toe, which he diagnosed as so gross, “it will impede me from getting girls into bed.” He then gave me some magic nail-polish remover, which he promised, like Mr. Clean, would make my toenail so shinny it would pull those same girls back from across the room no matter what type of shoes I have on (who says podiatrists don’t saved lives)!

My third doctor was clearly the most qualified to deal with my problems. Not only has he earned enough awards to wallpaper his entire office, but he managed to solve my medical condition without even inspecting my body! Upon entering the room he gave me a once over, realized I had ten fingers, two feet, and a low self-esteem and diagnosed my back condition before asking my problem. “You sit hunched over at a desk all day and it is hurting your back,” he declared from across the room. “But I’ve been sitting at a desk for 21 years and never pulled a muscle before,” I lobbied. “You also have never been 25 before,” he shot back.

Game point. Indeed, it took six hours, three doctors, and a seemingly infinite amount of insurance paper to determine that I am a 25-year old Jewish male named Mike Geenhaus, who works at a magazine and spends a good amount of time hunched over a computer.

Come to think of it, maybe more doctors should spend time surfing MySpace.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Freebie Thursdays

So, for my first freebie Thursday, I decided to offer the first two songs from David Byrne’s long out of print 1985 score, Music from the Knee Plays. For those of you outside New York area and/or off the Carnegie Hall mailing list, Mr. Byrne (who, like James Brown, now seems to be addressed in the most formal way possible), is performing the song-cycle for the first time in many moons tonight at Zankel Hall. He is being backed by the Les Miserables orchestra which may be the most high-brow sit-in I’ve reported in my three point five years handling the daily news. I am reviewing the show for the April/May issue of Relix, but for a more honest, and less sober, opinion, please track me down at the Galactic show tomorrow to hear my thoughts.

Unlike most fading rock-stars who embrace classical composition as a more cerebral version of scientology, David Byrne has actually done some pretty amazing things with his strings. Grown Backwards, his 2004 album on Nonesuch, is one of the best albums I’ve heard since graduating college. While Music from the Knee Plays doesn’t hold up quite as well on CD or, more accurately, on a pirated vinyl record imported into a computer, illegally traded through the web, and burned onto a disc, I’m hoping it will be more tangible in a live setting. I plan on selling caviar in the lot at 7 if anyone wants to join me…

Oh, and in a valiant attempt to protect my digital rights, here is a disclaimer. These tracks are for personal use only and should only be used to show off to overly pompous co-workers and lure unsuspecting girls with a serious Tina Weymouth complex into bed.

Track 1: Tree

Track 2: In the Upper Room