Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend...

As anyone and everyone I know will surely tell you, I’m an overly nostalgic guy and tend to attach personal significance to even the most inanimate objects. I cried when my Mom got a new car when I was 5, complained when they redid my play space when I was seven and made a short film when we moved houses when I was 14 (seriously). But, I place no greater significance on any piece of furniture I’ve owned, slept on or spilled on than the “hippie chic” couch which has sat in my living room for the past 26 years.

According to popular legend…a.k.a. my Mom and Dad…when my parents lived in the West Village in the late 1970s (you know, when they still had to walk 8 miles up three hills and fight off Indians to get to school) their apartment was so small that their loveseat filled up the entire living room and it wasn’t until they moved into a slightly larger (and more Indian proof) apartment in the even later 1970s that they could afford, let alone fit, a full couch. A few months after I was conceived (perhaps on that couch?) they moved to the country, or at least scenic Armonk, NY, and brought with them the loveseat, its matching couch and a pretty hefty vinyl collection as the main relics of their post-hippie squalor.

I think my first tangible memories are of that couch… my Dad sitting on it Saturday mornings…my mom cleaning cat hair off it so my allergic Dad could sit on it Saturday morning (true love or the original neurotic Jew?)…my uncle sleeping on it for somewhere between 6 weeks and 2 years depending on who you ask Overtime that couch absorbed many memories, some fuzzy, some carbonated, from my parent’s friend Judy smoking some strange cigarette to the Transformer party I had when I was 7 to the sleepovers that dominated my family room throughout my adolescence (shoosh, don’t wake my parents). Over the years I’d say a good 17% of my high school graduating glass spent at least one night on that couch and the rapidly rising number of Chiropractors in my old neighborhood is tangible proof just for comfortable it truly is. Though most of my friends are still figuring out how to make their way in the world, I’m proud to say that my couch has already hosted some pretty important people: Andy (who sadly now works for G.W. Bush), soon to be billionaire investor/poker player Jon (who to this day swears he developed allergies when he lost a coin toss and had to sleep on the floor one night in 8th grade) and many more of you out there than I’d like to believe from those early college parties (let me hear tip my hat to Hayley, Pete, Jen, Eric, Ken, Neil, Adam, Buddy, Lucy, Amanda, Caitey, Jay, Ned, Jermanie, Anna, Nick, Iz, Corey, Bill and the many other Skidmorians whose backs will never be the same after a right on that big, uncomfortable blob of memories).

I moved into Manhattan in 2004 and, oddly enough, found myself living just a few blocks from where my parent’s first gave birth to that big, old, dirty couch and have lived here every since. I brought along both the couch and the love seat, though sadly not the vinyl, and, for the better part of the past three years, my roommate Juan has used it as his de facto bed (even though he has both a room in my apartment and another crash pad in Brooklyn). As I grew with New York it was where Benjy and I recorded many early episodes of Cold Turkey, where I wrote many articles for Relix and, where my brother established his first home in NYC and where I first encountered many of the people who heave since earned their own esteemed blog entries over the past two years (you know who you are...). I once joked that I hoped to seed the next generation of Greenhauses on the very same couch that brought me into this world, but my Mom, always the voice of reason, simply said, “honey, have you sat on that couch recently? I don’t think so.” I’d like to be buried in that couch, or at least give it a 30th birthday party, but sadly, today, I will lay my old stead to rest. His wheels have gotten too rusty, his legs too weak and his cloth too frayed to host a neurotic blogger, let alone a multi-keg party, and tonight he will retire to that great living room in the sky (or at least behind my apartment building).

I’m sad that I never gave him a name since I’ve known him for so long, so I am going to follow the Jewish tradition and name him after the first friend I lost along the way, my cat Wimpy.

I managed to salvage some of his pillows and am trying to figure out something heady to do with them after I get back from Vegoose. But, until then, I’d like to toast my old stead Wimpy, who stayed with me through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the sober and the intoxicated and will surely be immortalized with one foot in the air like any solider who dies in battle.

Rest in Peace,

Mikey Greenhaus

Monday, October 22, 2007

Turkey Tuesdays: The Duo Naked

A heard an interview with Ryan Miller once where he described all his songs as his children, but then noted that some songs are bastard children you wish you could forget about from time to time. I feel that way about many of my articles and podcasts but, on the flipside, have a particular favorite episode of Cold Turkey. The meat of the performance was recorded at Wakarusa last summer when Benjy and I bribed the Benevento/Russo Duo with a bottle of Maker’s Mark to play an acoustic set consisting of their then new “Memphis” and a series of whacky covers (plus a Phish song). They drank, they played, they drank some more and they created probably the best---or at least funniest---episode of Cold Turkey we’ll ever do. For a few months it hovered in video form on the Relix homepage but, this week, we decided to package it in audio form with some Echo Project extras on the Cold Turkey page. We recommend you down some Maker’s Mark yourself be downloading.

Please click here to download

Friday, October 12, 2007

Different Strokes for Similar Folks

Last night I caught two rock shows by two very different rock bands in the same city: The National at Terminal 5 and ALO at Bowery Ballroom. Both shows---at least broadly ---appealed to the same target demographic (white 20-30 something’s) and were promoted by the same tastemakers (Bowery Presents), but aside from that they

veered in almost opposite directions. The National embodies a dark, intellectual, emo-aesthetic one can only truly understand after spending an evening crammed like a sardine on the L train en route to a loft party while wearing pants two sizes too tight. ALO, on the other hand, sparkles with a sunny, Summer of Love glow one can only truly relate to after losing yourself---or at least freeing your mind---in a game of trampoline kickball in the fresh air of High Sierra (man). Both bands are currently swooping back through New York after successful opening stints for their scene’s biggest band (Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews Band, respectively), both are riding high on mature, breakthrough late spring/early summer releases (Boxer and Roses & Clover, once again respectively) and, surprisingly, both seem to tackle very similar subject matters (especially when placed back-to-back on the same evening). So, in case these not-so-strange bedfellows are rolling through your city anytime soon, but sure to ready both the tissues and the glitter and try to envision the National and ALO switching tempos for an evening:

Some Lyrical Overlaps:


The National: “Secret Meeting”

Choice Lines:

I think this place is full of spies

I think they're onto me

Didn't anybody, didn't anybody tell you

Didn't anybody tell you how to gracefully disappear in a room

ALO: “Plastic Bubble”

Choice Line:

Living in a plastic bubble

A bubble in a plastic world

Ooh, ooh, ooh

Living in a plastic bubble

And it’s good.


The National: “Slow Show”

Choice Line:

You know I dreamed about you
for twenty-nine years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for
for twenty-nine years

ALO: “Girl, I Want to Lay You Down”

Choice Line:

Come Over, Cook a little dinner, a little Pasta

Listen to the music, a little Rasta

Girl, I Want to Lay You Down

The Speed of Life

The National: “Racing Like a Pro”

Choice Line:

Your mind is racing like a pro, now
oh my god it doesn’t mean a lot to you
one time you were a glowing young ruffian
oh my god it was a million years ago

ALO: “Maria”

Choice Line:

And if we loose our balance

And we start to drift and fall

And we wind up on our knees

Well remember we still can crawl

and, of course, Emptiness:

The National: “Ada

Choice Line:
Stand inside an empty tuxedo with grapes in my mouth
waiting for Ada
Ada hold onto yourself by the sleeves
I think everything counts a little more than we think
leave it all up in the air
leave it all up in the air
leave it all up in the air

ALO: “Empty Vessel”

Choice Line:

I’m an incomplete empty vessel

Waiting for the one to fill me up

Waiting for the day to hear you say “I Love You”

But you won’t so I’m gonna leave

I do believe I’ve had enough

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Turkey Thursday

Still feeling a bit burnt from last weekend's Arcade Fire concert (more on that later), so I didn't have time to roundup any past Cold Turkey cuts for Tuesday. But, luckily, Thursday is just as alliterative , so I hope these links help get you through this Cold Turkey Thursday.

Chatting with Cold War Kids

New Master Dickinsons

Part of Pink Floyd

Monday, October 08, 2007

Blog-IER Challenge

We participated in the Blog-IER challenge for a free supply of Perrier (for a whole year, like Bonnaroo to Bonnaroo!)...see what we made below!Above: What he look like from behind

Above: Our front side (notice the Jerry and Luther Tatoos!)

Above: What we look like sideways (imagine us at a hippie fest)

Also be sure to check out the current issue here!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Festival F.O.M.O.: A Look at Camp Bisco

It's been a few hours since I completely embarassed myself online, so this recent feature I did for should make up for lost time

Festival F.O.M.O.: A Look at Camp Bisco
Mike Greenhaus and Dave Vann

If the first 26 years of my life were to be organized a series of names, dates and numbers, a few choice asterisks would no doubt mark the setlist for my otherwise ordinary suburban existence. Of course, there are the ‘precious memories,’ like the first time I lost a tooth (I cried), my Bar Mitzvah (my Mom cried) and the first time I collaborated with a member of the opposite sex (what’s this site rated again?)…the personal victories (making it to New York City), the professional accomplishments (making it into a magazine) and that somewhat fuzzy middle ground between the two I often wish I had a message board of my own to make sense of each morning and then, of course, the embarrassingly geeky moments which only someone who once named all his goldfish after Grateful Dead keyboardists would truly appreciate…like, say, last spring when the Disco Biscuits surpassed Phish as the band I’ve seen the most last spring.

And, without delving into full blog-style retrospection, I’ll simply say that, shortly before the Disco Biscuits’ Highline shows last May I sent the following e-mail to Marc Brownstein and Jon Gutwillig while sitting next to my new goldfish, Little Bruce Hornsby:

Hi guys. So I don't geek too, too much (publicly), but am pretty excited tonight, for it marks quite the life transition for me. Nope, not getting married for having another bris, but, instead, after many years, tonight the Disco Biscuits will surpass Phish as the band I've seen live the most amount of times, which for a dork like me is pretty music the biggest deal in my music world. I know you don't take requests, but if my first and favorite Biscuit song, "Little Betty Boop," worked its way into your setlist tonight or this weekend, I'd no doubt bounce so high I hit the ceiling (or at least the balcony). Ah, yes it took over 7 years to work my way uptown from Wetlands to 16th St (got to love New York traffic).

Though I saw many bands many times before the Disco Biscuits and have devoted a great deal of my attention to many others since, I’m not surprised they’ve managed to absorb so much of my time and energy because, as my friend Dee is fond of saying, along with moe., String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee and a few select other great bands, they know how to use the F.O.M.O as a force.

It’s a technique invented by the Grateful Dead, perfected by Phish and Widespread Panic and wonderfully inverted by the third-generation jambands that still make headlines in our daily news section on this very site: the ability to mesh jaw dropping improvisational music with the Fear of Missing Out. In my opinion, it’s what makes the jamband scene standout from almost any other musical niche and, at the end of the day, is a primary reason fans keep coming back show after show, even if they’ve spent more holidays with a given band than, say, their family, significant other or even Facebook pages. It’s the special covers, the colorful theatrics and the rare bust outs that only seem to happen while you’re looking in another direction.

Even at a time when festivals by and large pride themselves on being open-eared and stylistically eclectic, I think it’s fare to say that the modern music gathering has taken a cue from jam-nation by firmly rooting both its visual and musical offerings in the uniqueness F.O.M.O. embodies…whether it’s Tool allowing a sit-in at Bonnaroo this summer or Radiohead playing its longest set since its club days last summer.

If mega-festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo are about sampling bits and pieces of several different types of music, mid-level festivals like 10,000 Lakes and Wakarusa are about epitomizing a region’s flavor and cozier gatherings like Gathering of the Vibes and High Sierra are about capturing a certain vibe, than Camp Bisco, moe.down and the various events held at Horning’s Hideout are about bringing together all the fans a given band has touched over past year in that slightly mushy, but always exciting Yearbook kind of way (or Summer Annuals if you collected comic books as a kid). Of course, Camp Bisco was also filled with those F.O.M.O moments, from rare new songs like “Glastonbury” and “Rockafella” to even rarer older material like “Rainbow Song” and “Sound One” to new covers of material by bedfellows like Muse to sit-ins by Disco Biscuit heroes like Simon Posford and fostered any number of musical gems (be sure to download the group’s surprise afternoon set or Posford’s rare performance with a live band).

Now, like any holiday celebration, it is sometimes difficult to separate the message from the Manishevitz, so, even though most of Camp Bisco’s best musical moments have already been analyzed for hours online, we thought we’d look back at some of the event’s best backstage moments through the eyes of longtime photographer Dave Vann. Below he presents the weekend from every angel possible, except of course what actually took place onstage, but from start to finish we feel you can feel the F.O.M.O.

Not your typical father/son bonding moment: Zach Brownstein helps his Dad Marc sign autographs

The bus stops here: Umphrey’s McGee enjoy a rare moment of rest before flying home to open for Dave Matthews Band

Can you can tell these guys live in Brooklyn now? 2008’s best band, American Babies, bond backstage.

STS9 + a few friends

Some Bisco kidz Sure have bling: Slick Rick backstage

1 for $3, 2 for $50: Lot Prices in the 21st century

Four men who love being called a jamband: Bustle in Your Hedgerow

Let’s skip the Sears trip this spring: the Brownstein family

The new Warren Haynes? Rising Festival Star Girl Talk

The Colorado Kid: Jamie Janover

SCI Remixed: EOTO

Field of Dreamz

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Turkey Tuesdays: White Phish

I had an uplifting thought the other day: there is a good chance that in 2008 Phish will come back AND the Democrats will retake the White House...which is kind of funny because in 2000 we lost the White House and, for all intensive purposes, lost Phish.

I'm not really sure what all that has to do with Turkey Tuesdays, but it makes me happy and so do these podcast. Enjoy!

1) Brazilian Girls "Play" Cold Turkey

2) Some Older School Hot Tuna

3) My first Broken Social Scene Interview

4) Sam Champion's Forecast

then again here is some proof that the world is most likely about to end