NYC - Saturday Plight

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sat morning was the first day we split up. Jon was hung over and in no condition to wake up, and truth be told, I kind of feel like I'm wasting other people's time when I go shopping without knowing what specifically I'm looking for, so I didn't wake him up anyway. Darren, Dan, and Kurt were off to a Giants game in Jersey, but I wanted as much time in the city as possible. Plus, I had to shop for Nicole and wanted to check out some stuff in the village anyway.

Shopping in the Village

I hit the village hard, starting my search for a cool store recommended to me by a friend, Exit 9, which, technically, was in Alphabet city since it was on Ave A. Walking there, I popped in a bunch of cool boutiques and actually found a little cafe where I had a good sandwich and brunch for $5US. My fortune continued when I found a decent little internet cafe and checked my email. It turns out that our backstage meet up with Frank Black is on (thanks Sean!). Further, Brian and I will be meeting up later, Kathleen is in town, and surprisingly so is Eric Potter, all of whom are people I know through FB.Net. Brian lives in Jersey and I knew I'd be running into him, but Kathleen flew (to my surprise) from Minneapolis with her husband, and Eric happened to be in town working on sound for Spielberg's remake of War of the Worlds. That guy is my hero, he's worked with Neil Young, Frank Black, and Spielberg not to mention dozens of others.

Anyway, I was on my cellphone organizing things for the FB.Net side of the equation enough to be considered a local meanwhile shopping and searching for something unique Nicole would like. Then it hit me. I was shopping in stores that I like for stuff for her. No wonder I didn't find anything. I decided to move to Soho and trekked over there. Much more Nicole's style. I found a cool jeans store with some really unique stuff that had fared well in a recent Zagat's survey and though I don't dare procure jeans for Nicole, I picked up a pair I liked for myself. I went searching and eventually found her a bunny hug just in time to get back to the hotel and organize an outing with my FB.Net friends. I'd've liked to shop for my parents and other sisters too, but I was glad to get Nicole done since I have her in Christmas box.

Waiting outside the backstage door

I got into the elevator of our hotel at the same time as Jon, who thankfully was happy to have slept in and not been disturbed. Brian met us at the hotel and soon the boys came in from the game and we all went out for supper. I wanted to hit Chinatown, but Jon wanted to see the village, so we went to West 4, which was a big mistake for dining. Nothing anywhere. So desperate we were for a restaurant that we stopped, despite our misgivings, at a place called BBQ. Terrible, terrible American food. Plus the pitchers were dirty and it was an all around dive. Poor Darren ordered Chili and got it in a side container usually used for salad dressing. Well worth it.

We met up with the other Pixies fans after dinner and went up to meet Sean and the people from PixiesMusic in his apartment, then trucked off at midnight to the backstage door. We climbed the stairs, past signs pointing the way to the Pixies' Dressing Room and Kim's Dressing Room, and up into a narrow room to meet the band. Thousands of people in attendance, and twenty-two of us are living the dream.

The King grants an audience

Frank Black walked into the room, shook hands, and talked about topics from a gig the Pixies might be doing in August to his lack of contact with the Catholics to his son's name, Jack, to the indigineous creatures of Iceland. Despite our best eff0rts to convince him, there was no way to coax Bam Thwok onto the setlist. I even offered to go chat with Kim, who, I implied, would be delighted to see me knocking on her dressing room door. He wished me luck, I like to think sincerely. However, there were several shout outs to Saskatoon, hopefully something makes it onto the DVD. Oh, I didn't tell you? There was a DVD film crew on the premises. Here's hoping!

The last splash
The concert itself was a blur which was both exciting and anti-climactic. I was hoping for some new tracks, some new energy, or something. Instead, as Frank promised backstage, it was the same old schtick. Whatsmore, the New York crowd wasn't really into it like the Saskatoon crowd was, and further, the band was tired as this was a double header for them. Not to mention that on the hours we'd been putting in, we weren't exactly human dynamos at this point either. The lighting was fantastic, but that's about all I can really say exceeded my expectations. I did get some great photos and a bit of video so people could enjoy the shows vicariously.

In short, it was still a good time, I managed to get a picture just as Dave hits the last crash on the last song of the last show of their tour. I got to meet a bunch of great people. And I got Frank Black thinking about a sequel to the song Manitoba, called "Saskatchewan". He was mentally writing lyrics even as he said it aloud. I can tell these things.

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