The Curmudgeon's Night Out

My wife often accuses me of being an anti-social shut-in who does little more than listen to records and watch the same Family Guy episodes over and over again. That position is clearly not supported by the fact that I am a dynamic go-getter who's always on the move and does more in a week than most cranky 39 year-old fatsos accomplish in a month. In support of my position, I will now relate the events of a typical weekend night in the life of me. Last night was the usual warm evening one expects during the summer in NYC. My wife & I had some friends over for dinner. After we ate, we watched an array of interesting music videos including Korla Pandit, Chuck Berry, Takeshi Terauchi, The Atlantics, Black Diamonds, Antoine and, as previously discussed on this blog, the Move. We had a few drinks & then went off to see some bands. First stop, the Lost & Found Bar in Greenpoint to see Big Fun; a very good all-girl pop punk outfit from Brooklyn. We had high hopes for the Lost & Found Bar. It offers free hot dogs with every drink order...hmmm...interesting. It has a Simpsons pinball machine and live bands with no cover charge. A winning combination if ever there was one. But, after last night, all I can say is shame on the Lost & Found Bar. First, there's a full bar but the bar service sucks. My wife ordered a Tom Collins. Sure, it's a blast from the past and not the most common mixed drink in today's Appletini world but it's not the most obscure or difficult cocktail either. The hipster douchebag behind the bar did not know how to make a Tom Collins and instead of being honest and admitting so, he made some bizarre concoction more akin to a glass of piss and tried to pass it off. It was downright nasty and when my wife returned it, he admitted he didn't know how to make a Tom Collins and gave her a bottle of beer in its stead (he should stick to simply opening bottles - it does require a bit more skill than he probably possesses but at least there's no recipe to follow so more often than not he'll get it right). Second, the sound system at Lost & Found sucks ass. The band sounded miserable but it was not their fault. I have seen Big Fun before and have their very solid 7" single, so I know what they're capable of sounding like. The PA at Lost & Found did them a great injustice, as you could not hear the bass or the lead vocal and the guitar sound was weak and thin. Though there is a stage there, the band had to set up on the floor in front of it. No big deal but it did make me wonder why the stage wasn't utilized for the live bands. Big Fun performed admirably despite the handicap of being in the middle of Lost & Found's abysmal accomodations. Bottom line: Big Fun good - Lost & Found lame. About midnight we hopped back in the car and drove out to the Far Rockaways to see Simon & The Bar Sinisters at the Tap & Grill on Rockaway Beach Blvd. Simon Chardiet is a virtuoso guitarist who has played and recorded with many greats. He's a rock-n-roller in the most basic sense, but he's a truly diverse rocker equally adept playing surf, rock-a-billy (yes, this also means psycho-billy), traditional blues, three-chord garage-style punk, etc. For whatever reason, he's been overlooked and never received a whole lot of attention for his talents. I first saw him in 1989 at the Nightingale Lounge on 2nd Ave in Manhattan. He was great then and even better now. We missed most of the set but saw enough to get excited about. An interesting crowd of locals and the omnipresent Bobcat, who is at every show I go to these days, seemed to appreciate the set as much as I did. How did the bartender at the Tap & Grill fare you wonder? He pours a mean Guinness sans pretense. Bottom line: Simon & the Bar Sinisters great - Tap & Grill great.


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