Friday, December 01, 2006

In Transit

I'm writing one of those "sitting in an airport waiting to take off" posts. The airport this time is JFK on a gloomy balmy Friday afternoon. With a clusterfuck of crappy weather approaching from the Midwest, my flight to Long Beach, CA is slightly threatened to be delayed. Time to stock up on random food stuffs just in case I get stuck on the tarmac. I have a book that Spaceman gave me, Rock Springs by Richard Ford and picked up the latest issue of Rolling Stone.

Yesterday was a very positive day for me in some regards. I cranked out an article for a new poker/gambling magazine I got tapped to write for. It's one of two new assignments that I've gotten since I lost a few clients last month. I also emailed another article that was due a full day before Friday afternoon's deadline. Writing wise, I'm feeling strong and inspired.

The warm weather in NYC (20 degrees above the norm) made me laugh when I realized it was colder in LA and Las Vegas on December 1st than it was in New York City. Global warming? El Nino? I have no idea. It just is.

I'm always in a good mood on the day I'm going to see a great band, like my new favorite band My Morning Jacket. I'm fortunate that I can go see a live concert from the band that I'm listening the most these days. That's so rare and when it happens, it's magical. I was shocked to find Roseland Ballroom on 52nd Street packed with fans. MMJ had that many fans in NYC? I guess so. The Slip opened up, but only a handful of the paid audience was there to see them.
My Morning Jacket 11.30.06 Roseland Ballroom, NY, NY

Set 1: One Big Holiday, What A Wonderful Man, Gideon, The Way That He Sings, Off The Record, Just One Thing, It Beats 4 U, Wordless Chorus, Lowdown, Lay Low, Phone Went West, Dondante, Run Thru, They Ran

Encore: Tonight I Want To Celebrate With You, Nashville To Kentucky, Golden, Steam Engine, Dancefloors, Mahgeetah, Anytime
The crowd was an interesting mix of hipsters and indie rock kids. The wookie factor was very low if none considering most of the band looks like guys you bought weed off of during college. There were a few Phish kids and crunchy souls in the crowd smoking tough, but the majority of the crowd looked they just came from work and the average age in the crowd was about late 20s. Then again, it was a Thursday show in NYC. These people had jobs and all of them were packed onto the floor to see Jim James and the rest of My Morning Jacket blow everyone away for a few hours in hard rocking concert that is a meld of Wilco meets Widespread Panic.

I left feeling satisfied that I only paid $32 to see one of the best live acts on the planet and even happier knowing that I get to see them on New Year's Eve. At first glance, My Morning Jacket looks like a bunch of wookies who tried to start a speed metal band and ended up with MMJ. The band is fronted by three guys who look like Sweet Sweet Pablo and a guy on drums resembling Animal from The Muppets and a guy on keyboards who must have been the weird kid no one talked to in high school. Jim James is what would have happened to Jim Morrison if he smoked more weed and was less of an asshole and did too much speed.

MMJ played their big songs like Gideon, Wonderful Man, and Mahgeetah and the crowd was attentive and receptive.

When I walked out of Roseland Ballroom, I was in the middle of checking my messages and sending a text, when I turned the corner and headed north on Broadway. I wasn't paying too much attention and bumped into someone as we collided. I looked up and saw an extremely attractive woman with dark hair. She looked like actress Rachel Weisz. That's when she said in a British accent, "Pardon me."

She was gone two seconds later and a couple of kids who just left the show were pointing at her like, "Hey we just saw Rachel Weisz."

That's when I knew it was her. I could have copped a feel and gotten away with it. And I blew it because I was too busy texting The Joker telling about the show.

The weather was warm and I had a lot of energy so I decided to walk North on Broadway soaking in the city just before Midnight. I had my one hitter and took a few puffs along the away and watched a bunch of Haitian guys unload a truck full of Christmas trees. They were getting ready for the Yuppie Rush of Upper West Siders who decided to buy a tree this weekend.

The smell of freshly cut firs from upstate and Connecticut was slightly intoxicating. The streets of New York smelled like Christmas. All of the stores were adorned in lights and decorations, yet it was 63 degrees on the eve of December in NYC. Something was slightly off.

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